As predicted the roads were clear and fairly dry as we drove out of the Chicago area. But the wind was fierce and the gusts unpredictable. As we left the urban pavements and drove through the empty fields that cover most of Illinois, the gusts tossed the snow back on the road intermittently. We'd be driving merrily along on dry pavement and all of a sudden a dope slap of wind would lead to a highway covered with snow. Cars and trucks which had not slowed down in time littered the shoulders and the median. The police and salt trucks were attending to the problem, but they couldn't be everywhere. Time and again it seemed like the worst was over and another blinding mini blizzard would swirl. For about 75 miles our speed was closer to 45 than 65.
The thermometer crept up and up. By the afternoon we had gained twenty degrees and the sun appeared. The gusts continued, but the snowy patches became slushy patches. The worst was over.
After a long driving day it's nice to have something fun to look forward to. We've heard about Lambert's restaurant for many years and it was on the route. The restaurant has been in business since 1942 and features traditional southern cooking - chicken gizzards, turnip greens, black eyed peas, hog jowls, etc. But it's claim to fame is "throwed rolls." They used to serve hot rolls in the usual way, but on an extremely busy day they started throwing them to customers and turned eating them into a sport. They average baking 520 dozen rolls a day according to their brochure. The restaurant was busy tonight, but the server said in the summer they can serve 8,000 people a day. She also sat at our table and chatted with us for a while. You probably wouldn't see that at a Yankee restaurant. The original restaurant here became so popular, two more have been started in Missouri and Alabama. A shuttle bus came to our campground from Lambert's and it was full every time it shuttled. Happy campers returned to their rigs with styrofoam boxes full of chicken fried steak and frogs legs. Perhaps high cholesterol isn't a concern around here.