We got up a little earlier today in consideration of a long driving day ahead and another time zone change. On the road and out of Des Moines by 7:30am. We filled the tank for $2.50/gallon, the cheapest so far. We've noticed that the mid-grade fuel costs less than regular unleaded. Interesting. There were several downpours, but nothing too serious. We stopped on the west side of the Mississippi River before crossing into Illinois. The landscape began to change a great deal from farmland to rural as we headed northeast on I-80 toward Chicago, Illinois/Gary, Indiana. We paid our first toll of the trip ($0.60) and then upon entering Indiana went through a toll booth where we had to pull a ticket. Evidently you pay based on how long you stay on the toll road--the most would be $7.30.
It's been about 90 degrees out so the AC is cranked to the max. We stopped for a quick bite at Hardee's which is the same as Carl's Jr on the West Coast and crossed into the Eastern time zone, kissing one more daylight driving hour goodbye. We decided to detour off the interstate into Amish country (Shipshewana). Immediately we passed several horse drawn carriages and bikes, driven by folks in traditional Amish (or Mennonite?) attire. Cute kids. Beautiful farms. Highway 20 took us back to the interstate and crossed into Ohio. We drove until dark and stopped for the night in Sandusky around 9pm. Luckily we found a delicious/I-will-eat-anything-at-this-point Mexican restaurant, and were thankful they served us 20 minutes before closing. In summary: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio in one day! I'm learning my geography. We'll head for Niagara Falls in the morning.