AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)  (Read 6300 times)

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« on: September 29, 2014, 07:40:19 PM »

Last weekend, and the early part of last week, I went on a very long road trip to Arlington, Virginia for an inurnment via Little Rock, Arkansas.

Started off on Saturday morning (9/20) from Joliet to Little Rock via I-55 and US-67.  I first had to meet my father in Little Rock (he's working in Texas right now) to give him a few things from home and to pick him up there.  As it was my grandmother's inurnment, his mother's, we would then drive to Arlington together.

Starting down I-55, I took note that the road construction over the Des Plaines River is complete, but IDOT left a wave-effect on the expansion joints.  It was a fairly uneventful trip through Illinois over territory I've been on many times before toward St Louis.

Shirley you can't be serious, there's no services!



Yes, IDOT's serious, and stop calling them Shirley.

For some reason IDOT has had the Funks Grove rest area closed for almost two years now.  Is it really that hard to fix a rest area?

Met some traffic on the south side of Springfield so I detoured via Dirksen Parkway and Stevenson Drive (former BYP-66) back to I-55.  Then found the first rest area south of Springfield closed for repairs.  WTF, IDOT!?!  Got off at the next exit with services to pee at a Shell.  They only had one for each (men & women), and due to the rest area closure, had lines at both.  Got back on I-55 and continued onward to St Louis.

I love this bridge.



The ramp for I-44 east (formerly I-70 west) was closed.



Of course, being that this was the Poplar Street Bridge, traffic was backed up and I could get photos in.



Welcome to Missouri.



Then I continued on I-55 south toward Festus, Missouri to meet up with US-67.

MoDOT loves arrow per lane signage and stacking signs.





Got off just before Festus for lunch and fuel.  The Wendy's there was busy, but good at the QuikTrip.

I then left I-55 for the St Francois Mountains.



Nice error.  Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 07:48:39 PM »

I then followed US-67 through to mountains toward Arkansas.







Finally getting to Poplar Bluff and near the end of the US-67 expressway.



Little Rock makes an appearance on the distance signage.



The expressway ended before I got to the border.



After a short bit of two-lane highway, I crossed into Arkansas.



And a very nice welcome center.  Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 07:57:41 PM »

After leaving the welcome center, the land become much, much flatter, and it would've been fine but for a dipstick in a Tyson semi doing 10 under the limit.  I passed his ass at the first opportunity (not easy as US-67 is busy).



In Pocahontas, the four-lane road returned, and there was this neat bridge for the northbound lanes.



US-67 then goes along a five-lane road into a freeway, exits, and back to a two-lane road near Hoxie and Walnut Ridge.





Nice arrow.  AHTD likes to use them from what I've seen.

Then I followed US-67 through towns and across AR-226 back to the freeway.





Then finally down to Little Rock after a stop in Sercy for fuel.



Found my hotel on the west side of Little Rock for the night and waited for my father.  We got up the next morning and took his car (now loaded with stuff) to the airport to park it.  The next bit, across the Delta, through Tennessee, and Virginia has no photos.  Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 08:16:46 PM »

After leaving the airport, Sunday morning, we drove east on I-440 back to I-40 toward Memphis.  The drive was fairly flat across eastern Arkansas, but not as mind-numbing as some here make it out to be.  There is some construction where I-40 meets I-55 in West Memphis.  We then crossed the Mississippi River (second time for me in two days) and followed I-40 around the north side of Memphis.

Tennessee is a long, very long state if you enter at Memphis with an eye at going to Virginia.  We stopped to get fuel in Jackson as there seemed to be little between the west fringe of Nashville (Dickson area) and Jackson.  I decided, as it was Sunday, to take I-40 through Nashville.  Well, that, and I wanted to make sure I clinched it in Tennessee.  It was not a bad drive.  We got off at TN-109 for lunch at what had to be one of the world's slowest Quiznos.  By the way, I found that Tennessee has a very nice rest area/welcome center east of Lebanon.

Continuing onward, we went through Knoxville.  The rebuilt freeway is nice, and busy.  As soon as I had reached I-640 on the east side of town, I had finally gotten all of I-40 in Tennessee.  But, I continued on to I-81.  The mountainous areas in central and eastern Tennessee are interesting, and they were fun to drive, but there were a few too many assholes for my taste.  Add that to the rain we got.  One lady in a minivan thought that we, going 75 mph in the right lane, and the vehicles next to me in the left lane (doing 80+) were not going quite fast enough for her impatience.  She blew past me going 85 on the right shoulder!  My father asked "What part of Chicago was she originally from?" (it had a Tennessee plate).  It's not the first time I've had that happen, but usually that seems to occur in Chicagoland.

