First, I did a little review of my Illinois map, and before we get started, a little county housekeeping:
1. I did go through Woodford County (#75) back on Saturday, between McLean and Tazewell. Since I am NOT going back over 3 posts and renumbering the successive 36 counties, you can just kind of think of it as county 38.5. Doing that (the renumbering) reminds me of the annoyance whenever I would buy a new CD. I would have to go through my entire CD tower, moving them all up one spot, to correctly insert the new CD into its place in alphabetical order. Naturally it was worse the earlier in the alphabet the artist came. Curse you, 4 Non Blondes!!
2. It appears that although it is marked on my Illinois map, I had actually never been in Edgar County. I blame the mob-rule Illinois map. The white lines on the states are the Interstates, and it definitely looks like the white line for I-70 goes through Edgar County (right on the middle of the IL-IN border). I suppose you could blame me for not double checking (as I did with most of the counties), but isn't it always more fun to blame other people? Even people that have made one of the awesomest websites in the world?
Anyways, on to the show.
I got out of class a little after 4 and started out. And I got my first experience (this week anyways) of some tasty Chicago traffic. This was by design actually (that I hadn't run into it before). When planning my routes, I tried to take possible Chicago traffic into account. If there was a route that might run into traffic, I would flip it around so that I would hit the traffic-y areas on the way BACK, at say, midnight, when there was not likely to be any traffic. In today's case however, flipping it around would have made the traffic WORSE. I took I-88 East from Downers Grove, to I-294 South to I-80 West to I-57 South. In thinking about it in hindsight, it probably would have made sense to take I-355 South to I-55 and then cut over to I-80 to I-57. Even though it's probably about 25 miles longer, I think it would have been faster. As it was, I sat in traffic in I-294 for about an hour before it cleared up when I got to I-80.
On I-57 Southbound, I made my way into Kankakee County (#76). Not wanting to repeat the hunger of yesterday, when I spotted a sign for the elusive Arby's, I got off the highway and tried to smell my way to some juicy curly fries. Nope. I couldn't find the Arby's. I must have just missed it, since it appears to be right on the main road, and I apparently drove by it twice. So I went back south, into Iroquois (#77), Ford (#78), and Champaign (#79). In the lovely town of Rantoul, Illinois, I was finally able to get me some Arby's, which was nice. Mmmm curly fries. I even "value-sized" my meal.
Back on I-57, I soon entered Douglas (#80) and got off the highway at Exit 203, where I took IL 133 to US 45 into Coles (#81). After turning around and heading back, when I went to turn back on to IL 133 East, what did I find? TRAIN!!!! Apparently ILDOT has its act together. Back on I-57 northbound for a jaunt, getting off at US 36 West for a few miles picking up Piatt (#82). I knew that US 36 also served as the northern boundary for Moultrie county as well, but I was not sure where the line was. The problem is that westbound you are never actually IN Moultrie, so there would never be a welcome sign. Normally in situations like this, the counties come together at a 4-corners style intersection, so the one welcome sign kind of acts for both. In this case however, I had to kind of crane my head around to see the Douglas County sign. It wasn't actually that difficult, and Moultrie (#83) was mine.
Back heading east, I finally was able to cross off Edgar (#84) (for real this time!). Turning north at Chrisman, Illinois, I found that they were doing work on the US-150 bridge over the Little Vermillion River, so I had to stop and wait my turn to cross the 1-lane bridge. US-150 took me into Vermillion county, Illinois (#85) and then east on Mill Rd into Vermillion County, Indiana (#86).
On IN 234, I made a grievous error. My route said that I should get on IN 63 N and then onto I-74 East. By the time I got onto I-74, I realized that I was too far west. I got off the highway and pulled out the map and realized I had missed Parke county! The route I should have been following was IN 234 to US 41. So I turned around and back tracked - this cost me about 35 minutes of "pansy time", With a clear head the next morning, I should have continued on I-74 and went out and back on US 41 to get Parke - that would have been only about 25 minutes of pansy time. Oh well. Back on IN 234, I got Parke (#87) and Fountain (#88) and then went up 41 to I-74 east for an out and back to Montgomery (#89).
And then it was time for a long haul north on US-41 through Warren (#90) and Benton (#91) counties, and then I-65 into Chicago. I ended up getting back to the hotel at about 12:45 a.m. One thing that was just crazy (though of course it makes sense) is how long it took me to get to my hotel after I was already in what I considered "Chicago"