WBEZ | road trip http://www.wbez.org/tags/road-trip Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Best places for a quick—even 'Odd'—weekend getaway http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/best-places-quick%E2%80%94even-odd%E2%80%94weekend-getaway-100310 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dragon.jpg" title="Coin-Operated Fire-Breathing Dragon of Vandalia(Flickr/Selbe B)" /></div><p>Now that summer has officially begun, <em>Afternoon Shift</em> thought it was high time to plan a few weekend getaways. Tough economic times have kept many people cooped up at home the last few years&mdash;but no more! The majority of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, according to a <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-60-percent-of-americans-plan-to-take-summer-vacations-this-year-159184135.html" target="_blank">recent consumer survey</a>. And the majority of said travelers plan to get away <a href="http://www.kptm.com/story/18787635/road-trips-top-travelers-summer-vacation-plans" target="_blank">by car</a>!</p><p>So the <em>Afternoon Shift</em> decided to plot out some easy escapes. I figure less than 10 hours of drive time is ideal because once you hit double digits, you double the likelihood of a backseat brawl. I don&rsquo;t have a ton of research to back that up--but I can tell you that when my family road tripped to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the summer of &lsquo;93, stopping at every ballpark along the road to Cooperstown, I considered hurling myself across the Canadian border as we trekked from the old Tiger Stadium to the Montreal Expos spaceship dome. Around hour 11, I was desperately seeking asylum from the middle seat between a pair of thieving, card-shark brothers. &nbsp;</p><p>Host Steve Edwards exchanged ideas for some easy getaways with former <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> contributor and travel writer <a href="http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/catalog/showBook.cfm?ISBN=1569764662#" target="_blank">Jerome Pohlen</a> and <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/" target="_blank"><em>Time Out Chicago</em></a> associate features editor Marissa Conrad. And we ask listeners&mdash;and the <em>Afternoon Shift</em> team to share their picks too. Where do you like to go to get away in the summer? <strong>Call 312-923-9239</strong>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=203732441956662625361.0004c2fe83194814da29d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=44.559163,-89.912109&amp;spn=12.52395,27.246094&amp;z=5&amp;iwloc=0004c2ff9c87553d9131b&amp;output=embed" width="620"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=203732441956662625361.0004c2fe83194814da29d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=44.559163,-89.912109&amp;spn=12.52395,27.246094&amp;z=5&amp;iwloc=0004c2ff9c87553d9131b&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">WBEZ Summer Getaways</a> in a larger map</small></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Host Steve Edwards Picks: 5 Towns Worth Visiting</strong><br /><strong>Frankfort, Illinois</strong><br />This historic community in the south suburbs sits along the Old Plan Road Bike Path and is home to a weekly Sunday farmer&#39;s market, movies on the town green and numerous outdoor festivals.</p><p><strong>Buchanan, Michigan</strong><br />Some call Buchanan &ldquo;the next Three Oaks, Michigan&rdquo; which, depending on how you look at it, could be a great thing or impetus to visit now before it&rsquo;s overrun by Chicago-expats. Either way, you&rsquo;ll find great architecture, a quaint downtown district (on the National Register of Historic Places) and a perfect perch from which to explore the outdoors.</p><p><strong>Historic Pullman District &ndash; Chicago, Illinois</strong><br />OK, it&rsquo;s technically not a small town anymore, but the feeling is all the same. To stroll the streets of the community created by George Pullman for the workers in his adjacent factory is to walk into another era. It&rsquo;s living history that&rsquo;s often overlooked. Mark your calendars now for the historic house tour in October.</p><p><strong>Valparaiso, Indiana</strong><br />Located along the Lincoln Highway, the town square is still the central business district and the historic heart of the community that&rsquo;s home to Popcorn Fest, Valparaiso University and the county seat of Porter County, Indiana.