April 14th - Evansville, Indiana to Chicago Illinois

Firstly, some readers of this blog may have noticed I have updated the header at the top of the home page to show the states we have driven through and those that we will be visiting in the remaining two weeks of our trip. We have made the decision not to go into Canada, principally because of the customs requirements for taking a non-US registered car out of the States and then bringing it back in four days time. The cars are currently in the US under a Custom's Bond. This has to be surrendered when you leave and then re-applied for when you re-enter the States. This is simply too much red tape for a few days in Canada. Secondly, I have started to post more photos to the blog. So, if anyone wants to look back over the past two weeks of postings you will see new photos. I hope these improve the site.

Returning to our trip. Today we drove over 300 miles from Evansville to Chicago. The weather was poor virtually the whole way and at one point there was quite heavy snow, which luckily did not settle on the road and delay us. Bob & Thelma decided to visit an old World War II troop landing ship that is docked on the Ohio River in Evansville. We, on the other hand, took a short drive around downtown Evansville. Evansville is not the prettiest of towns but interesting all the same, with one or two fine early 20th century homes.

Like other mid-western states Indiana allows gambling; here it is on the Ohio River with replica steamboats used as casinos.

Once we had toured the centre we headed due north on Highway 41, all the way to Chicago. A great drive through flat agricultural countryside, but with plenty to see on the way, including a massive Toyota car plant just north of Evansville. Bob and Thelma were taking minor roads running just to the west of Highway 41, in the state of Illinois.

One aspect of the US, which is so different from the UK, is the American patriotism. In the US it is 'up there in lights'! Everywhere you go there are giant Stars and Stripes and banners proclaiming 'God Bless America'. We drove past this car showroom on the road into Chicago; another good example of how far people go to demonstrate their patriotic feelings.

We arrived in Chicago at about 4pm. We managed to take a few photos of the Chicago skyline from the car as we drove the last few miles into the city and the one below shows one of Chicago's famous elevated trains in the foreground.

The weather here is a great improvement with bright skies and a temperature of 9 Celsius. We are staying at the Hilton Chicago, built in 1927 and overlooking Lake Michigan. Our room on the 17th floor has a wonderful views of the lake with Navy Pier and Grant Park to the north.

To the south is the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium at the end of the promontory.

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