May 29, 2019

Day 1 – End of the Day in Joliet

It's been a fun day. We rolled in to Joliet at dusk. Our first stop was at a roadside ice cream shop - Joliet Kicks on 66. It had the Blues Brothers - Joliet Jake and Elwood - on the roof.

It's been a fun day. We rolled in to Joliet at dusk. Our first stop was at a roadside ice cream shop - Joliet Kicks on 66. It had the Blues Brothers - Joliet Jake and Elwood - on the roof.

It’s been a fun day. We rolled in to Joliet at dusk. Our first stop was at a roadside ice cream shop – Kicks on 66. It had the Blues Brothers – Joliet Jake and Elwood – on the roof.

Elwood and Joliet Jake
Elwood and Joliet Jake

I managed to get a free soda from the girls at the counter. Well, it wasn’t totally free… I gave them both some swag my brother-in-law made for me to give away on the trip. (Charly had to pay for hers… I guess there are times when being a guy has its perks.)

“Give me the keys. I’m driving,” Charly yelled.

“What? I’d like to live to see tomorrow,” I quipped back.

“Hey, it’s my car, give me the keys,” she demanded.

I handed over the keys reluctantly. She’s not a bad driver, I just feel more comfortable when I drive. There’s not a scratch on her car, which is further evidence of her driving and care for the car.

It wasn’t long though, before the Joliet Police had her pulled over.

Dick's on 66 in Joliet, Illinois.
Car 54 Where Are You?

“Car 54, where are you?”, I said in to my cupped hands imitating a police radio. I followed with, “Ooo, Ooo!”

It went right over Charly’s head.

Okay, she didn’t really get pulled over. She saw the old police car and wanted to stop. It made for a great photo moment.

“It’s getting dark,” I pointed out, “We should find our hotel.”

We didn’t make it very far when I yelled, “Find a place to stop. I’ve got to get a picture of that!”

Joliet, Illinois
The DePlaines River – Joliet, Illinois

I had to breakout the tripod while yelling, “De plane, de plane”, in my Tatoo imitating voice.

Charly just looked at me like I was crazy. I can tell this is going to be a very long trip if this baby-boomer has to explain every 20th century reference to her. After all, I’m old enough to remember much of what we’ll see on Route 66. To Charly, right now it’s just “old stuff”, but I think this trip will change that.

End of a Lovely Day in Joliet

Day 1 has been great, but now it has come to an end.

Brent's Route 66 Sign - every state is part of this sign - this sign is part of every state.
Brent’s Route 66 Sign – every state is part of this sign – this sign is part of every state.

May 29, 2019

Day 1 – Chicago Lunch Time

We were both getting hungry as we started heading back on the eastbound section of Route 66 in downtown Chicago. We should eat lunch soon. I spied this farmer’s market in a plaza in the shadow of Sears Tower. Well, not it is called Willis Tower. At one point, this 110 story building was the world’s tallest.

Walking around the farmer’s market I picked up some brie cheese, a baggett, grapes and a soda. Charly, on the other hand, went for the sweets and picked up some chocolate chip cookies, brownies and sticky buns.

You call that lunch?

Downtown Chicago

After eating, we headed straight back to the car. Of course, I stopped to take a few pictures along the way.

Once we got to the car, Charly was quick to change in to something more casual.

“Hey, you can’t change here?” I said trying not to attract attention to the fact she just slipped her dress off over her head.

“Nobody’s down here,” she said with disgust in her voice.

“I’m down here!” I snapped back.

“Then turn you head if you don’t want to see me undressed,” she chuckled, “it’s not like you haven’t seen a naked lady before.”

My first thought was of a couple of rent-a-cops watching the garage security monitors.

“Hey, Joey, get a load of this. This chick just took her dress off in level B1,” I could imagine them saying.

“Tell me when your decent!” I said firmly.

It seemed all to soon before she said, “Okay, you can turn around.”

We jumped in to the car with me beating her to the driver’s door.

“I’m driving,” I insisted.

She just shrugged.

It took us a while to drive just a few miles south. I wanted to stop at every unique photo opportunity. I soon found I was getting hungry again. Not wanting to eat just anywhere, I wanted to find something “Chicago.”

A Chicago Hot Dog

I love the pop of a Chicago style hot dog. I saw this place, Henry’s, and flipped a U-turn and parked in front.

“Can you do that?” Charly asked.

“Do what? Park here?” I replied.

“No, do a U-turn.” She responded.

