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September 13, 2017

MO KS OK

MO KS OK in one day.  We went from Missouri, through the corner of Kansas and ended in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We covered a lot of miles.

MO KS OK in one day.  We went from Missouri, through the corner of Kansas and ended in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We covered a lot of miles.

MO KS OK

MO KS OK in one day.  We went from Missouri, through the corner of Kansas and ended in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We covered a lot of miles.

Our stay last night at Enlight Inn.  I had the Hippy Shake for breakfast (because I’m a fan of Tommy James and the Shondels).  Kale and spinach in a shake never tasted this good.  Again, if you find yourself in Joplin, Missouri, you should stay at Enlight Inn.

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Paul tries out the Virtual Reality at Enlight Inn
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Owner of Enlight Inn (left) talks with two of her sisters at breakfast.

Driving Along

We’d stop when we would see anything interesting.  This old roadster was almost upstaged by a MG VW kit car, but this obviously is more authentic.

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Old Roadster

Inspiration for Disney Pixar Cars?

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Tow Mater

Or, was this the inspiration?

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Another Tow Mater
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Even Calls Himself Tow Mater

And, I can spot a Corvair for miles around.  Here is a coupe…

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ANOTHER CORVAIR

 

Blue Whale

We found the Blue Whale just before it got to dark.  What a cool creation.  This guy made it out of concrete.  It was originally a water park.

This iconic concrete whale is a landmark people think of when they hear Route 66.  It has an upper deck inside for viewing out the multiple blow holes.

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The Blue Whale
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The Blue Whale

Photo Shoot

We’re driving through Joplin, Missouri, this morning and we see a photographer with a light stand and flash.  We stopped.  It was so cool.

He was using MoLights!!!  He said he just bought one from Michael Mowbray.  I asked if he’d like to try the MoBD.  So, we got it out and set it up and had a fun time photographing his model.

Danny let us use his flash with our MoBD.  We brought our own transmitters (I used my TT350 MoLight) and Rachel posed for us.

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Rachel, Paul and Danny
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Me, Paul and Danny
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Me, Rachel and Paul
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Rachel and the Jimmy Johns Guy
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Using the MoBD
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Danny and Paul Shoot Away

Great Mexican Food

Mi Toritos in Galena, Kansas, smelled so good.  I told Paul, there’s a taco in there with my name on it.  So, I went in and ordered a chimichunga.  Paul came in and ordered the same thing.  We had a great talk with the guy running the place – Rafael.

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Mi Toritos

Tulsa, Oklahoma

A special thank you today to Fairfield Inn in Tulsa for putting up… I mean putting us up tonight.  Our room is clean, neat and roomy.

Other Mentions

A special Thank You to MoLight and owner Michael Mowbray for the MoBD.  Our surprise impromptu photo session with the MoBD went great.

Thank you to ACDsee, Anthropics, Alien Skin, Topaz Labs and On1 Software.  Without your products, our pictures would be bland.  (And, I wish we had more time for post processing, but we will after we get off the road.)

Thank you to Bay Photo Labs.  We told Danny all about you today, as well as a photographer we met from Santa Cruz.   (I think he was impressed that two guys from New York had contacts at Bay Photo Labs.)

 

 

September 12, 2017

Corvair Heaven

Corvair Heaven

I died and went to Corvair Heaven today.  My first car was a Corvair Greenbriar, and I traded it for a Corvair Monza Station Wagon.  I found both today on Route 66.

This couple, John and Teresa, gave us a personal tour of their collection of Corvairs.  I died and went to Corvair Heaven.  Monzas, Corsas, 500s, Greenbriars, and more.  95 hp, 110 hp, 140 hp, were all their.

It was the highlight of my day.

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Monza Station Wagon (just like my 2nd car)
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The Spider Engine
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Isn’t this hardtop coup gorgeous!
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Inside a Greenbriar (just like my 1st car)
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Two scheduled to be restored.

Bridges and Long Roads

We drove some long lonely stretches on Route 66.  Beautiful rolling hills. They are fun sections to drive on, but in places you don’t see much except trees and farms.

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A Long Rolling Stretch
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Another Old Truss Bridge
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A Long Stretch Across a Bridge
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One of Three Bridges in a Row Just North of Joplin.

We found several old bridges.  One was out and we had to take a good 30 minute detour to get around the washed out bridge.

