Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012...

On day one we find ourselves traveling from Sparland, Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa via Routes 29 to 180 to Interstate 80.  Our route took us past some terribly dry corn fields which I suspect are a complete loss.  The corn was looking a little better in Iowa in some places but all the creeks we passed were dry and most rivers were showing sand bars in the center.  It's clear there hasn't been any appreciable rain in weeks.  This was a short day meant to cut the hours down on our long day tomorrow.  We left home at noon and arrived here about 4:30 pm.  We stopped at Exit 125 and checked into the Comfort Suites.  I'd give this motel a solid B.  They have a first and second story with no elevator.  There are also no luggage carts in the wings where the rooms are.  With America's baby-boomers aging, I would think that elevators to the second story would be necessary.  We travel with:  suitcases, several large camera bags, our own coffee pot and coffee (seriously, do they think those 12 ounce coffee pots are adequate?)  We have a two quart thermos and 2 large coffee cups (did I mention we need lots of coffee?)  I have my laptop and my purse and any souvenirs I need to pack in my suitcase.  Three trips to the car.  The room is nice.  There is an easy chair in the corner but it doesn't face the TV which is at least a 42" flat screen.  The beds are fabulous, the water pressure was good and it was my husband's kind of water (non-softened - don't get me started on that fight), the bathroom is an adequate size and the sink is in the bathroom which I like.  We have a love seat and coffee table and the air conditioning is wonderful.  So, a solid B.

We ate dinner at the Machine Shed which is a short walk from the hotel.  Decorated with old farm kitsch, it has a great gift shop where I bought something great for someone who reads my blog so I can't tell you what it is.  I will say she's sitting with my cat and it's a cooking thing I hope she'll love.  I give the food a B-.  I had the fried catfish with lots of lemon slices and a baked potato so big it was a freak of nature.  Carl had the fried chicken which he said was good.  Neither of us liked the coleslaw, I guess we're used to a sweeter slaw with chunks and this is a vinegary slaw with the cabbage looking like sauerkraut.  Carl said the corn on the cob tasted funny and he really loves corn on the cob, so.....  Service was good and the meal came family style with a basket of bread and pumpkin bread, coleslaw and cottage cheese.  We'd eat here again if we're in the area.

Click on the map to see our route today.  No pictures because it was a travel day as tomorrow will be.  Tomorrow night we'll be in Kadoka, South Dakota.  We won't stop many times tomorrow but there are a couple of traditional places we stop and I'll share those pictures with you tomorrow night.


  1. Wow, I'm waiting for you to start grading my food on Tuesdays! I hope I'm up to the scrutiny. Maybe you could get a job on Food Network, but you have to be a lot more snobby! Posted by Ruthann

  2. Loving the ratings and stories. Keep it up! Don't forget to check out the restrooms! They sometimes hold stories of their own!