Or at least not directly. But why should you? There's no reason for there to be a road directly connecting Grand Rapids and Champaign-Urbana IL. Sure, you can take I-196/I-94/I-57, but that involves having to skirt the bottom of Chicago and hit a couple of nightmare interchanges. And if you cut off at I-65, it ends up angling the wrong way towards Indianapolis. So Mrs. Dr. Phil has been doing I-196/I-94/US-421/US-24/I-57 the last couple of years that she's visited her sister in Champaign. This is the first time I've taken that full route, at least as far as the US-421/US-24 turn.
We had a little delay with a one-lane aside to a construction zone, but other than the temps in the 90s, it was a pleasant drive. Around Monon IN there are a couple of static Monon Railroad displays along US-421 -- one is a loaded hopper car by an aggregate company, another is a number of items including a work crane by the Whistle Stop Restaurant and a caboose in the town proper. Given the heat and the D1 series tendency to blow highlights in hazy light, I figured I'd snag pictures of that equipment another time, especially in the fall. (grin)
In one big farm field on US-421, we saw a really large 3-bladed wind turbine. But then along US-24 on both sides of the IN/IL border, we saw hundreds of wind turbines south of us in large wind farms. Very few of the blades were turning.
Somebody is building a wind farm with similar large bladed wind turbines here in Michigan, because several times I've seen these oversized transport movements on M-45 on either side of Allendale. This one is from May 29th -- last Thursday I saw an entire 3-blade convoy pulled over on M-45. (Click on photo for larger.)
On The Home Fronts
Gas is down to $3.53.9/gal in Allendale -- we saw gas as low as $3.36.9/gal while on the road. One of the papers we read in Champaign was "predicting" $3/gal gasoline by the fall -- these are probably the same experts who suggested it'd be $5/gal by the fall. Although we're probably short of rain locally, it's nothing like the heat and drought some of the areas seemed to be having in IN/IL. I've mentioned them irrigating here and using giant sprinklers, so that today I shot some of the lush corn a couple of miles away at 84th Avenue and M-45.
These fields always have lovely corn. This is the same fields I shot last fall (DW) during harvest. (Click on photo for larger.)
I also swung by Potters at Fillmore and 68th Avenue -- we're already getting tomatoes and raspberries. Potters had some strawberries, but they were no match for the lovely ones we got from Cooks. (grin) BTW, this shows the value of having VR (Vibration Reduction) in lenses, as this was handheld indoors at 32mm almost on top of the raspberry at 1/5th of a second. (double-grin) (Click on photo for larger.)