Tag

Illinois

June 8, 2019

Day 4 – New Suspenders

I forgot to mention I picked up some Route 66 suspenders back at Becky’s Barn. My new suspenders are the type of souvenir that will keep supporting me. They have little Route 66 emblems representing very state Route 66 passes through. I like my new suspenders.

Earlier in the Day (before New Suspenders)

Before I got my new suspenders, and before we stopped at Becky’s Barn, I noticed what Charly was wearing.

“Hey, didn’t you sleep in that last night,” I jokingly said while thinking her blouse looked like a teddy.

“NO! How would YOU KNOW what I slept in last night?” Charly said with indignance.

“It looks like a nighty. A teddy,” I answered.

Rolling her eyes, she said, “I’m stopping the car. I need to stretch my legs.”

She pulled off the cobblestone road on to the grass, and got out and walked around on the bricks. The sound of her heals on the bricks made a very distinctive click/scratch noise.

“Aren’t you afraid your heals are going to get stuck between the bricks?” I asked.

“Will you lay off my clothes? Sheesh. You’d think you’re my father,” she said sounding like an irritated teenager.

Walking the Cobblestone Road
Walking the Cobblestone Road

I moved over to the driver’s seat after taking some pictures, and Charly walked around stretching her legs a bit longer.

“You know, you keep stretching those legs and you’ll be all legs. Oh, what am I saying… isn’t that what every woman wants? Long legs?” I joked.

“You bet. Why do you think I need to stretch my legs every couple of hours?” Charly smiled.

“I thought that was just your way of saying, ‘Okay, Brent, you can go pee now,'” I laughed.

More Abandoned Sections

We drove along as I maintained a hypervigilance. My priorities were (1) safety while driving, (2) watching the gas gage, and (3) looking for portions of Route 66 that once-were.

“There! I think I see an abandoned section of road,” I said while making a hard right.

Charly slammed against the car door. (Remember, this is a right-hand drive car.)

“Are you trying to get us killed,” she screamed.

Laughing it off because there was not a car in sight, I said, “How? Did you think we might get rear-ended by a skunk or something?”

“Grrrr… you startled me,” she growled.

I pulled over near an abandoned bridge, and Charly got out quickly and straightened her dress and tugged on her shorts which had ridden up her legs. I’m sure my quick turn didn’t help any.

“Going to the movies, Charly?” I said as she pinched her shorts between her butt cheeks and pulled them down.

“Huh?”, looking at my with confusion.

“Are you going to the movies?” I said with a grin.

“Are we going to the movies today? You didn’t say anything about going to the movies,” she said with a continued look of confusion.

“Oh, I just had to ask because it looked like you were picking your seat,” I said as I took cover behind her car. (I figured there’s no way she would pick up a rock and throw it at her car.)

“I don’t get it?” she said.

“Never mind. It wouldn’t be funny if I have to explain it,” I said.

“Oh… Oh… I get it,” she said catching on, “It isn’t funny even if you don’t have to explain it.”

A Little Creative Fun (no New Suspenders Needed)

While Charly was sitting I snapped a photo of my Route 66 contraption I made. I’ve been rubbing the base in the dirt when we stop. The idea is a little bit of Route 66 from every state will become part of it.

There we go… A little creative work and you’ve got Charly sitting by this HUGE 66.

A Monument to Route 66
A Monument to Route 66
Do Not Do This on REAL Monuments
Do Not Do This on REAL Monuments

Note: I do not advice, encourage, or condone climbing on REAL monuments. This is a virtual reality.

Regarding Abandoned Sections of Route 66

If you are searching for abandoned sections of Route 66, please make sure you are not trespassing. If you see signs that say, “Keep Out”, “No Trespassing”, or “Private Property”, don’t go looking. And, if someone tells you that you are on private property and asks you to leave, do so politely.

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 7, 2019

Day 3 – Dead Ends

We met a few dead ends today on Route 66. As we travel Historic Route 66 we will look for “missing” portions. Many are “dead ends” at BOTH ends.

The first one we found today was perfect to stage a drag race. You know where traffic will come from so you don’t have to have spotters at both ends.