“Hey, no sign saying I can’t. Besides, I think your car could outrun any police car.” smiling I said.

Charly in front of Henry's - on the South side of Chicago.
At Henry’s for a Hot Dog

Leaving Chicago

I thought we’d never get out of Chicago. Our destination tonight is… get this… Juliett, Illinois. There’s a Blues Brothers reference there.

May 27, 2019

Day 1 – Chicago L

We walked Route 66 west-bound and crossed under the Chicago L. L is short for the elevated train. There’s a good Wiki article here. Route 66 is Adams Street heading west. The L crosses overhead at S. Weller Street.

I’ve always heard about the Chicago “L” in cop shows in movies and TV, but here I was seeing it for the first time. I told Charly I wanted a picture of her under the L.

She made the sign of the “L”. I wasn’t sure if that was her telling me I’m a loser, or just that sign-language thing so many girls get in to. You know, learning how to finger-spell so they can “talk” to their girl friends at school.

I think there might be a double-entendre message here.

Is she signing the letter "L" because she's standing under the Chicago L?  Or, is she calling me a loser?
L for the Chicago L, or L for Loser?

Perhaps it is all of my camera gear around my neck. She should talk. She’s wearing a cocktail dress and I’m wearing jeans and my Route 66 Photographers shirt.

We continued on walking west on Adams St. down to the South Branch of the Chicago River. It was time to turn around and walk back on Jackson Boulevard (that’s Route 66 eastbound.) Charly is starting to complain about it being lunchtime, how hard it is walking in heels (hmmm… I said dress comfortably) and how hot her dress is.

Charly will just have to wait until we get back to the parking garage. As you can see, street parking is a premium downtown Chicago.

Start at the Beginning in Chicago

If this is your first visit, you can read about this fantasy trip with Charly. Click here to start, and use the menu Blog->Route66 with Charly to see all the posts.

May 26, 2019

Day 1 – Chicago

We arrived in Chicago early in the morning and Charly decided to dress up for breakfast. Donning a chiffon dress with a matching handbag, off we went to find breakfast.

Along the way, we met Paul. He was out taking pictures with his Nikon camera. I started humming Paul Simon’s Kodachrome. That went completely over Charly’s head, but she was happy to oblige him.

Something tells me Charly and I will see a lot of Paul on this trip. Chicago isn’t going to be our only encounter.

It was pretty easy finding Route 66 as the signs are clearly marked. I took time to explain to Charly why Route 66 is so popular. She’s young enough she doesn’t remember a day when there weren’t freeways. Heck, she’s young enough she doesn’t remember rotary phones, slide rules and payphones.

It’s going to be an interesting trip.

Charly and Paul

Eastern Terminus – Chicago

There we stood at the eastern terminus of Historic Route 66. Route 66 is two streets there – one the eastern start, the other the eastern finish. Both one-way streets, of course.

Following the song, Route 66, we took the direction mentioned in the song, “It winds from Chicago to L.A.”

Downtown Chicago isn’t as congested as New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles. We walked the old Route 66 until we were starting to leave the high-rise portion of the city. We then crossed over a block and walked back heading east on the east-bound one-way Route 66.

May 26, 2019 Sticky

Charly – Route 66 with Charly

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

Route 66 with Charly is a fantasy trip on Route 66. Using photos from my Route 66 2017 Tour I have created this character, Charly, and added her to my photos.

June 26th, 2019 – UPDATE

I got a lot of ribbing about Charly looking like a man in drag. (I think that is a sad reflection on society in general.) I decided to work on Charly’s face. I gave her puffier cheeks, freckles, and a rounder head.

Back to Charly…

A few months after doing the 2017 tour I took ill. It started as the flu, but once the flu symptoms left, I was without strength, developing tremors, going cross-eyed, and having difficulty swallowing, breathing and talking. I searched the Internet for my symptoms several times. I kept coming back to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). For this reason I didn’t want to see the doctor. I figured ALS was a death sentence.

May rolled around and my wife convinced me to see the doctor. 48 blood tests, cameras being stuck down my throat, and some very painful EMG tests it was determined I had a disease that mimics ALS. While it isn’t a death sentence like ALS, it isn’t curable either.

Charly
Charly

To keep my sanity I took up 3D art on my computer. With help, we set up a workstation where I could rest my muscles and use my computer for art.

