Day 13

Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Tuesday, August 8, 2006

We were moving a little slower this morning, still tired from yesterday's excitement. We decided to take a detour at the start of the day and head north to Lake Michigan. Neither of us has ever seen any of the Great Lakes and we were so close, it seemed a shame to miss the chance. I 65 would take us right up to Gary Indiana and Lake Michigan. Gary was a pretty sad sight with buildings boarded up and empty, some with broken windows. We followed a Hazmat cleanup truck part way through town towards the park and lake. Sure didn't look very good for a while.

We made our way to the closest entrance to the lake from Gary and paid $7 to park at the beach. The attendant was half asleep but he managed to get up and come over to take our money. There were a few people out swimming and paying on jet skis and sunbathing. The sand was a dingy white, there were small waves off the shore and the water appeared to be clean and felt about 60 degrees. It was cool, but not cold enough to numb my toes like the ocean water in Oregon. It would've felt good to cool off in the lake on a hot day.

The swimmers could wade out quite a ways in the water. There was a bulldozer that was pushing sand out in the water, which must be how they kept the swimming areas shallow. We were surprised to see working smoke stacks along the shoreline on the east and west sides of the lake. It must've been steel mills over in Chicago Ill. and Michigan City, Ind.

There were some nice big new homes going up close to the park entrance and the lake, so maybe Gary will be on the rebound soon. We drove by one pizza shop that had a very cute sign - just couldn't pass up another picture.

After getting my feet wet and pictures taken we headed back to the highways and picked up I 80 heading west towards home. Other than stops for gas, lunch and stretching we stayed on the highway till get stopped in Des Moines, Iowa for the night. It was raining by the time we pulled into the parking lot.
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