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Originally the plan was to go to Idaho so that we could stay in the potato AirBNB in Boise. The potato AirBNB is exactly what it sounds like. A giant potato turned into an AirBNB. I saw articles about it online and posted one to my Facebook timeline. He commented on it, something about wanting to road trip there because Idaho and Wyoming were two of his last three states to check off. I said, "let's go!" and, somehow, we turned it into a real trip. I'd been itching to take a road trip for a while (it was even on...

  The observation walk at Shawnee National Forest's Garden of the Gods is a quarter mile loop. I knew that because I'd Googled it that morning and thought, "oh, that's nothing." That's less than what I'd walk to get groceries. That's probably less than I'd walk around a Super Target. Before I'd left on my Great River Road road trip my friend Heather told me about Shawnee and said I had to go to Garden of the Gods. "Go to Garden of the Gods," she texted me daily. "You have to go to Garden of the Gods." And so, I added it...

I didn't sell my car before I left to travel the world. I kept it in my mom's garage with strict orders to run it every once in a while and to have my sister drive it whenever she came by. Of course, when I came home, 15 months later, it was completely dead. I suppose I could have sold it before I left, but my original plan involved coming home after nine months to road trip around the US. That was before I fell in love with Asia and stayed months longer than planned....

Two green and white signs at the fork in the road pointed in two directions: straight and left. Both were marked "Illinois Great River Road." I pressed my foot against the brake, slowing the car to a 15-mile-per-hour crawl and tried to determine which arrow to follow. I was driving the Great River Road and had no paper map of Illinois, I had neglected to pull up the route on my iPhone, and I had no written direction. I didn't think ahead. Typical me. As I approached the crossroad, two cars waited impatiently to turn left behind me so I...

Many of my friends and I found ourselves in the Champaign-Urbana area on what happened to be homecoming weekend. But we weren't there for the game. We were there for a wedding. And so, while most visitors were in town watching football, Heather and Julie and I explored Allerton Park. I haven't been there in probably almost 10 years....

Friday morning I woke up at 5am and was out the door around 5:45 on my way to Urbana to pick up my friend Brian. We were heading off on a Missouri road trip from Chicago to Kansas City. I picked up Brian around 7 and we hit the road to more dangerous trying to film stuff while I drive driving! Our first and only roadside attraction stop in Illinois was the World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville. I'd seen it before, but as ketchup is probably one of my favorite inventions ever, it is probably one of my favorite...

Things learned on my Metropolis road trip: 1. I am a good driver when I am paying attention. 2. Louisville Kentucky is three hours from the Illinois/Kentucky border. 3. When someone says "It's $3 for this museum or $5 for both" the deal isn't always a good deal. 4. It is really hard to try to take photos, take video, and update twitter all at the same time. 5. 4am is a time that should not exist. 6. Yup, I definitely am Mel...