Charly changed in to what she calls her “racing” outfit. I’d call it more of a racy outfit.

On a Dead End Section of Route 66
On a Dead End Section of Route 66

Checking Books, Maps and Internet

Checking books, maps and Internet is a good way to find abandoned sections of old Route 66. Route 66 moved several times throughout its history, and since being decommissioned, some sections are simply abandoned. Today, there are many sections that are still driveable, but even those you have to search for.

You will find some in the woods, others in fields, we found one in a park, and who knows where some are hiding. It takes getting out of the car and hiking around at times.

Pranking Charly with Dead Ends

We found an abandoned section in a park. It was being used for a bike/pedestrian trail.

“Hey, Charly, I’m going to take the car and scout around for the next drivable part of Route 66,” I tell her.

“Okay, I’ll explore the park and enjoy the sunshine,” Charly replies.

I drove to the other side of the overpass and found an access road. Sure enough, it came up to the roadblock on the park section. Waiting and watching, I waited for Charly to be off doing something so I could sneak the car to the “closed” side of the roadblock.

There I sat quietly off the side of the road with my camera to grab a shot of Charly’s surprise. I’m going to have fun pranking Charly with dead ends.

How Did He Do That?  How did he get the car on the other side?
How Did He Do That?

“What the …” Charly stops knowing I don’t approve of cussing.

“BRENT,” Charly screamed.

I sat quietly behind her with my camera in silent mode and squeezed off a couple frames.

“BRENT!!!” she yelled again, “Where are you, and how the freak did you get the car back there? Did you drive across the grass?”

“No,” I said as she nearly jumped out of her skin, “I found an access road on the other side of that overpass.”

“You think your funny,” she said as she came charging towards me.

I wasn’t about to stand there to find out what would happen next. Clutching my camera, I just started to run away from her. Seeing no place to run to, I put my hands in the air and said, “I surrender! I surrender!”

No sooner than I said the second ‘surrender’, I felt her arms around my neck and her torso pressed in to mine as her legs wrapped around my waist.

“What? Are you 5 years old wanting daddy to give you a piggyback ride? Get off me.” I demanded.

Ruffling my hair, she slides off my back and says, “Ah, come on. I enjoy piggyback rides.”

“I used to too… when I was FIVE,” I retorted. “Let’s get back on the road.”

Back on the Road

We managed to get back on the road. As the day neared an end we checked in to our hotel. The first thing Charly did was change out of her cowgirl outfit and in to a slinky cocktail dress.

“Are you taking me out to diner?” Charly askes.

Eyeing her over, I reply, “Yes, but don’t you think you’re a little overdressed for Route 66?”

“I can take it off if you want,” she says with a wink.

Perhaps she’s been on the road too long with me, but she’s never winked like that before. Well, at least not to me.

Knowing her lack of inhibitions, I said, “Nope, not at all. Let me go grab a tie.”

Charly in a Traditional Route 66 Diner
Charly in a Traditional Route 66 Diner

May 29, 2019

Day 2 – Joliet Illinois

It’s Day 2 and we’re waking up in Joliet, Illinois. Right off the bat Charly emerges from her room wearing a swimsuit under her cutoffs. (She wore a different suit yesterday after changing in Chicago.)

“Do you think we’re going swimming today?” I asked.

“We might. Doesn’t the hotel have a pool?” She said.

“I doubt it. We’re booked at a Motel 6, and if it did have a pool, I wouldn’t trust it,” was my response.

“Well! We’re by a river!” she said sarcastically.

It was a losing battle. Heck, I don’t care what she wears as long as she doesn’t drive me nuts wanting to listen to hip hop or starts complaining about my road mix.

My road mix has a variety of different covers of the Route 66 Theme Song, some Eagles (for when we hit Arizona and California), songs about cars (like Mustang Sally Got a GTO), Little Duce Coup, and so forth. It’s music meant for Route 66.

Breakfast

I need my protein in the morning, and the hotel “continental breakfast”, was more like packaged sweet rolls and watered down juice. Little protein in either one of those. So, I was on a lookout for a Route 66 style dine.

