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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.

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved
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 5, 2017

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

Today the journey begins.  We left South Bend, Indiana, and headed to Chicago.  Our GPS led us right to the start of Route 66.  I was wondering where we would find parking, but there it was — Parking Straight Ahead.

We learned quickly Route 66 has two roads at the start Adams Street (heading west), and Jackson Street (heading east).  Walking to Adams Street we found the historic marker for the START of Route 66.  It’s right across the street from the Chicago Art Institute.

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Start of Route 66 (Willis Tower in the background)

Because Chicago is a big city, there is a mix of the old and the new.  Without some research, you may not know what was there when Route 66 was a U.S. Highway, and what was built after its decommissioning.

Along our way, a friendly lady stopped to chat.  She was excited for us.  I presented her with one of our Route 66 mirrors.

We came to a plaza with a farmers market.  I’m a sucker for cheese we bought some brie with apricot and almonds and a baguette of bread.  That was lunch today.

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Baguette and Brie

We continued down to what used to be called Sear’s Tower, but now Willis Tower.  That’s when we cut over the Jackson Street and began our walk back to the car.  Jackson is the east-bound portion of Route 66 in downtown Chicago.

There at the end of Jackson Street is the sign marking the END of Route 66.

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Even Bicycles Have Character on Route 66

It was very easy finding the parking lot, but it wasn’t so easy finding how to get back in to the underground parking log.  Jokingly I told Paul, “We passed through a one-way portal.”

We found a door, opened it, and it was the stairs down to the parking lot.  They hide it well.

Leaving Chicago

The drive leaving Chicago is interesting.  Part of the road has a frontage road.  That’s the only way to stop to take pictures.

We found this bicycle strapped to a lamp post.  Because of the sign, it is deserving of a photo…

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Bicycle Memorial

On the other side of the bicycle was a collection of silverware.  There was nobody around to ask the story behind the bicycle and its decorations.  Thus, there’s definitely a story there.

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Decorating the Bike

Castle Carwash

We found what used to be the Castle Carwash.  A man named Nathan was walking by and told us the man who owned the place was killed here.  Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but the building stands unused.

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Castle Carwash

As we were talking to Nathan, two L.D.S. Missionaries walked by.  I called out, “Elders!  ELDERS!”, before they turned around.  I asked to take their pictures and share them online.  They gladly posed with the Fire House Church in the Background.

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Two Elders We Met Along Route 66

Henry’s

As soon as I spotted Henry’s, I knew we had to stop.  This iconic hotdog diner dons a huge hotdog above a neon sign.  As a result, we stopped and ate dinner.

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Henry’s – Cicero, IL
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Polish Dog and a Malt

Randy

I was checking out a 1960 Coupe DeVille when this guy came out and asked if we had questions.  I noticed his tattoos.  Now, I’m not a tattoo guy, but this guy has Route 66 tattooed on his arm.

Randy agreed to let me photograph him.  (And, Bay Photo Labs will be sending Randy an 8×10 he can hang in his shop.)

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Randy

Randy is working on other cars.  He gave us a quick tour.  His shop is located in McCook, Illinois .  He is right next door to Steak n’ Egger.

White Fence Farm

These two cows are at a HUGE restaurant, petting zoo, and take-out place named after… none else… than the white fences.  The place is worth the visit inside.  They have old cars, motorcycles, appliances, toys, dolls, as well as big restaurant that specializes in chicken.

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White Fence Farm

Joliet, Illinois

Our destination tonight is Joliet.  We entered town and saw this ice cream shop — Kicks on 66.  We stopped.

Two sweet young ladies gave us a map of the area, and asked where we were from.  I ran to the car and got a couple of Route 66 Mirrors created for us by Warner 5 Color.

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Ice Cream Shop in Joliet

On the top of the ice cream shop are none other than Jake and Elwood — the Blues Brothers.  What a kick!

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Blues Brothers

Next to Kicks on 66 is a park with several kiosks about Route 66.  We didn’t wander the park because it was starting to get dark.  However, we did go across the street and took pictures of Dick’s on 66.  (Dick’s… Kicks… on 66…)

Besides, I couldn’t resist when I saw Car 54.  Ooo!  Ooo!

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Car 54, where are you?

As we entered downtown Joliet we cross this old draw bridge.  The river and lights were too much to resist.  What a nice ending for a long day.

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Joliet, IL – Drawbridge

Special Thanks

Special thanks today to…

Warner 5 Color — the mirrors are a HIT.  I think I gave away 3 today.

Bay Photo — Randy is very deserving of the 8×10, and we’ve handed out several cards and a couple of Route 66 pins.

ACDsee — all images in the blog today were processed using ACDsee Ultimate 10.  I had a LOT of images to sort through and ACDsee was fast and efficient.  (Readers, if you don’t know what ACDsee is, it is like Adobe Lightroom… only better in many ways.)

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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.