</p><p><strong>Woodstock, Illinois</strong><br />Woodstock has been featured in several major motion pictures, including Groundhog Day and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, thanks to its remarkable town square and towering Opera House. Well worth a visit for its farmer&#39;s market and its traditional City Band Concerts on the Square.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Jerome Pohlen, author </strong>of <strong><a href="http://www.ipgbook.com/oddball-illinois-products-9781613740323.php" target="_blank"><em>Oddball Illinois: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places</em></a> Top 10</strong>:</p><p>1. Coin-Operated, Fire-Breathing Dragon, Vandalia<br />2. <a href="http://www.midwayvillage.com/wordpress/" target="_blank">World&#39;s Largest Sock Monkey</a>, Rockford<br />3. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/27354" target="_blank">Friendship Shoe Fence</a>, Cornell<br />4. <a href="http://www.horrorbles.com/" target="_blank">Horrorbles</a>, Berwyn<br />5. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/402" target="_blank">World&#39;s Largest Abe Lincoln Statue</a>, Ashmore<br />6. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/18808" target="_blank">General Santa Ana&#39;s Wooden Legs</a>, Springfield and Decatur<br />7. <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11386" target="_blank">Mini Solar System/Maxi Model</a>, Peoria et al<br />8. Rosario&#39;s Italian Sausage, Chicago<br />9. <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/carbondales-best-kept-secret-boo-rochman-memorial-317874.html" target="_blank">Boo Rochman Memorial Park</a>, Carbondale<br />10. <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g36392-d646324-r128462619-R_Place_Family_Eatery-Morris_Illinois.html" target="_blank">Truck Stop Marionettes</a>, Morris</p><p><strong>Wisconsin native and <em>Time Out Chicago</em> associate feature&#39;s editor Marissa Conrad&#39;s Picks</strong>:</p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Wisconsin%20Dells%20flickr.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 213px;" title="Noah's Ark at Wisconsin Dells (Flickr/Dave Reid)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wisdells.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Wisconsin Dells</strong></a><br />Conrad says she ABSOLUTELY loves the Dells and could talk about it for hours. Web producer and New Yorker <strong>Kate Dries</strong> plans to brave the Dells&#39; rapids this summer, mostly just to say she&#39;s done it and, she says, &quot;because [I&#39;m] 12 and like water parks.&quot; Dries also loves state fairs and <strong>Minneapolis</strong>--she wholeheartedly recommends stopping at <a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/29/330049/restaurant/Twin-Cities/Dinkytown/Als-Breakfast-Minneapolis" target="_blank">Al&#39;s Breakfast</a>.</p><p><strong>Indianapolis</strong><br />A lot of cool stuff going on right now, including a zoo exhibit where over 500 exotic birds are flying around you...they&#39;ll land on your arm and walk across your head!</p><p><a href="http://www.americanclubresort.com/index.html" target="_blank">Kohler, Wisconsin</a><br />Conrad says it&#39;s a great resort spa destination for couples.</p><p><strong>Nashville, Tennessee</strong><br />Conrad hopes to head south to check out Nashville&#39;s booming foodie scene recently profiled by the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/06/20/dining/20120620-NASHVILLE.html?ref=dining" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a></p><p><strong>Darwin, Minnesota</strong><br />Home of the <a href="http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128" target="_blank">world&#39;s largest ball of twine</a>, it&#39;s this tiny town of 247 and they are all so proud of the ball of twine! There&#39;s the Twine Ball Restaurant, Twine Ball Inn, etc. But it&#39;s also super close to the Mall of America and Twin Cities, so it&#39;s legit to make a whole weekend out of it.</p><p><strong>Green Bay, Wisconsin</strong><br />Conrad was wary to share this pick--obviously! But, she says, Lambeau Field and the Packers Hall of Fame are worth a visit.