Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NC Bound Thanksgiving 2013-- Part 3: Huntley, Testicles and Stark's Corner

NOVEMBER 21ST, THURSDAY: ///// Almost unbelievably, road construction in Huntley, Illinois, is, at least temporarily, completed. It has been torn up at the tollway along Il-47 for much of this past year. Now, you have to worry about the multitude of stoplights where if you hit one, you hit 'em all. Of course, it shouldn't be long before construction starts again. Finished just in time for the annual turkey testicle festival at the Park Inn downtown. This is a long-standing party taking place every Wednesday before Thanksgiving, another reason for turkeys to hate the holiday. //// Stopped at Stark's Corner by Il-47 and US-20 south of Huntley. This has been a gas station for a long time, but the original structures have been torn down and non-descript modern buildings built. They are also usually the most expensive gas on 47 and were at $3.30. "Gambling has come to Stark's Corner!!" Those video slot machines that are popping up in pretty much every bar in the state are also at Stark's now. I didn't, of course, play. I did buy a pack of Sabritones chile and lime chips. I really love those and this is the only place I've ever seen them. //// Beer and Testicles Tonight in Huntley. --RoadDog

Route 66 Continues Slim Lead Over Lincoln Highway in IHSA Playoffs

Going into the final week championships this Friday and Saturday (played at NIU's Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Illinois, a homefield advantage for Lincoln Highway), Route 66 continues its one game lead. //// Remaining teams for Route 66 are 5A Springfield-- Sacred Heart-Griffin and 2A Stauton. //// The remaining team for the Lincoln Highway is6A Batavia. //// Staunton will play Friday and the other two on Saturday. //// So it comes down to the final day. //// And Me Being Strictly Neutral, Go, Both Roads!! --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NC Bound Thanksgiving 2013: The Drive's A to Z, Music to Cruise By

Nothing like great road cruising music and this is exactly what I had. The Drive had begun this A to Z all the way back on last Thursday and they were planning on finishing sometime today. Around 2,000 songs played during that period. As you can see in the previous post, we were now in the letter "T" when I left: TURN TURN TURN-- Byrds // TURN UP THE RADIO-- Autograph (The things go better with Coke song.) // TURNING JAPANESE-- Vapors (Rats, got it in my head again.) TUSH-- ZZ Top // TUSK-- Fleetwood Mac // UNCLE JON'S BAND-- Grateful Dead // UNDER MY THUMB-- Rolling Stones // UNDER MY WHEELS-- Alice Cooper. //// I left Spring Grove at 8:55 CST, reading at 29.0 mpg, mileage 22,478 and set the trip odometer to zero. Tuned into WDRV right away as the CDs could definitely wait. //// Many of the roads were covered with mud from farm machinery as they were finishing harvest season and we'd had some rain. I noticed someone had made a dinosaur out of scrap metal on Ringwood Road near Miller Road. Gas in Woodstock was $3.25, usually some of the most expensive gas in the area. Have That Stupi Japanese Sounds in My Head. -- RoadDog

NC Bound-- Thanksgiving 2013: Driving Down the Road and Road Music, Nov. 21st

Last minute packing and had to get a gallon of gas to mix with two-stage oil for the snowblower and fire it up, just in case of snow while I was gone. It fired up. Lots and lots of smoke, though. Drove to Woodstock, Illinois, and picked up Il-47 south. //// Enjoyed listening to the Drive's A to Z along the way, first on 96.9 FM and then 97.1 FM. The two stations siulcast. Those songs are the way to travel, starting with TUNNEL OF LOVE by Bruce Springsteen. ///// And then: TURN IT ON AGAIN (LIVE)-- Genesis // TURN ME LOOSE-- Loverboy // TURN THE PAGE-- Bob Seger // TURN TO STONE-- ELO. //// And, That's Just to Get Going. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NIU Homecoming-- Part 6: The Game and Footstompers

