Across Canada – Moose Jaw, SK to Chicago, IL

At the US border crossing I was given a slapped wrist due to my last US tourist visa still being present in my passport. Apparently this should have been taken out when I left last year and the fact that it was still there meant I was an “overstay”… which is pretty serious. They let me off (it seems that it was actually the fault of the last border official for not removing it) and while was pretty clear that I hadn’t been in the US for the last six months, this little bit of card is the only evidence they take into account. Which seems like a bit of a rudimentary system to me!

Almost as soon as I arrived there was a sudden, fierce thunderstorm that made during rather difficult. There were also tumble weeds flying about everywhere which I thought was pretty cool – having only ever seen them in films. I headed down through North Dakota, visiting the Theodore Roosevelt National Park which has some pretty impressive geography and wild horses and bison running about everywhere.

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The Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park

My next stop was Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Up until more recently than I would like to admit I didn’t ever know if Mount Rushmore was actually a giant carving, or a mountain that if you squint looks like it could be a bunch of heads. I think this wasn’t helped by numerous parodies in TV shows and films… but it turns out it is real, and was really interesting to learn about how it was made. I also briefly visited the Crazy Horse Memorial, not far away.

Mount Rushmore - which is real!

Mount Rushmore – which is real!

As I was heading to Chicago anyway part of the reason for entering the US when I did was to try and change up the scenery a little after having already spent more than enough time driving across the Canadian prairies. If I had bothered to look at a relief map though I soon would have discovered that much of the terrain I would cover below the border wasn’t all that different from the prairies!

A windfarm against the setting sky

A wind farm against the setting sky

With the distances involved (Chicago is a lot further away than it looks!) there has been a fair bit of driving since my last post. I have to admit that the driving has been a little dull, but I did enjoy stopping at lots of little towns along the way and with some great weather I even managed to get in some sun bathing each day. It is also nice to be back in the US, which I have very fond memories of from my previous visits here.

Catching up with Chris and Jill

Catching up with Chris and Jill

View from the Hancock building

View from the Hancock building

It was great to see Chris and Jill again, who I haven’t seen for about five years. They have done a really good job of showing me around the city and showing me a good time. Some of the highlights being great views and cocktails high up in the Hancock Building bar, relaxing at the beach, meeting and hanging out with their friends, some really late nights out on the town and a free concert at the Millennium Park. Well worth the drive 🙂

No trip to Chicago would be complete without visiting "the bean"

No trip to Chicago would be complete without visiting “the bean

Free concert at Millennium Park

Free concert at Millennium Park

The brits together - there has been a fair bit of drinking this weekend!

The brits together – there has been a fair bit of drinking this weekend!

Chicago has some great beaches right near downtown. Apparently we weren't the only ones to notice!

Chicago has some great beaches right near downtown. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to notice!

I have really enjoyed my visit, even in my short time it is clear to see that this is a great city to live in and everyone I have met has been extremely friendly and welcoming. Part of me doesn’t want to leave! That said I have lots to look forward to, so soon I will leave Chicago and start making my way back to Canada where I will meet my friend Jim in Toronto. He is flying out from the UK to spend a couple of weeks on the road with me so I am excited to see my first person from back home (Chris not included!) in nearly a year.

2 Comments

Charles

about 4 years ago

The beard suits you. Have a great time with Jim.

Reply

Sam

about 4 years ago

Looks fantastic mate, Im really glad you had a good time in Chicago. You deserved it after all that driving!

Reply

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