1. The Deke and I roused ourselves out of our Super 8 luxury at 7 a.m. and packed up and hit the road with our target destination the Lake Michigan hamlet of Long Beach, IN. We would arrive in Long Beach sixteen and a half hours later, tired, not too cranky, and satisfied that we could begin our visit with Brian and Allison and Danielle.
2. Once again, with the help of cruise control, I enjoyed the vastness of the western midsection of the USA. The endless stretches of land in South Dakota are inspiring to me and as is the way things begin to green up and get more populous in Minnesota and Wisconsin as is the and the press and congestion of Chicago and beyond. This drive tested my patience at times, tested my faith in GPS, and wore me completely out. I'm not used to 16 and a half hour drives (HA!), but as I got deeper and deeper into it, I felt an odd sense of strength, power, and, well, fatigue.
3. My first Wisconsin brewed beer awaited me (and the Deke). It was brewed at New Glarus brewery and is called Spotted Cow. It is a refreshing and tasty farmhouse ale and paired well with the macaroni and cheese pizza Brian and Allie picked up for us at the Blue Chip casino. What a great way to wind down after an epic drive across South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and into the top of Indiana.