We had great chairback seats on the 45 yard line about twenty rows up. NIU was supposed to handle Akron easily, but that was not the case. Northern led most of the game, but not by much. We left with five minutes left and Northern hanging onto a 27-20 lead. We had to get to Lord Stanley's to get a seat for the Footstompers and still were too late and had to stand for awhile before getting seats at the bar. Liz is a master at getting seats in crowded places. //// We saw that Northern had won by that score and the Dekalb Footstompers opened with The Huskie Fight Song and everybody was singing at the top of their voices. The party was on. //// Right after the song, Dave, the guitarist (the others play the drums, accordion and tuba) said this was the 40th straight homecoming that they had played and we were there for the very first one in 1973 at the old Andy's on Lincoln Highway. And, here we all are again. Three of the four members of the Footstompers are original. Talk about your longevity. //// And, as usual, it was a great party. We stayed for two sets before driving back to the hotel. //// We then walked across the street to Pizza Pros and had some nightcap drinks and enjoyed watching the students. Were we ever that young? //// Another Great NIU Homecoming. --RoadDog

NIU Homecoming-- Part 5: Tailgating and the Prez

Continued from November 13th. //// We found out that the store in the Barsema Alumni Center was having technical difficulties with their cash register and wouldn't open for awhile, so we took a walk around the alumni tailgating area. All sorts of the schools had tents with free food, pop and were giving away free NIU stuff. All things that I really like. //// First stop was the NIU Alumni tent and then the College of Education. Ran into Terri who is our contact at Northern for our education scholarship and she took us over and introduced us to NIU's new president, Doug Baker. He is a very approachable man and had pictures taken. I think he will continue the great job Dr. Peters did before him. //// Went back to the Barsema Center a couple times and on the third, saw the store was open. I immediately went in and spent $30 for the book, but unfortunately, Dan, the author, had left by then so I didn't get it signed. //// Disappointed, we walked over to the stadium and picked up our will call tickets then went over to the huge Fatty's tent where a band was playing and had a couple brews before game time. ---RoadDog

Ten Tips for Avoiding Speeding Tickets-- Part 2

Continued from Nov. 13th. ////4. KEEP QUIET. Present your license, registration and insurance card. Be polite but don't answer anything else. Don't swear at the officer or be confrontational. //// 5. FIGHT EVERY TICKET in court. //// 6. Check for TECHNICAL CALIBRATION OF THE RADAR.Check the MANUAL on UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE. Make sure the speed limit signs are up to code. //// 8. The JUDGE is not there to find you not guilty. They are a part of the revenue collection machine. Give them a reason to find you not guilty. Ask your arresting officers questions in court. //// 9. Get a FRIEND in your local police department. //// Pressure your STATE REPRESENTATIVE to stop federal and state incentives for speeding tickets. //// "Hey Judge, Old Buddy, Old Pal." as Jerry Reed Said. --RoadDog

Great BBQ Joints

From the May 8, 2013, Yahoo! Travel, Forbes "Great BBQ joints across America" by Larry Olmsted. //// I'm just listing them. Check out the article for pictures and more information: OKLAHOMA JOE'S BBQ-- Kansas City, Missouri // HOT ROD'S REAL PIT BBQ-- Wharton, Hew Jersey // THE SALT LICK-- Driftwood and Round Rock, Texas // THE SHED BBQ & BLUES JOINT-- Mississippi and Alabama. The original one is in Ocean Spring, Mississippi (We've eaten at this one). Also Gulfport, Miss. and Mobile, Alabama. // SWEET CHEEKS-- Boston // 17TH STREET BAR & GRILL & MEMPHIS CHAMPIONSHIP BARBECUE-- 3 in Illinois (including the original), two in Las Vegas // CENTRAL BBQ-- Memphis , Tennessee // DINOSAUR BBQ-- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut // HITCHING POST and HITCHING POST 2-- Casmalia and Buellton, California // OAK, THE NEW FAT ALLEY-- Tellerude, Colorado. //// Love My 'Cue, But No NC? --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Final Points On the Map-- Part 7: Point Roberts, Washington

