Tag

Charly

October 22, 2019

Red Rocks and Rockets – Day 16

Red Rocks and Rockets headline the drive today. Before hitting the road, we finished our walk through Albuquerque.

“So, Charly, do you have something in your wardrobe that’s kind of outer space looking?” I asked, not letting her know I had something up my sleeve.

“Yeah, I think so,” she said.

“Go change,” I said looking for a chance to make my break.

Earlier, when Charly was off doing something, I found this cool Rocketeer Suit. (Halloween is just around the corner.) I changed in to it and stood waiting for her return.

“WHAT THE… THE… HECK?” she was at a loss for words.

“Jenny, prepare yourself for a shock: I’m the Rocketeer,” I said quoting the movie.

“Why are you calling me Jenny?” she was perplexed.

“Haven’t you seen the movie?” I asked.

“What movie?” asking more confused.

“The Rocketeer,” I said sticking my chest out and pointing to the sky. “Come on. It came out in the early 1990s.”

“Oh, before my time,” she said.

” Oh, for crying out loud, haven’t you read the papers?” I quoted the next line.

Jenny Gets with the Program

After the Fun

We left Albuquerque and headed west on Route 66. Charly was driving while I navigated and looked for things to shoot.

A Nice Touch on Route 66 in Albuquerque

Just outside Albuquerque are some old Native American Pueblos. It’s like a little ghost town. I had to tell her to pull over so I could get some pictures of this.

Home, Sweet Home - Red Rocks and Rockets - Route 66 Photographers
Home, Sweet Home

Westward and Onward Red Rocks and Rockets

There are some red rock formations in this part of New Mexico. These buttes conjure images of cowboys and Indians in my mind. Growing up near Fort Hall, Idaho, playing cowboys and Indians was the thing to do. Today’s kids have their video games, we had our cap guns or bows and arrows.

We stopped and Charly got out for a stretch.

Red Rocks and Rockets - The Red Rock portion
Red Rocks and Rockets – The Red Rock portion

“You look nice against this background. It goes with your hair,” I said to Charly.

“Thanks. I feel like dancing,” she replied.

“Hey, there’s no cars for as far as I can see. Go for it,” I responded.

“Put on some music!” she demanded.

Digging through my folder of CDs (yes, I brought CDs) I pulled out some Eagles. Popping the CD in it started off with Hotel California.

“That’s not dancing music,” Charly responded, “I want something… something graceful. This place reminds me of soaring eagles.”

“That’s why I put on the Eagles,” I said smugly.

“Huh?” was all she said.

“The Eagles. They were THE band back in the late 70s. That’s who’s playing.” I explained.

She rolled her eyes, only as Charly can do, and said, “No, something with a smooth, ballet like theme.”

I dug around and found some Bill Withers, and put on, “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone.”

It must have been okay, because as a result Charly started to dance. The rhythm of the music fit in with her moves and I sat back in the car and enjoyed watching the show.

Red Rocks and Rockets - Dancing
Red Rocks and Rockets – Dancing

Next Stop

It’s dinner time, and the big question, “Red or Green?”

Red? Green?  How About BOTH?
Red? Green? How About BOTH?

September 16, 2019

Red or Green – Day 14

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, "Red or green?"It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both.

Red or Green on Day 14. When you order New Mexican food, a question often asked is, “Red or green?”

It is a reference to the chili sauce they put on your enchiladas. I personally like them both. The green has a smooth hatch chili pepper flavor, and the red has a more robust and smoky flavor.

Glenrio Visitor Center

Our first New Mexico stop was the Glenrio Visitor Center. Charly couldn’t resist putting her feet in the fountain. She said the cool water felt good in that New Mexico dry heat.

Glenrio Visitor Center - Red or Green
Glenrio Visitor Center

It’s about the first thing you come to on I-40. It’s on the same exit you take to get back on the drivable part of Route 66 on the New Mexico side of the New Mexico/Texas border.

Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66 - red or green
Visitor Center in Relation to Route 66

New Mexico is a state with lots of Native American history and resources.

Red or Green or Cars

In Tucumcari, New Mexico, there’s a darling motel where you can park your car in a garage. The inside of the garages are painted with various themes. Of course, Pixar’s Cars is one of those themes.