September 2, 2017

Three Days

We're down to three days.  In three days this show hits the road.  I'm both excited and stressed out.  I've never done anything like this in my life, however, I hope to turn my nervous energy  in to enthusiasm which you all can enjoy.

We're down to three days.  In three days this show hits the road.  I'm both excited and stressed out.  I've never done anything like this in my life, however, I hope to turn my nervous energy  in to enthusiasm which you all can enjoy.

Three Days

We’re down to three days.  In three days this show hits the road.  I’m both excited and stressed out.  I’ve never done anything like this in my life, however, I hope to turn my nervous energy  in to enthusiasm which you all can enjoy.

I just posted a short video on Facebook (click here).  The car is packed (to the brim) and ready to go.  Tomorrow I rest.

A Test

This was a good test.  I wanted something already packed in the car.  I was able to retrieve it without an avalanche of clothes and equipment.  Because I was able to do this, the packing is good.

Paul suggested I photograph everything so we can repack it as well as my wife packed it.  (Yes, my wife packed the car.  She’s darn good at it, and as long as things go back the way she has them, we will be okay.)

Three Days
Trunk Packed to Capacity
three days
Backseat Packed

Rejection Can Be Good

We’ve been rejected by several potential advertisers/sponsors.  That can be a good thing when you discover something bad about their services or products.  Such was the case with one potential sponsor.

As one of their customers, I had opportunity to contact their customer service to schedule a repair.  Before receiving the item for repair, they were nice.  Once they got the item, the niceness turned off.  It’s too bad because they have a great product.  They need to work on their repair turnaround and politeness.

So, from that standpoint, I’m kind of glad they didn’t respond to our request.

Acceptance is Always Good

On the other hand, the companies who are advertising on our website are great.  We’ve had opportunities to contact their support departments and they are kind, polite and prompt.

It’s kind of funny…

One wireless provider kept playing email ping-pong with me.  However, once I contacted Republic Wireless the deal was completed in the matter of moments.  It was basically… “Route 66… we’re in.”

Republic Wireless I’ve been a Republic Wireless customer for a couple of years now.  So, if you’re wondering why I didn’t go to them in the first place it was simply this…  The other carrier had one of those WiFi hotspot boxes.

I know… stupid reason.  I’m a gadget freak.

My Republic Wireless phone, a Motorola Moto G5 Plus, allows me to use it as a WiFi hotspot.  So, it’s not like I’m missing anything.  My point is this… the other company’s rejection (through a lack of response) turned out to be good because Republic Wireless picked us up.  And, Republic Wireless is just plain great.

 

September 1, 2017

T Minus 4

At T minus 4 days and counting, we pick up the rental car.  I am debating on what to video today.  Perhaps it will be a little update in addition to this post.

At T minus 4 days and counting, we pick up the rental car.  I am debating on what to video today.  Perhaps it will be a little update in addition to this post.

T Minus 4

At T minus 4 days and counting, we pick up the rental car.  I am debating on what to video today.  Perhaps it will be a little update in addition to this post.

Here is how it will go the next 4 days…

Today – we pick up the rental car near the end of the day.  Paul will pack his things in the car and I’ll drive it back to Palmyra.

Tomorrow – I will pack my stuff in the car.  In addition, I will make a checklist of the car’s inventory.

Sunday – I’ll go to church and do my usual Sunday activities like feeding the missionaries.  About the only difference is, I will hit the sack earlier than usual.

Monday

Monday I will leave Palmyra and drive to Paul’s to pick him up.  From Paul’s we are heading to South Bend, Indiana, where we will spend the night.  We will rise on Tuesday morning and take the 2 hour drive to Chicago where we will officially start the 2017 Route 66 Photographers Tour.

We are spending our evening in Joliet, Illinois.  Wednesday we head towards Normal.  Yes, the city’s name is Normal.  It’s not unusual, but Normal.  We will have a Normal Wednesday night.

 

August 31, 2017

5 Days

Only 5 days left.  Paul and I are excited.  I've been packing and making runs to the store to get last minute items.  This will be epic.

Only 5 days left.  Paul and I are excited.  I've been packing and making runs to the store to get last minute items.  This will be epic.

5 Days

Only 5 days left.  Paul and I are excited.  I’ve been packing and making runs to the store to get last minute items.  This will be epic.

I will consider doing a vlog tomorrow when we pick up the rental car.  Sorry, can’t tell you what and where we’re renting it.  We will not have an “official Route 66 car”.

Road Tunes

Putting together road tunes is fun.  I’m finding ones that deal with travel, ones that are easy to sing along with, and ones with a good beat.  I found this on YouTube.  Perhaps I can find it on Amazon Music.

I discovered Morgan James a few months ago.  She’s got a soulful sound and puts passion in her music.  I love her style.

XM Radio from the rental car company is about $8 a day.  That’s crazy.  I hope the radio in the rental has a phono jack or USB.

Road Snacks

Road snacks have to be neat and not make a mess.  I’m taking nuts and granola bars.  Sparkling water is my choice of drink.

