Today did not start out well. The hotel we stayed in last night, an extended stay or whatever, had a crappy bed, crappy pillows and a crappy shower. I don't think either one of us had a very good day, despite the early rise, the packing and the driving.
But we managed to get out around 9:15, which was close enough to what I had hoped. It seemed to rain overnight, but it was drying out. We pilled the boys (half pill) about a half hour before we left, and they seemed a little stoned so we figured they'd be OK. Dr. Cath warned us that you could tell because their third eyelids wouldn't open, and that was freaky.
Unfortunately, they were not as relaxed as we thought. We decided to keep them in the carriers to start, because we were heading through Chicago with all of the crappy traffic and such. On top of that, Diana could obviously not be un-belted when things are stop and go, so we had a bit of a powder keg. Oliver is the instigator. When he's unhappy, it makes Gideon nervous, and for shits and giggles, Emma will cry too despite not being physically anxious.
Oliver got hysterical as we were passing through downtown Chicago. I mean, he made noises that were hard to just write off as a scared animal, and it upset Diana. Gideon started to do the same. Both started to try and claw their way out of their carriers. Oliver did so obsessively, and when Diana could finally get up to let him out, his claws had been bleeding.
The Garmin picked up on huge traffic delays on I-90, and instead routed us up I-94 to Milwaukee, to connect back to 90 west from there, adding about 10 miles total, but undoubtedly saving us some time in delays. Somewhere between Chicago and Milwaukee, we stopped at a rest stop, gave the boys each another half pill, and Diana got out of the car for a little while.
The driving was intense pretty much all the way until we got west of Milwaukee. There was a ton of traffic and construction. I got to wave to Great America. The boys finally passed out during this time, I think more from exhaustion than the drugs. The sun came out too, and the drive to Madison was fairly painless.
I scoped out the food situation beforehand, and I knew there wouldn't be shit within two hours of our destination. Diana was having a meatloaf craving, so we went to Cracker Barrel. I don't care for it, but pregnancy trumps my dislikes, and I'm OK with that. I was satisfied with lunch.
The last five hours of the drive went remarkably smoothly. Cosmo has been a saint, and we only saw Emma twice all day after we opened all of the carriers. Wisconsin is surprisingly beautiful, with the Dells area in particular being striking. There are these strange rock tower formations there. The Kalahari there is insanely large. The area around the Mississippi River is also quite striking. And did I mention there was almost no traffic after Madison?
This part of Minnesota, however, is only marginally more interesting than I suspect Iowa would have been, but at least it's shorter. The whole state smells like a county fair. I was about to give up on the state until we started to drive through the most enormous wind farm I've ever seen. This street view is outdated, because there are many times more turbines out there. A little searching suggests we may see even more tomorrow.
We're at an Americinn tonight, and it's definitely more comfortable. Cats are all passed out, and Diana is finally asleep, despite having breathing issues all day from allergies and swollen feet.
We racked up about 600 miles today, with about 10.5 hours of travel time, including stops. Tomorrow should be easier, and we're planning to see Mt. Rushmore. Only about 6.5 hours of drive time.