</p><p><strong>Milwaukee, Wisconsin</strong><br />Conrad recommends the classic <a href="http://www.factorytour.com/tours/miller-brewing.cfm" target="_blank">Miller Brewing Factory</a> tour or the <a href="http://mam.org/" target="_blank">Milwaukee Art Museum</a>.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Milwaukee%20Art%20Museum.jpg" title="Milwaukee Art Museum (Flickr/clarkmaxwell)" /></div><p>Milwaukee&#39;s also tops producer <strong>Carrie Shepherd&#39;s list:</strong> I think Milwaukee is a quick, great escape from the city. I&rsquo;m more of an urban rat than a nature seeker so I don&rsquo;t head north for the hikes and canoeing like other Chicagoans. I like that Milwaukee has city amenities, but is really manageable. You can rent a car, be there in under 2 hours and there&rsquo;s ample parking. The Milwaukee Museum of Art is architecturally beautiful and sits right on Lake Michigan. There&rsquo;s also great eating in the city, far beyond your stereotypical brat and beer fare&hellip;two things I tend to avoid. Well, more the former. Before my last visit, Milwaukeeans recommended a visit to the <a href="http://www.historicthirdward.org/" target="_blank">Historic Third Ward</a>, an area of revamped old warehouses with cool bars and boutiques (on my last visit, I actually got some good stuff at a shop owned by a Chicago expat). <a href="http://www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org/main.html" target="_blank">The Milwaukee Public Market </a>is in that area, too, with a huge selection of foods from every corner of the globe.<br /><br />Not everyone is big on Milwaukee. <strong>Producer and Wisconsite Eilee Heikenen-Weiss</strong> prefers the cheese state&#39;s more rustic locales: Topping Eilee&#39;s list is <a href="http://www.devilslakewisconsin.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Devil&#39;s Lake</strong></a>. It has tons of hiking, rock climbing, camping, boating (no motors, tho). Easy access to Wisconsin Dells attractions without having to stay in the Dells, which is horrible. And, she says, if there&#39;s no on-site camping available, stay at one of the nearby inns. Lots of cute ones outside the Dells. Eilee recommends checking out <a href="http://www.flickr.com//photos/skilletcreek/sets/72157629822990369/show/" target="_blank">Dr. Evrmor&rsquo;s Art Park</a>, the <a href="http://circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org/" target="_blank">Circus World Museum</a>, the <a href="http://www.savingcranes.org/" target="_blank">International Crane Foundation </a>and picking fruit at local farms while you&#39;re there. And, she says, <strong>Dodgeville, Wisconsin</strong> is worth a stop too: <a href="http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/govdodge/" target="_blank">Great camping</a>, visit the land of trolls at <a href="http://www.trollway.com/" target="_blank">Mount Horeb</a>, hit up a nearby <a href="http://friendsofmazobeach.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">nude beach</a> and <a href="http://www.pecksfarmmarketeast.com/seasons-attractions" target="_blank">Peck&rsquo;s Farm Market</a>, especially, Eilee says, &quot;for the petting zoo...climbing goats.&quot; &nbsp;</p><p>Producer Joe DeCeault likes to hit the bike trails around <a href="http://www.dupageforest.com/preserve.aspx?id=4224" target="_blank"><strong>Argonne National Laboratory.</strong></a></p><p>And <strong>web producer Andrew Gill</strong> recommends stops in <a href="http://www.newglarusvillage.com/" target="_blank"><strong>New Glarus, Wisconsin</strong></a> and <a href="http://www.3floyds.com/" target="_blank">Three Floyds Brewery</a> in Munster, Indiana.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/best-places-quick%E2%80%94even-odd%E2%80%94weekend-getaway-100310 A road trip – and hardships – on Route 66 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/road-trip-%E2%80%93-and-hardships-%E2%80%93-route-66-99576 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/route%2066%20AP.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="A souvenir store off Route 66. (AP/Matt York)" /></div><p>Memorial Day marks the start of summer road trip season &ndash; maybe you&rsquo;re reading this from your mobile device as you cruise down the highway. As you go, consider the story of Terri Ryburn, and the road trip that changed her life.