Over a month later, I'm finishing the story of my cross-country road trip, continuing the standard of excellence I've established in regards to post frequency on this website. This post contains the least interesting photos of this series because the terrain ended up being pretty much the same after Badlands National Park ‒ flat and grassy.
After Badlands, we made maybe another hour before the car started overheating again. This meant jumping from rest stop to rest stop and letting the car cool off for a while before continuing. At the rest stop in the above photo, it occurred to us to check the oil. It turns out, there was none, and I didn't have any extra oil in the car (foolish, I know). Along we went, hopping between rest stops until we got to Sioux Falls where we picked up some oil and considered a number of other options o make it the final 1000 miles without having to stop every 20 minutes.
After adding oil, we kept trying to push along but continued overheating. We made it from Sioux Falls, SD to Worthington, MN, but were still overheating and it was past 9, so we stayed the night in Worthington. The next day, we kept pushing along, stopping every 30 or so minutes. At one point, we went through a pretty big lightning storm, and there were no rest stops. At one point, the rain was so heavy that everyone was pulling off to the side of the road, so we took that opportunity to give the car a break and add coolant which was still leaking out pretty rapidly. Fun fact, adding coolant to your overheating car in a massive downpour with lightning striking all around you is great. When I was almost finished, there was a strike no more than a hundred yards away. I jumped about a foot off the ground and knocked the radiator cap down onto the drip pan. Fortunately, it wasn't in the worst place and I was able to reach it. After that, we didn't overheat for the rest of the trip. I'm still not sure why. We managed to make it all the way to South Bend, Indiana that day. We passed through Chicago on the way, and I never realized the skyline was so expansive. I know photos never convey a good sense of scale, but I just couldn't have imagined how truly massive it is. The Illinois tollway is also fairly impressive for a road. It's well paved, well lit, and has plenty of nice looking rest stops along the way. The difference between the road in Illinois and Indiana was incredibly stark. Once across the border, the interstate was shockingly dusty and filled with potholes. Good job, Mike Pence.
After spending the night in South Bend, we continued on. Pictured below is Ohio, which had gigantic rest stops, pavement even lousier than California's, and not much else.
And that's it. I didn't take any pictures beyond this point because I did the final leg of driving, but there wasn't anything interesting to see anyway. A few hours later, we arrived in Pittsburgh and promptly got semi-lost downtown because I took the wrong exit, a consequence of not being able to see out of the back of the car and not being able to change lanes.
I'll be posting some of my photos from Pittsburgh at some point, but if history is any sort of indicator, it'll probably be at least another month.