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Tim's Travel Page

Many people in the radio hobby, myself included, combine their interest in radio with a love of travel and geography. One listens to distant radio stations and is curious to see and learn about the places from which they emanate. On this page, I will summarize my notes regarding motels, roads, restaurants, etc., whenever I am able to travel. I will also use this space to update my hobby of county collecting, a pursuit I began on 1 January 1995 that counts only those counties I have visited since that date. This page will consciously avoid discussion of radio matters such as formats, but may contain discussion of station/tower site visits.

I conceived this page on 6 May 1998 and will include details of my travels beginning then, with the most recent on top.

Racine-Kenosha Day Trip, 3 August 1999

In spite of its proximity to home, Racine is a place we seldom visit. It is not an area we pass through going to Chicago as it was when we lived in Milwaukee, of course, and so in recent years visits have been infrequent--so much so that even our elder son needed Racine and Kenosha counties. We had a few things in mind to do there, and a free day, so off we went, leaving in comfortable sun.

We took US-12 out of Madison, passing through radio towns Fort Atkinson and Whitewater with no radio stops. We did pick up a couple good tacos at the Culver's in the former; the shells resembled the bowl of some taco salads, and crumbled a bit too easily, but they were good. In Whitewater we made note of a KFC Buffet, not always easy to find, and found WSUW 91.7 off as we passed their tower. When US-12 turns south, we continued east on state highway 20 into Racine county, making a point of passing the relatively new 6-tower array of WTMJ 620--only the second time I'd seen it.

First stop in Racine was Wind Point, and area that juts out into Lake Michigan. I had never been there and was attracted by the map's listing of a lighthouse. I like lighthouses and have a couple friends who are interested in them, but I don't dare to start another hobby! So we see them when we happen upon them, take pictures, and leave it at that. The one at Wind Point is pretty, and it's a short walk to the lakefront, giving Chris a chance to get out of the car seat for a while.

Next we headed across town to Regency Mall, where I hadn't been in many years. To be honest I remembered it as a nicer mall than it was, but it should look good after its renovations are complete, predicted for November. We like walking around malls, and they are good opportunities for feedings and changing while on the road. We found some videos on sale, and picked up two of our favorites: The Blues Brothers and Fargo. We ordered the "double lasagna" at A Slice of Italy at the mall, and they put the two halves in separate dishes for us. It was quite good and a substantial portion, better than we expected for mall food.

Then it was on to Kenosha for a visit to the still fairly new Woodman's grocery store. Two reasons: Jill works at the Madison (west) Woodman's and we shop there, and it is reputed to be the largest store in the country that sells only groceries. It is a huge store, certainly the largest grocery store I have ever seen. We bought some Meister Brau beer, an old favorite of mine that is not available anywhere we have tried in Madison.

Out of Kenosha we headed south on 83 to Antioch IL, and then west on 173, in order to catch Lake and McHenry counties for the boys. In Richmond IL we noticed an old-fashioned Dog 'n Suds drive-in and made a note of it for some possible future visit. We picked up US-12 again in IL and followed it to the KFC Buffet in Whitewater for dinner. It was a treat as always, and we were amazed that Chris ate the Brussels sprout we gave him!

none new for Tim
Chris: 3 new in WI: Walworth, Racine, Kenosha
1 new in IL: Lake
now 60/72 in WI, 29/102 in IL, total 141
Paul: same new ones + McHenry co IL
Paul's new total: 48

Northern Wisconsin Trip, 5-7 July 1999

For years I have been aware of some stations in WI, north of an Eau Claire-Wausau line, that I have either never been to or have not visited since the 80s. I estimated that we could visit many of them and have time for other tourism if we allow three days. Since we had a couple commitments on Thursday of Jill's vacation week, we planned to go on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. That was a mistake.

We left Monday morning while the area was still in the grips of the weekend's hot and humid air. We headed up I-94 to Eau Claire and stopped there at Oakdale Mall. It was a welcome chance to get out of the van, and we changed the boys' diapers and fed a bottle to Paul there. It is a very nice mall, but we did not spend much time looking around. I, of course, noted station addresses from the phone book.

