If you read my last post, you already know I found my next topic on the way home that day. A quick stop at the Psycho Silo for a drink and some live music led to a return trip the following week.
It was going to be a perfect day to ride, and I was not willing to take the direct route there. So while we were hanging out on Saturday night, he suggested I lay out our plan. After staring at our large-print road atlas (if you don’t have one, I highly suggest making it your next purchase) for way longer than a normal person, I had it all mapped out.
The morning was beautiful, with bright blue sky and low winds. Our first destination was Grandview Drive for a quick photo op. We needed more photos for next year’s calendar (bike themed, of course). It was early enough we could grab some great shots before the crowds arrived around lunchtime.
From there, we made our way to River Beach Drive outside Chillicothe. It’s a pretty straight road that tightly hugs the Illinois River, making for excellent sightseeing. The water was mostly calm, and I thought it would be a nice day to go boating. But, that was pretty much the end of our river adventures, as our route took us west on Yankee Lane across the countryside.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it many, many more times: I love riding on backroads! The wind wraps its arms around you as you feel the moist air coming off the crops, the smell of dark brown dirt filling your nose. It’s just so easy to get lost in the simplicity of the moments around us. I’ve actually taken to waving at the people who watch us ride by, and nearly all of them wave back. They just don’t know how much they make me smile.
As we rolled into Tiskilwa, we gave a nod to the Indian Valley Inn, a favorite among our Ride to Eat destinations. It was just outside town that we were supposed to turn toward the Silo — supposed to.
Due to paying more attention to some construction on a bridge, we overlooked a road sign noting where our turn was. Thinking it was just further than I anticipated, we continued on for a while until we accepted our defeat but opted to keep going thinking we had to come upon another cross road soon. Well, we sort of did.
Coming into a town, we spotted the sign and realized that we had managed to go in the opposite direction as we had planned. We were in Princeton!
We soon noticed a little city park ahead of us and decided to stop and get our bearings. Those are the moments, those little unplanned moments that make riding so much fun. We had discovered Soldiers and Sailors Park, which features a beautiful 50-foot tall monument. Built in 1913, the monument originally was dedicated to Bureau County’s Civil War veterans and has since be rededicated to all its veterans. We, of course, had to take a closer look before heading on to the Psycho Silo.
As mentioned, our stop the prior week inspired the day’s trip because we had found that the Silo had more than doubled in size since our last visit at the end of the 2015 season. The deck had been majorly expanded with a second bar, lots of seating with umbrellas for shade (a nice touch for those hot summer days) and a shiny, new metal trailer that had drawn quite the line of people.
The trailer’s popularity perplexed me until I noticed the handwritten, laminated menu laying on the bar to my left. I thought, “Now, what is that?”
One of the things I loved about the Silo was the variety of food options provided by the rotating selection of local food trucks and caterers, so I was surprised to realize they had gotten into the food business for themselves.
The menu has all the basics — burgers, brats and dogs — plus grilled chicken, chicken salad and a variety of sauces and toppings from which to choose. There also are sides — gloriously, wonderful fried sides of all types: chips, fries, rings, shrooms, poppers, curds and green beans. How would I choose?
Overwhelmed by the options on today’s follow-up visit, I decided to keep it simple because if a place can’t do simple, they have problems.
My hot dog was much bigger than I expected, looking more like a brat than the dogs most places serve. The seeded bun was a great touch and added an extra flavor that paired well with my traditional ketchup and mustard finishers.
Once dressed with ketchup, mustard and mayo, the husband’s double burger also satisfied. The patty was cooked well (as in correctly, not overdone) and sized right for its bun. Personally, I prefer a little cheese, but it wasn’t my meal, so I had to settle without for my official taste test.
The fries were fabulous. Hot, crisp and substantial enough you actually can taste the potato. I had to control myself so as not to eat them all before he could have some. (Helpful Tip: Do not share fries with me!)
Full from our meals, we hung out a bit and watched the crowds, which are more diverse than the first year. Car clubs, grandparents in their classics and, well, families all seemed to be interested in the unique establishment — for good reason!
After taking a short walk to check out the multitude of bikes on display (OK, they were parked but same thing at the Silo), we made a pit stop before saddling back up. Imagine my joy upon discovering that the old shower curtain stall doors had been replaced with actual doors. The place just gets better and better.
Sad to go but facing a lawn that desperately needed mowing, we said goodbye once again and made our way back to Peoria.