Occupying a geographical oddity, residents of the peninsula that is home to Point Roberts, Washington (pop. 1,314), must drive through Canada to get to the rset of the U.S. mainland by land. //// The unincorporated community, known locally as "The Point" rests on five-square miles of U.S. soil because it is south of the 49th parallel which consitutes the Canada-U.S. border. //// The peninsula is twenty miles south of Vancouver, Canada, but has its own U.S. post office and even zip code, but is not physically connected with the rest of the nation. //// The Oregon Treaty of 1846 ended a long-standing border dispute but created this quirk on the map. Living in Point Roberts can be challenging. Public school students in grades 4-12 are transported daily by bus into Canada, around Boundary Bay and back to the U.S. for classes in Blaine, Washington (pop. 4,6840. Navigating international checkpoints, especially in this day and age, can be very frustrating for residents needing to get somewhere fast. //// At the same time, however, some Point Roberts citizens consider their situation like living in a gated community. //// Interesting Places. --RoadDog

Monday, November 18, 2013

Route 66 Hangs Onto One-Team Lead

After four rounds, there are four Rt. 66 teams remaining and three Lincoln Highway, with both roads losing three teams. REMAINING ROUTE 66 TEAMS: 7A: Edwardsville // 6A: East St. Louis // 5A: Springfield--Sacred Heart and 2A: Staunton. //// REMAINING LINCOLN HIGHWAY TEAMS: 6A: New Lenox-- Providence and Batavia // 3A: Aurora Christian. //// Best of Luck to the Remaining Teams. --RoadDog

Route 12 Wins Over US-14 Again

After four rounds, US Highway 12 (Rand Road in Illinois) is the last-man standing in its competition with US Highway 14 (Northwest Highway). This last Saturday, all three remaining US-14 teans went down to defeat. US-12's Lake Zurich, about 15 miles from here, won their game. //// Lake Zurich was the only remaining of four US-12 teams after the very first round. US-14 started off with a 7-4 lead. //// Congratulations US-12!! Way to Hang In There!! --RoadDog

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Music, Northern Illinois and Eating

Hopefully you have tuned into WDRV, the Drive here in Chicago while they run their semiannual "A to Z" where they play some 2,000 songs over a week+ and do it alphabetically. It streams on www.wdrv.com. //// We have been wearing Northern Illinois gear all over of late and we sure are getting a lot of congratulations and compliments on how well our football team is doing. The last place we went today, there was a guy who graduated from NIU in 2003 and had been married on the football field of Huskie Stadium and had his reception in the Barsema Alumni Center. //// The bartender at Main Street Station said he had watched the game Wednesday and that earlier today some NIU alumni had been there and were making bids on the football teams U.S. veterans gear worn that night. //// Also at the last place, I overheard a guy across the bar from us talking about the old Puppet Bar and saying that all the old puppets had been destroyed. I told him that four remained at which time he looked at me and said, ?Mu God, you're Don T. Magestic!!" That was my old deejay name. It turns out he was a regular at the old Neptune's Cove and Eagle Point where I really cut my teeth learning how to disc jockey. He still gets together with the owners of Neptune's Cove and will send them a picture. //// And, did we ever do some eating at the Taste of McHenry Christmas Walk, hitting about ten places. //// It Was a Great Day. --RoadDog

Points On the Map-- Part 6: The Southernmost Point

A painted concrete buoy, erected in 1983, at the corner of South and Whitehead streets in Key West, Florida (pop. 24,649) marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. It draws nearly a million visitors a year-- almost all with cameras. //// Key West Mayor Craig Cates, 60, likes to say: "We could make a lot of money for the city if we had a dollar for every photo." //// Actually, cartograophers list Ballast Key, a privately owned island in the Florida Keys, as the official southernmost point, but Key West gets the public honors with its stunning ocean view and the fact the buoy is just 90 miles from Cuba. //// The buoy sits right where a Western Union cable once connected with Cuba. A nearby plaque commemorates Cubans who have drowned trying to escape Castro's Cuba. //// We used to stay at the Southernmost Motel right close by that buoy. //// The buoy reads: The Conch republic (with logo) // 90 Miles to Cuba // Southernmost // Point // Continental // U.S.A. // Key Wesy, Fl // Home of the Sunset. //// No Doubt, Those Sunsets Are Outstanding. --RoadDog

Friday, November 15, 2013

US-14 Still Leads US-12

At the end of the second round of the IHSA football playoffs, US-14 (Northwest Highway) still maintains a lead over US-12 (Rand Road) but it is now down to 3-1. //// US-14 teams still remaining: 8A Barrington // 6A Crystal lake- Prairie Ridge // 4A Harvard. //// For US-12, the sole remaining team is still Lake Zurich going into the third round. //// RoadDog

