We saw it coming a week away — 50-plus degree weather in early February! It was just too good to pass up, so I took a mental health day from work and anticipated the ride.
Of course, when the day finally came, it was breezier than the forecast had promised, which meant it was much cooler, too. Unwilling to give up my much-needed wind therapy session but knowing I’d hate being out in the cold, we decided to keep our plans but stay closer to home. The only logical destination was just outside Peoria: Ludy’s Kickapoo Creek Saloon.
While chatting with BikerBob one evening, I mentioned how many potential Ride to Eat destinations don’t serve food on Sundays — the one day a week the husband and I can ride together. Nodding his head in agreement, he casually noted, “Except on Sunday Fundays.” And just like that, I had my lightbulb moment!
To be honest, I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t previously realized that the magazine actually was the answer to my magazine problem. Coincidentally, the next day was the first Sunday Funday of the riding season, so we made plans to check out Ross’ Roadhouse after our weekly chores were done.
Grabbed a quick selfie at a stop light for my Instagram account.
Throughout the summer, we closely followed the progress of a new, upscale-looking establishment in Bradford. The day we first saw the sign, we knew we’d have to make it a Ride to Eat destination. So one date-night Saturday, we made our way to The Highlands Fine Food & Whiskey House.
Located right along IL 40, The Highlands is a noticeable new addition to Main Street. The exterior reminds me a lot of the Irish Cottage Boutique & Hotel, our favorite place to stay in Galena.
The Highlands Fine Food & Whiskey House in Bradford, Ill.
He previously had stopped to check the place out, so I already had heard a bit about it before walking in. Continue reading
When the husband recently asked, “How about a Saturday night dinner ride to Gil’s?” I was all in. Not only do I really enjoy Gil’s, but the date night could double as this month’s article. (Don’t you love it when everything works out so well?!)
Gil’s Supper Club in Hanna City, Ill.
Now, Hanna City is only 20 minutes down the interstate, but where’s the fun in that? We instead opted to weave our way across rural northeast Peoria. The only flaw in our route: the Old English Faire at Wildlife Prairie Park. Thankfully, the traffic wasn’t bad that time of day, and we crept right through.
Turning onto Main Street in Hanna City, the line of cars vying for spots reminded me just how popular Gil’s Supper Club is. Continue reading
Well, the holidays are in the home stretch, and it’s been a great time so far! Christmas Day was especially memorable this year as the lack of snow and relatively decent temperature made it possible to get some wind. That’s right — Wally and I geared up and took a short ride in the heart of the day.
It all started 10 days earlier on a beautiful 50-plus degree Sunday in December. We, like most local riders, felt more than an urge to ride … it was an obligation, a duty to enjoy the nearly perfect, nearly winter day. About 10 minutes into the ride, I suggested that we listen to Christmas music since it was such a rare opportunity to do so. Next thing I knew, we were pulling over and switching genres to “Holiday.” That ride was so much fun; it actually felt like Christmas for the first time all year. (Look for more on that lunch destination in a future post.) So, we decided to try it again if the weather cooperated. Continue reading
The weekend after our Galena adventure, we wanted to ride but didn’t require anything too long as we needed to get some work done around the house and yard. Wally suggested we try a place for dinner that we had driven by a lot last summer and he remembers stopping at once when he was a kid — the Midway Duck in on IL 26 between Lacon and Spring Bay.
To make the ride interesting, we thought we’d weave our way north through the countryside toward Lacon. Starting on IL 40, we shortly turned west onto Truitt Road, which cuts across to Chillicothe; however, we only stayed on it for a few miles, until we hit N Krause Road, which connects to the historic Galena Trail and Coach Road route.
Now, we’d taken the Galena Trail and Coach Road (officially Blue Ridge Road/Co Hwy 16) a few times, so we were a bit more familiar with it than most back county roads. You wind your way up and down hills and around curves through wonderfully serene country views you can’t believe are right outside Peoria. Eventually, you find Blue Ridge, which is a tiny town with a few houses and a church. Just past that is the first stop on our tour — the stump carver right before the turn onto La Prairie Road. Continue reading