We crossed Wisconsin and Illinois on Highway 90. On either side of the road, green cornfields, clear skies, lovely, but nothing that would make an arresting photograph. We passed small towns with old houses with tall trees, hard to photograph effectively because the terrain was flat. We could have turned off the highway to explore a bit, but we wanted to find our lodging in Chicago before nightfall. It's a good thing we did; the hotel I had called was in the midst of a major renovation (but hadn't told me on the phone), so we relocated to a hotel thirty miles south of town in Romeoville. The name appealed to us.
As we approached Chicago, we crossed through what I call the Franchise Zone--the area surrounding almost every major American city, and most medium-sized towns, inwhich all of the businesses are part of large chains, and the landscape is largely paved. In some towns, the Franchise Zone IS their downtown. I think this city-planning trend originated in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles at the end of World War Two.
At the end of the day, I realized I had taken not one single shot.