Points On the Map-- Part 5: Four Corners Monument

Many states share tri-points, but Four Corners is the only quadripoint in the country. //// According to James Fraser Hart, professor of geography at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, "Boundary lines follow human activity.... they follow the way people use the land." //// Otherwise, they are typically drawn in straight lines such as Four Corners which was largely unsettled in 1848 when Mexico ceded the area to the United States after the Mexican War. In 1863, Congress approved a map with straight lines running east to west and north to south which created Four Corners shared by four states eventually. //// Of course, boundaries often follow rivers and there are none in the area. There are a lot of straight line state borders out west. //// Two More to Go. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Route 66 Still Leads, But Lincoln Highway Cuts Into Lead

After the end of week two, Route 66 still leads Lincoln Highway 7-6 with the Lincoln Way teams making a big impact on the Lincoln Highway. //// ROUTE 66 TEAMS REMAINING: 7A Edwardsville // 6A East St. Louis // 5A Joliet Cathonic, Springfield-- Sacred Heart-Griffin and Normal University // 4A Belleville Althoff Catholic // 3A Williamsville // 2A Staunton, //// REMAINING LINCOLN HIGHWAY TEAMS: 7A Frankfort Lincoln Way East // 6A New Lenox-- Providence // 6A Batavia and Frankfort Lincoln Way North // 5A Joliet Catholic and New Lenox-- Lincoln Way West // 3A Aurora Christian. //// Going Into the Third Round. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NIU Homecoming 2013-- Part 4: NIU Football

From 1973 to about ten years ago, we used to go to every NIU Homecoming, but then had a stretch where we stopped going until about five years ago when we started going again. //// Stopped at the Barsema Alumni Center and saw that the Huskie store wasn't open, but Dan was outside at a table selling copies of his new book on NIU football. He had his own personal copy of the book on the table which was signed by most of the Huskie greats that he features in it. Once the Huskie store opened, we could go in and buy a copy and he would sign it. //// While waiting, we talked Huskie football, something I always enjoy doing. He said that writing the book came about because it combines three of his favorite things: NIU, NIU football and writing. //// He grew up in Odell, Illinois, before attending NIU. Odell is on Route 66 so we had something else to talk about as Liz and I are huge Route 66 fans. //// He agrees that it was a complete shame that the 2003 team didn't get to go to a bowl game even after posting a 10-2 record, beating Iowa State, a ranked Maryland and, best of all, a ranked Alabama. This happened while a lot of 6-6 teams played in bowl games. Anyone who says NIU didn't belong at this year's Orange Bowl should consider our trip makes up for that huge slight back in 2003. //// Always Great to Talk Huskie Football. --RoadDog

Points On the Map-- Part 4: Four Corners Monument

Where four states converge and visitors enjoy the unique Four Corners Monument and the photo-op it has where you can be in four states simultaneously. //// A bronze disk is embedded in granite marks the very spot near Tee Nos Pos, Arizona (pop. 730). It is surrounded by seals and flags that honor the four states and tribal nations that share the georgraphical point. The site is managed by the Navajo Nation, which charges $3 admission per person. //// Snapshots of the some 250,000 visitors show creativity such as the boy doing pushups with one hand in Colorado, the other in Utah, one foot in Arizona, the other in New Mexico. A girl performs a backbend the same way. (With me it would be me getting hurt in four states all at once.) A couple kisses across state borders. More to Come. --RoadDog

Points On the Map-- Part 3: The Mason-Dixon Line

One major accomplishment was transporting the heavy stones, which were made in England and it wasn't like they were using established roads. They were forging through wilderness and setting a marker every mile as well as placing crown stones bearing the coat of arms of the Penn and Calvert families every fifth mile. //// Babcock says that toward the end they had 115 men employed in the effort, "a small army." The east-west portion parallels latitude calculated from 15 miles south of Colonial Philadelphia. //// Using modern tools, volunteers have located 190 of the 230 markers along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, repairing many and replacing a few. Many of them are on private land and others are open to public view. //// An added bonus of my trip along the old National Road from Wheeling, West Virginia, a few years ago was seeing a couple of the Mason-Dixon markers, especially since I am into the Civil War. //// North or South of That Line. --RoadDog

