Ernie and I decided to do a short overnight wander. The last week has just been, well, a lot, and I figured the salt and pepper shakers would like a bit of privacy anyway. Found a Hampton Inn in Freeport that was dirt cheap and really quite wonderful (in an old building downtown).

We had only about two things on our list. Ernie’s tired and although I’ve been pleased with how my walking has been of late, my legs were acting up a bit so we decided not to push it. Lots of pictures from the car but what the hell. The weather was gorgeous and it felt like fall. The fields were a patchwork of harvested, waiting for harvest and mid-harvest. Just gorgeous. I swear I could feel stress pouring out of me as we drove through the soft fall air with leaves beginning to sprinkle down.

Above is Catalina’s Tavern in Grand Detour, IL, which was the Red Brick Store before that. Sadly, it was too early to stop in.

Below is the Sheffield Hotel in Grand Detour. You can see the tavern at the far left. Side note: Orson Welle’s father owned this and he spent time there as a child.

From the Ogle County Historical Society:

“It was called Grand Detour because the Rock River circles there — it’s almost an island,” as Welles remembered it some 50 years later. “I never even saw the ruins of my father’s hotel. It really was a marvelous little corner in time, a kind of forgotten place … A childhood there was like a childhood back in the 1870s. No electric light, horse-drawn buggies — a completely anachronistic, old-fashioned, early-Tarkington, rural kind of life, with a country store that had above it a ballroom with an old dance floor with springs in it, so that folks would feel light on their feet. When I was little, nobody had danced up there for many years, but I used to sneak up at night and dance by moonlight with the dust rising from the floor … Grand Detour was one of those lost worlds, one of those Edens that you get thrown out of.”

Lorado Taft’s Blackhawk in Oregon, Illinois.

Above is the Potter’s Field of the Stephenson County Poor Farm. Below is Hennepin, Illinois.

Below is a rare shot of me at breakfast. That turquoise was just gorgeous and they got extra points for the corner entrance and downtown Victorian building. Service and food was delightful. Landmark Family Restaurant in Freeport.

After breakfast we just zigzagged quietly through the fields only getting on the highway around Bloomington.

Lots more to come.


Top photo: Ernie hates getting on dirt roads but sometimes he goes along with it.

2 thoughts on “Wandering into Fall

  1. Cynthia, are you a chocolate lover? My daughter is gluten-free and dairy free and made these marvelous brownies when she was here. If you love chocolate I will happily send you the recipe.