Other Fun Stops and Sights

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Frozen Custard in the Making
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A Smile and Some Custard
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Sharing a Bite
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Mmmmm Good
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Andy’s Custard
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Route 66
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Our Server
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College Students from Florida Escaping Irma
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Enjoying Frozen Custard with Friends

 

Wings and Rings

We ate dinner at Hackett Wings.  Great wings and onion rings.  All of the food was great.

 

Our Lodging Tonight

A very special thank you to Enlight Inn in Joplin, Missouri.  They’ve provided us with a VERY CLEAN little cottage for the night.  This place is really cool.  Several old cottages with a wellness spa included. You can come spend the night, get a massage, a healthy smoothie or snack.

We will be posting pictures, but right now, we need to get some sleep.

September 11, 2017

Across America

Across America

Here we are driving across America and we run in to a guy going the other way walking across America.  I had heard about him somewhere.  I can’t remember where, but he was the second guy I heard about.  The one is in his 70s, and this guy, a younger guy.

So, we’re driving down Route 66 and he pass this guy pushing a car, draped in the flag.  I spun the car around and we drove up to him.

“Hey, are you the guy who is walking all of Route 66?” I yelled.

He responded that he was.  I asked if we could interview and photograph him.  He was more than happy to oblige us.

 

 

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G. and His Flags

G.

We’ll call him G. (he said we could) because it was hard to catch is name.  We talked for a while and he told us about the 3 flags he is carrying – The US Flag, the flag of England, and a Native American flag.  He’s asking people to sign his flag, which we did.

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Paul, G. and Me

Before we parted company, G. asked if we could pray together.  He asked me to say the prayer.

Uranus

We stopped at a place called Uranus.  The owner has one weird sense of humor.  There’s the “Axe hole”, they thank you for “picking Uranus”, and more.  This is for real.  The is the place that has the motto, “The best fudge comes from Uranus.”

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Axe Hole
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Uranus Police Car
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Welcome Sign

We were met at Uranus by a photographer named Jax.  She showed us around, took pictures of us, and then treated us to lunch at Nona’s in Waynesville, Mo.  The owner Julie and her daughter Kaylynn showed us great hospitality.

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Julie and Kaylynn at Nona’s

There at Nona’s we met several locals — mostly women with husbands serving in the military at a nearby Army Base.

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Brittany and Her Labordoodle
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Mother and Child

Special Thanks

A special thanks today to Bay Photo for samples to hand out, Walworth Veterinary Hospital for dinner tonight, Topaz Labs for the software I used to process a picture of a bridge on Route 66, ACDsee because that’s what I use every night to prepare these images, On1 Software, Alien Skin Software and Jax for treating us to lunch and giving us the grand tour of the area.

We also want to say that Comfort Suites in Rolla gave us the best room we’ve seen yet.  Plus, breakfast was included. The place was clean, no odors or smells, and had great amenities.  If you’re ever in Rolla, I recommend you stay at Comfort Suites.

September 10, 2017

Drive to Rolla

Drive to Rolla

The drive to Rolla has worn me out.  The day started with me going to church in Saint Louis.  After church, I picked up Paul and we began our drive to Rolla, Missouri.

At church I saw the full-time Elders for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  When I told them I was from Palmyra, the one elder asked, “Do you know Elder and Sister Rowley?”

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Brent and Elder Rowley

I told him I did, and he told me they are his grandparents.

Rolling Hills

As we left Saint Louis we got in to rolling hills.  We saw many abandoned businesses.  It’s sad.  Route 66 gets a lot of traffic, and to see these businesses not thriving is really sad.

Beware

You have to beware of businesses that great you with, “I don’t want my picture taken,” and then ask, “Are you going to come into my shop?”

From there it went to, “There’s a $2 entrance fee, but it will be applied to your purchases.”

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Let the Buyer Beware

What the heck.  Paul and I obliged her, but she wasn’t very accommodating when it came to us taking pictures.  As a result, we didn’t take many pictures at this location.  When we asked about it’s history, we were told, “I don’t know.”

Hey, if you’re looking for a $30 pebble, she’ll sell it to you.  (I stuck to a couple of postcards and a magnet.)

No Diners and THEN

We were not come across any diners so we ate a late lunch at Steak ‘n Shake.  No sooner as we get on the road again we come across and diner and a BBQ joint.  I told Paul… no more fast food chains.  We hold out until we hit a good Route 66 diner!!!

