On Monday I set out from Chicago around 9. The Windy City is great and I would have loved to stay longer. I had to get going back home for the Baltimore Grand Prix and a dog in Ohio that I am going to transport to Maryland. It was actually good to leave Chicago to get away from the ridiculous gas prices. The most expensive in the country! The average price seemed to be around $4.10. Luckily I did not drive much and did not have to fillup my car in Illinois.
Driving through Ohio was fairly uneventful. The only real events happening was stopping at tolls! They are a killer. I think I spent more on tolls driving through Illinois and Ohio in 1 day then I have ever in my whole life. It must have amounted to about $20 or more for the day. I will have to check all my receipts I got to see exactly how much. At least Ohio's rest areas are nice. Most are clean bathrooms and have some sort of convenience store or food court. Overall Ohio is not bad.
For some reason today I was not up for driving much. After about 4-5 hours of driving I got really tired. Driving by yourself can be difficult. I listened to Pimmsler's Speak and Read Russian tapes again trying to learn Russian. Don't ask me how to say anything in Russian because I can't even remember much if anything that from those tapes. To a certain extent trying to listen to make you mind think too much is not good for driving because you need to pay attention to the road. I found Audiobooks to be the best. So I put in “The Bourne Supremacy” by Robert Ludlum and listened to that for the majority of my driving. There are great movies and books. Especially listening to when you are by yourself in a car for long periods of time.
Originally I got a call from a very nice guy in Youngstown, OH named Andrew from Couchsurfing. He said I could stay at his place, but when I was getting closer and closer to Cleveland I realized driving another 2 and half hours to Youngstown from where I was would not be safe. Another girl from Couchsurfing, Alissa, called me back after confirming my request and said I could stay with her and her roommate in Cleveland. I decided to go with Alissa because I was too tired at this point to drive much more. Cleveland was only 1 hour away.
I got into Cleveland and was driving around. Man, Cleveland feels a lot like Baltimore. A lot of bad neighborhoods next to good neighborhoods. A city in change with lots of new construction going up. All it mainly geared toward gentrification, yuppies, and colleges. When I got into Cleveland I finally meetup with Alissa's roommate David. We started talking and were talking about where we are from. Turns out we are both from Newton, MA. Small world.
Today was pretty uneventful unlike my day in the Rockies. I was mostly driving along I-80 through Nebraska. What do I know about Nebraska? Nothing except the “Oracle of Omaha” is from this state, better known as Warren Buffett one of the richest men in the world. I doubt he drives along I-80 though.
I made one long stop at a gift shop called Ford Cody in North Palatte. It was a little tacky. I did find what I thought was the only cool item in the store. Belts! They had some great handmade belts with Buffalo and Wolves on them. They did not have the Wolf design in a 32, so I got the Buffalo one. I thought I should have one cool thing to remember about Nebraska and my road trip.
I drove a little over 500 miles from Greeley, CO to Lincoln, NE. Funny thing is I could have kept driving probably without a problem. I am really not that tired from driving today. I think I am used to it now and prepared for it. I listened to “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” while driving. It's was much better than listening to “Cover Her Face” which I still have no idea what the story is about. The Bourne series had all background music and a good narrator to make the story exciting. Tomorrow I will listen to the third installment in the series “The Bourne Ultimatum.” I picked up these cassette tapes at a great place in Baltimore called the Bookthing. They give out free books and sometimes old cassettes are there. I did consider getting a better head unit to install in the Accord, but I don't mind using cassette taps. It's nostalgic to use them.
I stopped and I am staying in Lincoln, NE at the Staybridge Suites here. When I checked in I was talking with Sarah, the girl working the front desk, about my road trip. She was said, “I am taking a trip soon from LA to Minneapolis. I am looking for any tips.” I was quite proud that someone had recognized and asked me a master road tripper for advice. (Ok… that's a bit of a stretch.) I said “I would recommend getting a cooler and putting ice and drinks in there. That way you don't have to stop when you are thirsty. You can also put food and snacks in the cooler.” We also talked a little about… Warren Buffett. I asked “I guess Warren Buffett is popular in Nebraska?” Sarah, “Yeah we don't have many people to be proud of.” He definitely is an amazing guy to have built up such an immense amount of wealth. At least Baltimore has Micheal Phelps.
The rooms at Staybridge are very nice, comfortable, and well-appointed. I like the suite concept where you have a kitchenette with a fridge, dishwaher, and microwave. It's more inviting experience when you stay in a hotel.