Anyway, we left the assholes behind and went north on I-81.  Got fuel before the Tri Cities and had dinner at the world's slowest Wendy's in Bristol, Virginia.  Finally got to our hotel late just north of Roanoke after going through some heavy rain pockets.

The Great Valley is an interesting drive as one goes north on I-81.  The scenery was beautiful with the Blue Ridge to one side and the ridges and valley to the other.  Got fuel at the next to last exit before I-66, and then followed I-66 across the Blue Ridge to Arlington.  As I-66 becomes more urban, HOV lanes start to appear before the entire freeway is HOV (peak hours only) east of I-495.  Got off at US-29/Lee Highway for Spout Run Parkway so we could get to the GW Memorial Parkway.  The GW Memorial Parkway was a beautiful drive, and we got to Arlington an hour early.  I thought traffic would be much worse for a Monday.

After Arlington, my cousin suggested a place called The Bayou near the courthouse in Arlington County for lunch.  It was very good.  Then, I dropped my father off at National Airport for his flight back to Little Rock, and I went on my merry way to Delaware, the coast, and New Jersey.

Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2014, 08:25:15 PM »

I then followed I-395 to I-695 through DC.  Busy as all hell.  Having to drive in Chicago came in very handy.



Then I took the famous DC-295 out toward US-50, secret I-595.



Maryland likes lots of space in the tab.



It was a little weird how fast it was between DC and Annapolis.  Took less than half an hour, and I was way ahead of schedule as I got to the Bay Bridge.



Of course I took the E-Z Pass lane with my I-Pass.

Then I crossed the Chesapeake Bay for the first time ever.





Upon landing on the Eastern Shore, I followed US-50 to MD-404.





And on to my first time ever in Delaware.  Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 08:36:51 PM »

Finally got to Delaware.



A small state, but I went the long way.

I followed D-404 to D-36 to D-16.  Then took US-13 north to a local road cutting between Harrington and Frederica to D-1.



A lot of two-lane roads east-west across the state.

Then I got to the beach at Bowers Beach to see Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.



Came back out to D-1 via Bowers Beach Road and followed D-1 straight up to I-95 with a stop at a Wawa in Smyrna.  Nice store, it reminded me of the Gas City stations we had here before the company went bust and sold out to both Circle K and Speedway.

Also, could Delaware figure out how to make a proper ORT set of lanes?  You exited the mainline to go through the ORT, and then merged back into the mainline from the ORT.  Ass backwards, IMHO.  Still better than New Jersey or Pennsylvania with ORT lanes.



I got up to the Wilmington area in short order.  Delaware is a small state after all.



And went across the Delaware Memorial Bridge into New Jersey.





Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 08:47:31 PM »

New Jersey really doesn't have much of a welcome here.



And their idea of ORT lanes sucks monkey balls.



You exit the mainline, you get a second lane (which I used) and then the second lane drops inexplicably after the toll gantry!  What?  The?  Fuck!?!  NJTP needs to learn from ISTHA badly.  I then stopped at the service area to find a map, expecting a welcome center of some type.  I was wrong.  The service area was nice, better than the Indiana Toll Road, but not as good as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Ohio Turnpike, or the Illinois Tollway.

It was getting dark now, so photos would have to wait.  I took the NJTP to NJ-168 to I-295 down to I-76 and across the Walt Whitman Bridge.  The Schuylkill Expressway is a trip.  Lanes appear and disappear at random, and the two lanes you're left with are not the same two lanes you started with.  I survived that and got on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  After about three miles on the turnpike, disaster struck.  I had moved over to pass some vehicles in another line of vehicles when suddenly what I guess was a bailed up roll of fencing (looked like chain link) popped out from under the car in front of me!  I had no left shoulder and a line of cars to the right, thus I went up and over it.  Bastard took out the plastic undercowl and ripped up my front bumper.  Photo below is from the next morning.



I stopped on the shoulder immediately to see what had happened and got to the next service area for dinner (Roy Rogers), fuel, and electrical tape.  I then reached my hotel in Harrisburg later than I had originally planned on due to the incident.

Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 08:56:31 PM »

I left Harrisburg in the midst of early rush hour Tuesday morning (9/23).  Not much of a rush, IMHO.  I got out of there soon enough.

I then took the turnpike west to go through the tunnels.



What a view of Blue Mountain.



Then around Breezewood.  Nice views again.



Some of the older bridges have truck strikes.