Pixar Cars Theme Garage
Pixar Cars Theme Garage

“Oh, Brent,” Charly sighed with that tone that she wants something, “Look, it is Flo and  Lightning McQueen .”

“Okay, go stand in there and I’ll get your picture,” I said knowing she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I stepped back to make sure I got Mater too. In my opinion, Tow Mater is the most adorable character in the movie. Lightening, on the other hand is a bit adolescent in his character.

I found this on Wikipedia, “He’s the new rookie, he’s kinda sexy, he’s fast, he’s different. So he’s invented. We took the best of our favourite things, from GT40s to Chargers… just sketching them out, we came up with what McQueen looks like.”— Bob Pauley, one of two Cars production designers

Until I read this, I always thought LIghtening was based of a Mazda MX5 (the Miata). I still think he looks more like a Miata than a GT40 or a Charger.

An End to a Red or Green Day

We started the day in the dark, and we’ll end it in the dark. After a dip in the hotel pool and a nice red or green (I had both) dinner, we went back to the Blue Swallow Motel for a shot of the Model A pickup and Charly.

Blue Swallow Motel Route 66 Tucumcari
Blue Swallow Motel

July 12, 2019

Corvair Heaven – Day 8

Corvair Heaven is how I’d describe this day. One of the most misunderstood cars ever made, and one of the greatest cars ever made. It was an example of how a mercenary man with the stroke of a pen could bring down an engineering marvel and erroneously get people believing it was a dangerous car. For that, Ralph Nader lost all credibility with me (and thousands of other Corvair owners.)

We’ll return to Corvair Heaven later…

Frozen Custard

Frozen custard, erroneously called ice cream, is good, but it isn’t ice cream. It seems to be quite popular in the heartland and along this stretch of Route 66.

We had barely finished breakfast when I saw this cool looking place. It’s a frozen custard place, and while it didn’t look open at this hour of the day, it WAS open. So, we stopped for a taste.

You Didn't! Corvair Heaven
You Didn’t!

Charly took hers and went to sit on the hood of the car to eat it. I waited for mine, grabbed my camera and joined her. However, I couldn’t resist grabbing a picture.

“You didn’t!” Charly said as getting a dab of frozen custard on her nose.

“I did, and I’ll buy another one if I’m still hungry after this one,” I said.

“No, you didn’t take a picture of me just now,” she growled.

“Why? You don’t think this is flattering?” I said after pushing the play button and showing her the LCD screen.

“UHG!”, she exclaimed, “That better not end up on the blog or Renderosity.”

Well, done deal with that.

Empty Cottages

Leaving town I discovered where they store all those road pylons.

Road Pylons
Road Pylons

If you look closely, I swear it looks like my friend Paul Bardotz is hiding in there. Or, maybe it is just my imagination thinking he’s not happy I’m driving Route 66 with Charly this time.

Then, we came across these abandoned cottages.

Abandoned Cottages
Abandoned Cottages

They look like they would have been nice places to stay in their prime. Now, they are all boarded up. However, the good news is there were construction permit notices. Maybe in a a couple of years people will be able to lodge here again.

A Route 66 revival would be nice.

Plano Means Flat

The word plano means flat. We came across a place that was named Plano, Missouri.

“Not much left of the place,” I said.

“What do you think was here?” Charly asked.

Punching it in on my phone, I came up with this, “The tree-invested limestone building has even been alleged to have served as a casket factory and mortuary. Apparently all that is not true though, and the fact is, according to the Springfield News Leader, it was built in 1902 by the Jackson family, with the occasional help of neighbors, with two rooms becoming a general store where families would sell produce, eggs and baked goods. “

Inside the Building
Inside the Building

Towards Corvair Heaven

I didn’t know we were heading towards Corvair Heaven, but we stopped at an old service station called Gay Parita. We poked around and I found what Gary Busey has been doing these days…

Gary Busey's Dopleganger
Gary Busey’s Doppelganger

Charly, remembering that first night in Illinois, saw the old police car there.

“Brent! Help! I’m being arrested,” she jokingly yelled.

Charly Pretending she's being arrested
Charly Pretending she’s being arrested

“Sorry officers,” I yelled back, “she’s been following me for days now. Please, lock her up and throw away the key.”