Ten Tips to Avoid Speeding Tickets-- Part 1

From the November 4, 2013, Yahoo! Autos, Popular Mechanics by Phil Berg. A Bad Thing That Can Happen to You While Driving. Richard Diampnd of the Washington Times really hates speeding tickets ever since he got his first one at age 16 and he's been fighting them ever since. He says, "The motorist is a source of revenue." Some 54% of all tickets given out are still for speeding. //// These are his tips to avoid 'em: // 1. If traffic suddenly slows, there is a reason. Usually a cop. // 2. Be ready for anything. There are moving and stationary radar and speed carmeras. In Vermont, all officers have to do is guess how fast you're going and it will hold up in court. // 3. Keep a low profile. Don't call attention to yourself. A minivan is less likely to be watched than a Ferrari. //// I'd like to add a few at this point. Keep an eye in the rearview mirror as they can come up behind you. Plus, if you see the people behind you slowing down, there is probably a cop back there. Never be the fastest car out there. If you are constantly passing cars and no one has passed you in awhile, slow down. If the trucks slow down, you'd best do so as well. //// Of course, as I get older, I don't drive as fast as I am usually not in a big hurry to get there plus slower speed saves gas. //// Those Things Are Expensive, Plus Don't Help Your License. --RoadDog

Ten Best Islands

From the Nov. 11, 2013, Yahoo! Travel, Conde Nast Traveler. //// These picks by their readers. Photos and text in the article. //// 10. Big Island, Hawaii // 9. Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia (Hundreds of islands and I thought it was just reefs.) // 8. Oahu, Hawaii // 7. Moorea, Moorea // Sea Island, Georgia // Bora Bora, French Polynesia // Kiawah Island, SC // 3. Maldives, Indian Ocean // Kauai, Hawaii // Maui, Hawaii (The last two weeks I wrote about Maui during the war in my World War II blog "Tattooed On Your Soul." //// --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Points On a Map-- Part 2: The Mason-Dixon Line

THE MASON-DIXON LINE: Best known as the demarcation between North and South in the years leading up to and including the Civil War, but this survey libe was actually erected a century before the war to settle a Colonial feud between Pennsylvania and Maryland. //// The Penn family of Pensylvania and the Calvert family of Maryland had long argued about the border between their two colonies and, abiding by a court order, hired the acclaimed English surveyors George Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to mark the border. //// Placement of stone markers began in 1763 and some of those stones are still there and also by borders of Dealaware and West Virginia. //// Todd Bacock, 48, a surveyor from Athens, Pennsylvania, helped launch the Mason & Dixon Line Preservation Partnership in 1990 and has spent many hours working to preserve these historic markers. He is amazed at the accuracy of the line, which was charted based on the stars, as well as the sheer physical accomplishment of marking it. More to Come. --RoadDog

Monday, November 11, 2013

Points On the Map-- Part 1: Geographic Center of Lower United States

From the July 21-27, 2013 American Profile Magazine "Points on the Map: Searching for America's significant, historic and quirky landmarks" by Carol Crupper. //// "Man-made boundaries sometimes make for interesting landmarks. American Profile looks at five unique points on the U.S. map." 1. GEOGRAPHIC CENTER OF THE CONTIGUOUS UNTED STATES: A trapezoidal stone structure with plaque two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas. (pop. 218) marks this point. This is the georgraphic center of the Lower 48 states and is marked by a ten-foot high monument (climbing on it is forbidden, however). //// A 1918 survey established the spot and in 1941, civil leaders in Lebanon donated money and labor to build the monument figuring it would be good for tourism. In a case of build it and they will come, even before the movie, tourists began arriving. //// And, they're ot just from the U.S. They've also had a Japanese game show as well as an "X-Men" movie film crew. //// One Dowm, Four to Go. --RoadDog

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An Old Marine, Well Sorta, Celebrates the 238th Birthday

Today, Movember 10th, 238 years ago, the USMC was established. Yesterday, I went to the Tom Grosvenor Memorial Marine Corps Breakfast with a whole big roomful of jarheads at the Fox Lake (Ill.) American Legion. //// I was a Marine for six short weeks in OCS at Quantico, Virginia, as they needed second lieutenants but then the Vietnam War ended so they didn't need me. //// Regardless, I was Marinized. //// I'll be writing about it next week in my Wortld War II blog. //// Happy Birthday, USMC. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NIU Homecoming 2013-- Part 3

