Skip to main content

I love a good road trip. I love pointing the car in a direction, and then having time to sit and think, listen and reflect. Soul Farm is about a 90 minute drive for me, not too far to go for just a visit or check up, there and back before evening rush hour. I love looking at the expanse of sky, seeing weather patterns in all directions; rain falling far to the north; sun breaking through the clouds to the south. Rarely in life do we have the chance to see such a big picture. The wide open country spaces really enlarge one’s perspective.

Anyone who has been to my yoga classes knows I can turn just about anything into a philosophical message. Country roads are no exception. I love thinking about life as a long, gravel road. Sometimes, we come to an intersection, and have to decide which road to follow. Sometimes our vehicle is a Ferrari, and sometimes it’s our feet. Here, I have the best vehicle ever. This is the view from atop Mack. I have ridden many horses down this stretch of gravel. I feel a little sad looking at this photo, as Mack is now in his mid 30s, and I’ll probably never see this view again. He was a wonderful ride. But, life is just like that, right? Just as the ease of our ride can change, so will the friends we share our ride with.

One of the coolest things about the country roads west of Chicago is the sites along the way. I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you. This little stand is just about a mile from Soul Farm. With signage this well done, the photo needs no explanation.

Here’s another example of “Signage that Judi just can’t resist”. But wait, it gets better.

Pull up into the yard and you will find yourself approaching the “Egg Hut”.

Open the door of the Egg Hut and you will find a marvel of retail efficiency.

Continue down the country roads and you’ll pass through many small towns. But, I challenge you to find one like West Brooklyn (right down the road from Soul Farm). The population of 200 puts it in the census category of “Purty Darn Small”. A family I knew a few years ago lived a couple miles outside of West Brooklyn. They would regularly ride their horses into town, tie them up outside of the tavern, and go in for pizza. Yup, these places still exist in Illinois.

Here is another small town find, the Serena Cafe in Serena, Illinois. I was out picking up some hay and stopped in. Couldn’t resist the “Air Conditioned” sign.

It has the cutest little inside you ever did see, complete with farmers discussing the weather.

And, of course, this is a country road sight that had me screeching my brakes. Sigh. True love. I think one of our first extra activities at a Soul Farm retreat will be a nocturnal field trip out to this baby to hotwire it and bring it home. If you know how to hotwire an old pickup truck, please leave a message below.

But, at the end of the day, there’s no view like the home view. This is just down the road from Soul Farm, and I snapped it while driving into town. I thought it was the most magnificent vista I’d ever seen, and I said to myself, “How lucky we are to live on a planet that gives us views like this.” Only on a country road.