Charly stood up, putting both hands on her hips gave me a stern stare and said, “Really? That’s what you’d do for a damsel in distress?”

“If you’re being arrested, I’m sure they have good cause,” I said as I headed back to her car with keys in my hand.

She ran as fast is she could in heels on a gravel road to catch up.

Finally! Corvair Heaven!

I had just pulled on to Historic Route 66 when I noticed a blue Corvair Monza Station Wagon.

“I’m sorry, I’ve got to stop at this house,” I said as if it were urgent.

Charly glared at me as if to say, ‘Why didn’t you use the bathroom back there.’

Reading her mind, I said, “Sorry, I hate outhouses.”

I stopped the car, got out and started drooling over this perfectly restored 1961 Corvair Monza Station Wagon.

“I had one of these,” I said proudly.

Charly looked at me as if I had said I used to wear a dress.

“Seriously? You owned one of these?” Charly said condescendingly.

“Yes,” I did, “Is there a problem with that?”

“Brent! It’s a mom car,” she said.

Brent!  It's a mom car.
Brent! It’s a mom car.

About then a woman around my age walked out of the house and asked, “Can I help you?”

“I’m sorry, my name is Brent and this is my friend Charly, and we’re driving Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.” saying as I lead up to, “I used to own a 1961 Corvair Monza Wagon, and I saw yours in the driveway and had to stop.”

He told us the story behind her car and then asked, “Would you like to see the rest of them?”

“Would I? You have MORE?” I asked.

“Yes, we collect and restore Corvairs,” she said.

Looking at Charly, I mouthed the words, “I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

As we entered the back part of the property, I saw my first car – a Corvair Greenbriar “bus”. (They didn’t call it a van. It was a “bus”, like the “VW bus”.)

Corvair Greenbriar Bus
Corvair Greenbriar Bus

“Charly,” I said, “this was my first car. A 1961 Greenbriar bus. Mine got 25 miles per gallon and sat 9 people.”

“Now, that is cool,” Charly said.

“Yeah, but mine was cooler. It had curtains and was a real hippy van,” I explained.

My 1961 Greenbriar Bus
My 1961 Greenbriar Bus

Chuckling, Charly said, “You? A Hippy?”

“Get over it,” I said, “I did.”

June 29, 2019

Day 6 in St. Louis

Day 6 in St. Louis is off to a great start. I hit the hotel complementary breakfast. (I like complimentary breakfasts. Sometimes I go to hotels just for the complimentary breakfast.) Who knows what Charly is doing. I'm guessing her makeup.

Day 6 in St. Louis is off to a great start. I hit the hotel complementary breakfast. (I like complimentary breakfasts. Sometimes I go to hotels just for the complimentary breakfast.) Who knows what Charly is doing. I'm guessing her makeup.

Day 6 plan is for me is to go to church and then we’ll hit the road. Yes, even when traveling, I go to church. I goofed up and made reservations for a hotel in another city. For the rest of the trip my plan is to spend Saturday and Sunday night’s in the same place. You know what they say, “Seven days without God makes one weak.” A day of rest is good.

Day 6 in St. Louis is off to a great start. I hit the hotel complementary breakfast. (I like complimentary breakfasts. Sometimes I go to hotels just for the complimentary breakfast.) Who knows what Charly is doing. I’m guessing her makeup.

Day 6 in St. Louis and Where’s Charly?

Okay, I’m off to a local church, and I haven’t seen Charly all morning. I left a note under her door:

Gone to church. Back in time for lunch. Please be ready. — Brent

Back on the Road

I returned from church and saw Charly was all packed and ready to hit the road.

“I see you got my note,” I said.

She replied, “I was wondering where you went.”

“Let’s load the car,” I said as I grabbed the handles of my two roller bags.

We no sooner put stuff in the car and Charly says, “I forgot something, I’ll be right back.”

30-minutes later I decided I’d play a little prank. A few days ago a guy let us take some bricks. I’ll stuff them in her suitcase.

“Right back,” I said, “I was about to see if there was someone else who wanted to join me.”

“You wouldn’t leave me,” she said with a voice of confidence.

“Oh, get over yourself,” I retorted, “the rest of us have.”

