Interstate Highway Blues
CHASING THE BLUES, CHAPTER 25: Green Bay, WI, to Chicago, IL
An icy wind was blowing as we left Green Bay, dropping the 33° temp to a wind chill of 25°, but the snow flurries we had seen out our hotel window had dissipated. Layers of thick gray clouds hung low with sun peeking between the strata. Looking for efficiency in getting to Chicago, we finally relented and drove on interstate highways today on a route through some heavily urban areas.
About 10:00, we stopped at Port Washington (pop. 11,250), our last chance to get close to the Lake Michigan shore before entering the mega metropolitan areas. Once a center of commercial shipping, the natural harbour now services mostly recreational boats. When we checked our Clue Tracker app for letterboxes in the area, we were delighted to see that Cheekee Monkey had planted some boxes in town. We found two, and as always the stamps were intricately detailed and expertly carved—including one of a local 1860 era lighthouse. The windchill coming off the lake was 23° (temp at 34°), but the high was forecast for 80° in Georgia today, so we were glad to be far to the north.
Back on I-43, we made it through Milwaukee with only one minor slowdown. The interstate was elevated over surface streets through much of the city. South of Milwaukee, we left 43 and continued south on I-94 toward Chicago, with the freeway running five to ten miles west of Lake Michigan. The temp continued to hover in the mid-30s under a gray cloud cover with occasional flurries.
As we entered Illinois and neared Chicago, it was only a matter of time before we encountered our first toll booth. Near Wadsworth, the initial ransom demand came, in the amount of $2.80. We were surprised when it took another 20+ minutes to reach the next toll taker in Northbrook, who demanded only $1.90.
|Yep, we're close to Chicago.|
Having last visited Aunt Hansi’s grave in the late 1970s, we were definitely unclear about its exact location. However, a friendly representative at the cemetery office advised us to look in section W and gave us a couple of maps—essential since there are almost 30,000 graves in Rosehill.
These talented musicians packed the house at Blues Chicago. We enjoyed a great three hours of music and we felt very safe walking on the Chicago streets back to our hotel at 11:30. With our first dose of the local music scene, we’re looking forward to more blues in the next couple of days, as well as visiting some Chicago landmark attractions.
- Miles driven: 213
- Weather: partly cloudy, snow flurries, 33° to 43°
- Letterboxes found: 2
- Chicago blues music: yes, please
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