Then it was up to Ladysmith and WLDY for our first radio stop. We got there to find it closed, with no cars in the lot. We got a photo and saw the tower, but it was a disappointment to come all that way to a locked door. It soon became clear that July 5 had become a holiday; I won't start commenting on that. And that was the story of our first day. In Rice Lake, I needed a map, and found the library and chamber of commerce both closed. WJMC was closed (and the building was being renovated), but a doorbell yielded human contact at WAQE. I was allowed in and talked to a friendly person about the stations. WWLC Balsam Lake used to be in that building, but moved about a year ago. WAQE-FM will remain on 97.7, and the new station in Barron, WKFX, will be on 99.1--contrary to what I had thought. The target date for 99.1 is "60 days," or roughly Labor Day, with format not announced.

I had no information on the location of WWLC's studio, but we did drive past its tower, and then headed to Amery to visit WXCE 1260. It too was closed, and a person who came to the door would not talk to me. But it was motel time, so we stayed in Amery, at the Forrest Inn Motel. It was very nice, though a bit expensive. In the lobby I got some copies of the new 1999 WI state highway map--the first I had seen. Not long after we arrived, a pretty good thunderstorm hit; there was a watch in progress, and we were glad we finished unloading in time. Jill went and got supper from A&W while I stayed with the boys; luckily the rain had let up substantially when she went out. TV there was interesting; some of the Twin Cities stations were in very well--9 and 45, especially--while others were quite weak.

In the morning, the weather was glorious. The humidity was gone, and it was sunny and very comfortable. We stopped at WXCE first, of course, and had a good visit. From southern WI, this is an elusive DX catch, and thus it was especially interesting to see the station and its four towers in a row. From there we headed north to look for the tower of new station WBEP 105.7 Siren, which was not yet on. We found an existing tower near the location given at, and presume the FM will be on this tower, unless a new one has yet to be erected. Then it was on to Shell Lake, where we stopped at the library/city hall for a map. The city hall was locked up for lunch, and I got a map photocopy from the phone book at the library (where the copier does not take coins, but you pay at the desk). WCSW was closed for lunch too, but we needed to do diapers and bottle anyway, so we got those things done while waiting in the station's parking lot. The station was friendly and gave me coverage maps, something I am getting more in the habit of requesting.

From there we headed to the interesting WOJB 88.9 Reserve, a Native-American station. It was not too easy to find, but we did with the help of a kind fellow we asked. The station was uncommonly friendly, with staff both Native American and European. I met an interesting man who is interested in DX and airchecks, and we had a good talk. From there we went to Hayward, where the Chamber of Commerce still had the same mediocre map that I had from before. We visited WRLS on the northwest side and talked with the announcer, and then headed southwest out of town to the WHLS studio and tower, where the staff was glad to answer my questions.

Years ago Jill and I, on a trip to Ashland, tried to find the WHSA 89.9 Brule tower. I asked people in that small town, and they said they did not know that Brule had a radio station. Well, now we have, so we knew where to look; we found the tower easily. At one spot we stopped so I could get out and take a good look at the tower, and there was a snake on the ground just outside Jill's door! She opted to remain inside. Out of Brule we began our search for WNXR Iron River, which did not yet exist last time we were there. After some searching we found the tower, but never did find a road with which to access it. Northern WI is, of course, heavily forested, and towers are often hard to see because good horizons can be scarce. It was late, and the studio, right on US-2 on the east side of town, was closed. We took a picture, and headed to Ashland for the night.

We had been to Ashland a couple other times, mainly because some of Jill's ancestors lived there, and she is interested in her family history. First, we got a room at the Super 8 with a nice view of the bay, then we ordered our Little Caesar's pizzas, then we did some unloading at the motel, then we picked up the pizzas, and headed back to the motel. It, too, was very nice and a bit expensive. Jill used the pool while I stayed with the boys. I tried like the Dickens to tape a couple needed legal IDs, but apparently the stations IDed early, as I kept getting nothing. Sunset over the bay was gorgeous, and we enjoyed our stay.

In the morning there things to do in Ashland. The weather was gorgeous again. We visited the ancestors' graves, visited the impressive Visitors' Center just west of town (which opened 14 months ago, and has beautiful exhibits about the area), walked out on the pier, and drove by the house once occupied by the ancestors. Oh, and of course we visited WATW. There are supposed to be two FMs on the 1400 tower now, but there is still just the one set of 8 bays, from which I presume both stations emanate.

