Tolling our way around Lake Michigan

Wake up Wisconsin. Pack. Free Continental Breakfast. Get in car. Fuel up for the 8th time. $3.639/gallon. Speed down I-90. Enjoy the scenic view of dairy farm after dairy farm. Think to myself “must revisit Wisconsin.” Reach Illinois. Construction. Pass semis from Manitoba. And Tennessee. And everywhere else. Bumps. Slow down. Speed up. Toll – $1.00. Speed up. 5 minutes. Toll. – $0.80. Drive 15 minutes. Toll – $0.80. Drive another 5 minutes. Toll – $0.60. Starting to run out of change. Drive another 10 minutes. Toll. $0.80. Reach outskirts of Chicago. Bumper to bumper traffic. Wonder why Obama moved to Chicago in the first place. GPS has schizophrenic episode. Eventually arrive downtown. $21.00 to park. Go upstairs and enter Millennium Park. Listen to Chicago Symphony Orchestra practice for tonights free performance in the park. Wish we were there to see it. Find giant mirrored jellybean. Very cool. Take TONS of pictures. Spend 40 minutes trying to find a pizzeria for Chicago deep dish. No luck. Go to take the “L” to the ballpark. Not enough cash. Find another machine. Wait for train. Squish on train. Get frustrated with barely moving train. Listen to locals talk about the Cubs vs. Sox. Arrive late. Miss anthem, but see first pitch. Grateful to have seats in the shade. Humidity’s a killer. Watch White Sox get their butts kicked. Buy a baseball for Ray’s collection. Eat hot dogs. Try to buy beer but get rejected because they’ve never seen a BC license before and think its fake. Take “L” again. So slow. Get off in Grant Park. Why it is that there is a train running through the middle of a beautiful park. Finally find Buckingham fountain. Grateful for this oasis in the concrete jungle. Enjoy a view of Lake Michigan. Keep walking through Grant Park. Find art/kids water park. Giant video screen of a face under a waterfall randomly spitting water. Appreciate Chicago’s support of public art and sculptures. Get ready to leave Chicago. Drive 10 minutes. Toll booth. $3.50 to leave the city and take the bridge to Indiana. Random McDonalds on the middle of the bridge. Weird. Arrive in Indiana. Toll – $0.60. Drive 5 minutes. Toll – $0.60. Exit to state park is closed. Take next exit. $10.00 to enter the park because we aren’t from Indiana. We say we’re from BC. He says “oh, the place with the riot.” I get defensive.  Why does Vancouver hockey leave the world thinking we’re thugs? Now angry at the rioters that out me in that position. This is the third time I’ve had this conversation this week. Arrive at campsite. Pitch tent. Drive to lake front. Enjoy watching the sunset over lake Michigan. Beautiful soft sand. Lovely dunes. Soothing sound of waves hitting the shore. I take tons of photos. Chicago skyline silhouette is visible through the smog. To left of the lake a factory is venting pollution. The dunes are a gem in a world of factories and steel construction. Back to camp. French toast. Blogging.

Not sure exactly what tomorrow holds, but I’d be willing to bet ….. more TOLLS.

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