Chicago Travel Blog› entry 2 of 62 › view all entries
Airline tickets out of the Upper Peninsula are outrageously overpriced. For a fraction of the cost, I always opt for a one-way rental car to Chicago. Including tax, the red Pontiac Grand Am cost $114 for the one-way trip, then about $35 to fill the gas tank when I got there. The five hour drive not only saves money but allows me to travel with dignity by avoiding the often ridiculous and humiliating experience of air travel from small county airports. "Is that a laptop … would you turn it on for us?" TSA employees at small airports seem to have little to do besides provide their own entertainment. I stopped flying out of here years ago when they were dumbfounded by seeing a passport for identification and asked for my driver's license. I was probably fortunate that they did not notice the one-year Iraqi residence visa on the first stamped page.
I stopped at Dobber's Pasty Shop in Escanaba. My step-sister and her husband in Chicago enjoy those northern Michigan treats -- crusted pies filled with meat, potato and several vegetables which were introduced to the area by Cornish miners who worked in the underground iron ore mines. I bought a frozen package of six and headed south.
Fall colors were half fallen from the trees as I cruised M-35 along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, I intercepted the four-lane Highway 41and set the cruise control just under 80 m.p.h. A one hour time change worked to my advantage. I would have arrived at my step-sisters' by 5:30 p.m. but construction just north of the O'hare Airport brought traffic to a grinding halt. It took one hour to move three miles before opening up again but I didn't mind -- I was happy to be in Chicago. Unfortunately this trip would only be an overnighter.