That earned one dirty look.

Not Our Day 6 Motel

It was time for another road trip tick. I knew there was an abandoned motel coming up.

“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t realize we’d get to our next motel so quickly.”

I was driving, and I pulled in the the abandoned Gardenway Motel. The first giveaway should have been there were NO cars in front of the rooms.

Charly hopped out of the car before it came to a complete stop, and yelled, “Nooooooo!”

I was laughing so hard I couldn’t speak for a while. Finally getting it together I asked, “Why?”

“You can’t be serious! This place looks like a dump from the outside, I can’t imagine what the rooms look like inside,” she said without even thinking that I was pulling her leg.

Charly is obviously displeased with this motel for Day 6 in St. Louis
Nooooo!

“Wait, wait, wait,” I said both trying to calm Charly down and to keep from cracking up, “wait until you see inside the rooms.”

I widened my eyes as if to say, ‘They’re amazing.’

Charly cast a gaze my way as if to say, ‘You better not be pulling my leg.’

“Let’s go look,” I said while taking her by the hand.

She grabbed my hand like a scared child. As we drew closer, her grip got tighter and tighter. I began to be a little scared myself. Visions of drug-crazed squatters coming at us with broken beer bottles ran through my imagination.

There was no visual or audible indication that anyone else was around. As I turned and looked at this pale frightened girl, I thought it was time to let her in on the joke.

Letting Charly In on the Day 6 Prank

“You must realize, I’d never stay in a dump like this. Remember our motel in Normal? That was about as bad as I’m willing to put up with,” I explained.

As a result, her hand curled in to a fist as I thought, ‘This could hurt, so move!”

Dodging her jab towards my right bicep I grabbed her before she lost her balance and fell on the the filthy walkway under our feet. Because she was about to fall over, I steadied her with both hands and placed my hands on her shoulders.

“It was a joke, Charly,” I said realizing perhaps it was a little cruel.

Smiling, Charly says, “I knew you were. I wanted you to think I trusted you.”

“What? You don’t?” I asked.

“Heck no,” she laughed.

“What the heck are you doing on this trip? Riding a few thousand miles with an old man?” I said feeling a little under appreciated.

“Oh, no. I trust you in that way,” she said realizing she’s safe with me. “You’d never lay a hand on me. You’re the only guy I’ve ever met who hasn’t made me feel creepy in that way.”

“Thank you for telling me that,” I said comforted. “Let’s peak inside and see how bad this place really is.”

“Do we have to?” she said squeamishly.

“You’re perfectly welcome to go back and wait in the car,” I stated, “I just want to peak around and take a few pictures.”

“Nah, it’s okay, but if zombies come after us I’m throwing you at them so I can make my escape,” she said realizing she could outrun me.

We both slowly approached a broken window. Charly peeked inside and exclaimed, “GROSS!”

It seems like squatters had been there.

Day 6 Motel -- Just Kidding
Day 6 Motel — Just Kidding

June 14, 2019

Website Updates

You may have noticed some website updates. We've switched to a new server and updated everything.

Hopefully in the process we haven't introduced any broken links, but our site health-check will alert us to those. We will fix them as they are discovered.

You may have noticed some website updates. We've switched to a new server and updated everything.

Hopefully in the process we haven't introduced any broken links, but our site health-check will alert us to those. We will fix them as they are discovered.

You may have noticed some website updates. We’ve switched to a new server and updated everything.

Hopefully in the process we haven’t introduced any broken links, but our site health-check will alert us to those. We will fix them as they are discovered.

Route 66 Photographers Website Updates
Website Updates – Logo Still the Same

Website Updates In the Meantime

In the meantime we might not be posting. It’s taking a little more work than we expected.

But, that’s okay. With any website updates there are glitches and delays. And, since I’m fully disabled, I can only handle so much each day. So, be patient

If you’re new to our site, a few words of introduction…

Who We Are

In 2017 myself, Brent Walton, and Paul Bardotz drove Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. We were on the road for 30 days. It was an epic and awesome trip.

We were even interviewed for a magazine when we returned. We also gave a few presentations. It was really fun to tell others of our journey. It was a once in a lifetime trip and I’m glad I did it when we did it.