Then we headed east to Hurley/Ironwood, Paul's first visit to MI. We got maps at the border information center, and visited both AM-FM pairs in Ironwood. From there we headed south to catch the 1450 tower, and found it, driving on some tiny gravel roads. Then it was time to head for Park Falls, and we took 182 to the west to pass the big FM-TV tower east of town. In Park Falls, the 980 was off the air, but they said they had the needed parts and would be back on soon. WRJO Eagle River was once in that building, but is now back at the WERL building in Eagle River. Then we went east to Minocqua, where there are two towers outside the studio of WLKD, one for AM and one for FM. The person I spoke with said that "Music of Your Life" is the name of the Jones standards format, which 1570 carries, but I thought I had heard the name on stations that carry other satellite standards services. Driving south to that studio I saw a tourist information center, and stopped when we passed it again heading back north, getting some good new maps.

Time was clearly running out; we had to be home tonight and it was getting late in the afternoon. We headed east to Eagle River where, after a Dairy Queen stop, we visited WERL--only to find it closed (it closes at 4) and an employee just leaving. She was new at the station, and could not answer my questions very easily. I took a good gander at the 950 tower there (94.5 has a new site to the north, which we did not visit), and we did diapers while there.

Next were stops at two Rhinelander-area towers. At the first, on Highway A, there is a taller tower with two FMs (91.7 and 93.7), 10 bays on top and 5 further down, and a shorter one with a side mounted red antenna for channel 34. There were pieces of tower on the ground, too. We drove into Rhinelander on C in order to pass the tall channel 12 tower. In Rhinelander, we stopped at the closed studio of WOBT (93.7 and 100.1 are there too) and then we parked at the Wal-Mart to give Paul a bottle. I went in the store for station addresses--never knew where WHDG 97.5 was located--and while sitting in the car we could see the 1240/100.1 tower ("beautiful scenery," as I put it).

It was now time to head home. We did a dinner stop at our old favorite, Shakey's Buffet in Wausau, and had a good meal. We did diapers and bottle, and drove south to arrive home, beat, soon after midnight.

nothing new for Tim; current total is 384
Chris got 14 new in WI, now 57/72, plus 1 in MI, now 21/83
Chris's new total: 137
Paul got 23 new in WI, now 32/72, plus his first in MI
Paul's new total: 43

Cedar Rapids Trip, 17-18 June 1999

Among the radio markets relatively near to us, Cedar Rapids has long been the main "unexplored" one for me. I had not been to see the radio towers, visit the stations, etc. So for our first overnight trip of the season, excluding one that was not really travel oriented, we headed there when two free days in a row came along. Both days were sunny, not humid, and comfortably warm.

Heading out of Dubuque on US-151 was a change; we have been more in the habit of going west on US-20, passing Kennedy Mall and, later, the 97.3 Epworth tower. But 151 takes us straight into Marion in Cedar Rapids's northeast side, and that is where the WMT 600 towers are...thus our first stop. There are three, two taller and one shorter, not unlike the old WTMJ 620 site on I-94 west of Milwaukee.

If you know us you know that we eat at Bishop's Buffet when we can, and there are two in Cedar Rapids. We ate at the one at Lindale Mall, not far from the 600 towers, and took some time at the mall too. The food was good as ever, and the mall isn't bad at all: one level, attractive architecture. I found a long needed Sioux Falls map at B. Dalton there. And the mall had a printed directory for the file. From the parking lot--where Paul ate before we did--one could see an FM tower that, according to my internet searches, had to be WMT-FM 96.5 After lunch we headed toward it, not realizing that it is located at the Old Marion Rd studio for 600 and 96.5 as well as channel 2 (in a different door). We got promo items, took pictures, and headed for the 1450/48 studio building. Those two stations are in different offices in the same building, though 48 told me that they will move in with 28 this summer. 1450 was friendly, and said they hope to go to live standards, ex-Stardust.

Probably my main observation about Cedar Rapids is that many streets do not go through very far. Our next destination was the 1600 site, just outside town to the southwest, and we had to get across a good portion of the city to get there. With Jill's navigation and four or so turns to stay on a street that doesn't end, we got there, to see another AM site of a station that dominates its channel at home. Then we headed for the motel, with a stop at the 1360 and 98.1 towers along the way, just south of US-30.

