The thing about getting to Iowa from here, unlike Ohio is that it's far from a straight shot.
It used to be that all we had to do was drive north a little bit to I-80, aka, the Ohio Turnpike and head west. After staying on I-80 for about 11 hours, one would wind up in eastern Iowa and I-380, which takes you north to Waterloo.
Our adventures from Raleigh, for any of you who may need to make the trip, went something like this:
- Start at I-85. This seemed in congruous to me, because one would assume that taking I-40 would be the logical starting place, but from NW Raleigh, it makes more sense to go through the Triangle Research Park area, jump on 147, go through Durham, and end up on I-85 S, which soon takes you to
- I-40 W. Take this to Winston-Salem, then hop onto 52 W, which eventually for just about 10 miles or so becomes
- I-74, until you hit
- I-77 N. Take this out of NC, through Virginia and into West Virginia where it becomes the WV Turnpike.
- At Charleston, pick up I-64 W.
- Here is some more debate. Do you take I-64 to Lexington and then head up north to Cincinnati, or do you continue on to Louisville and go up to Indianapolis? We chose to pick up
- I-75 N to Cincinnati, where we then took I-275 around the city until we hit
- I-74. We were on this road for the longest stretch of the trip. On the way out, we drove as far as Greensburg, IN, half way between Cincinnati and Indianapolis and stayed over night. Nice little town in the middle of nowhere.
- Once you approach Indianapolis, I-74 merges with I-465 (I think) which we took going around the city and continued on through Illinois. Once in Illinois, I-74 goes from NW to a direct northerly climb at Peoria toward the Quad cities where we finally pick up I-80.
- I-80 west takes us to I-380 which takes us right to an exit to Janet's sister's place.
It was interesting to ride through various topographical regions. Heading west and north from Raleigh takes you into some hills before we reach more mountainous terrain of the Appalachians (SE of this mountain range, that word is pronounced Apple-A (as it cAt) chin, NW of the range we always said Apple-ay-shun) through a few tunnels, some beautiful country side windy-road scenery, then rolling hills, still with plenty of trees through Kentucky, several river crossings, until after the Ohio River and into Indiana, things suddenly become flatter, and farmable. The further west we went, the flatter it became!
We took two days going out and the kids did really well--only one stop each day going out, and three days coming back (stopping in Indianapolis, Charleston).
Next time, I hope we can fly.