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Hick Chicks at Hicks BBQ

Can’t Make Up This Stuff

You can’t make up this stuff.  A bill board for a fudge store in Uranus.  Their motto:  The Best Fudge Comes from Uranus.  See for yourself.

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Uranus Fudge

Comfort Suites

We cannot thank Comfort Suites enough for our rooms tonight.  Paul and I are both beat and we walk in and are greeted warmly.  Our rooms are the best we’ve seen on this trip.

Our rooms have a sofa, foot stools, desk and office chair, fridge, microwave, king sized bed and more.  The place has an exercise room, swimming pool and laundry room.  (Mine’s in the dryer as I type.)

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My Room at Comfort Suites in Rolla
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The Hotel Lobby

If you’re doing Route 66 through Missouri, I highly recommend Comfort Suites in Rella, Missouri.  Tell them Brent & Paul sent you.

The rest of the Pictures

September 9, 2017

Gateway Arch

We are going to see the Gateway Arch (aka St. Louis Arch).  We'll take Historic Route 66 (next to our hotel) and head in to downtown St. Louis. On our way I saw some cool neon signs typical for the 1920s and 1930s.  We stopped to take pictures.

We are going to see the Gateway Arch (aka St. Louis Arch).  We'll take Historic Route 66 (next to our hotel) and head in to downtown St. Louis. On our way I saw some cool neon signs typical for the 1920s and 1930s.  We stopped to take pictures.

Gateway Arch

We are going to see the Gateway Arch (aka St. Louis Arch).  We’ll take Historic Route 66 (next to our hotel) and head in to downtown St. Louis.

On our way I saw some cool neon signs typical for the 1920s and 1930s.  We stopped to take pictures.

A young lady was open a restaurant called   MOD Pizza.  She explained they are an 8-minute (or less) pizza shop.  One price – nothing extra for the topping.  I thought it sounds like a good place for lunch.  She offered to comp our meal, and so we said, why not?  Let’s have a late breakfast/early lunch.

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MOD Pizza on Route 66
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Making Our Pizza
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All the Toppings
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The MOD Crew with Paul and Me

It was a good move.  We had a delightful meal, and after our meal, we photographed the crew.

Everywhere we stop people are friendly and interested in what we’re doing.  Some express their jealousy that we have the time to do this trip.  (It’s more about the expense when you’re in business for yourself.)

The Gateway Arch

I’ve got three words to describe the Gateway Arch:  Awesome, Awesome and Awesome.  What an engineering marvel.  It is HUGE.  You don’t realize how big it is until you are under it.  It is twice as big as any building in San Francisco.

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Under the Arch

Ted Drewe’s

Our model who flaked wanted us to meet her at Ted Drewe’s.  That aside, everyone we met asked, “Are you going to Ted Drewe’s?”

We did.  Great frozen custard with lots of toppings available.  I had caramel topping… of course.  Paul had strawberry.

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Workers at Ted Drewe’s

Chain of Rocks Bridges

Our last stop for the night was another, “Are you going to the Chain of Rocks Bridge?”  I guess we have to go there.

We got to the St. Louis side and discovered we couldn’t park there legally.  In fact, the whole parking lot was blocked off.   Our GPS told us to get on the freeway, go back to Illinois, and enter from that side.

We did as the GPS directed (thanks to Republic Wireless and our map app, we found the Illinois side of the bridge.)

It is closed to vehicles, so we walked on to the bridge.  It is a VERY LONG BRIDGE.  I walked across it and back.  Paul made it about 75% across when me met me coming back.

On the way back we met a mom and her children.  They posed for a picture and we had a delightful talk with them.  She said her children didn’t know what the big deal was about this old bridge.  I explained this bridge took people across the Mississippi as they were on their way to California.

“California?” she exclaimed, as if California was on another planet.

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Family Crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge

It was busy, but fun day.

September 8, 2017

Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb

Our day began with a trip to the Lincoln Tomb.  This obelisk topped tomb is the resting place for President Lincoln, three of his sons and his wife.  It’s a reverent place that reminds you of his contribution to history.

Leaving Springfield, Illinois, we head south on Illinois State Highway 4.  Historic Route 66 zigzags across in east-west and north-south sections, while Highway 4 cuts diagonally southwest.

We hit so many small towns – Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie,  Bindl, and more.  We discovered unmapped sections of abandoned Route 66 alignments.  The day was busy.

