Tag Archives: interstate 80

L.Woods/Chicago (by way of Wisconsin) and Sapp Brothers Gas West of Peru, Illinois 

Uneventful drive from Des Moines to Chicago today on Interstate 80, which is the way I like it although it was strange to think that dirck was flying above me somewhere near on a flight to Chicago and then frankfort and Warsaw. The highlight of the drive was cheap gas at Sapp Brothers ($1.93 a gallon) just west of the bigger Peru exit where the gas was $2.24.

MAT, emma, Rocket and I had dinner at L.Woods in Lincoln woods, just west of the Edgewater neighborhood. The place looked like a real Wisconsin backwoods lodge with piney wood walls, rugged decor, outdoorsmen gear, dim lighting, leather but beyond the kitsch the food was good and yes, hearty. Excellent western style brisket, ribs and fried walleye. MAT liked table 133 (I think) in a less crowded rear room where it was easier to hear our conversation.

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Filed under Chicago, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving order out or possible pit stop on I-80 in Eastern Iowa: Augusta Restaurant

Always looking for places to eat just off Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa (a road oft-traveled) so thanks to Jennifer Miller at the DM Register for suggesting this place Augusta Restaurant in Oxford, Iowa although not sure I can handle the turducken (photo below – that’s a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey…and it’s available for Thanksgiving order….


*Turduckens *


Turducken-( All deboned by Chef Ben A chicken stuffed in duck stuffed in turkey with cornbread and Andouille sausage stuffing between each layer).

Includes two quarts of gravy. 120 $ NO price on the Organic Turkeys just yet.( let us know if you are interested in one)

Additional sides can be purchased (come in large metal square pans feeds 12 ) Some Prices have changed do to food costs

*Sweet Potatoes with roasted praline topping $25

*Green Bean Casserole with homemade cream of mushroom soup and topped with french fried onions $25

*Cranberry Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce $15

*Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie $35

*Bread Pudding $25

All you have to do is reheat!!!!!!!!

Your whole entire Thanksgiving for up to 12 people is only 259.70!

You can purchase separately of course ,

No, having to run around shopping for everything and then cooking

plus your meal is prepared by an award winning Chef !!

Please call soon there will be a cut off . The sooner you call the more options for pick up ‘

We will be delivering to DesMoine to the Yacht Club on Ingersoll.

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Filed under DESTINATIONS - Iowa, DINING, interstates

Comfort in(n) LeClaire Iowa

Horrible drive last night on I 80 from Des Moines east to Le Claire, with nonstop rain and episodic bursts of rain so intense we could hardly see the road. Then there were the trucks, oblivious to the ordinary driver’s challenges, zooming past us in a blur of metal and water, spraying even more water onto our already challenged windshield wipers. Enough. We aborted plans to arrive in Chicago in time for our son’s commencement ceremony this morning and checked into a brand new Comfort Inn on a bluff above the Mississippi. Now we are on the road with better, if not totally clear, skies and will meet our son for lunch snd tomorrow’s convocation, the real event where he walks across the stage. (Today’s is the full university and some speeches and celebrities honored (Stevie wonder, Des Moines native Cloris Leachman. Would have liked to be there but glad we stopped.)

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Snowy drive on I 80 through Illinois

so far we have seen two cars in the ditch along Interstate 80 heading east through Illinois from Iowa but the roads aren’t that bad and we have seen several plows. very foggy and wintery scene. wish I was in the country Peru rather than Peru Illinois.



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Filed under Illinois, interstates, Uncategorized

Pain in the neck paying my “unpaid toll” in Illinois

Illinois Tollway logo.png

It took me about an hour to figure out how to pay my 60 cent “unpaid toll” on Interstate 284 online, in part because I couldn’t figure out which of the many interchanges was the specific one that I drove through without paying because I had two untenable choices – the exact change lanes or the i-pass lanes, neither of which I had. My advice in the future: if you do drive through without paying – try to figure out or make a mental note of where you are and the exchange number if possible (I don’t recall one being posted anywhere.) And you have to pay within 7 days or supposedly you are liable for a $20 fine. We had another situation like this on I-88 with unpaid tolls (this time because are only option was NOT to pay since the toll booths were unattended after 10 p.m. or so when we were passing through during our drive from Des Moines) and we got some sort of threatening warning that the third unpaid toll would not be a charm. And this was several years ago (we stopped going on I-88 after Illinois jacked up the tolls so markedly and now we go primarily on toll-free I-80…our tolls last week was because we took toll roads to Oak Park and to Evanston rather than taking toll-free I-55 into Chicago, as usual.)

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Filed under Illinois, interstates

Avoiding the overpriced toll roads into Chicago from Iowa – how I avoided I-88

I used to drive from Iowa to Chicago on Interstate 88 through Illinois but not any more. The tolls (especially for drivers paying cash vs. using ipass) have gotten way too high, reaching $10.20 this year. (I used a handy online toll calculator, http://www.illinoistollway.com/tolls-and-i-pass/toll-information/trip-calculator, to confirm that it would have cost me $10.20 to use I-88 between western Illinois and Chicago.)

On the way to Chicago, I drove Interstate 80 which has no tolls (in Illinois at least) although it does have a lot of road construction. But on the way back to Iowa, I had to stop off at my sister’s in Oak Park – which is closer to I-88. So the trick was: how to get to I-80 without adding too much time to my trip or paying too many tolls en route. I’m not sure I succeeded ultimately but here’s what I did: I took I-88 a few miles (paying $1.50 for the privilege) then took 355  for a few miles, which also turned out to be a toll road so I shelled out another $1.90. Then I took 355 to Interstate 55 and then to Interstate 80. Ultimately, I did save money on tolls (about $6.80)  but I  lengthened my trip slightly (by about 20 minutes, I think) and ultimately paid a little more for gas.

This is good information to have since the tolls will continue to rise in coming years, according to recent news reports, showing that they rose by 40 percent on Jan. 1, 2012 and are scheduled to rise by 10 percent each year in 2013 and 2014. argh.

I have a built-in defensive mechanism that allows me to promptly forget how much I pay for things, so I don’t wig out about all the expenses I face. Still I knew for a fact that the tolls had risen because before I didn’t really notice them but now I do, i.e. it’s the difference between repeatedly throwing a couple of quarters and dimes into a toll booth collection net and handing over a couple of bucks each time.



Filed under Chicago