Carefree highway

Blog PhotoBy the time this is published, I will be on the road.

I don’t do mornings well, but in this case I don’t really have a choice. I’m starting a little experiment in travel.

About a year and a half ago, I took a solo trip through the South, using state roads often but not exclusively. Today, I’m off on a shorter journey but with the intent of avoiding the Interstate system completely.

I’d like to invite you to come along.

The first stop today normally would be a very easy drive from Champaign-Urbana. But because I’m using state roads – and because I want to be able to stop along the way – I’m allowing much more time.

That really describes what I want from this trip: the ability to take my time, and to stop whenever I want.

Normally, I’m a fan of the interstates. I have a comfortable car and I think cruise control is a great invention.  And interstates are statistically the safest roads in the country.

But I’ve done this kind of driving on a small scale, taking U.S. 150 from my mom’s home in Danville back to Champaign, and the drive is so much more interesting visually that even though it takes longer, the time seems to go by more quickly. 

(And I'm old enough to remember when U.S. 150 was "the highway" between Danville and Champaign. One glorious summer of my youth was spent largely in the crook of an apple tree at the top of a hill, watching earthmovers and other big construction equipment below clear a path for I-74.)

I’ll try to pose riddles/questions from time to time, and here is the first:

Mapquest says the drive to my first stop is 146.44 miles. What is my first stop?

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