Once checked into the Best Western on Lincoln Highway (Il-38) we immediately went next door to Fatty's to see if they had new NIU Football 2013 mugs. The parking lot was jammed, so decided to try again later. //// But, a wrong attempt to get into the parking area at the Convocation Center and we found ourselves again passing Fatty's so this time parked at another hotel and Liz walked over. They were charging $5 to get in, but let her go in when she said we were just there to get mugs. They had them and now they are on our kitchen counter with ones from the last two years. //// We had a parking place in the preferred area by the Barsema Alumni Center and had no problem with this attempt at parking. The NIU alumni tents were right there as well. //// We stopped at the Barsema Center and found the author of the new "NIU Football" book was there to sell and autograph copies of it. It was just printed a few months ago and definitely comes at the right time as these are the best years of Huskie football since we went to Division 1A. We had had great success in the early 50s and 60s, but not much until Joe Novak took over the program in the 90s and built the success we have today. //// These Are Great Times to Be a Huskie Fan (and believe me, we went through some mighty hard times before we got here). -- RoadDog

10 Great Places: Take Out-- Part 4

PEQUOD'S PIZZA-- CHICAGO //// Patterson was amazed when he saw the deep-dish pizza with a caramelized crust served at this Lincoln Park spot. "This was the thickest pizza I've ever seen. You have to put up a fight with this slice to get it out." You have to wind the string of cheese with a fork. "It's like catching a big fish." //// FAT MAN'S RIB SHACK-- ATLANTA //// "You pick up the rib and the meat falls right off the bone." He also likes the three cheese mac and cheese and collard greens. //// Some More Places I need to Go. --RoadDog

10 Great Places: Take Out-- Part 3

PLAN B BURGER-- GLASTONBURY, CONNECTICUT //// Patterson's future wife took him here on their third date. He ordered his standard: a double cheeseburger with bacon and was amazed it was half the size of his face. "They just turned my world upside down." He also likes their lobster mac and cheese. Wow, a lobster mac and cheese. Sign me up. So, you wonder why Patterson "fell" for his wife? //// IKE'S PLACE-- SAN FRANCISCO //// With hundreds of options for your sandwich, including one recently named after Patterson, this is no ordinary sandwich joint. Bread is baked to order and include a "dirty secret sauce. //// Getting "Hongry." --RoadDog

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 Great Places: Tasty Takeout-- Part 2

WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE, NEW ORLEANS //// Patterson has had lots of fried chicken in his life, but he is very impressed with the spicy golden-brown coating at this Mid-City eatery. The greens and cornbread is just as good. //// SAMMY'S FAMOUS PIESHAKES-- PROVO, UTAH-- The name says it all. Patterson was impressed with the milk shake they makes with a slice of pie, milk and ice cream. They throw it into a blender and mix it. You can pick pieces of the pie out of the shake. //// POK POK-- PORTLAND, OREGON-- Patterson usually sticks with dishes he knows, but really liked the muu satch, a grilled chicken skewer served at this popular Thai restaurant. //// Eatin' On the Go. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NIU Homecoming 2013-- Part 2: Pumpkins to the left, Pumpkins to the Right

I should mention tha while bypassing some of the traffic on Il-47 in Woodstock, we had quite a delay while we waited for traffic pulling into the McHenry County Fairgrounds for the big annual Hot Rod and Cycle Show. //// Just south of US-14 on Il-47, we saw a big crowd at the Red Barn Pumpkin Festival. //// Fall festivals have become big business in these parts. There is a huge one just a mile from our house at Stade Farm and another one a few miles west of Il-47 on Il-176 going to Marengo. These last two places have parking for hundreds of cars and usually are quite full when we drive by. There is another huge one on Il-47 just past the tollway in Huntley called Goebel's. We always like the giant pumpkin on top of the silo. //// It also seems like most farms, and this is big-time farm country, have at least pumpkins for sale. They don't call Illinois the Pumpkin State for nothing, regardless of what our politicians do. //// It Was a Real Orange Experience Driving to Dekalb. --RoadDog