There are two Super 8 motels in Cedar Rapids, and they are located just blocks from one another, just west of I-380 at 33rd. We stayed at the easternmost, and it was fine. We ate at the Happy Chef nearby, basically a Denny's/Perkin's sort of large-menu family restaurant. The food was fine too; we took it out to eat in the motel. I taped most of the radio market during the evening and the next morning. Star Trek on Sci-Fi was on a half hour later than it is at home (10:30 vs. 10:00), which seemed odd, and I fell asleep early in the show.

We started the second day with a visit to 102.9, located quite near the motel. They called themselves adult CHR. Then we headed west to the other main mall in town, Westdale Mall, where we fed Paul and (you guessed it) we had lunch at Bishop's. It was another great meal; they had those memorable Swiss Steaks that I remembered from past times. Neither location had directories. We took a little while looking around the mall, which is bi-level and very nice, and then headed south on I-380 to pick up Johnson county. (We did not make any attempt to cover Iowa City on this trip.) A stop at a rest area yielded the 1999-2000 state highway map. Then we went downtown, our only time spent there, to visit KCRG. They were friendly, and we were glad to get a parking meter since some areas looked to be parked fairly solidly. On from there, we followed the west side of the Cedar River to where the 1450 tower was supposed to be, and found it. And then, for our final stop in the immediate area, we went north on I-380 to find the 102.9 and 104.5 tower. It has two 12-bay antennas at markedly different heights.

Our final plan was to stop at some of the tall FM-TV towers to the north and northwest that serve both Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. We had been to some in the past, and aimed to catch the rest, getting accurate marks on the map. And the map was the first problem, since I didn't have one for Benton county. So we headed into Vinton to get one. I did at the court house, and we fed Paul there. I listened to the local LW beacon, and driving out of town on 150 we noted it on 1200 while passing the airport! We found the two towers in northeast Benton county, channels 2 and 48, and caught one in Buchanan county nearby.

Now it was time to head home, and we soon passed through Quasqueton and got gas (1.059). We learned that it is pronounced KWA ske ten (Es are schwas). We then picked up US-20, passed the usual 97.3 tower, and got some supper at Long John Silver's in Dubuque. I had a pretty good fish sandwich. We got home just after 9, having covered 449 miles.

1 new (Johnson co IA); IA now 42/99
new total: 384
2 new in IA: Johnson, Benton
IA now 14/99
new total: 122
Paul now has 18 counties in 3 states.

Anniversary Trip, 16 July 1998

This was the day of our tenth wedding anniversary. Jill was able to get the day off, so we seized the opportunity for a day trip. The weather of late had been warm and muggy, but a frontal passage cleared out the high humidity, and it was now considerably more comfortable. This was also the first trip in our new Plymouth Voyager minivan.

Our first main destination was Effigy Mounds National Monument, the nearest National Parks site to home for us, but one we had never visitied. (On the way there we made brief visits to WDMP Dodgeville and WPRE Prairie du Chien, and found both stations very friendly.) The monument is located in SE Alamakee county, Iowa, just east of Hwy 76. It consists of a region replete with ancient Native American burial mounds. Some of the mounds are in the shape of animals. The walking tour to see them is substantial; though we were told that Chris's stroller would have no problem, we found the walkway too rough for easy travel. Much of it is uphill, and the mosquitoes were thick. So we did not go too far on it, but did see the first mounds that one encounters on the path. Of course, we added new cancellation stamps to our National Parks Passport books.

The remainder of the day was devoted to Jill's interest in genealogy. She has numerous ancestors in Richland county, and we did some cemetery searches in the northwest part of the county. We also drove into Richland Center to look some things up at the Court House where, of course, public records of births, marriages, and deaths may be viewed. While Jill worked, Chris and I walked around downtown, and I obtained some good maps and travel guides at the Chamber of Commerce. Before leaving town, we stopped at WRCO, another friendly station. Using what she learned at the Court House, we then proceeded to a couple more cemeteries.

Then it was time for dinner. We decided on the White House Lodge's restaurant in Richland Center. Upon entering, I was astonished to see that the person behind the desk, operating both the restaurant and the hotel, was one of my past students at UW-Milwaukee! We visited before and after dinner, and took some time to enjoy all the presidential portraits on display. We had a fine dinner; I had the famous oxymoron, jumbo shrimp. From there we headed home, and totaled 321 miles. I did not add any new counties.