Charly

The other day I incorporated a female character in to one of my Route 66 photos. I liked the result so much I decided to start a fantasy story about taking a road trip with this beautiful girl – Charly. I chose the “y” ending to distinguish her name from the common nickname for Charles.

The name Charly was chosen because she’s somewhat of a Tomboy. She owns her own muscle car and does most of the work on it. When asked if her name is short for Charlotte or Charlene she will tell you it’s not short for anything. Her name is Charly, and that’s all there is to it.

Charly
Charly

The Trip

The trip is completely made up (well, except for the background photos). I’m not used to writing fiction, so I will apologize in advance. Characters are supposed to have consistency, and I will attempt to stick to their personalities.

Written in the first-person, I will be the narrator as well as Charly’s traveling companion. My relationship with Charly is that of a friend. In spite of her beauty, neither one of us can stand the thought of being romantic. Perhaps Charly sees me of a father-figure, I don’t know. But, I have no desire to have a romantic relationship with someone young enough to be my daughter.

The entries my jump around, but each entry will tell you the day of the trip.

The Art

The Girl

The art is created using various computer programs. Charly is a 3D model I created using various digital assets. In layman’s terms, her chassis was created by one artist, her skin by another, her eyes by another artist, and her hair by another. I took all these pieces and made a “new” character – Charly.

The Car

The car was a purchased digital asset by an artist named Serum at DAZ3d. It reminds me of a mix between a 1960s Pontiac (front) and a Dodge (rear). I’ll just call it a “muscle car”.

Category

If you end up following the story, you can jump to the entries by selecting the category Route 66 with Charly.

October 20, 2018

Best Decision

2018 came along and I caught the H3N2 virus.  It had me down for 5 weeks.  If that wasn't bad enough, a couple of weeks after getting back on my feet again, I got a sepsis infection in my knee.  Thinking that would be it, I felt like my recovery was very slow.

2018 came along and I caught the H3N2 virus.  It had me down for 5 weeks.  If that wasn't bad enough, a couple of weeks after getting back on my feet again, I got a sepsis infection in my knee.  Thinking that would be it, I felt like my recovery was very slow.

Best Decision

It was the best decision to drive all of Route 66 when Paul and I did.  I could have put it off another year, or two, but had I done that, it would have never happened.  I’m glad I did it when we did.

I started doing a detailed day-by-day and you’ll notice it stopped at Day 9.  To our visitors and readers, I will explain why.

Why

2018 came along and I caught the H3N2 virus.  It had me down for 5 weeks.  If that wasn’t bad enough, a couple of weeks after getting back on my feet again, I got a sepsis infection in my knee.  Thinking that would be it, I felt like my recovery was very slow.

In June my wife convinced me to go back to the doctor.  I was just brushing it off because I was “out of shape” after having the flu and the infection.  I was in denial; it had nothing to do with being “out of shape”.

The doctor ran many blood tests (as of this date, I’ve had about 40 blood tests since June).  She also sent me to an ENT specialist thinking I might have throat cancer.  The next specialist was a neurologist who didn’t have an opening until the end of September.  (It was June when I made the appointment.)  A friend who is also an RN was being told about my symptoms.  She called her sister who happens to be married to the neurologist who couldn’t see me until September.  I was at the neurologist the next day.

It turns out I have a rare neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis (MG).  With MG, the more you do, the more you damage your muscles and get fatigued.  With MG there is no way I would have been able to do Route 66.  In my current state, I wouldn’t attempt such a project.

The Future of This Website

I’m not sure about the future of this website.  If the right person comes along, I might even be willing to sell the domain name to them.  Otherwise, strength permitting, I might post updates from time to time.

I really had high hopes for this site, but one of my symptoms is “brain fog”.  It interferes with everything that requires attention to detail.  Currently, as I type, it is mild, but when it gets worse I can hardly read, let alone type.

Bucket Lists

I’m not one who is big on bucket lists.  I think they are kind of silly.  You should seize opportunities when you get them because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

So, instead of having a bucket list, if you want to do something, do it while you still can.  I’m very glad I drove all of Route 66 in September 2017.  Had I waited just a few months, I may have never been able to do it.

While You’re Driving Route 66

It is for that same reason while you’re driving Route 66, and you see something you like, stop and take a picture.  If you pass it because you were driving to fast to stop, turn around and go back.  You may never pass this way again, so grab it while you can.

Carpe Diem!

 

April 10, 2018

GRPP Presentation

Join us on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, for our GRPP Presentation.  Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) has invited Brent and Paul to present about their Route 66 adventure.  The details can be found here...

