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October 30, 2017

Day 5 – Good Morning Saint Louis

Good morning Saint Louis!  You have us for two days.  We are excited to be here.  Our hotel is actually in Kirkwood - a suburb of Saint Louis.  It's called the Route 66 Holiday Inn. Like many big cities, it is quite commercialized.  We did pass a few retro looking places which we will explore today.  It was dark when we arrived so we didn't get to see much.

Good morning Saint Louis!  You have us for two days.  We are excited to be here.  Our hotel is actually in Kirkwood - a suburb of Saint Louis.  It's called the Route 66 Holiday Inn. Like many big cities, it is quite commercialized.  We did pass a few retro looking places which we will explore today.  It was dark when we arrived so we didn't get to see much.

Good Morning Saint Louis

Good morning Saint Louis!  You have us for two days.  We are excited to be here.  Our hotel is actually in Kirkwood – a suburb of Saint Louis.  It’s called the Route 66 Holiday Inn.

Like many big cities, it is quite commercialized.  We did pass a few retro looking places which we will explore today.  It was dark when we arrived so we didn’t get to see much.

Heading Downtown Saint Louis

While heading downtown Saint Louis I spotted these cool marquis.  We stopped to take pictures.  I was especially intrigued about MOD Pizza.  This places looks like it belongs on Historic Route 66.

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MOD Pizza

Next door was this RE/MAX office with an old theatre look.  Again, it has that retro Historic Route 66 look.

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Marquis

While taking pictures, a young lady came and unlocked the door at MOD Pizza.  We talked to her and asked her about MOD Pizza.  (I was thinking it was a Route 66 landmark.  It turns out it is not.  It is a chain store, which I will explain more.)

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MOD Pizza Opening

We told her what we were doing and she invited us to come have lunch… on her.  (This was our first comped meal of the trip!)  We are on our way to the Gateway Arch, but we hadn’t had breakfast yet.  So, why not combine the two and have a pizza brunch.

MOD’s Model

MOD’s business model is much like Subway Sandwiches.  You pick your size, and all of the toppings you want on your pizza.  They do not charge extra for toppings.

MOD also cooks the pizzas quickly.  They only take about 5 minutes.  It is that fast.

I hope they expand more.  I like the idea of a fast pizza that doesn’t nickle and dime you as you choose toppings.

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The MOD Crew with Paul and Me

Chicken and Waffles

I really want chicken and waffles.  However, after being fed with MOD Pizza, I couldn’t go for another meal.  Besides, we want to get to the Arch.  So, when I saw this sign I was like… Now we see it.

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Check and Waffles

This historic grill, Spencer’s, packs the crowds.  The place was full and people kept coming while we took pictures outside.

One couple stopped and talked with us.  They were excited about our Route 66 tour.  In fact, everyone we meet is excited.  Nobody says to us, “Oh, another couple of tourists…”

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Spencer’s Grill

Train Station

A few blocks further is this cool old train station.  It is an active Amtrak Station.

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Across the Tracks

You can’t see it in the photos, but on the side of the rails it says, “No Trespassing”.  This is just a note for the idiots who think it is cool to take pictures on train tracks.

Inside the station it is very clean.  In addition, it has old historic photos.

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Inside the Station

Outside on the loading platform is a good view of Historic Route 66.

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Loading Platform at the Kirkwood, Missouri, Amtrak Station

Nearby an old mill store reminds us how long Route 66 served this community.

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Old Feed Mill on Route 66

Sponsor Thanks

Thank you to ACDSee.  I’ve been doing all of the post processing in ACDSee Ultimate Pro.  If you don’t like the idea of paying Adobe $10/month indefinitely, look at ACDSee.  It does MORE than Lightroom and cataloging is a breeze.

My favorite part about ACDSee is copying files.  I know that sounds funny, but when you have a name collision, nobody handles it better than ACDSee.

Next up… The Gateway Arch… Check back often.

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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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 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.)

copyright 2017 db walton all rights reserved

July 13, 2017

ACDSee

ACD Systems

About ACD Systems

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