We plan to stop every hour of driving.  That gives us opportunity to grab something fresh or cooked.  In addition, it allows us to stretch our legs.

August 26, 2017

10 Days

We're coming in 10 days!  That's right.  10 more days and we hit Route 66.  So, get your engines running.  It's 10-9-8-7.... 3-2-1 and they're off!

We're coming in 10 days!  That's right.  10 more days and we hit Route 66.  So, get your engines running.  It's 10-9-8-7.... 3-2-1 and they're off!

10 Days

We’re coming in 10 days!  That’s right.  10 more days and we hit Route 66.  So, get your engines running.  It’s 10-9-8-7…. 3-2-1 and they’re off!

10 days - copyright 2017 db walton

I spent the day doing yard work.  Being away from the house and yard for a month+ is a long time.  So, I want to make sure the guys I hired to do my lawn have something to cut, and so it isn’t too long.

Trunk Organization

Trunk organization is going to be a chore.  Two photographers and their gear.  Plus, their cloths… plus snacks, water, music, and more.

We want to be able to stop and take pictures without having to repack the trunk every time.  Perhaps one of us will have the left, and the other the right side of the trunk.  There is a lot of logistics to this.

I actually bought a trunk organizer for my car today.  If we need it for the trip, I have it.  Otherwise, I’ll have a well organized trunk waiting for me in October.

Bay Photo Labs

Bay Photo Labs, our official photo lab, sent me a bunch of stickers with their logo.  The plan is to plaster them where it is okay to do that stuff.  (Illegal graffiti is NOT cool.)

August 21, 2017

Two Weeks

Two weeks from today Paul and I jump in the mystery car to drive and document Route 66.  (It's a mystery car because (a) we don't know what it is, and (b) we don't have a car sponsor yet.)  It is exciting to think it is this close.

Two weeks from today Paul and I jump in the mystery car to drive and document Route 66.  (It's a mystery car because (a) we don't know what it is, and (b) we don't have a car sponsor yet.)  It is exciting to think it is this close.

Two Weeks

Two weeks from today Paul and I jump in the mystery car to drive and document Route 66.  (It’s a mystery car because (a) we don’t know what it is, and (b) we don’t have a car sponsor yet.)  It is exciting to think it is this close.

Jazz Lag

I’m sharing this post from Jazz Lag for your enjoyment.  It has been a while since I shared the song.  It’s time to start getting in the mood.

Advertising

I’m advertising photography by db walton llc as we go.  For cooperative models I have a nice “capturing beauty” mirror.  So, if you’re along Route 66, and I walk up and ask to take your picture and sign a release, you’ll receive a cool little hand mirror.  Every time you look  in it you’ll be reminded I captured the beauty in you.

The back of the mirror has our Route 66 Photographers logo and website addresses.

Once we start the trip, it might be hard to squeeze your ad in.  If you want mention, do it now.  Visit our advertise link.  Oh, and if you have a specific message for your business, include it and we’ll read it on a broadcast.

 

August 17, 2017

19 Days

It is hard to believe, but it is only 19 days until we embark on Route 66.  Time passes quickly.  We are excited.

It is hard to believe, but it is only 19 days until we embark on Route 66.  Time passes quickly.  We are excited.

19 Days

It is hard to believe, but it is only 19 days until we embark on Route 66.  Time passes quickly.  Most of all, we are excited!

Advertisers

A special thanks to our advertisers (aka sponsors):  presented in alphabetical order

  • Exclusive sponsors
    • Bay Photo Labs – our official photo lab!
    • Republic Wireless – our official provider of voice and data services!
  • Non-exclusive sponsors
    • ACDSee Software – Image processing software.
    • Alien Skin Software – Image processing software.
    • Anthropics – makers of PortraitPro, PortraitBodyPro, LandscapePro and SmartEditor
    • Fine Art by DB – Fine art prints for your home, office and business.
    • MoLight – Photographic lighting solutions
    • Nataliacha Doodley Do – Whimsical graphic arts (our logo was designed by Nataliacha Doodley Do)
    • On1 Software – Image processing software.
    • Topaz Labs – Image processing software.
    • Warner 5 Color – Pad printing.

Not Too Late

It is not to late to jump on the advertising bandwagon.   The last to join was Warner 5 Color.  They print on most anything.  In addition, they can even print on unusually shaped objects.

I shipped Warner 5 Color a few dozen hand mirrors and provided my logo and graphics for the back of the mirror.  They are strictly printers.  Therefore you provide the product to be printed on, and they do the printing.

copyright 2017 db walton - 19 days
Front of the Mirrors
copyright 2017 db walton - 19 days
Back of the Mirrors

After searching all over for something to provide them, I found these small hand mirrors.  Most noteworthy, they suggested I provide something for the mirror surface too!

These are the proof photos they emailed.  I can’t wait for them to arrive.  Furthermore we will be handing these out as a “thank you” to select people along Route 66.