10 Great Places: Tasty Takeout-- Part 1

From the July 26, 2013, USA Today "10 Great Places: We're all in for takeout this tasty" by Larry Bleiberg. //// Daymon "Daym" Patterson, host of the new Travel Channel show "Best Daym Takeout" likes to eat in his car. Here are ten of his favorite spots to do this: SAMMY'S FISH BOX in BRONX, NY: City island eatery. Loves the huge portions, especially the shrimp cocktail, cod and his favorite, the fried shrimp. //// POSITIVE PIE in MONTHPELIER, VERMONT: Especially liked the meatless margherita pizza. //// DINO'S CHICKEN AND BURGERS in LOS ANGELES: Family-run and has incredible chicken in a Greek marinade served with a tortilla and cole slaw. //// Take Me Out to the Restaurant. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

10 of America's Oldest Eateries-- Part 10: The Log Inn

THE LOG INN WARRENTON, INDIANA //// In 1825, Henry Haub built the one-room log inn on the stagecoach route between Evansville and Vincennes, Indiana, and the place has been feeding hungry travelers ever since. In 1844, Abraham Lincoln dined here on a stop while campaigning for Henry Clay's run for the presidency. In the 1860s, the inn's cellar became a stop on the Underground Railroad. //// Today, on a busy Saturday, the place gets as many as 500 people for country fare served family-style at each table. //// Now, this is a place I will definitely put on my list of visits as I often drive through Evansb]ville along US-41 coming back or going to North Carolina. I did drive by it once, but had just eaten. It is 12 miles north of Evansville and 1 mile east of US-41. //// Getting Hungry Just Thinking About It. --RoadDog

10 of America's Oldest Eateries-- Part 9:: Hays House

HAYS HOUSE COUNCIL GROVE, KANSAS //// Located along the old Santa Fe Trail, the Hays House Restaurant has been feeding travelers since 1857. Seth Hays, the town's founder and great-grandson of Daniel Boone, built the log building, which is still part of the restaurant. //// Fried chicken, ham and from-scratch food are still trademarks. It was frequented by 7th Cavalry Lt. Col. George Custer during the 1860s. //// A 2011 fire threatened to close it down, but 25 town residents chipped in and bought the landmark. //// So It Continues. --RoadDog

10 of America's Oldest Eateries-- Part 8: Tadich Grill

These are taken from theAmerican profile Magazine article by the same title. All of these places are now on my radar to visit. I love good food along with my history. I had heard of Pirates' House, Old Talbott Tavern, The Golden Lamb, The Log Inn and Antoine's. //// TEDICH GRILL, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA //// Established during the Gold Rush of 1849 as a coffee stand in a tent on a bustling wharf in San Francisco Bay, the relocated grill remains busy with lines waiting for a table or stool at the 80-foot-long counter. //// A no-frills restaurant claiming to be the nation's first eatery to grill seafood over mesquite charcoal (since 1920). Seafood's the thing, but also steak, lamb and corned beef hash. //// I Left My What in S.F.? -- RoadDog

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 of America's Oldest Eateries-- Part 7: The Golden Lamb

THE GOLDEN LAMB, LEBANON, OHIO //// Jonas Seaman opened the inn and tavern in 1803 and chose an easy to illustrate name since many pioneers couldn't read. Today, customers can still feast just as the ones in the past did and that includes 12 U.S. presidents and English novelist Charles Dickens, who has a dining named in his honor. //// Furnishings include more than a hundred antique Shaker tables, chairs, chests and cupboards. Definitely try their famous Sister Lizzie's Shake Sugar Pie, made from a recipe found in one of the inn's cabinets. It is Ohio's oldest inn. //// I was fortunate to visit there, but can't remember if we ate there while on an American Road roadtrip or just had drinks in the bar. //// --RoadDog

Second Annual US-14 Vs. US-12 Football Showdown Results After Week One

US-14, Northwest Highway, dropped three teams from 7 to 4 in last weekend's action, but still hold a 4-1 lead over US-12. It had been a 7-4 lead. Remaining US-14 schools: 8A Barrington // 6A: Crystal Lake-- Prairie Ridge // 5A: Woodstock-- Marion Central // 4A: Harvard. //// The only remaining US-12, Rand Road, team is 7A's Lake Zurich. //// Best of Luck in Week Two. --RoadDog