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Abandoned Bridge that Used to Be Route 66

Note:  The metal 66 is something I brought from home.  It is going to travel Route 66 with me.  Every time I take it out I will rub the corrugated plate on Route 66.  Part of it will stay behind, while part of Route 66 will transfer to it.  By the time the trip is over, it may be pretty beat up, but it will have traveled Route 66 end to end.

Becky’s Barn

We found a fun place called Becky’s Barn.  A bearded man was sitting inside.  I commented, “You obviously aren’t Becky.”

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Rick at Becky’s Barnurn

He explained Becky was his wife and she died a couple of years ago.  He told us about their property and how the business started.  We had a fun visit.

As we were leaving, he let us pick a brick from a pile of broken bricks removed to repair Route 66.

I now own a piece of Route 66!!!

Court Houses, Churches and Other Hidden Gems

We’ve been going inside places most tourist would avoid.  We asked the guard at two court houses if we could go inside to take pictures.  Both times they let us.  We also found nobody at a big church and so we just went inside and took pictures (reverently).

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Lutheran Church on Route 66
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Chapel Inside
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The Alter Area

 

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Macoupin County Court
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A Portrait of Paul – Natural Light – in the Court House
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Lit by Stained Glass Windows

So, it is 1 a.m. in the morning – Saturday morning.  I’ve got to get some sleep.  There are more pictures in our Facebook group (click here).

September 7, 2017

Things Normal

All things normal in Normal, Illinois, today. Our motel isn't the greatest.  In fact, it has to be the worst hotel I've ever stayed at.  It's not right on Route 66, so I'm not going to say any more about it.

All things normal in Normal, Illinois, today. Our motel isn't the greatest.  In fact, it has to be the worst hotel I've ever stayed at.  It's not right on Route 66, so I'm not going to say any more about it.

Things Normal

All things normal in Normal, Illinois, today. Our motel isn’t the greatest.  In fact, it has to be the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at.  It’s not right on Route 66, so I’m not going to say any more about it.

Normal is a college town.  At first, we wondered why all these kids weren’t in school.  When we saw we were next to University of Illinois, it hit us.  They are college students.  (They look younger every year.)

We’re walking down the street and a couple asks what we’re doing.  We told them about our Route 66 trip.  They told us about cool things to see between Normal and Springfield.

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Normal Couple

Paul saw this coed working on her laptop.  After taking pictures outside, we went inside and asked her permission to take the picture.  She was happy to oblige.

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College Co-ed at Coffee Shop Working on Homework

Atlanta

There is an Atlanta, Illinois.  Everyone told us the diner to eat at is the Atlanta Palms Diner.  They tell us the pie is the best.  We went there, and we agree.

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The Holy Smokes Burger

Lincoln

The next big city was Lincoln, Illinois.  This city is named after Lincoln, but Lincoln was not from there.  He was from Springfield (our next stop).

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Display in Lincoln Courthouse
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Lincoln Theatre in Lincoln, Illinois off Route 66

Springfield

Our final destination is Springfield — The Capital of Illinois.  It is the home of Abe Lincoln.  He’s buried here too.  He and Mary Todd were married here.

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Springfield, Illinois, Capital Building

 

September 6, 2017

Good Morning Joliet Part II

Good Morning Joliet Part II

Because I am having trouble with WordPress (that’s my technical difficulty from last night, I’m just going to post the rest of the pictures from Wednesday, 9/6.

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Pontiac, Illinois, Court House
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Ferrari Gas Station
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Rosie Riveter
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The First Painted Route 66 on the Road
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Joliet Jake and Elwood
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Stained Glass Window in Joliet
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Helix of the History of Joliet
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Tonight’s Sunset over Route 66
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Pontiac Illinois Mural
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Pontiac Museum
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A Pontiac Stained Glass Window
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Abraham Lincoln, Pontiac, Illinios
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Burma Shave
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OLD ROUTE 66 (paralleling Today’s Historic Route 66)
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Route 66 Agriculture
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Time Warp – 23c a Gallon
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33c a Gallon
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Iconic Figures on an Iconic Road – James Dean and Marilyn Monroe
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More Jake and Elwood
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They Are Sure Proud of Route 66

September 5, 2017

Good Morning Joliet

Good morning Joliet, Illinois.  We stayed in a local motel.  While clean, the electrical needed a little work -- broken plugs, missing light bulbs, non-functioning power outlets, etc.

