Skip to main content

A quick Illinois and Wisconsin Road Trip

Recently, I was in the Chicago area and was able to explore the area north of Chicago and Wisconsin in my downtime.  I pretty much did a loop that consisted of Interstate 94, Interstate 43, US 12, Illinois Route 120, and Illinois Route 60.  It was my first real time exploring the area.  I ended up gaining an additional five counties on the trip bringing my total to just short of 1100, 1099 to be exact.

For the entire flickr set of photos for this trip, please head here.

Just prior to entering Wisconsin on Interstate 94, you will come across this sign.  Out of nowhere, Interstate 41 appears.  And if you aren't hip to changes on your map, Interstate 41 is a rather recently new interstate that runs from Green Bay to just about a mile inside the Illinois border.  Interstate 41 is an upgraded routing of the US 41 freeway that runs from Milwaukee to Green Bay; however, it was added along Interstate's 894 and 94 South of Milwaukee to where US 41 leaves I-94.  In fact, throughout the section of I-94 in Wisconsin that I drove along you'll find these signs.

In case you're confused by which 41 is which - these signs are here to help.

Along the way, I stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle.  This cheese shop - which now has a castle themed exterior - has been around since 1947.  It is home to numerous cheeses, meats, wines, and beers.  There's even a restaurant and bar.


From there, I continued north towards Milwaukee to Interstate 894.  Where I exited 94 and headed west.  Interestingly, the overhead signs for I-894 read Bypass.  I like the designation.

I then would take I-43 South away from Milwaukee and then take US 12 towards Illinois. US 12 is a freeway from I-43 south (though US 12 reads east) towards the Illinois state line.  Just prior to the Illinois state line, the US 12 freeway comes to an abrupt end - as shown in the photos below.




There is a ghost stub for the never built extension of the US 12 freeway in Illinois.
Walworth County Route H was the original routing of US 12 prior to the freeway's construction.
This freeway was to continue in Illinois and connect to the Illinois Tollway System (1), but as you can see nothing has happened.  In fact, US 12 enters Illinois as a sleepy two lane road.

I followed US 12 to IL 120 and then to IL 60 to my hotel.   I did enjoy the Wisconsin scenery alongI-43 and also was surprised how straight I-94 is in Wisconsin.  If my travels bring me back to the area again, I would like to check out Racine and Kenosha more.  The Frank Lloyd Wright S.C. Johnson headquarters building in Racine being on the list to see.

Sources:

Comments

Gerry said…
I don't know why, but I like the American street sign so much more than the European :) Did you ever do a road trip between Washington and Arizona? Me and my girlfriend want to start our first big road trip there. I got this idea from my horoscope, and my girlfriend wants to head western. Any tips? We would be grateful :) Since now, we only made trips in Europe.
Gerry

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

I went to Buc-ee's and came away unimpressed

Buc-ee's, the Texas-sized gas station and convenience store that started in Texas, has been expanding its territory.  New locations have sprung up in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  Construction is underway, or plans are in place for even larger stations in Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Colorado . For nearly four decades, Buc-ee's was a Texas-only novelty.  The first location opened in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1982, and another four stores opened over the next decade.  In 2000, Buc-ee's began its Texas-sized growth by adding over 20 new stores - mainly around Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Austin/San Antonio areas.   Each store was built larger - with more gas pumps, amenities, and offerings.  The store became well-known for its clean bathrooms, fresh-cut brisket sandwiches, and wall of beef jerky.  Texans and visitors from all around would take road trips to visit new stores or get their Buc-ee's fix.   Buc-ee's has billboards advertising thei

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr