On our way to Chicago...

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Monday, May 10, 2010

Back in the USA, having left nearly a month ago to the day, the next part of our trip took us around the coast of Lake Erie south-west towards Chicago, Illinois. We'd already spent some time around the north shores of the Great Lakes in Canada, and it is hard to get your head around the fact that these are lakes and not the sea. There are 5 great lakes in total, and together they cover 94,500 square miles, equivalent to an area the size of the UK. Our drive took us through the top corner of Pennsylvania, and right across the states of Ohio and Indiana, a really scenic and beautiful part of America.

We stopped for the night en route in a town called Sandusky in Ohio, in a very quiet and lifeless campground. Making the most of an early night, we were just beginning to think about retiring for the day and making a crack of dawn start in the morning, when 2 guys pulled in, threw up their tents, made a massive fire, and so began a long night of photos, stories and another visit to our Steam Whistle stash. Jim and Darren, two cops from Newcastle, had in the past 2 weeks driven all the way from San Francisco via all the sights including Yellowstone National Park...somewhere that we'd been really looking forward to since before we left home. Jim and Darren were on a complete high and quite rightly showed off a collection of amazing photos of grizzly bears, coyotes, geysers etc which only increased our anticipation and gave us the boost of motivation that we needed to drive across the Dakotas. In exchange for top bear spotting areas, we felt it only fair to share the secret of the free parking at Niagara Falls, which was their next destination. The next morning we went our separate ways in opposite directions after a great evening.

Indiana is home to one of America's largest Amish communities, and our drive the next day through parts of this state meant sharing the roads with horse and carts and marvelling at their basic houses and lifestyles. It really was like going back a hundred years, with people ploughing the fields using horses, and even the shop carparks had the majority of spaces reserved for horse and carts only. As if going from one extreme to another, we drove over the border into Illinois and were greeted almost instantly by steel mills complete with huge chimneys spewing smoke, steam and flames into the air, a powerful stench of sulphur and a barely visible skyline....we were in Chicago!
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Andy H on

Check out Whoopie Pie cakes. They are the latest thing set to hit the UK from the Amish community in the USA

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