The turnpike was almost as if it were one long construction zone.  Hey, PTC, no one believes your 40 mph limits if there's no one actually working!

Nice bridge near the former Laurel Hill Tunnel.



Then we have the PTC's idea of an ORT lane.  Not as piss poor as New Jersey's idea, but they could take lessons from ISTHA.



Something I never thought I say or think, but "thank goodness I'm back in Ohio".



I stopped at the first service area for lunch (Panera).

Continued below.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 09:28:24 PM »

Upon leaving the service area, I had a prick driving an OTIC truck in front of me.  Ass stopped on the ramp to go through the area with the barrels.  Did he really have to race me to the ramp just to stop?  Fucking buckeye.

The Ohio Turnpike loves Thru Traffic as a control city.



But they are slowly using real control cities.

I do wish more places would use signs like these for trucks.



Then I got to the border.  The original plan was to stop at OH-49 for fuel.  that idea bombed as the station was closed and abandoned.  However, I did find this really cool sign.  It has friends there as well.



I then crossed into Indiana and got fuel in Angola, just off I-69, just north of the Toll Road.



The Toll Road is in shitty shape when compared to the Tollway, the Ohio Turnpike, I-94 in Michigan, any other Indiana freeway, and the lunar surface.





Yes, that's after they were done working on it.

I then followed the Toll Road to I-65 back to the Borman Expressway.  From there, it was I-80 all the way back home through the driving combat zone.  The worst drivers of the trip?  Between Valpo and home on I-80.  It was like they were welcoming me back with their shitty driving habits.

Took the car into the body shop Wednesday afternoon.  They gave me a 1.2L automatic Chevrolet Spark as a rental.  At least it's in blue.

New states: Delaware and New Jersey

New counties:

Missouri
St Francois, Madison, Wayne, Butler

Arkansas
Clay, Randolph, Lawrence, Craighead, Independence, Jackson, White, Pulaski, Lonoke, Prairie, Monroe, St Francis

Tennessee
Fayette, Haywood, Madison, Henderson, Carroll, Decatur, Benton, Smith, Putnam, Cumberland, Roane, Loudon, Hamblen, Greene, Washington, Sullivan

Virginia
Bristol City, Washington, Smyth, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery, Roanoke, Salem City, Botetourt, Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham, Harrisonburg City, Shenandonah, Staunton City

Anyone else think these Virginia independent cities are silly?

Maryland
Prince George, Anne Arundel, Queen Annes, Talbot, Caroline

Delaware
Sussex, Kent, New Castle

New Jersey
Salem, Gloucester, Camden

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, York, Cumberland, Huntingdon

Clinched: I-630 AR, I-440 AR, I-40 TN, I-81 TN, I-66 VA, I-76 PA.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 01:31:43 PM by Brandon »
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

bugo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6048
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Oklahoma
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 07:18:09 PM
    • No Frills Blog
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 12:41:49 PM »

Then I got to the border.  The original plan was to stop at OH-49 for fuel.  that idea bombed as the station was closed and abandoned.  However, I did find this really cool sign.  It has friends there as well.



I'm surprised that is still there. It was there in 2000.

Is this one still there?

Logged
This signature has been censored by the AARoads Bureau of Morality.

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2014, 01:30:10 PM »

I'm surprised that is still there. It was there in 2000.

Is this one still there?



I would guess so.  I didn't go north or south on OH-49 when I noticed that the gas station was gone.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

AsphaltPlanet

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2636
  • Single Occupant Vehicle Commuter

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 08:28:14 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 09:58:33 PM »

Cool pics thanks for sharing.

Love that I-80/90 sign at the Ohio/Indiana border.
Logged
AsphaltPlanet.ca  Youtube -- Opinions expressed reflect the viewpoints of others.

Road Hog

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1146
  • Location: Collin County, TX
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 08:49:22 AM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2014, 09:42:53 AM »

Do you remember if the Walnut Ridge freeway bypass had mile markers posted?
Logged

Brandon

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10291
  • Mr. Accelerator is our friend; Mr. Brake is not.

  • Age: 42
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Last Login: July 15, 2019, 04:27:02 PM
Re: Joliet to Little Rock to Arlington to Joliet (w/photos)
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2014, 09:52:00 AM »

Do you remember if the Walnut Ridge freeway bypass had mile markers posted?

I do not remember any, but the freeway was so short (couldn't have been more than a mile in length) that it might be easier for AHTD to simply add them when it is connected to the rest of the US-67 freeway.
Logged
"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." - Ramsay Bolton

Illinois: America's own banana republic.

Screw the KSA; Stand with Canada.

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.