</p><p>Ryburn grew up dirt-poor in a tar-paper shack in rural Illinois. Her carpenter father, Ray, had intense wanderlust, and in 1953 he announced he was moving the family to California.</p><p>Ray converted his Ford Model A truck into a makeshift camper, building up the flat bed with 2x4s and chicken wire, covering the top in gunny sacks and a canvas tarp. In went Terri, her pregnant mother, brothers Dave, Dick, Junior and Roger, and her father&rsquo;s two black and tan coon hounds, Spic and Span. For their drive through the desert they tied canvas water bags to the running boards, and fire wood, so their mother could cook a hot meal when they stopped for the night. &ldquo;We must have looked like the Joads from <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> -- or maybe those great opening credits from <em>The Beverly Hillbillies</em>,&rdquo; Terri remembers. &ldquo;The neighbors must have really thought my dad had lost his mind.&rdquo;</p><p>The three-week, 2,500 mile cross-country journey proved to be unusual and in some ways traumatic for 5-year-old Terri. They traveled on Route 66, then a bumpy, curvaceous highway with one lane in each direction. The truck could only go 45 mph, so they often encountered angry motorists stuck behind them, unable to pass. They&rsquo;d camp by the road every night and wake up covered in mosquito bites. Terri remembers spending one night sleeping on &ldquo;someone&rsquo;s shoe and a wet diaper all night.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The first time I ever heard the story <em>The Princess and the Pea</em>, I thought it had been written about me,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I thought, oh, someone really knows how much I suffered!&rdquo;</p><p>Rest stops at the time had no bathrooms, so Terri and her brothers became experts in which gas stations offered the cleanest facilities. Phillips 66 became their favorite, &ldquo;even before we learned they sent around a team of women in white gloves to inspect them,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>They learned to love their road food, too. Breakfast was store-bought cinnamon rolls and milk. Lunch was a bologna sandwich. Dinner was more bologna, fried, plus fried potatoes from the 25-pound sack her mother had lugged cross country.</p><p>Even though the trip sounds impossibly harsh in some ways, it also left a positive mark: Today she has a PhD in history and a lasting love for Route 66. So much so that in 2007 she purchased a Tudor-revival style 1930s gas station along the highway in her home town of Normal, Ill., which she is working to restore and remodel into a visitor center, gift shop, bed and breakfast and restaurant.</p><p>Plus, as every weary traveler knows, there&rsquo;s joy in the destination. Ryburn remembers clearly the day her family pulled into California. They spent the night in the parking lot of a gas station before driving past the Santa Monica pier to the beach. In the audio above Ryburn describes that much anticipated moment of arrival. &nbsp;</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range </a><em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s<em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Terri Ryburn spoke at an event presented by Culinary Historians of Chicago in April. Click <a href="../../amplified/marked-life-my-travels-route-66-%E2%80%9853-98858">here </a>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 26 May 2012 06:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/road-trip-%E2%80%93-and-hardships-%E2%80%93-route-66-99576 Changing Gears: Ishpeming: Where iron ore built a city http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-27/changing-gears-ishpeming-where-iron-ore-built-city-89696 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/Ishpeming.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.changinggears.info/"><em>Changing Gears</em></a> is on the road, sharing stories of towns where one company still affects everybody’s lives. Wednesday, the trip headed north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where North America’s biggest iron ore supplier has been blasting the earth--and creating jobs--for more than 160 years. Reporter Kate Davidson shared this report:</p><p>Our destination is the city of Ishpeming. It’s small.&nbsp; Basically, you can’t throw a rock here without hitting a miner.