F*ck this for a game of soldiers 2

—This is Joy Yee's Noodles in Chicago, IL, the first pit stop in a race around the country. Teams arrived here at the end of the last leg for a mandatory rest period. Jon and Rory, who arrived at 4:35 pm, will depart at 4:35 am.

"The Unnecessary Race"

[rips open clue]

Jon: Travel by bus to Ann Arbor, MI.

—Jon and Rory must now travel by bus nearly 250 miles to the city of Ann Arbor via Kalamazoo. Once there, they must find this bookshop to receive their next clue.

There were a surprising number of people riding the "L" at 5:00 am on a Sunday morning and they were all black.

Red Line 95th/Dan Ryan Station :: Chicago, IL

Ah…the south side of Chicago, providing a stark contrast to the north (cough, Evanston) since…a long time ago. The only other city I've visited with such palpable geographic disparity is Washington D.C.

Funny how the White Sox are Chicago's south side baseball team.

Greyhound Bus Station :: Chicago, IL

Cautionary letter-size signs designed in Microsoft Word papered the walls of this bus "station" (more like a train station annex).

"Do not park at the Citgo station across the street. YOUR CAR WILL BE TOWED!!!"

"If you do not tag your bags, YOU WILL MISS YOUR BUS!!!!!"

Amtrak Station :: Kalamazoo, MI

I flipped through a free tabloid paper for residents of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. High school newspapers are more professional than this rag. Inside, I read that the Radisson hotel at Kalamazoo Center is a popular local hangout.

A hotel.

Not even a Four Seasons or a Fairmont. A Radisson hotel.

Juan: What are your plans tonight?
Erin: Girls night out at the Radisson, baybee!

As I prepared to board the transfer bus, a gentleman with a red maple leaf on his hat and bag asked me if I was headed to Detroit.

He had a thick issue of Cosmo tucked underneath his arm.

Greyhound Bus Station :: Ann Arbor, MI

I had not seen snow in five years. Better yet, the sun was out.

to be continued…