Pine Trees, Sore Knees and Boozy B’s

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Hello darlings! We got that itch again (that antibiotics just won’t cure) and this time we are off to……… wait, where are we going? I actually don’t know. It’s the annual Farch Road Rally, so the destination is a mystery, the booze flows freely, and the good times between lovers and friend’s includes a mystery drive through Illinois! So buckle up because Lord knows where we will be ending up this time!

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So “Let your freak flag fly” as we meet up with college friends, get into Patti (giggity?) and hit the back roads of Illinois, heading towards adventure!

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So what is Farch you ask? Farch is not an event, it’s a season! Combine the gloomiest months of the year (February and March) toss in college friends who have been doing fun activities for a decade, a road trip (or as we call it, a Road Rally) and BOOM! You have Farch! Super competitive, lots of fun and a great way to spend 3ish hours on a Saturday afternoon. Stops this year included seeing the elks in Elk Grove Village, drinking craft beer in trendy Mikerphone Brewery, and cheap brews in not-so-trendy Old Starks Tavern

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So basically you follow a string a clues and puzzles to get your next destination. You get bonus points for answering trivia questions listed in your packet and if you get to the final destination in the set amount of time you win. Did I mention my friend Becky who is a teacher organize these things? Clearly ONLY someone with a teaching (OCD AF) degree could put something this elaborate together.  Our trip lead us through city, then suburb, the rural country towns, then finally the Rock River valley.

Greetings from Oregon, Illinois! Alas the famed Lorado Taft statue, the Eternal Indian, or what most people call it, “Blackhawk” was under wraps, which means we were under wraps as well. Oh hi, Megan! You looking good girl in dat double ply!

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So one would think to win Farch you could simply just skip ahead in your packet and go to the last point. Well, it’s not that easy. It’s simply not driving to your final destination in order to be crowned champion. In order to win you must follow instructions, complete tasks, take videos (get your mind out of the gutter) snap pictures, and make a podcast. Each task carries points. This year we ended up in Mt. Morris, Illinois to stay at the very historic (over 90 years old) White Pines State Park .

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The cabins are adorable, homey and play off the Native American heritage of this region. A soak tub, bedding for 12, comfy couches, a full kitchen and the price was barely $200 bucks. It was a legit win all around and just country enough for a couple of city kids to enjoy it.

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The outdoor area was also great for basking in the unusually warm & sunny day we had. Situated right next to bubbling Pine Creek, it included a fire pit and plenty of seating for outdoor eating and drinking. Plenty of beers, rum and S’mores were had. Even for someone as urban (bougie) as myself who hates the smell of a fire pit, I found the outdoor area a bosky retreat.

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Ogle County  is very rural (and among the most Repulican counties in Illinois). VERY, VERY rural, but it did have something that piqued our interesting. ROLLER SKATING! In Chicagoland I can count the skating rinks we have on one hand but in Mount Morris the skating rink’s parking lot was packed. Apparently the White Pines Roller Rink was the place to be on a Saturday night. It’s delightfully dated inside, aside from the music they blast, it’s like walking back into the 1990’s.

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Inside we did discover one thing though, we were probably the oldest people in there by 15 years. It’s literally jammed packed with teenages, tweens and children. Once you get past that fact the place is amazingly fun. Super inexpensive, it’s only five dollars to get in and two dollars for skate rental. For realsies, what can you get in Chicago for seven bucks that’s entertaining and burn some calories?

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Skating is NOT my forte. I haven’t skated in say 20 years? But with some practice, a fall and help from my lovely friends, I was skating (sorta)

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Breakfast at the White Pines Resort Restaurant was what you would expect in a camp resort. Buffet style, homey, carby and the BEST thing to stuff in your mouth (well maybe 2nd best……giggity) after two days of  drinking. I so needed Biscuits & Gravy and cheesy hash browns in my life. For realsies. Despite our happy faces I think we were all pretty hung over.

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Onto Day II, join us next week as we continue homeward bound with our friends Becky and Megan.

Cheers!

-Anthony and Jared

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