</p><p>Take Steve Carlson. After high school, he worked 37 years for the mines.</p><p>“When I started as a young man, all the old bucks set you straight on the dos and the do nots,” he says.&nbsp; “And what you want to do is go home every day to your family.”</p><p>Ken Hietikko is still mining after 36 years. He operates an enormous shovel at the <a href="http://www.cliffsnaturalresources.com/aboutus/globaloperations/Documents/IronOreFactSheet.pdf">Tilden and Empire open pit mines</a> outside of town. They’re deep craters that have produced more than 450 million tons of iron ore. Hietikko runs the machinery of giants. The first time he saw it, he was struck with awe.</p><p>“I still am,” he says. “I like this. You know this is me running this great big piece of equipment. And supplying a living for a lot of people in our area. And supplying iron ore, to the world actually.”</p><p>Like other miners, Hietikko endured his share of layoffs in the 1980s. But he still calls mining a “dinosaur industry” — one of the last places where a blue-collar kid with little education can make good money for life.</p><p>As for Ishpeming, it wouldn’t exist if <a href="http://www.cliffsnaturalresources.com/Pages/default.aspx">Cliffs Natural Resources </a>hadn’t started mining the UP in 1848.&nbsp; Around here, the company is still known as Cleveland Cliffs.</p><p>“What we tell people is that steel in North America really begins here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” says Dale Hemmila, the company’s director of public affairs in North America.</p><p>We’re standing at the edge of the Empire pit, which stretches nearly a mile long and a mile wide.&nbsp; Here, the miners extract low-grade ore, which is processed into higher-grade pellets.</p><p>“The pellet is about the size of a marble,”&nbsp;Hemmila says. “And literally we create billions of them on an annual basis here.”</p><p>Pellet prices are high right now. Countries like China and India are using a lot of iron ore, to make a lot of steel. That’s good for Cliffs.&nbsp;Dale Hemmila says when you add up payroll, taxes, electricity and supplies, the company has a regional economic impact of more than $830 million. That includes 600 employees in Ishpeming and lot of other people who rely on the economic oxygen of the mines.</p><p>People like Sandra Sundquist. Where else besides Ishpeming could a gal sell 800 pairs of steel boots a year?</p><p>“We do have an issue in the UP of wide feet, and we actually call them pasty feet,” she says.&nbsp; “They need extra wide boots.”</p><p>She has them in stock at <a href="http://www.wildernessportsinc.com/">Wilderness Sports </a>downtown.</p><p>Down the road is a big guy, Lee Woods. He’s president of Northern Tire Inc., which provides giant tires for the mine’s giant haulers. The largest&nbsp;hauler can carry 320 tons of iron ore. The tires stacked up out back make Woods’s&nbsp;lot look like a sandbox for Titans.</p><p>“This tire weighs 10,500 pounds,” he says. “It’s twelve-and-a-half feet in diameter and these are just almost 50,000 apiece.”</p><p>Which all begs the question: How long is this going to last?</p><p>“Well, the iron’s gonna run out sometime. The ore’ll run out sometime. I don’t know when,” says Jered Ottenwess.</p><p>Ottenwess is Ishpeming’s city manager. He says it’s hard to do long-range planning when the local economy is so dependent on one company.</p><p>“What’s Ishpeming gonna look like in 25 years?” he asks. “Well that’s entirely predicated on whether Cliffs is still gonna be here, operating those mines. If they’re not, what’s our economy actually going to look like?”</p><p>All of Marquette County is trying to grow tourism, education and health care. The <a href="http://www.mgh.org/">Marquette General Health System</a> is already the biggest employer in the county; Cliffs ranks second overall. But the city manager worries Ishpeming itself won’t diversify fast enough. He says that shifting this old mining town’s economic base is an overwhelming challenge.</p><p>Meanwhile, a lot of people think mining will be here for a very long time.&nbsp;&nbsp;Dale Hemmila says Cliffs is trying to extend the life of the Empire pit to 2015.&nbsp; He says the Tilden Mine should operate another 30 or 35 years, depending on economic viability.</p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-27/changing-gears-ishpeming-where-iron-ore-built-city-89696