Four States in Two Days

Leaving Chicago…. Heading East

We had planned to primitive camp somewhere in Ohio after leaving Chicago but, since the hotel in Chicago did not have a laundry service, we opted for a hotel in Batesville, Indiana with a guest laundry. This gave us new state #1, Indiana.

There wasn’t much in Batesville (and we were pretty busy doing laundry) but the next morning we drove 3 miles to Oldenburg, a picturesque little town with a decidedly German feel (all the signs were in English and German).

We tried…

We bagged our second state the next morning when we hit Cincinatti and stopped to stroll around down by the Ohio River.

The enemy!
Cute girl with Cincinnati in the background.
The Ohio River. Bigger than I imagined.
Two lost Texans.

And then back on the road, heading east, next stop: Ashland, Kentucky.  We were driving right by Ashland (or nearly by) and decided to stop and take a few pictures of Andrew Dansby’s boyhood home, which gave us our third new state.

In front of an iconic tourist shrine, Andrew Dansby’s boyhood home.

After Ashland it was a short drive to  our home for the next two nights, Beech Fork State Park near Huntington, W. Virginia and our fourth state!

Beech Fork State Park, W. Virginia. Our new home.



Chicago and…. showers!

So after 7 days of camping we hit Chicago after traveling the entire length of the eastern side of Lake Michigan and a hotel (21C) and showers! The room was nice and the art was cool but this was the first day they were open and they had no room service or ice. No ice. And no guest laundry! Oh well… this caused a change of plans …. more on that later.

John Hancock Tower

Our first stop on our walking tour of Chicago was the water tower, one of the only structures to survive the famous fire.

The Water Tower with the John Hancock building in the background.

We noticed the Hancock Tower as we were taking pictures of the water tower and walked over to take a look. Turns out they have a viewing level on the 94th floor and, since it had just opened and there was no one there, …..

Looking north from the 94th floor of the John Hancock building.
… and looking south.
And we were the only people there.
So we decided to have “breakfast”.
The Navy Pier

After the Hancock building we headed south on the “magnificent mile” and ended by walking east along the Chicago River to the Navy Pier. Most people we saw were wearing masks, at least indoors.

Chicago from the end of the Navy Pier
Tourists on the Navy Pier

And then lunch at a beer garden on the river (with outside seating!).  We have been very careful wearing masks when we are around other people and the city is relatively uncrowded.

Just …no.
The Bean
The bean.

We ended our walk in Millennium Park with Chicago’s famous “Bean” (it’s actually called The Cloud Gate). It’s quite a bit bigger than the one in Houston. And it’s on its side.

The outdoor theater in Millennium Park

We also saw the Crown Fountain, an interactive work of public art and video sculpture which probably is more impressive at night.

The Crown Fountain – he blinks.
21C Hotel Art

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the art exhibits in our hotel.  21C hotels only have art from the 21st century. Here is a sampling of the art in our hotel….