Despite getting up very early, making coffee, eating numerous hashbrowns at the McDonalds, and getting a 0530 start on the driving, I managed to get caught in crappy Chicago area traffic. Things got worse around Madison on I-90. I had no idea there could be such bad traffic jams around there, with many long haul trucks lined up. I had to take a lengthy detour on backroads to get around the traffic on I-90, and it cost me a lot of time.
I am not sure whether the day was long and boring because of the location itself, or because it was Day 2, I was tired, I was a little anxious about making it to my goal destination of Portal, ND (the Canadian entry point), and knew I had another day of long driving ahead of me. I had some slight anticipation of driving through Fargo, ND, as popularized by the fantastic Coen brothers film of the same name. It was quite a large town (strip malls etc) compared to the rest of the very large state.
I was somewhat disappointed not to be stopped by Officer Gunderson on my drive through Fargo (you will have to know the film to get that reference). I thought the spacer bars between the electricity lines were pretty neat. It must be because of the huge temperature differences experienced by the place throughout the year.
I have to say though, driving through dark, deserted, North Dakota backroads and small highways, in uncertain conditions (slick, wet, black ice) and uncertainty about when the next gas stop will be, when very tired, ranks alongside least favourite things ever. Being a planner, I played out scenarios of my car running into problems (mechanical or running out of petrol) and what I would do to get help.
I was far too tired to make it to Portal, ND (in retrospect, I am very glad I did not spend the night) and decided to bed down about 1.5 hrs away in Minot, ND, as it was a sizable town with amenities.
Despite stopping short of my planned destination, enduring the very tiring and mentally taxing day put me in a good position for Day 3 driving.