After a long, hard sleep to recover from our adventurous day in The Dells, it finally was time for the last leg of our journey — time to go home.
The sun greeted us as we loaded up the bike once more, and we hoped the clear conditions would hold out.
We rolled onto Interstate 90/94 just outside town, both of us agreeing that a more direct, higher speed ride was in order. The week had been amazing, but our days in the rain were wearing on us, and the day’s forecast wasn’t promising. Continue reading
Our last full day of vacation had arrived. As usual, I checked the weather while he made coffee. So, you know all that rain we’d been having throughout the trip? Yeah, it was nothing compared to the splotches of yellow, orange and red all over the radar. The storms were large, strong and everywhere!
This archived radar data shows exactly what we faced on our ride from Green Bay to Wisconsin Dells.
Although we had been looking forward to a stop on the day’s itinerary, we whole-heartedly agreed on a more direct route to our destination. I consulted my trusty iPad mini (the ideal size for saddlebags) and hastily scribbled our new directions on the back of the day’s original plan. Messy, but effective.
The bags were loaded, and we were off in a flash. We dodged rain drops through Appleton and Oshkosh. Our luck would not last long. Noting an ever-ominous sky, I snuck a look at the radar while at slower speeds in Ripon. The truth was undeniable: We were going to get very wet! But, we were in for the long haul and continued west. Continue reading
Well, it’s about time I finish this story, isn’t it?!
The morning of Day 5 was cold. Bone-chilling cold that felt more like mid-October than mid-August. Fortunately, the weather report promised no rain. At least there was that.
Heading south on 115, the cold started to take hold. I shivered a bit, thankful I put my leather on that morning. I was trying to keep my mind on other things, especially after he mentioned the temperature had dropped into the 50s. No wonder!
By the time our route brought us back to the lake, the rain had started. Darn weather report! Of course, we were caught without our Toggs, so we got a little wet, mostly on our legs from the splash off the road. So now, I was cold and wet … again. BUT, I was still persevering AND having fun along the way. Continue reading
I absolutely love barbecue. I repeat, I. LOVE. BARBECUE! Chicken, pork, beef — it’s all amazing after a stint in a smoke-filled box, so I really was itching to try a new (to me) place in Knoxville called Big Catz BBQ.
The bike really fits the scene at Big Catz BBQ in Knoxville, Ill.
The drive was perfect for an early October day, with hardly a cloud in the bright, blue sky. We hummed right along and found ourselves in the parking lot just a few minutes after 11 — perfect timing since we skipped breakfast to save room for our lunch feast. Continue reading
Ah, Sunday. Time to Ride to Eat once again, and our destination was set. Thanks to Funday, we were on our way to the Boiler Room in Kewanee.
Back roads beckoned, so we took the less traveled route until we happened upon fresh road maintenance — and its gravel topcoat. No. Thank. You. We hung a left and continued. Even with our re-route, we still had to ease our way over several yards of gravel before turning back onto the highway. No good, but nothing we haven’t had to do before.
We explored the road less traveled, winding our way through central Illinois.
We’d been spending much of our time on a major home improvement project, and it finally was done. Well, nearly done. So we declared that this particular Sunday was for riding. Our summer vacation was less than two months away, and I’d barely been on the bike. It definitely was time to get back in the saddle.
Debating where to eat, I realized that I had yet to write about one of my favorite lunch places —Haynes’ on Main in Mackinaw.
The trip to Mackinaw from our house is relatively short, but we took a more scenic route to enjoy the wind time as long as possible. For some reason, I felt the need to cheese for the camera a bit before heading in.
We have arrived at Haynes’ on Main in Mackinaw, Ill.
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.
After a couple breakfasts and a dinner Ride to Eat, I figured it probably was time for a new lunch adventure. So, I did a little research and soon discovered our next destination: Perdue’s Grill in Tremont.
Located inside a historic building — the Columbia Opera House, according to their website — Perdue’s is split into two sections: the dining room and the bar.
Our ride had started quite early that Sunday, as we had leaves to deal with that afternoon. Of course, that meant we arrived in Tremont much sooner than we had originally planned, around 11:15. We took two seats at the bar and slowly began to realize that we were the only people in the room. Why was EVERYONE else in the dining area?Continue reading
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