We were following U.S. Highway 6/Illinois Highway 53, which in these parts is Historic Route 66. You can’t go by the brown and white Historic Route 66 signs and they get stolen by French tourists. (I asked a guy how they get them past customs. He said, “They don’t. The send them home via the U.S. Postal Service — no checking what’s inside the package.”)

We stopped outside a little dinner and I asked Charly to pose for a picture.

66 in sign language
66

Holding up 3 fingers on both hands, I recognized what this is. When I experienced SHL (Sudden Hearing Loss) and thought I was going to be deaf the rest of my life. As a result, I started studying it.

“What’s with the sign language?” I asked, “Didn’t know I knew a little sign myself, did you?”

While most people use this for the number 3, in sign this is a “W”, but if you tap your little finger to your thumb, it is the number “6”.

“It’s Route 66. I’m making 6 6 with my hands,” Charly proudly stated.

“I know, Charly, I know,” I chuckled. “Let’s get something to eat before I get really cranky. This is only day 2, and you don’t want me cranky.”

Joliet Route 66 Diner

A fitting name for a diner on Route 66 in Joliet – Joliet Route 66 Diner. It was your traditional diner menu. I went for the protein rich breakfast, while Charly went for the sweets.

The booths were decorated with metal cars and trucks. We happened to get an old pickup truck. It has character.

Toy pickup truck decorating the diner booth.
Toy Pickup Truck

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.

October 26, 2017

Day 4 – Springfield to Saint Louis Continued

Traveling to Saint Louis continued, we leave the cobblestone highway and we come upon this...

Traveling to Saint Louis continued, we leave the cobblestone highway and we come upon this...

Day 4 – Springfield to Saint Louis Continued

Traveling to Saint Louis continued, we leave the cobblestone highway and we come upon this…

copyright 2017 db walton
Concrete and Bumpy

The above photo illustrates a few things.  1) What’s left of Route 66 goes through residential portions of towns.  2)  It is different depending on where you are.  3) There might not be any lane markings — just a seam down the center of the concrete.

Coal Towns

Again, the markers in Illinois for Route 66 are fantastic.  They have that retro look, and they also tell the local stories.  In this case, it is about “Coal Towns”.  When I think of coal mining, I seldom think of Illinois.

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Route 66 Coal Towns Sign

The town of Virden is more than just a coal town.  In 1898 a war (battle) broke out over labor rights.  In the center of town you’ll find a  mural as a remembrance.  You’ll also find this monument to veterans.

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Virden Monument to Veterans

Nilwood, Illinois

Not far from Verden is Nilwood.  This sleepy little town has the most interesting post office I’ve ever seen.

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Post Office

But, just down the street is this biker’s club with this cool mural on the wall…

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Biker Club in Nilwood, Illinois

Just in front of this biker’s club they were paving Historic Route 66…

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Note the Alignment Dates

Re-alignment

If you notice the sign says 1926-30.  What that means is this section of Historic Route 66 was U.S. Highway 66 from 1926-30.  You see this often where there are more than one section in an area.  This is because they moved the highway for various reasons.

In these case, you often end up traveling around the block to see the other section(s).  Our 2,500 miles of Route 66 was double that.  We drove more than 5,200 miles because we did a lot of doubling-back.

Turkey Tracks

This is most definitely the funniest part of the road.  I mean, the road itself.  Cobblestones were cool, but turkey tracks in the concrete… now that’s just funny.

Evidently when they pour the concrete, a turkey decided to cross the road… and then he changed his mind.

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Turkey Tracks – a Route 66 Landmark

Why did the turkey cross the road?

copyright 2017 db walton
Why did the turkey cross the road?

He obviously wanted to get his kicks on Route 66.  And, it looks like he left some behind.

Tomorrow…

We’re still on day 4, and still heading to St. Louis.  So check back tomorrow for more day 4 recapping.

Changes Coming

Also, I’m going to be changing the layout of our website.  The content won’t change, but how you see it and get to it will.

October 25, 2017

Day 4 – Springfield to Saint Louis

Let's make this clear.  There are two Springfields on Route 66 -- Illinois and Missouri.  We're leaving the one in Illinois heading to Saint Louis, Missouri.  Before we head out we are going to go to Lincoln's Tomb.