Join us on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, for our GRPP Presentation.  Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) has invited Brent and Paul to present about their Route 66 adventure.  The details can be found here...

GRPP Presentation

Join us on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, for our GRPP Presentation.  Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) has invited Brent and Paul to present about their Route 66 adventure.  The details can be found here…

April 2018 Meeting – Route 66 Photographers

Contact GRPP for cost and details.

What Will We Present?

We will present our Route 66 trip in terms of what it means to a professional photographer.  Much of our presentation will apply to the amateur photographer too.  Our objective is to present our learnings in terms of what others should know before embarking on an adventure of this magnitude.

What it Won’t Be

What it won’t be is a travelogue.  This is not going to be a boring slideshow of pictures along the way.  We promise you’ll see Route 66 photos, but presented as part of our learning.  You’ll see popular Route 66 landmarks, but you’ll also see stuff others haven’t seen along Route 66!!!

About the Presenters

Paul is a retired bridge engineer and photographer.  He has a passion for roads, especially if a bridge is involved.  Paul lives in North Chili, New York.

Brent is a full-time professional photographer specializing in portraiture.  He is also a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman.  Brent lives in Palmyra, New York.

 

December 11, 2017

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It’s not often you’re invited by a town dignitary to come visit.

The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It’s a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Fire Station

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Railroad Station

A young man came out of the fire station curious as to what we were doing.  We told him his chief invited us to stop by (and about then, the chief pulled up in truck).  Paul asked the young man to pose for a shot.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Firefighter in Galena, Kansas

We’ve learned Galena was a big hub during the mining days.  Extracting galena for its lead and zinc made this a boomtown in the late 1800s.

Intersection of 66 and 69

Soon we came to the intersection of 66 and 69.  Enough said.  Keep your jokes to yourself.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
69 and Alternate 69

Baxter Springs

Baxter Springs has this cool Walgreens.  Now, this is how old businesses should be treated and revived.  I applaud Walgreens for keeping the old signage and adding value to Route 66 in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Drugs

Downtown Baxter is a clean town with a turn of the century look.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Springs

And, here’s a modern oil change outfit that’s keeping the retro look deserving of Route 66.  Kudos to Quick Lube.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Route 66 Quick Lube

We ran in to a couple pulling this cool retro looking trailer.  It turns out they are from the San Francisco Bay Area, so we told them Bay Photo was one of our sponsors and the guy knew exactly who were were talking about.  We left them with a sample of Bay Photo Products.

copyright 2017 db walton
A Couple Traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area

And, another Tow Mater.

WILL THE REAL TOW MATER PLEASE PULL FORWARD.

copyright 2017 db walton
Another Tow Mater

Cool Antique Shop

We found this cool antique shop called the Hitch N’ Post.

copyright 2017 db walton
Antique Shop

Here’s what makes it so cool…

Yes, if you have a 1959 or 1960 El Camino, you can get a replacement door here.  They had much more, but this is just a sample.

copyright 2017 db walton
Need a Car Door

Inside the shop there are replica Route 66 signs, as well as old license plates.

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside the Shop

Route 66 Cookies

There’s a unique old drive-in that sells Route 66 Cookies.  Yes, they are cookies in the shape of a Route 66 shield.

copyright 2017 db walton
Route 66 Cookies

The owners made a big point to point across the street at the Conoco Station to tell us it is fake.  It’s never been a gas station, and is only decorated that way.  Again, it was a huge deal for them to point this out.

copyright 2017 db walton
Fake

December 11, 2017

Day 9 – State to State

Day 9 – State to State

Day 9 is the day we go from state (Missouri) to state (Kansas) to state (Oklahoma).  It’s odd that Kansas is not represented in the Route 66 Song.  Yet, there are some neat places to see in Kansas.  One of them is Galena.

You roll in to Galena, and make a 90-degree turn to the left and here’s what you see…

copyright 2017 db walton - state
A Cool Looking Garage

The top of the garage really caught my attention.  The turn of the century (19th to 20th) style architecture is craftsmanship you don’t see much of today.

copyright 2017 db walton - state
An Old Plymouth

Next to the garage was this beautiful Plymouth… just sitting there.  And, across the street was a famous movie star — Tow Mater.

copyright 2017 db walton - state
Tow Mater

Paul went across the street to check out Bordello Antiques.  Yeah.  That’s its name.

