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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.



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.

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