3 new in WI: Crawford Vernon Richland
now 40/72
2 new in IA: Clayton Alamakee
now 10/99
new total: 115

St. Louis Trip, 1-3 June 1998

Two past developments led to this trip. First, the last time I was in St. Louis was in 1996 with a couple DX friends. At that time we wanted to go up the Gateway Arch, but when we arrived it was already too late in the day. We did get up close to it and came to appreciate its extraordinary grandeur.

The other background relates to the planning for our recent Detroit trip. Jill was looking at the web site for the Detroit art museum we were planning to visit, and encountered a list of special exhibitions. One was titled "Angels from the Vatican," which sounded good, and she learned that the same exhibit will be at the St. Louis Art Museum during our next free week. So we changed our original plans to go to Indiana, and worked on a trip to St. Louis to catch the Arch, the exhibit, and the museum's permanent collection.

A few years ago I started to work on a National Parks Passport book, a nice little book you can buy at National Parks Service sites that contains space for "cancellations," i.e., postmark-like inscriptions that note which sites you have visited and when. I learned about it from a DX friend and have been having fun collecting the postmarks when we travel. There are two to be had in St. Louis: the Arch, which I had from the 1996 visit, and the Ulysses Grant home. Once I realized that the Grant site was there, we made plans to visit it as well.

We left Monday morning in warm and sunny weather. On the way across Illinois we took the time for two side trips into needed counties: tiny Putnam (via 71, 89, and 18) and Menard, which I-55 barely misses. Approaching town we took a route that allowed a visit to the KMOX 1120 tower. We also passed the 550, 630, and 1600 arrays; I took a picture which will (I hope) show part of all three. All this was working us further toward the city. Mainly, we tried to make good time in order to get into St. Louis early enough to catch the Grant site before it closed at 5. We succeeded, and viewed the exhibits there. We did not take the time to walk the grounds, because we were tired and it was pretty hot (about 85-88). We intended to buy Chris his own Passport book there, but they were out of stock, getting more the next day! So we got his postmark on paper and will paste it in, and of course I got my book postmarked.

From there we headed to the motel, the Motel 6 called St. Louis South, on Lindbergh near I-55. It was marked in the directory as one of the newly remodeled ones that are being advertised, and we were quite pleased with it. We stopped a couple doors down, thinking a sign we could not quite see was for a Bob Evans, a good possibility for dinnner, we thought. It was, and I saw a Post-Dispatch box outside it, so I got out of the car to buy a paper. There was an odd sound, especially as I got close to the paper box and the restaurant door. I realized I was hearing hundreds of bugs in a single tree. We learned that they are cicadas, which people call locusts, which come in large numbers every 13 to 150 years, depending on whom you talk to. They were everywhere, buzzing like mad. We have them here too, but you hear single bugs sing their song from time to time in warm weather (I grew up hearing them called "heat bugs"). There was a TV news item about them while we were there. It was a scene we won't soon forget. They were in the trees near the motel too.

We had a good take-out dinner from that Bob Evans in the room, and I got busy trying to tape the entire radio market (and largely succeeded by the time we left). It was a warm night as I went outside to tape AMs on the car's trunk.

On Tuesday morning we headed for the Arch. We got a parking place easily ($3) and had a considerable walk, partly uphill, to get to the monument. We headed straight inside to get our tickets ($6/adult) for the ride to the top, and had about a 25-minute wait until our designated time. (When we left, they were selling tickets about an hour ahead, so we were glad we got ours when we did.) In the meantime, I bought Chris his Passport book and added his second cancellation. We got in line, stowed Chris's stroller in a designated area, and waited for our turn to ascend the structure. There are six cars in each tram (one ascending each leg of the monument; only one was operating), each car carrying five people. We were assigned no. 1 with three men (assuming Chris stays on a lap). After waiting a bit, I noticed that the men were speaking German, and I enjoyed trying out my German to talk to them. They were from Karlsruhe and in the midst of a wonderful trip in the western half of the country. It was fascinating talking with them in both languages, and hearing their reactions to the United States. "God created the world in seven days," said one, "and then created America in the next thousand years." The cars are small and, on a day with a high of 91, hot. The ride up takes about three minutes. The view, of course, is fabulous, and we took lots of pictures. We rode down with our German friends, and then went outside for more pictures. A high school band was playing. Then we made our way back to the car, looking at the riverboats.