A little over a year after returning, I got seriously ill… and I haven’t got better. It started with a flu and turned in to a rare neuromuscular disease (which they suspect was triggered by the flu). As a result, had I NOT gone in 2017, I might not have ever made this trip.

That’s the bad part.

The Good Part

The good part is I can only handle about 45-90 minutes a day on my feet. That’s largely used for personal hygiene and meals. The rest of the day I have to rest.

I got tired of watching TV, and this disease affects my eyes, so reading is really difficult. My wife and I came up with a way I can sit at my computer and will minimal physical effort (and with the help of a VERY large monitor), I can do stuff on the computer. (Mostly stuff that doesn’t involve reading… and writing… so writing this is very difficult and time consuming.) Running out of things to do, I decided to create some art around my Route 66 photos.

I created a fictional character, Charly, who is accompanying me on a fictional Route 66 trip. She’s kind of a wild kid who’s accompany this older guy (the fictional me) on this trip. We’re as different as night and day. (I’ve already taken some ribbing about Charly being ‘trashy’ and ‘racy’. It might turn out to be kind of a Cinderella story.)

June 7, 2019

Day 4 – Springfield

It’s Day 4 and we’re waking in Springfield, Illinois. While not directly on Route 66, I want to see Lincoln’s tomb.

While Abraham Lincoln played an end-game play around the U.S. Constitution, it was something that needed to be done. Not only was the Union at risk of failing, he saw the evil of slavery. Other politicians have used this as justification for less noble causes, but in the end, Lincoln was justified in the ends truly did justify the means.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

The visit was worth the slight detour. You learn much about the man and his family during the tour. This stately tomb is a reverent place inside. A hallowed spirit fills the air.

Inside the Burial Chamber

Back on Route in Springfield

Back on route in Springfield, we manage to find our way out of town.

“It looks like the road turns right up here Charly,” as I acted as navigator for Charly.

The vibration of the road was a familiar one for me, but a new experience for Charly.

“It’s called cobblestone… or brick, if you like,” as the road became quite quaint looking.

With a vibration in her voice, Charly says, “I hope it is not like this the rest of the way.”

“No, according to everything I’ve read this is a rare section,” I assured her.

We hadn’t got far when I saw a sign to “Becky’s Barn”. We turned off and checked it out. A Route 66 gift shop, the lonely owner was a widower who was once married to “Becky”. After a long visit, he invited us to help remove some of the rubble left in his yard when they repaired the bricks on Route 66.

“Seriously? I can take one?” I excitedly asked.

“Please do. The workers just dumped it here. It’s been here for years and I have to get it cleaned up so I can sell the place. Take as many as you want.”

Charly and I each grabbed a brick as a souvenir of the OLD Route 66.

Broken Bricks Removed from the Original Route 66
Broken Bricks Removed from the Original Route 66

Talkers and Turkeys

Springfield seems like it was days ago, yet it was just this morning. Our stop in Auburn, Illinois, was nice, but that guy could sure talk.

“I read there are turkey tracks in the concrete a little further up the road,” I said to Charly.

“Why were there turkey tracks?” she asks me.

“Because the turkey needed to cross the road,” I said, “Get it… why did the turkey cross the road???”

“To get to the other side???” Charly asked being unsure that I was making a joke.

“Just drive,” I said.

Turkey Crossing Route 66 outside Springfield, Illinois.
Turkey Crossing Route 66

We headed on our way after seeing those turkey tracks in Route 66. It’s kind of funny that they’ve become a historic landmark in their own rite.

“Whoa, what’s THAT,” I said pointing to a rusty looking metal dinosaur.

“Awe, he’s cute. I’m stopping,” Charly says as if I would argue.

Charly Scratching Scoby's Nose
Charly Scratching Scoby’s Nose

Charly jumps out of the car so quickly I don’t think the car had come to a complete stop.

Scratching the nose of this sculpture, you’d think Charly thought he was alive.

“So you like Scooby”, I said.

A voice came from the building nearby, “It’s SCOBY, rhymes with TOBY.”

“Oh,” I said, “I do see that now. There’s only one “O”. Scoby,” I said.

The creator/artist came up and began telling us the story of Scoby. He created it for his grandchildren, and it’s become a Route 66 icon in these parts.

