Summer 2011

Utica, IL to Middlebury, IN

188 Miles/301 Km

13 July 2011

Route Map

Click on pinpoints for local information

Destination Map

Photographs and Commentary
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We have driven on I-80 through the Chicago area eight times in the past 6 years and we only made it through without a problem once. So with that track record what made us think that we could make a mere 188 miles in a little over three hours? When Susie and I discussed today's trip we had some realistic expectations... we were going to hit traffic and we would probably need about three and a half hours to get from Utica, IL to Middlebury, IN. We were wrong!!!

As I said in previous commentaries, there is a lot of construction going on around the country. The Chicago area always seems to have some project going on whenever we came through so there was no surprise when we hit a construction area near Joliet, IL. What did surprise us is how badly this project was managed. There seemed to be no concern for the efficient flow of traffic. We took well over an hour and fifteen minutes to drive about five miles. We were stopped completely for 10 minutes at a time several times. When we finally got through this mess, we could not identify why it took so long to get through. We had been through larger projects in the past few weeks and had nothing resembling this kind of delay. Granted, the traffic density in the Chicago area is higher than in the other projects, but that still doesn't explain why once we all merged into a single lane, the traffic did not move at a reasonable speed. The truck drivers were ranting about the delays on the CB and had some ideas why we were not moving. However, I can't really quote them on this page... I would get a XXX rating.

Once we got through the construction area we moved right along until we got a few miles into Indiana and ran into a 10 minute delay because of an overturned tractor trailer. With all the driving we have done on the Interstate highways over the past years we have seen several roll overs and other serious accidents. However, we never saw two roll overs in a period of four days. What made this even more unusual was that both tractor trailers were operated by the same trucking company.

Our plans were to get into Middlebury KOA around noon, unhook and go see a show in a local theater. Susie decided not to order the tickets in advance over the Internet because she felt that we would have no trouble getting tickets at the theater for an early afternoon show. The delays caused us to get into Middlebury too late to get to the theater on time so we didn't even make an effort. Instead we went into Shipshewana, the largest Amish community in the U.S. We walked around the shops bought nothing and then went out for dinner for the first time since we were in Boise.

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