Good morning Joliet, Illinois.  We stayed in a local motel.  While clean, the electrical needed a little work -- broken plugs, missing light bulbs, non-functioning power outlets, etc.

Good Morning Joliet

Good morning Joliet, Illinois.  We stayed in a local motel.  While clean, the electrical needed a little work — broken plugs, missing light bulbs, non-functioning power outlets, etc.

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Joliet, Illinois

We have a 10am appointment to meet a guy from Route 66 Soda.  Our meeting is at the Joliet Route 66 Museum.  We’re off to our appointment.

Route 66 Soda

We entered the museum, paid our entrance fee and asked the lady at the window if she knew Alan from Route 66 Soda.  She said she does.  She said she would tell him where we are.

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Joliet, IL, on Route 66
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Alan (Route 66 Soda), Me and Paul and a bottle of Route 66 Soda

Alan met up with us within minutes of our entering the museum.  He told us all about Joliet, Illinois, Route 66 Soda and Soda Pop in general.  We even got let in on a little secret about a new flavor.

I wish I could have visited with Alan all day, but he had other appointments.  He left us with 4 bottles – orange, lime, grape and cherry – of Route 66 Soda.  On the way out, we stopped at the gift shop and purchased a couple other flavors.  (Oh, their Cream Soda, developed by Alan, is the BEST. )

We then wandered around the museum to take it in.

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Car Hop and a Cruiser Bicycle

Breakfast or Was It Lunch?

By the time we completed our museum tour, it was nearly noon.  We have not had breakfast, so we went to the Route 66 Diner in Joliet.

 

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Entering the Route 66 Diner in Joliet

I had the chopped steak and eggs.  It’s delicious.  3 eggs and a chopped steak and hashbrowns for about $10.

The diner is decorated with cute little model cars and trucks.  This is the one at our booth…

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Next to our Booth in Route 66 Diner in Joliet

Route 66 Raceway

On our way out of town we found the Route 66 Raceway.  Actually, you can’t miss it.  It is HUGE.  A paved oval, a dirt oval and drag strip all with seating for THOUSANDS of spectators.

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Speedway Sign on Route 66

 

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Route 66 Speedway

Launch Pad

In Wilmington, Illinois is a diner, now closed and for sale, called the Launch Pad.  It is home to the landmark repurposed Muffler Man called the Gemini Giant.

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Gemini Giant
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Gemini Giant (a repurposed muffler man)

I hope it is purchased soon and fixed up.  It has much potential!

September 4, 2017

TOMORROW

I'm sitting here in my hotel room in South Bend, Indiana.  Tomorrow we hit ROUTE 66!!!  The plan for tomorrow is to get up, eat breakfast, and head to the eastern terminus of Historic Route 66.

I'm sitting here in my hotel room in South Bend, Indiana.  Tomorrow we hit ROUTE 66!!!  The plan for tomorrow is to get up, eat breakfast, and head to the eastern terminus of Historic Route 66.

TOMORROW

I’m sitting here in my hotel room in South Bend, Indiana.  Tomorrow we hit ROUTE 66!!!  The plan for tomorrow is to get up, eat breakfast, and head to the eastern terminus of Historic Route 66.

I’m stoked!

Notre Dame

I didn’t realize we would be staying tonight across the street from Notre Dame University.  While it would be a cool place to photograph, our mission is Route 66.  Notre Dame will have to wait for another day.

Today’s Drive

Today’s drive went smoothly.  We hit some rain as we entered Indiana.   But, frankly, there’s not much to see between Buffalo, NY, and South Bend, IN, except for farm land.  Lots of farm land.

Route 66

We stopped in Angola, New York, to pick  up a bag of ice.  As I’m walking in to the service station, and elderly lady walking out sees my shirt and exclaims, “ROUTE SIXTY SIX!”

That’s all.  She was excited to see my Route 66 shirt.  It’s nice to know there are Route 66 fans here in New York.

Well, it is time to get some rest.  We’re trying to decide what time we want to leave in the morning.  My guess is we will take it slow and leisurely.  The excitement starts tomorrow.  I hope you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, here.  The links for social media at the top of the screen in the right corner.

Tomorrow night we’ll be in Joliet, Illinois.  It’s a little south west of Chicago.  From there, things get a bit rural until we get to Springfield, Illinois.

Please follow us and we’ll keep you updated as we travel along.