Let's make this clear.  There are two Springfields on Route 66 -- Illinois and Missouri.  We're leaving the one in Illinois heading to Saint Louis, Missouri.  Before we head out we are going to go to Lincoln's Tomb.

Day 4 – Springfield to Saint Louis

Let’s make this clear.  There are two Springfields on Route 66 — Illinois and Missouri.  We’re leaving the one in Illinois heading to Saint Louis, Missouri.  Before we head out we are going to go to Lincoln’s Tomb.

Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb

This beautiful monument to one of our nation’s great presidents is impressive — inside and out.  As you enter the tomb, a hall to your right takes you around to the back of the building where the burial chamber is.  The wall opposite Lincoln’s grave is a mausoleum that holds family members.

copyright 2017 db walton
Exterior of Lincoln’s Tomb

The hall continues and circles back around to the entrance foyer.  All along the hall are bronze statues showing Lincoln at various stages of his life.

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One of Many Statues Inside

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Mary Todd Lincoln

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Edward and William

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Thomas Tad Lincoln

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Lincoln’s Grave Inside His Tomb

Springfield, Illinois, is both a Lincoln town and a Route 66 town.  It is an awesome place to visit.

Leaving Springfield, Illinois

Upon leaving Springfield, Illinois, you hit a cobblestone section of Route 66.  It is impressive.  Miles of carefully laid brick that was once a U.S. Highway.

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A Close Look at the Brick

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Stretch of Cobblestone Bricks

Becky’s Barn

It was on this section we found Becky’s Barn – a farm with a large barn filled with Route 66 souvenirs and 2nd hand memorabilia.  I entered and saw a bearded man.  I commented he didn’t look like a Becky, and he told me Becky was his wife who died a few years back.

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Becky’s Barn Entrance

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Owner – Rick

I dug through his collection of license plates looking for something from 1956.  No luck here.  I did buy some Route 66 suspenders (just like he was wearing).  The rest of the trip I was asked where I got them.  Evidently he’s the person who sells them.

copyright 2017 db walton
Inside Becky’s Barn

As we were leaving, he pointed to a pile of bricks.  The story is this…

They were repairing Old Route 66 and had a payloader scoop full of bricks.  They asked him if they could dump a “small” pile of bricks in his front yard.  He said sure.  It turned out to be a HUGE pile.  He’s been giving away bricks ever since.  It is still a big pile, but not as big as it was.

copyright 2017 db walton
Diminishing Pile of Bricks from Old Route 66

By the way, Becky’s Barn – the property, house, store – it’s all for sale.  He’s moving.

If you’re looking for Becky’s Barn, watch for signs.  The driveway entrance is on Route 66, but it isn’t obvious unless you see the signs.  (Which were plentiful.)

More Day 4 to Come

We motored on down the red brick road.  Watch for more about day 4 to come.

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Diminishing Pile of Bricks from Old Route 66


October 17, 2017

Day 3 – Beyond Normal

Beyond Normal

As we head southwest, beyond Normal, Illinois, we continue to find interesting things and people. Coming from Western New York where maple syrup is a staple food, it was fun to see a sugar house on Route 66.  Funks Grove is best known for pictures of a barn with colorful Adirondack chairs (how ironic).  However, it is also a sugar house and maple grove.

copyright 2017 db walton
Sold Out

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Entrance Sign at Funks Grove

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Funks Grove – Sap tank

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Colorful Chairs at Funks Grove

There was nobody around to talk with, so we walked around and took pictures.  It’s too bad they were sold out.  It would be fun to compare Illinois to New York maple syrup.

Hotdog Man

From the Gentle Giant to the Hotdog Man of Atlanta, Illinois, the Bunyan-sized giant is another reconditioned Muffler Man.  Next to him a carnival game where you use your strength to see how far you can get on Route 66.  (Unfortunately, it was broken.  As a result, we didn’t get to try it.)

Locals recommended a diner in Atlanta.  The Palms Grill, across the street from the Hotdog Man, came highly recommended since their pies are quite good.  (So we were told.)  Because of the recommendations, we stopped for lunch.

