The Great American Road Trip – Day 11

I awoke to the humid heat of direct sunlight on my truck’s canopy at eight a.m., at a rest stop on the Ohio turnpike. There are so many toll roads in the northeast and it was annoying.

Anyway, I had an easy drive across Ohio and Indiana this morning, and took a small detour into Michigan, my 48th state. While there I saw a sign for a distillery, and since I skipped the one in Tennessee that I’d planned to see, I dropped by and bought a small bottle of gin.

Then I headed over to Chicago for their top-rated deep dish pizza, which was amazing. I’d say New York pizza was probably a little better, but they’re both very good. After pizza I went to a nearby cupcake store that makes their own ice cream and had some that was infused with Oreos, cookie dough, and chocolate fudge.

The next stop was the Jelly Belly factory, which is just north of the state line in southeast Wisconsin. Their two-pound bags of Jelly Flops were “Buy 3, get 2 free!”, so now I have ten pounds of jelly beans. They will be shared with many people; otherwise they’ll sit around my house for two years, or I’ll get high and eat an entire bag in an evening.

I continued north to Green Bay, where my family lived for six months back when I was thirteen. I drove past the house we lived in, and bought cheese curds at the grocery store my brother and I walked to frequently during our time there. We would always pick up the coins, toys, and other oddities we found by the road. I still have one of the bouncy balls I found there.

My intention was to spend the night in Green Bay but I got there before five p.m., partly because I drove so far last night and partly because I hadn’t factored in the extra hour I got from returning to central time. So I texted my friend in Minnesota who I’d already planned to meet for lunch tomorrow (who came to my town a month ago on her own road trip, and who I saw again last week when I dropped by the writing workshop), and I’m now at her apartment for the night, having seen her three times in a month in three entirely different parts of the country.

I got out the shot glass I bought at the Empire State Building and opened my gin. My friend gave me a bottle of ginger ale. I looked at it and had an idea. GINger ale! So I poured a shot of gin into the ginger ale. It’s a great ending to a long day of driving.

Day 11 Statistics

States: OH, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN

Daily Miles: 808.7

Total Miles: 7029.2


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