Remaining Lincoln Highway Schools At End of First Week

These schools located along the Lincoln Highway remain for the second round. They are down to 9 from 17. Both roads (also Route 66) lost 8 teams in the first round. Again, schools are listed from largest, 8A, to smalled, 1A,: 8A: Aurora-- Waubonse Valley; // 7A: Frankfort: Lincoln Way East; // 6A: New Lenox-- Providence; Aurora-Marmion Academy; Batavia; Frankfort- Lincoln Way North; // 5A: Joliet Catholic; Maple Park- Kaneland; New Lenox- Lincoln Way West; // 4a: Rochelle; // 3A: Aurora Catholic. //// Best of Luck in Round Two. --RoadDog

Monday, November 4, 2013

Route 66 Maintains Its Slight Lead Over the Lincoln Highway

After the first round this past weekend, Route 66 maintains its two team lead over the Lincoln Highway, 11 teams to 9. This was the same lead it had before IHSA football playoff action started. //// Route 66 teams remaining, starting with the largest school in Class 8A to 1A: //// 7A Edwardsville // 6A East St. Louis and Normal Community // 5A Joliet Catholic, Chatham-Glenwood, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Normal University // 4A Belleville-Althoff Catholic // 3A Williamsville // 2A Carlinville and Staunton. //// Maintaining the Lead. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 2, 2013

10 Of America's Oldest Eateries-- Part 6: Antoine's Restaurant

ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. //// Before Antoine Alciatore began dishing up French-Creole cuisine at his restaurant in 1840, most meals at public tables were basic offerings of boiled or roasted meat, fowl or fish without sauces. //// Alciatore introduced culinary delights such as chicken creole, crawfish etouffee and shrimp remoulade and helped make New Orleans a world-class dining destinatiom. In 1889, his son Jules created oysters Rockefeller, a rich green dish the color of money and named for oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. //// Today, the founder's great-great grandson Rick Blount, 56, continues the family's tradition at America's oldest family-run restaurant. //// I had heard that the place was quite expensive which kept us from going there the one time we were in New Orleans, but, next time. ///// On My List of Places to Eat. --RoadDog

The Color Around Here Finally Arrived

This has been quite a strange fall as far as the color of the leaves is concerned. Some trees already turned and are bare, still others haven't even started to turn yet. However, the mass of them are now in full color. I read in the Tribune that the warm fall in the early going delayed the turning. And, we did have a spell of frost in the mornings. That always brings it on. //// This is at least two weeks after when it usually happens, but tomorrow we plan to take full advantage of it and take a cruise through the countryside. And, after all, Da Bears don't play until Monday night. //// Our subdivision is beautiful, plus Grasslake Road from State Park Road to the bridge is amazing. //// I'd say Geneva Lake is in the plans for this coming week. //// Enjoying It While We Can. --RoadDog

Friday, November 1, 2013

100 Year Old's Birthday Gift, a Ride in Her '41 Ford

From the Oct. 21, 2013, Yahoo! Shine by Beth Greenfield. //// Helen Wall of Massachusetts was in her 20s when her husband Wally shipped off for World War II as a fighter pilot. He had just recently bought a brand new 1941 Ford Super Deluxe convertible for $1,100. On his return from service, they drove that car for ten years. //// This past Monday, just a couple days from her 100th birthday, she got a special birthday ride in that very same car. Her husband died 21 years ago, but back in the 1950s, they sold the car for a couple thousand dollars in order to buy a VW bus they needed for their greenhouse business. //// The buyer of the car was neighbor Ed Smith, who, a short time later moved several towns away. Smith is a vintage car collector and kept the vehicle and still owns it. //// On Monday, he drove it to the care center where Helen Wall lives and picked her up. She is in the nursing home only because she can no longer walk. //// Afterwards, she related some favorite memories of the car like driving around with the top down, the color of it and her getting a drivers license just before they bought it. She said her husband tried to teach her but got mad and quit. She went on to get driving lessons on her own and passed. //// That Was Sure Some Birthday Present. --RoadDog