CNBC's Brian Sullivan just returned from his regular summer road trip to Wisconsin, where he had time to observe the changes in the economy from a different vantage point. The world sometimes looks different from behind the wheel than it does from behind a desk.
I'm a bit loopy as I write this, given that the usually 17-hour drive home from our Wisconsin vacation took closer to 20 due to traffic, and sleep remains elusive, but that traffic is all part of my completely unscientific economic takeaways from my annual trek to the great north woods and back.
So, dont'cha know, here's what I garnered from my much-needed voyage back into America's Heartland.
Everyone is on the road. I've done the drive to the upper part of Wisconsin every year now for the past 15, and without a doubt traffic seemed heavier than any time in the past four or five years. The 1,100-mile drive took three hours more than usual in part due to major backups in Michigan (I drive over the Upper Peninsula, over the Mackinac Bridge and straight down I-75 through the spine of Michigan), Ohio and Pennsylvania. The jams seemed to be caused only by the sheer volume of cars and trucks on the road. And by texting drivers rear-ending other texting drivers, who then text about the wreck.