As the new hubby and I were driving back from our honeymoon, we saw every couple's worst nightmare: a flashing sign warning us of construction up ahead with 60 minute delays. 60! Sure, there are plenty of times I've sat in a construction mess for a full hour, but no one ever had the heart to warn me beforehand it would be that long. They usually just tacked up a "10 minute" delay sign and called it good for their conscience.
Along with the warning, we were told of a detour we could take instead. Yes! Sign us up!
So we exited off of I-57 somewhere near Marion, Illinois. For the next 75 minutes, we meandered slowly on country roads with plenty of stop signs and slow old men driving. (Seriously, they survived a depression, fighting in a war and raising kids, but going 30 miles per hour scares them? Weird.)
After passing cornfields and farming country, I'm pretty sure I know where most of America's food comes from. Finally, as we approached a 4-way stop, the orange detour sign showed that we could continue going on the road we were on, or go back to I-57. What? We have choices?? We didn't know what to do, but we decided getting back to the interstate would probably be faster. When we got there we merged on, and to our pleasant surprise, traffic was moving along nicely.
Then, it was every driver's worst nightmare. (Are you appreciating my overused television news cliches?) We saw the sign again, warning us of the 60-minute delay. Apparently our 75-minute detour put us exactly in the war zone. So I did what you should never do....I popped a U-ee on the interstate, and went back to our detour. Mike was cheering me on and excited by my new found aggressiveness. (And yep, I definitely had Sweaty 'Pits.)
We then spent another hour and a half driving on slow country roads. Apparently the fine folks of Benton, Illinois didn't get the traffic memo, and decided to hold their car and truck show in the town square right smack dab in the middle of the detour. Needless to say, it was slow going. So slow, I finally had to merge our SUV in with Hell's Angels bike riders, or else we were never going to move. I actually think the "don't screw with me" look on my face intimidated them.
I'm looking at the bright side though--I can finally check seeing the "Benton, Illinois Car Show" off my bucket list. Thank you, Illinois DOT.