I'm thinking about doing the same thing this year. Right now I am thinking about re-visiting the "most direct route" option. I drew a line directly from ABQ to CHI and plotted a route as close to that line as possible. I have done this route a few times before, but this time I will also make it closely match both or either the Union Pacific and/or the BNSF Transcon. This route will take me to the "3 Corners" region of NM-TX-OK. I was going to stop around Great Bend, KS, but for some reason all of the motels are booked for that weekend. So I might stop short in Dodge City. There should be some good train action there. Then it will be northeast towards Topeka. I know there is a nice display of railroad equipment in Atchison which I have driven past a few times before. Maybe it's time I actually stopped to check it out! Then it will be across MO on 36 which I don't think I've done before. Then I can follow either the BNSF or UP into Chicago.
So that's the tentative plan for now. Having flexibility is great in case of bad weather or some other complications. I know there are a few furs pretty close to the route but not quite along it. If I miss ya, I'm sorry. I'll catch ya another time. There's something very special about a road trip. This route has special meaning for me since it was the last time my dad and I took a road trip like this. Anubis also accompanied us. Heck, every time I took this trip Anubis was with me. There are many memories of stopping along some deserted farm road with the temps hovering below freezing while he marked his territory and begged me to throw a stick for him. Unfortunately the only thing resembling a stick was an old corn stalk. So yeah. Road trips build great memories.