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Chicken Fried Chicken

I had this amazing sandwich…

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You Can’t Go Wrong Ordering This

While waiting for your food, take a walk around to the other side of the restaurant.  It’s a Route 66 Museum!

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Palm Cafe Museum

And, add your pin!  (There are several of these along Route 66.  Where found, I added a pin.)

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Yes, I Added a Pin for Palmyra

Plus, the main reason to go to Palm Grill — the pie.  I will admit, it is VERY GOOD.

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Cherry Pie Billy Boy

More In Atlanta

Atlanta offers much.  This is a heartland Route 66 town.  It is where Chicagoans go to feel Route 66.  It has gift shops and a fun museum.

There is an arcade (pinball machines et al) too.  Because it was closed, we didn’t see it.  However, this one was open.  The Rolls Royce caught my attention.

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Arcade Museum

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Rolls Royce Trademark Flying Lady

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Mannequin at the 7Up Sign

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Mannequin at the Organ

The Mannequins along Route 66 make it fun.  They all serve a purpose, therefore they are welcome sights.  I love ’em.

Leaving Atlanta

As you leave Atlanta, take a picture of the water tower.  Most noteworthy is the Happy Face.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardtoz
Happy Face Water Tower

Lincoln

Next stop – Lincoln, Illinois.  It is named after… that’s right, Abe Lincoln.  (Hey, who knows… it could be named after the car!)

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Honoring Lincoln in the Lincoln Courthouse

See the descriptive plaque below… (not the bike rack, but after that.)

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Lincoln Bike Rack

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Descriptive Sign

These two young men caught my attention.  It is especially relevant because it is so Norman Rockwellish.  They were fun to watch, as well as fun to photograph.

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The Lincoln Theatre

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Logan County Court House – Lincoln, Illinois

We convinced the security guards we were harmless.  As a result we went inside and photographed this beautiful building.

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Logan County Court House – Lincoln, Illinois – Rotunda

More to Come

There is more to come, therefore, check back in a couple of days.  I will have more recaps.

Special Thanks

A special thanks to Bay Photo Labs, Republic Wireless and all the software vendors who made this fun.  (Software vendors:  Alien Skin, Anthropics, ACDSee, On1 and Topaz Labs.)    Let’s not forget Warner 5 Color.  The hand mirrors are a huge hit.

October 11, 2017

Day 2 – Going to Normal

This is a continuation of day 2 as we're going to Normal.  Today I kept thinking about the scene in Young Doctor Frankenstein when Doctor Frankenstein asks Igor about the brain Igor brought him.   "Abby... Abby Normal."

This is a continuation of day 2 as we're going to Normal.  Today I kept thinking about the scene in Young Doctor Frankenstein when Doctor Frankenstein asks Igor about the brain Igor brought him.   "Abby... Abby Normal."

Going to Normal

This is a continuation of day 2 as we’re going to Normal.  Today I kept thinking about the scene in Young Doctor Frankenstein when Doctor Frankenstein asks Igor about the brain Igor brought him.   “Abby… Abby Normal.”

I’m sure people in Normal, Illinois, hear all sorts of jokes about their town.

One thing is for sure… Don’t stay at the Motel 6.  Yeah, I’m sure people are thinking… don’t stay at Motel 6 at all, but their are good ones… but not this one.

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Paul Taking Pictures

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Yup, Here We Are

Roadside Attractions

You see these blue Roadside Attraction signs along the way.  They are useful because they tell you what you’re looking at.  In this case, an old restored barn.  You can’t drive there off Route 66, you have to park and walk through the cornfields.  We passed as it was starting to get dark.

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Roadside Attractions – but way off the road

In several places old alignments of Route 66 are visible from today’s driveable road.  Standing on them tells a story in itself.  The new road looks and feels new, but the old road has many stories locked inside.

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The end of an old section adjacent to the current (newer) section.

Old, but not Abandoned

Some of these places look old, but when you stop to check them out, they are not abandoned.  It is an interesting mix of dilapidation and restoration.  Here’s a new Mobil sign on a very weathered building.

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One of Many old stations.

Something we don’t see often — phone booths.  However, this one obviously is a newer, TouchTone variety, yet, like much of Route 66 – obsolete.

