Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin

South Bend, IN – La Crosse, WI
Daily Mileage: 396
Total Mileage: 1999
Total Number of States Traveled: 15

I started the day swinging by Notre Dame University:

Go Irish!

Back on I-80…. heading west.

Driving through Chicago was a total, complete nightmare.

Crazy, random toll plazas – crazy, huge roads elevated about a million feet up in the air.

The goal of the day was to go by the Illinois Railway Museum…

… but notice the sign…

After the disappointment at the Illinois Railroad Museum, I stayed west on US 20 passing the towns of Stockton and Elizabeth, taking a quick break in Galena.

There was a tall, wooden observation tower on the side of US 20. The weather had really cleared and the temperature was up in the low 60s – very comfortable.

Back on the road, I headed into Dubuque enjoying a conversation over the radio with one of the local hams. He told me his son had just returned from Iraq… spending time up in the Kurdish area and Mosul.

I crossed the Mississippi and entered Dubuque.

The original plan was to stop by a Starbucks, hit their WiFi connection and stock up on caffeine. But my trusty GPS failed to find the Starbucks, so I ended up getting dinner at Applebee’s… the first sit down, non-fast food meal I had since leaving Germany. It was nice to get a real dinner.

Heading northwest out of Dubuque on US 52 through Guttenberg and McGregor paralleling the Mississippi on the west bank, I crossed the river and entered Wisconsin in the town of Prairie du Chien making my way along US 53 to La Crosse. The Mississippi was beautiful during dusk and I stopped to take a few pictures.

Unfortunately, I’ll remember La Crosse for the Best Western I stayed at. They put me in a smoking room… which isn’t that big of a deal. But this was like sleeping in an ashtray. It was really, really bad.

Midway Motor Lodge
1835 Rose Street
La Crosse, WI 54603