“He’s so cute,” Charly repeated.

I thought she was going to ask if we could take him home. Scoby, that is, not the old man.

He's so cute.
He’s so cute.

The guy would have talked to us all day and in to the night, but I was needing to eat and go to the bathroom — not necessarily in that order.

We politely broke away from our conversation with the very nice old man and drove only a couple of blocks before we found a Hardy’s. Yeah, it’s not iconic Route 66, but they do make a good burger.

Not Iconic, but a Good Burger
Not Iconic, but a Good Burger

June 3, 2019

Day 2 – End of Day in Normal

End of day in Normal sounds like bad grammar. We arrived late at the Normal Motel 6, which is anything but normal. With the exceptions for some motels in Mexico, this is the worst I've ever stayed in.

End of day in Normal sounds like bad grammar. We arrived late at the Normal Motel 6, which is anything but normal. With the exceptions for some motels in Mexico, this is the worst I've ever stayed in.

End of day in Normal sounds like bad grammar. We arrived late at the Normal Motel 6, which is anything but normal. With the exceptions for some motels in Mexico, this is the worst I’ve ever stayed in.

I pulled my laptop out and started reviewing photos. A good portion of the time I was worried about Charly’s safety in the hole they call a motel. I remind myself that she’s a big girl and (hopefully) won’t do anything stupid, like go to the car to get something she left in the trunk.

Outside

It’s been a full and rewarding day. Going through the photos of the day I’ve decided to end the day with a few interesting things we’ve seen.

Knocking at the door.

Opening the door I see Charly who says, “I left my makeup bag in the car. Would you walk me to the car so I can get it?”

My mind was relieved. I’ll have to set aside sorting through photos.

We go outside and there’s one of the motel maids taking a smoke break. She sets her burning cigarette and places it on the window sill and quickly goes inside as if we didn’t see her taking a break. I’m tempted to knock the cigarette to the ground and grind it out with my foot. (Imagine the poor soul in that room!!)

Charly grabs her makeup bag and thanks me for escorting her outside, and we both return to our rooms.

Earlier in the Day

We saw some cool things today. I like that Illinois has these Route 66 Kiosks all over the place. They are classy and tell about where you are, show a map, and photos of what you’ll see in the area.

Charly at the Pontiac Kiosk
Charly at the Pontiac Kiosk

“See that red arrow?” asking Charly, I continued, “That’s where we are. That should give you an idea how far we’ve driven today.”

“Thank you Captain Obvious,” Charly said as if I was speaking down to her.

“Careful, I know where you keep your suitcase,” I said threateningly.

“And, I know where you keep yours too,” with assurance in her voice.

“Hey, smart alec, do you see it has a picture of the gas pumps where you stopped to get gas,” I said to rub it in with a little salt.

Charly turns to face me, sticks out her chest, and says, “Hey, watch it. I know where you sleep.”

Her posture and expression wasn’t one of physical threatening, but I figured I should change the subject before she goes any further. I’ll spend the rest of the day chasing the image of her sneaking in to my room while I’m sleeping and I wake to find her standing there with hardly anything on. Wait… how is that any different from what she wears each day?

“Hahaha… I know what you’re thinking,” she claims.

“Doesn’t that Chain of Rocks Bridge look cool?” I said changing the subject. I wasn’t prepared for that last comment she made.

Other Stops Today

We came across a park dedicated to Rosie the Riveter. There was a munitions factory on Route 66 here in Elwood, Illinois. The park is across the street from the Elwood Post Office where I went to get some stamps to mail out some Route 66 postcards.

While Charly had seen the Rosie the Riveter picture before, I had to explain the significance. I suggested she give me her best Rosie pose. (I wish I had a bandana to complete the image.)

Charly and Rosie the Riveters
Charly and Rosie the Riveters

Painted Route 66 Emblem

I love how certain places they paint the Route 66 emblem in the street. I got this great idea for a pinup-style image. We parked the car at the top of the emblem and I explained the pose to Charly.

Charly - the Route 66 Pinup Girl
Charly – the Route 66 Pinup Girl

Back at the hotel for the night, I created a digital painting of the scene. That’s the end of day in Normal — creating a painting.

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.