We Survived Chicago – Barely !!

Since leaving Metro Vancouver we have either navigated through the mountains or across miles and miles of flat prairie landscape. Yes, we did pass Calgary, but the ring road is literally around the furthest reaches of the suburbs.

Well today is different – we have to survive the hustle and bustle of Chicago. How did we make out?

Monday 4th August

Blackhawk Valley Campground, Rockford, IL to Shipshewana South, IN


Temp – increased to high 20’s

Weather – hazy/smog

Wind – light airs

Clox – forward 1 hr to EDT (Z-4)

Distance today – 228 miles

Total Distance – 2,580 miles


Today was mostly motorway driving, including toll roads and we really had no reasonable option of bypassing Chicago, especially as we wanted to stop at Costco.

Departing Blackhawk Valley Campground

With the stop at Costco and an hour ahead on the clocks we wanted to be away early, getting to Costco when it opens, so hopefully the parking lot would still have space for our rig.

Not much packing after only 1 night, so we were moving by 08:00. It was an easy departure followed by a slow climb up the hill to access the roads.

Detailed Voyage to Shipshewana

We were only a few miles to the motorway, so shortly after climbing the exit hill we were up to speed and heading South on I-39, followed by East on I-88, our first toll road. After a few miles we hit the first toll plaza and found out they consider us a medium truck or almost $5.00. Darn, didn’t want to buy the road, just run on it for a few miles. Must admit, it was an excellent quality road. We passed 1 more toll plaza before heading South on I-355, which was an interesting ramp between the 2 motorways. About 1/2 way along the off-ramp we rounded a corner and found road works seriously curtailing the width of the road. Probably had about 1 foot to spare on each side. Didn’t see any warning signs.

After a few miles we left the I-355 to stop at Costco, which is adjacent to the motorway and our timing was almost perfect. Traffic in the parking lot was light, so lots of room for us to manoeuver and park. Spent about an hour in Costco getting everything we needed, but beer. No good beer, only that yellow imitation stuff.

Back to the motorway and we hit an unmanned toll booth, so fortunately at Costco we picked up a supply of coins. They have a basket you throw the coins into, and it is coins only, as it doesn’t accept notes. Another challenge negotiated, we return to I-355 South until the I-80 junction, where we headed East. Hit another couple of toll plazas, but they were all manned and took notes and gave change. The I-80 was really busy with lots of semis, in fact I recall one stretch where we were sandwiched between 2 semis for a number of miles.

After crossing the I-90 the I-80 became the I-94, bound for Detroit, so we continued until Hwy 20, which leads to the centre of Amish Country and all the RV manufacturers. We were amazed driving along Hwy 20 at the number of brand new RV’s being pulled by pick-up trucks, being delivered to the selling dealer. Yes, most RV’s are built in Indiana and individually driven to the selling dealer. Therefore, when we picked up our coach it already had about 2,500 miles on it from the factory to Abbotsford.

We then turned left onto Hwy 5 heading North for about 1 mile before arriving at the campground. We are about Redwood # 7 to arrive, with the remainder rolling in over the next few days. Should be about 35 to 40 Redwoods here for the Rally this weekend.

Will be here for 1 week then back to Canada to tour the Eastern Provinces.




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