Now we were off to the art museum. We found our way all right, and got a good, free parking place. Admission is free on Tuesdays, and the Vatican exhibit is free Tuesdays after 1:30. I got in line for tickets right away, and we got some for a 4:45 entry, about 4 hours in the future. That was just right, because we needed lunch and wanted to see the museum's own collection at leisure. So we ate at the snack bar ("Mummy's Place") and gave Chris his lunch too. Then we surveyed the galleries of European paintings. They have a nice Madonna by Gerard David, and a fine portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. When our time came, we were allowed (punctually) into the Angels from the Vatican exhibit. It is not very large, containing about 100 works of art of various media. But it contains some extraordinary treasures, and of course these are works one cannot ordinarily see outside of Europe. There were two works by Raphael: a fragment of a fresco, and his Faith of 1507. Raphael, to us, is perhaps history's greatest painter, and not many of his works are to be seen in America. (The National Gallery in Washington has five.) There also two great works in the exhibition by Fra Angelico, another of my favorite painters. We bought postcard reproductions of some favorite works at the shop at the end of the exhibit, and Jill got a refrigerator magnet of Raphael's Faith.

We returned to the motel via Noonan Avenue, which is smaller than many alleys, and took a picture of the sign. Near the motel we spotted an Old Country Buffet, and went with this old favorite for dinner. Back at the motel the cicadas were now much less active.

Wednesday morning it was time to go home. It was considerably cooler and cloudy. We took I-255 into Illinois on the way out of town, which afforded us the chance to add Monroe co. and see the 1430 and 770 towers. We passed through some brief heavy rain just south of Springfield. We planned to eat at the Bishop's Buffet at Eastland Mall in Bloomington but learned that it closed about a year earlier. So we ate at the food court (I sampled Taco John, a refreshing change from Taco Bell, and A&W) and I copied station addresses out of the phone book. Heading north we took a detour to catch big Livingston co., and as we approached Rockford there was a clearing line ahead. By the time we were back in Wisconsin, it was clear and cool. The Wisconsin Welcome Center had outdated highway maps out. 862 miles total.

6 new in IL: Putnam Menard Montgomery St. Clair Monroe Livingston
IL now 57/102, my first state over half (except WI)
New total: 381
Chris got 14 new in IL and 1 in MO
MO is his state no. 7
Chris's new total: 109

Detroit-Grand Rapids Trip, 19-22 May 1998

We originally conceived the Detroit trip as a chance to visit two attractions: the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and the Henry Ford Museum. If memory serves from a visit to the Ford Museum as a child, the JFK assassination limo is there, and I was anxious to see it again. Some work on the web sites of each one revealed two issues that changed our minds. First, the art museum (really our highest priority) has fairly limited hours--11-4--and it seemed unlikely that we could go there and to Ford the same day. In addition, Ford is much more expensive. So, we dropped the plan of visiting the Ford Museum, but still hope to do it next time we're there.

My education at UW-Madison required a minor area, and I chose art history as a natural field with which to accompany musicology. The minor merely requires some course work, but in taking those courses my love of the visual arts, especially painting, grew, and so has Jill's. So now it is a common practice for us when in a larger city to go to its main art gallery. My interest within painting is fairly broad--European painting from Giotto to the mid-19th century. I focus my attention on forty-some major painters, and note any of their works I find on a master list, organized chronologically through their careers. I will return to DIA's holdings below.

We left on Tuesday morning, May 19, in warm and sunny weather, via I-90 toward Chicago. Within the Chicago area, though, we went out of our way to accomplish two things: to see the WLS tower, and to catch Will co., still needed. We did both; I had wanted to see the WLS site for years, and we got pretty close and took a picture. I love those clear-channel sites; I continue to be impressed that a facility on just a small plot of land can serve such vast areas at night...that's the DXer in me.

Our son Chris (17 months) got two new states this trip--IN and MI--and that was the most noteworthy part of passing through IN's three lakefront counties. Our route to Detroit was planned with counties in mind: we took US-12 from just past the state line all the way to Dearborn. This, of course, was slow at times, but we got to see a lot of towns we had never been in. We found MI's traffic lights, hanging above the road, awkward and easily covered up by trucks, and prefer the ground-mounted ones at home.

