Chicago to Cincinnati in stages

17 May

I decided to go to Cincinnati for the week to visit my family and friends. I just now realized that since I discovered Megabus last September, I have not made the drive to Cincinnati on my own. I forgot the various mental and physical stages that accompany a 300-mile solo road trip.

Stage 1: Initial excitement and relief that everything fit in my small car. I get a little thrill hopping on I-94 E. I even got excited when I drove my first mile. “Woohoo! I’m 1/300 of the way there!” I thought. I kid you not.

Stage 2: The realization that I’m only 1/300 of the way there. I only drive on 90/94 for 32 miles, but it always seems like so much longer. I hate the way the road feels and especially hate the ever-present construction.

Stage 3: Happy to be off I-90, only to realize I have to go 150 miles on I-65. It’s stage 2 all over again.

Stage 4: I accept my fate and try to relax. I put on one of my mix CDs I made for the occasion and get lost in the music (while keeping an eye on the road, of course). I also call my mom and talk to her for an hour, despite the fact that I am driving to see her so that we can talk even more. Also included in this stage is the excitement over the vast amount of windmills as I draw closer to Indianapolis (pictured).

Stage 5: Yeah! I just finished driving 150 miles on one road! And I’m in Indianapolis! What a nice city! Yeah! ::fist pump::

Stage 6: Crap. I have to go 80 more miles on I-74. There’s still almost two hours of driving left. Why can’t I be from Indy?

Stage 7: I completely lose it. I blast my music so I can feel it on my skin and completely ignore the fact that my windows are not tinted in the slightest bit. As much as one can dance while driving a car, I’m on it. I’m also belting the lyrics as loud as possible. This stage is the one stage that makes the whole trip worth it.

Stage 8: Crap, the Awesome Driving Tunes Mix CD is over.

Stage 9: Those 80 miles went surprisingly fast. And the 17 miles on 275 did as well! Now I’m at the exit! Yeah!

Stage 10: Why do I live so freaking far from the exit? Alas. At this point any song sounds good and the end is near. I also have to pee like a racehorse.

That was my trip, in short. It rained most of the way, which added an additional stress element (but also made Stage 7 ever more pleasant because the skies had finally cleared up). I’ve made the drive so many times that I know the exact amount of miles to drive on each highway. I also know which exits have the cheapest gas. It was fun for a bit (a very short bit), but I am happily taking Megabus next time.


One Response to “Chicago to Cincinnati in stages”


  1. Running goals and pugwear | Reneedezvous - November 13, 2014

    […] I set off to Regents Park this morning I got to thinking about the road trip stages I wrote about 4(?!) years ago. I realized long distance running (shut up, 6 miles is long distance […]

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