Category Archives: interstates

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

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

Dangerous toll station on 294 in Chicago

What is it with Illinois and their highway toll areas? The state seems to have sacrificed safety, among other things, in its quest to, of course, save money. Yesterday as I entered the outskirts of Chicago at rush hour on Interstate 55, I took the exit onto 294 north and as I was barreling towards a bank of toll booths with a few dollars ready I found that there were no booths or toll takers, just a bunch of automatic toll areas, either exact change or I pass. I had neither and was not about to start fumbling around to find change with cars barreling behind me. So I drove through an I pass without paying. Why risk my life for 60 cents? or any amount actually? A few miles later, at another toll area, this one with a real live toll taker, I mentioned my previous experience and the toll taker said there is are rear end accidents all the time at the previous toll area due to the poor options.

Sadly it reminded me of stories I did at a Connecticut newspaper in the 1980s on highway safety after a number of bad crashes at toll areas on Interstate 95. And to think that I came to Chicago to write about a then-state-of-the art safely designed highway (the Edens expressway, as I recall.) Not too impressed now!

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Filed under Chicago, interstates

Politically incorrect tank/good stops for dogs in Kansas

Found a good place to walk Ernie near paxico Kansas on interstate 70 west of Topeka in the flint hills (supposedly…doesn’t look much like the flint hills here. It’s a rest area with a strange concrete bunker -like structure built into a hill. There is a nice hilly stretch of land for a dog to do its business. None back on the road. We were not sure how Ernie would do hanging out in the car by herself so we ate in shifts at the chipotle in Topeka. If the weather was warmer we might have been able to sit with ernie on the outdoor patio. Are there any chain restaurants that permit dogs? I know this is Kansas not France but maybe there are.

And for those few of you driving further west, there is a dandy little rural park off highway 156/96 just before Great Bend, kansas where we had the good sense to stop and let Ernie out to stretch and, as fate would have it, throw up. One more hour in the car and then we are in…Wright, Kansas. our destination.

Hours later and we just had to stop with Ernie at one of highway 50’s highlights in the small town of Offerle…the tank in the local park, a memorial to Vietnam vets. With Santa aboard. And a politically incorrect name painted on the barrel. We are not in Iowa any more.



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Filed under interstates, Kansas misc

On the road in Kansas with Ernie (our dog)

We are on hour four of our first drive to Kansas with our eight year old vizsla on board. Five more hours to go. So far so good. Helps that our son is in the back seat with her. Driving long haul on interstates is different with a dog. Now we are keenly aware of rest areas and even better rest areas with designated pet areas like the fabulous one on interstate 35 in northern Missouri near eagleville. Ernie had a nice open field with large steel cutouts of buffalo to roam in, set back from the interstate. Perfect. Less perfect but serviceable was the island in the middle of interstate 70 east of Lawrence Kansas where we walked Ernie in a narrow strip of grass next to the McDonald’s.




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Filed under DESTINATIONS - Iowa, interstates, Kansas misc, Missouri

Avoid interstate 80 west of des Moines

Update at 10:45 am: our son reports power crews in our neighborhood. Dmregister reports that now some 10,000 people without power, primarily in des moines and back up crews have arrived from out west. Here’s hoping!

10 am We found the stretch of interstate 80 between west des Moines and Desoto Iowa very icy this morning a between 8 and 9 am, in the aftermath of the snowstorm on Wednesday night/thursday morning so avoid it if you can. There wasn’t much traffic but the cars and especially the trucks
traveling it were often going too fast, which added to our anxiety. The surface was snowpacked and/or icy much of the way.

We only drove it because we decided to take our dog to the kennel in desoto so she has a warm place to stay ( although the kennel also lost power…we discovered when we finally arrived but got it back….unlike us.) From what we can glean, our des Moines neighborhood has not been plowed and the power has not been restored. (we are in the forest dale neighborhood near drake Aand beaver dale.) yesterday was a long day in an increasingly cold house. First we had to extract our car from under a tree that fell on it…fortunately it was our kids already banged up car and a relatively small tree. Then we helped our neighbor remove a much heavier tree branch that fell across his driveway…just missing him when it crashed down from on high. My husband managed to drive his car though our unplowed neighborhood but we watched several others get stuck…and when my son and I tried to take the aforementioned kids car out at about 1 pm we got stuck in our driveway and spent about 2 hours shoveling til we got it back to where we had started. Argh. By 5 pm as it was getting dark we bailed… My husband was back with his car so we piled in and managed to get out of the neighborhood, after avoiding at least one downed power line and took icy roads to west des Moines where we stayed with very generous friends (who also took in our dog…keeping their cats holed up in their basement.)

So far the news this morning has not been encouraging. There are some 41’000 people in the des moines area without power according to the des Moines register this morn and power crews Are coming in from California. Friends who stayed in their very cold house last night said our streets hadn’t been plowed due to all the downed power lines and the power. Was not back (the unplowed roads probably didn’t help.) a catch 22 sounds like. Meanwhile last night our block was the poster child for post-storm problems on one tv station, which interviewed our next door neighbor. Not sure what comes next. Or if our plans to leave for a nine hour drive to Kansas for a family Xmas will change.



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Filed under Des Moines, DESTINATIONS - Iowa, interstates, Uncategorized