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January 21, 2006

A long trip home

On the home-bound leg Friday, I drove into the rain about 40 miles east of Chicago. Added to the misery of getting through the metro area on construction-clogged I-80 at rush-hour. That turned out to be the easy part of the trip.

The snow began mixing with the rain about the time I came through Joliet; by the time I passed by Ottawa, it was all snow, blowing blindingly into the headlights, and rendered otherworldly by gigantic lightning flashes. The road disappeared; no center line, no shoulder lines; traffic slowed to a crawl -- 25 to 30 mph at times and even that feeling risky.

The real danger came from the half-dozen or so nitwit truck drivers who pretended the storm wasn't happening. They went roaring by at 60-65 mph throwing up literal waves of slush that rocked the car and overwhelmed the windshield wipers, creating long moments of terrifying total blindness.

Made me wish I had some James Bond gadgets. Missiles would have been fine -- press a button, whooosssh, kabloom, one less idiot to endanger themselves and everyone else on the road.

One more trip note -- if you ever find yourself in LaPorte, Ind., at dinner time, I STRONGLY recommend Le Cabernet, the restaurant in the Blue Heron Motel. Took me forever to decide between the the seafood paella, which you don't see on a lot of menus, and the New York strip.

Finally went with the steak. It was simply the best I've ever had in a restaurant, an honor I'd previously bestowed on a filet I had about 25 years ago in some hole-in-the-wall dinner club in Havre, Mt.

Now I'm hungry. Gotta go eat.

Posted by jcb at January 21, 2006 04:24 PM


Welcome back. And by the sounds of it, it wasn't always assured you'd make it. Sounds like one of those trips that takes a year or so off your life and that, when you finally make it home in one piece, you're so stressed that you have to unpeel your fingers from the steering wheel, and even though you're utterly exhausted, you can't relax or sleep.

It's trips like that which remind us that despite the stunning advances in technology and convenience, sometimes mother nature can make getting from point A to point B an ordeal almost on par with the hardships of travel a century ago.

Posted by: TID at January 23, 2006 04:03 AM