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Mannequins Are Popular Along Route 66

People decorate their place with old pumps.

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I Wonder How Many Ferraris have Driven Route 66

They also decorate their place with old cars.  Some haven’t been moved in decades, while others are driveable.  I think this one is just there for the looks.

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Old Pumps and Cars… they make Route 66 what it is today.

I used one of these often when I owned my Corvairs.  Another relic of the past along Route 66.

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Won’t See These Around Town

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Pumps in Good Shape

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Something about these old pumps. This one said 11 cents/gallon.

Finding Your Way on Route 66

Finding your way on Route 66 isn’t always easy.  In this case, the road is called, “S. Old Route 66”, and it is marked.  As mentioned before, such signs are a target for poaching.  Sad, but true.  (Editorial Note:  This has given French tourists a very bad reputation along Route 66.  While I have no evidence they are the thieves, many locals we met have a disdain for our friends from France.  Perhaps they have witnessed the theft, I don’t know.  I’ve personally had shop owners walk up to me and ask, “Are you French?”, and when I’ve told them I was American, a sigh of relief came over them.    So, if you are French, and reading this, please share with your countrymen the need to repair this relationship.  More will be said about this in future posts.)

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You Know We’re on Route 66

Sometimes, finding your way means searching for known landmarks.  For example, search for Route 66 businesses.  Most of them are on Route 66 (but not all).  In the below example, you can see the Route 66 Family Restaurant along with a brown & white Historic Route 66 sign (next to the stop sign).

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One of Many Diners Along the Way

Also watch for stenciled Route 66 shields on the pavement.  That’s something they can’t steal.  However, be careful taking pictures of them.  Have a friend be a spotter who can yell, “Car coming.”

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There’s Nothing Consistent About these Route 66 Stencils on the Road

Watch for Old Alignments

As you drive Route 66, watch for old Alignments.  They are sometimes visible from today’s driveable roads.

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Old to New

It’s kind of cool to get out of the car and walk these old alignments.  Here you can see what’s left of the old yellow line.  Weeds grew through the sections revealing how the road was laid.

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What an Abandoned Road Looks Like

We rolled in to Pontiac, Illinois, around dinner time.  To my dismay, the Pontiac Museum was closed.  Being one of those Poor Old Nuts Thinks It’s A Cadillac (PONTIAC – get it?), I was disappointed.  My Grand Prix can’t find out about this.

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Pontiac Museum

A couple coming out of a restaurant told us about this old bus where  the artist who painted many of these murals lived.  Funny thing is, I’ve been in this bus, but not here.  I met the owner on one of my few Route 66 trips.

While there we met a lady from Greece who is here on business.  Paul snapped this picture of me standing by the sign with our friend from Greece.  (For the life of me, I can’t remember her name.)

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A Friend from Greece

And, here’s a cool Illinois 66 marker.  These are just plain cool.

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Pontiac Illinois Marker

Pontiac also has a tie with Abe Lincoln.  Here’s a young Abe standing against the fence.  (Click on his picture to learn more.)

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Abe Statue in Pontiac

Burma Shave

We found our first Burma Shave signs along Route 66.  “For a Davenport” is the punchline.  You’ll have to wait for the rest of the joke.

Burma Shave signs always had a message about safety.  They addressed things like not watching for trains, falling asleep at the wheel, drinking and driving, driving distracted (for which, they were ahead of their times).  The razor company became known for the public service messages which always ended with “Burma Shave”.

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First Burma Shave Signs

We have a beautiful sunset tonight.  We’ll be rolling in to Normal after dark.

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Tonight’s Sunset

Special Thanks

A very special thanks to Republic Wireless today.  Our data connection worked well everywhere we went today.  Also, I must add, using my Republic Wireless phone as a WiFi hotspot is working better than the WiFi at these hotels and motels.  It is faster and more reliable!!!  Plus, I love my Republic Wireless rates.

Another thanks to Bay Photo.  We hand out Bay press printed bookmarks and cards everywhere we go, and to everyone carrying a camera.  Some mention certain competitors, but I follow it with, “You owe it to yourself to give Bay Photo a try.”