Sep. 17-24 2016

This camping trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota wasn't my idea. But this park belongs to the people, and it was my right to enjoy it. It's your right too. This trip brang to life Roosevelt's quote: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

I'd been trying to catch this for decades. This is I-74 near Greensburg, Ind., and here we go under Base Road. That's right, Base Road. That's an inside joke a lot of my high school and college pals will understand.

I-74 near Brownsburg, Ind. Nothing interesting here. I tried to photograph something that was absolutely hilarious, but this attempt was a dud. Don't worry though. I got it on the way home.

On I-74 west of Indianapolis, we saw numerous trucks going the other way carrying these huge, long unidentified objects. Each truck was guarded by a convoy. I speculate that the objects they were carrying may have been windmill blades.

G! Gum! This is I-74 in Danville, Ill.

Looking into Bloomington, Ill., on US 150.

Headed back the other way on US 150.

This sign mentions ol' Ronnie! This is continuing on I-74 through Illinois.

I-74 approaches the I-474 bypass around Peoria. It says thru traffic should take I-474. My experience dictates otherwise.

Stay the course, coolsters. Stay the course.

We stayed the course on I-74, and now we have this nice new view of Peoria. This freeway is also known as Ray LaHood Highway through here, after the controversial transportation secretary. One good thing about LaHood though is that he refused to sign the alt-right Contract With America.

I-74/IL 29 uses the Murray Baker Bridge over the Illinois River to Peoria. The span opened in 1958.

Still in Illinois, I-74 approaches the I-280 bypass around Davenport, Iowa - and this is the trick that trips up every motorist.

I-280 crosses the Mississippi River to Iowa using the Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. Bridge, opened in 1973.

Looking up the river to Davenport from the I-280 bridge. The bridge you see is the Rock Island Centennial Bridge, which carries US 67 and opened in 1940.

The official welcome to Iowa on I-280. Iowa still had loads of BGS's with a black border around the route shield.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a city that keeps on giving. This is looking northeast on 3rd Avenue SW from I-380.

The latest of many views of Cedar Rapids. I-380 also carries IA 27 here as part of the Avenue of the Saints. It brings to mind a misheard line in a Human League song - "27's coming over the sea" - which to me always evoked not IA 27 but a ridiculous image of US 27.

"Ho ho ho, Green Giant!" This 55-foot-tall statue of the Jolly Green Giant was sighted in Blue Earth, Minn. He has stood here since 1979.

I bet Green Giant's poo stinks from eating all those canned vegetables.

MN 30 runs into MN 15 near Lewisville, Minn. These are section line roads.

An unpaved road branches from an unknown highway in rural Minnesota.

Hahaha, a Donald Trump sign! This is north on MN 29 at 90th Street SW near Benson, Minn.

Fourteenth Street at Atlantic Avenue in Benson. Small-town America is losing so much political and economic vitality to the big cities that this violin shop had to actually advertise the fact that it wasn't moving.

Fifth Steet at California Avenue in Morris, Minn. That sign blade is embossed and uses the pre-1950s font, so it's probably safe to say it's quite old.

More embossed signy oldness in Morris.

An unknown gravel road in Minnesota. Oh, and the best stuff is yet to come.

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