Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 109, 8/25/10 - Streater to Past Kempton, IL

Just the Basics: 55 miles, mostly on very quiet rural roads. Some highway miles, some miles on gravel, some miles on macadam (crushed tightly-packed gravel), some on asphalt - pretty much all fine for riding.

Today we passed our 3000th mile and have now come about 2/3 of the way to Bar Harbor!!!!! = ) = )

Tonight we are staying in a B & B out in the country, surrounded by corn fields, and in an absolutely lovely setting - See Greenhouse B & B, below.

Tomorrow: About 35 miles to the Super 8 motel in Watseka, IL.

Today's Photos: (1) Riley celebrates Mile 3000! (2) Historic Route 66 Gas Station, Odell, IL; (3) Dinner at the Greenhouse B & B - YUM!! (See below for more on photos 2 and 3.)

For Those Who Want More:

Greenhouse B & B, 3606 N. 1700 E. Road, Kempton, IL 60946; 815-253=9020; Owners: Guia and Mark Hoffman. The Hoffmans bought this big old farm house back in the 80s and raised four children here, turning it into a B & B after the kids were grown and gone. Their focus is sustainable living - Mark is a certified permaculturalist - they have planted 60 trees, garden extensively (and organically), raise chickens and bees, can and freeze, buy locally what they don't grow themselves to the extent possible, and are active in the sustainability movement. Meals here feature the fruits of their labors and the labor of their neighbors - and are incredible; Guia is a graduate of a culinary institute in Joliet, IL. There is a beautiful Koi pond, and benches and a gazebo are tucked here and there around the gardens and yard - it is an idyllic retreat!

After we arrived we went to get what we needed from our bikes and then parked them in the Hoffman's garage. When we returned to the house Guia had refreshments waiting: A lovely chilled fruit juice and slices of French bread topped with a sort of salsa of golden tomatoes, garlic and basil, all from her garden, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese - lovely!

Dinner: When Riley originally made the reservation, they asked if there was anything we'd really like to eat and Riley told them corn on the cob, explaining that we'd envisioned feasting on it all the way across the Midwest, only to find the season ending as we arrived. Due to the 1 day delay caused by Riley's broken bike chain, we had to call back and change the date of our arrival - Mark told Riley that "the cook" (Guia) was working on the corn but had a fallback - their own, already stored in the freezer. However, she really wanted to serve us fresh corn and there it was on the table tonight; she found a friend who still had some! In addition to corn on the cob, we had:
  • Free-range turkey, raised by a neighbor;
  • Eggplant topped with lovely tomato sauce, all from their garden;
  • Mashed potatoes with turkey gravy - featuring their home-grown potatoes;
  • Croissants;
  • Garden Salad - Homegrown tomatoes, peppers, onions, sunflower seeds, and so on, plus chunks of their own apples and some very light fresh cheese - with a pesto dressing made by neighbors who raise organic Tilapia and recycle the water for their greenhouse; and

  • Almond tart (almond flour, egg white, sugar, etc.) topped with fresh mango, whipped cream and toasted coconut.

We really hope we're hungry again by morning!

The Historic Route 66 Gas Station in Odell: The station was built in the early 1930s, and once had a restaurant next door, too. At some point the restaurant was converted to a house and eventually burned down; the station itself fell into disrepair and the city planned to raze it. Somehow (wish we had the details!) they didn't - instead, the city restored it and operates it today as a sort of little museum and gift shop - pretty cool!

Food Today: Given the gourmet ending of our day, we thought you might find the day's eating record interesting:

  • Motel breakfast in Streater of coffee in the room made by Riley, then cold cereal, juice, coffee, and uninspired English muffins - the motel's "free" breakfast;
    Homemade peach pie and coffee at a brand new little restaurant where we'd stopped yesterday on our way to Streater - the town's about 6 miles off-route so we had to retrace some steps today;

  • Donuts & milk at a Casey's in Wenona, along with a couple of fresh tomatoes one of the staff had brought in. Casey's is an ubiquitous convenience store/gas station in this area. They have a pretty fair selection of groceries, good donuts, and, often, fresh fruit as well as fast food stuff.

  • Lunch at The Wishing Well in Odell - tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad, cottage cheese, chips & saltines, and iced tea (the last of the tea went into our water bottles).
  • Our last of the 2 mini-loaves of the homemade date nut bread presented to us by Michele and Glen Schwarm as we left Aunt Daisy's B & B, with some of our leftover iced tea; and

  • 1 1/2 pecan sandies along with the last of the iced tea left from lunch, about 4 miles before we got to the Greenhouse B & B.

1 comment:

  1. It is so wonderful that you have got so far. I am convinced now that you will make it all the way. You are inspiring! :^)#