Our motel was the Super 8 at Dearborn, on Telegraph just south of US-12. We have been using Super 8s most of the time in recent years, using the "VIP card" discount and are satisfied most of the time. This one, as might be expected in a large metro area, was not in very good condition; both sinks had problems, etc. But we managed, and were basically confortable. TV reception over the air (I always travel with the little GoldStar to monitor stations not on the cable) was very poor. There was hardly any signal on 2. But with the GoldStar we could see CBS on 62, which the cable excluded. Dinner was at Dimitri's, across Telegraph from the motel. My taco salad was among the largest I have had.

Wednesday morning we got up aiming to do three things in Detroit: stop by and photograph Tiger Stadium, cross the bridge into ON, and go to the DIA for most of the time it is open. We found a good spot to pull over and take pictures of the stadium. Of course, we would have liked to see a game, but we decided that Chris is too young for that. The Tigers were out of town anyway, a point that didn't matter for us. The Ambassador Bridge is quite close to the stadium, and we crossed it ($2 US each way) and took pictures. In Windsor we stopped in the McDonald's, where they had pizza, and at the ON tourism center. There, we got maps and exchanged some currency as souvenirs. They call the $1 coin the "loonie" because it has a loon on it, and the bi-color $2 coin is a "toonie." The staff was particularly friendly and helpful.

Next stop was the DIA, the main destination of the trip. We found parking nearby ($3 for about 5 hours) and went in; admission is $4 for adults. The European paintings are not all together, and switching floors of course requires an elevator when you have a stroller. In one area there is a special exhibition (for which you pay extra) and the only access to the elevator in one direction, and to the paintings on that floor in the other, is through it! That caused some bother, and some carrying of the stroller up and down stairs. I knew in advance that the collection held a work by Jan Van Eyck, the great 15th-century Northern master who is perhaps my favorite painter. There are not very many of his works outside Europe, and Detroit's Saint Jerome in His Study is a glory of the collection. It is in a glass case in the center of its gallery, and it is impossible to get as close to the work as I wished I could...but it was great to see it. They have a Botticelli and a Correggio; the latter is another painter I have not seen often in the galleries I have visited--with the notable exception of the great Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist in Chicago. Bouguereau's The Nut Gatherers is utterly charming and is apparently the DIA's most popular painting.

On our way out of Detroit Thursday morning the weather was still warm and sunny. We took a detour to add Macomb co., and then headed west on I-96 to Lansing. There we stopped long enough to tape a couple stations and visit the capitol. It was full of grade school kids. I copied down station addresses from the phone book while Jill changed Chris's diaper. The dome is beautiful, though I confess a bit of bias toward Wisconsin's.

Out of Lansing we took Hwy. 43 to catch a couple counties, and then picked up I-96 to go into Grand Rapids for the night. We crossed town on 28th St (Hwy. 11), a road with every imaginable chain restaurant. Our motel was the Super 8 in Wyoming, at 44th and US-131. It was a very good one, and I worked like mad to tape the whole market before we left. We had dinner at the Denny's next to the motel, and it was OK as usual.

On Friday morning we took the time to track down the tower sites of 1300 and 1480. Then we had lunch at Steak 'n Shake, where I resisted the temptation to have a taco salad and had the Steak 'n Shake dinner instead, with a chocolate shake...yum! We looked for the 1530 site on our way out of town, and found an odd looking tower right where it was supposed to be. I remain unsure whether it was really 1530. Then we headed to Holland on I-196 and made a couple of stops at the lakefront near Saugatuck and again near Benton Harbor. By now it had clouded over and rained intermittently. On the way home, we crossed Chicago on the Tri-State, noting a few AM arrays. Traffic was great at first, but really slowed down after O'Hare. We stopped for dinner at Rockford's Home Town Buffet. Co-owned with Old Country Buffet, the menu, and even the day certain items are served, is just about the same. We got home after 10, very tired, with a total of 1075 miles.

1 new in IL: Will, now 51/102--I made it to half!
9 new in MI: Cass St. Joseph Branch Hillsdale Lenawee Macomb Livingston Eaton Barry, now 38/83.
New total: 375
Chris got 1 new in IL, 3 in IN, and 20 in MI; new total: 94
2 new states: IN and MI, new total: 6, and 1st province: ON