The Midwest Drive

I was looking forward to the drive to Denver the next morning. I convinced Mapi to take a flight from Denver to Chicago since the drive to Chicago would be long and exhausting. To be honest, I really needed a day or two to myself. The last week has been hectic. It was one delay after the next and I felt pressed and pressured all week. I had a million thoughts running through my mind and I had a need to get them organized in peace and quiet.

I dropped Mapi off at the airport in Denver and checked into a hotel. The next day would be a straight drive through Nebraska and onto Des Moines, Iowa. I took the advice of a friend and bought a few audiobooks to help the time pass. It worked!! It went by without one yawn or regret of driving alone. There was no scenic drive today. Just corn field after chicken farm.

I stopped in Des Moines for the night, and headed back on the road in the morning headed for Chicago. I had been averaging 80 mph the whole trip with an occasional, brief lean towards 90. I was dragging a little bit today, taking longer than usual at each rest stop when Mapi called to see if I would be in Chicago by 6:00 to catch the river boat cruise. It was cutting it close, so I sped up a bit to try to make up the time I had spent piddling around. It didn’t last long. Just after crossing the border into Illinois, there he was. A state trooper waiting for me. Lights went on and I pulled over.

He was your typical “midwest nice” and I was your typical cooperative. He loved to hear of my adventure cross-country, but wasn’t impressed enough to overlook the 90 I was doing in a 65. He asked me to pay the $95 bond in cash right there. So since I am paying bond, does that mean if I didn’t have the cash, I would have been arrested?? I asked the question, but was too nervous to absorb his answer. He took my license and walked back to his car to write the ticket. This is when I got real nervous. Was my license in the clear from the restrictions that were placed on it a year ago? What about that camera speeding ticket I got in AZ that I ignored? Would there be a warrant out for my arrest?

I knew when he walked back to the car, it was going to go one of two ways: I would be driving back to Chicago a little poorer and a little more tardy or he would ask me to step out of the car and into his cuffs.

He did walk back, handed me the ticket and asked for the $95 in bond money. As I counted it for him, he asked me to step out of the car. Oh shit!!!! My thoughts are racing. I have my eyes on his holster where his cuffs are just waiting for his hands to grab them. What is going to happen next? If he arrests me, what will happen to my car? Will I be able to notify my friends of what happened? What city jail will I be hauled off to? How long of a delay will this cause?

He asked me to stand next to him in front of his car and count the money in front of the camera. OHHH!!! That’s why he wanted me out of the car! The camera. He had to get the exchange of money on camera. Sheeewww!! I was never so relieved to pay off a cop!

He shook my hand and proceeded back to his car and then turned back around as if he had a thought. He said,”Can I ask you a question?”.

I said. “Sure”.

He said,”You said you are driving cross-country, right?”.

I replied,”Yes?”.

He said,” Are you carrying any weapons, cash or drugs?”.

Confused, I said, “Ugghhhh….No!”.

He said,”Then would you mind if I searched your car?”.

WTF!!! This was bizarre. After he had shook my hand and proceeded back to his car, he now wants to search my car as an afterthought??? Bizarre, dude!

I, of course, replied enthusiastically,”Please, go ahead. Be my guest. If you feel a need to. I don’t mind!”.

He searched my car only to find my luggage, my weights, yoga mat and a few roles of toilet paper stuffed strategically where space allowed. He shut the trunk and said, “Well, it really looks as if you are driving cross-country”.

Whatever, you idiot!

I guess Illinois has a problem with all of those all American, blonde, girl next door types, driving alone, speeding through their state with a car full of weapons and drugs. I suppose, I do look a bit suspicious.

I arrived in Chicago nerves in tact and time to spare. I didn’t make it in time for the river cruise, but plenty of time to meet up with friends for a bite of Chicago style deep dish pizza and a glass of wine.

Chicago……it’s starting to look more like home. Maybe it’s the vague similarity to NY as if they were siblings from another mother. Or was it the midwestern aroma that seemed to linger on every corner. Whatever it was, I knew I was getting close. Home was just around the corner!

Comments
4 Responses to “The Midwest Drive”
  1. olakino says:

    Chrissy, your blog is my new guilty pleasure! Hey girl! Your words of excitement, wonder, humor, matter of fact wisdom is addicting! I am loving this blog and all of your cross country adventures….I can't EVEN imagine what is next….and what is yet to come! You look happy & amazing….good for you. Despite my "Escape from LA" 9 years ago, your departure is so much more exciting. I envy your road to life! Travel safe, looking forward to each and every post! Karen G.

  2. Debonhill says:

    Thanks, Karen. Glad to have you follow along!

  3. intuition says:

    You had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding in fear for you and despise boiling under my skin! I'm sorry you had to deal w/ that distraction and elated that he let you go. Freedom is an amazing thing! We must cherish it and understand it can be taken away from us at any moment! Be safe but live your life to the fullest !

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