Ride 45: Moonshine Run

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides  

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Casey, IL           July 16, 2005

The inspiration for this ride came from an article in the Chicago Tribune about the Moonshine Store. An older couple runs the place, serving a short, lunch-ish menu for 6-1/2 hours a day, six days a week. Famous for Moonburgers, they've been featured on national television, and it's a favorite destination of cruising motorcyclists. The article piqued my interest, especially when I noticed the Moonshine Store  was in a region  that I hadn't covered in my book yet.

When I got to the area, I tried to find a lightly traveled route from Martinsville, which is almost directly north of Moonshine. Alas, I kept hitting gravel roads and became discouraged. But once I got to the Moonshine Store, I decided I had to find a way to get this place into my book. The answer was to start in Casey instead. Even then, there was pretty much one good paved route -- I had to settle for an out-and-back ride instead of a loop.

If you're curious, yes, there is a Casey's General Store in  Casey. That's not too surprising, considering that it seems like every rural  town in Illinois has one. You'll see it on Illinois 49 if you drive south from Interstate 70. Fairview Park in Casey is surprisingly large considering the town's size. I should have taken a picture, although it was so spread out that my eyes didn't really focus on anything. I also should have taken  pictures of Moriah and the old Hogue Town Store. But as you can see from these photos, it was a dreary morning so I wasn't really in a picture-taking mood. It's a pleasant  ride, though.

The ride crosses the North Fork of the Embarras (" Ambraw" ) River.

 

There are some oil pumps in the fields surrounding Casey (though this one is closer to Hogue Town).

And here it is, the Moonshine Store, home of the Moonburger!

 

Across the street you'll find the government office,  " Moonshine Sitty Hall."

 

I recommend that you do this ride sooner rather than later. As I said above, an older couple runs the place, and there's no guarantee that anyone will take over once they decide to retire. Then the Moonshine Store might meet a fate similar to the yellow-tiled Hogue Town Store down the road.

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