Evidently it was a bordello back in the day.  During the 1800s when this town was a mining town (hence the name Galena which is a metallic stone), patrons would visit the bordello only to be bludgeoned to death for their money.  Some believe it to be haunted.

copyright 2017 db walton - State
Bordello Antiques

I, on the other hand, wandered around Cars on the Route – a restored service station with a souvenir shop and some old cars (including Tow Mater) on the lot.

copyright 2017 db walton - State
Name After the Pixar Film Cars

copyright 2017 db walton - State
31 Cents a Gallon (Back then)

Galena

I remember a singing and dancing group in Sacramento, California, that called themselves Galena Street East.  (WOW, I just searched for them online and they are still performing!)  I digress… except for the name, I don’t think this has anything to do with Route 66.

There’s much to see here.  I liked the old panel vans.  It’s fun to try to make out the lettering that once advertised the owner’s business.  It looks like part of it said, “Doglicious”.  That’s about all I can make out.

copyright 2017 db walton
Route 66 Eye Candy

This was easier to read.  I’m tempted to do this on the back of my building just to cover up the ugly brick work.

copyright 2017 db walton
Billboards the way they Used to Be

As we head in to town this cool entrance to a bank caught my attention (as well as the old bus across the street).

copyright 2017 db walton
Bank Entrance

Inside the entrance I looked up and beheld this cool copper ceiling.  It’s probably paint that gives it that patina look, but it looks coo.

copyright 2017 db walton
Copper Ceiling Tiles

Mexican FOOD

As I was walking through town I caught a whiff of Mexican food.  Finding the restaurant, I poked my head inside…

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside Mi Torito

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside Mi Torito

If you missed our live interview with the owner, you can click here to watch it on Facebook.

December 1, 2017

Day 9 – The Small Stuff

Day 9 – The Small Stuff

As we leave our friends in Joplin, we head southwest on Historic Route 66.  We keep seeing the small stuff as we drive along.  By small stuff, I’m talking about an old car here, a service station there and someone’s homemade Route 66 sign. (Original on-the-road post for Day 9 is here.)

copyright 2017 db walton
Our New Friends in Joplin – Rachel, Paul and Danny

… or how about a Route 66 Pawn Shop?  We saw a few of them along the way.

copyright 2017 db walton
Small Stuff – A Pawn Shop on Route 66

Another race track on Route 66…

copyright 2017 db walton
Small Stuff – Joplin Route 66 Speedway

And this guy’s Route 66 has to be one of my favorites.  He used old car wheels to form the 66 and then placed an old Ford at the top.

copyright 2017 db walton - Small Stuff
Small Stuff – Homemade Route 66 Sign

Red Car Day

It looks like a red car day.  First we see this alongside the road…

copyright 2017 dbwalton
Red Car #1

It looks like the back half of this has been fabricated out of sheetmetal, with the front of a Model A Ford.  You see a lot of stuff like this along Route 66.  It’s a yard decoration.

Then there’s Red Car #2…

copyright 2017 dbwalton
Red Car #2

Upon close inspection this appears to be some kit car.  It had a VW engine in the back.  Another yard decoration from the looks of things.

Things Get Interesting

Outside of town we see this old locomotive and caboose.  We stop to take a few pictures.  The pretty flowers in the foreground give you a feel for what Route 66 is like outside Joplin, Missouri.

It is also time to give my Route 66 sign a piece of Missouri.  I stomped it in the gravel on the shoulder of the road and found an old brick cobblestone and threw it at the sign.  My sign will have pieces of Route 66 DNA embedded all over it by the time I get finished.

copyright 2017 db walton
Old Locomotive

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Route 66 Sign in Missouri

Of course, we stop so Paul can photograph these bridges.  I think he was fascinated by the ages of the Route 66 bridges.  As a result we spent a lot of time at bridges.  A few times I’d have to hunt Paul down and yell, “Hey, let’s get a move on.”

copyright 2017 db walton
Bridges

So much of Route 66 parallels railroad tracks.  Along here the pavement is new, but those little white circles you see to the right of the road, just off the shoulder… those are to protect small saplings that have been planted.

copyright 2017 db walton
New Pavement and Newly Planted Trees

Somewhere around here we cross in to Kansas.  Kansas is the only state not represented in the Route 66 song!  It crosses through the southeast corner of the state as you head in to Oklahoma.

In my next recap I’ll show you some cool stuff we see in Kansas.  Kansas is a Route 66 gem if you ask me.