This was the day we woke up early and got excited because the night before we had decided that because we were making such good time on this trip, we could afford to get off the interstates and explore some 2-lane highways. This let us reacquaint ourselves with rural, middle America – where both of us spent most of our teen years – and avoid the traffic jammed cities of Indianapolis and Columbus. These two cities, in my personal experience, are ALWAYS busy with loads of construction. I very much liked the idea of avoiding them while having a chance to see a slower version of the Midwest.
I simply told Google maps, the GPS I was using on this trip, to avoid highways and boy did it do that! We got to explore not only 2-lane highways, but a few unmarked good, old-fashioned, country roads and even some that should probably have been left to one vehicle at a time! No worries though – I learned how to drive on these types of roads and it felt just like being home.
I knew to watch out for deer and other wildlife, loose farm critters (like cows & goats that bust out of their fences), farm equipment on the roadways and various other country issues. Nothing beats exploring the more slow pace these type of roads afford you. The only real piece of advice I would offer is if you aren’t comfortable reading traditional maps or risking the chance of getting lost – make sure your cell signal is in a strong area, and also make sure you gas up every time you see a gas station if you are anywhere near half a tank. You never know when it may be the last one you see for hours.
So get out there – slow down and explore. Get to see that “fly over country” you’re always hearing about it. You’ll find a whole different world than what you see in the cities and suburbs. You’ll find restaurants that hail back from the ’50s instead of just the chain places on the interstates, quirky tourist traps and forgotten architecture. You really need to try it sometime if you never have before.
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Safe Travels . . .