Tag

tourists

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.

copyright 2017 db walton
Paul Taking Pictures
copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
Mannequins Are Popular Along Route 66

People decorate their place with old pumps.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
Won’t See These Around Town
copyright 2017 db walton
Pumps in Good Shape
copyright 2017 db walton
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.)

copyright 2017 db walton
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).

copyright 2017 db walton
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.”

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.

copyright 2017 db walton
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.)

copyright 2017 db walton
A Friend from Greece

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

copyright 2017 db walton
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.)

copyright 2017 db walton
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”.

copyright 2017 db walton
First Burma Shave Signs

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

copyright 2017 db walton
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.”

October 4, 2016

Get Your Kicks

When someone mentions Route 66, do you immediately think, "Get your kicks on Route 66"? If you do, you're not alone. A lot of people think that. What's on Route 66 that justifies the lyrics, "Get your kicks on Route 66"?

When someone mentions Route 66, do you immediately think, "Get your kicks on Route 66"? If you do, you're not alone. A lot of people think that. What's on Route 66 that justifies the lyrics, "Get your kicks on Route 66"?

Get Your Kicks

When someone mentions Route 66, do you immediately think, “Get your kicks on Route 66”?

If you do, you’re not alone.  A lot of people think that.

What’s on Route 66 that justifies the lyrics, “Get your kicks on Route 66”?

Today it is mostly iconic diners and businesses, many of which have been restored.  Then, in big cities, like Pasadena, California, there are modern businesses that didn’t exist when Route 66 was in its prime.

Back in the pre-Interstate highway days, Route 66 hosted many gas stations, motels and restaurants.   It wasn’t unusual for your car to overheat on Route 66 in California, Arizona or other southwestern states.  For that reason, there were service stations and garages along the way.

copyright 2016 db walton
Abandoned Gas Station

More Than Just Ghost Towns

Route 66 is more than just ghost towns.  There are small communities that have survived the I-40 devastation. (When Interstate 40 was opened, many businesses and communities died.)  These communities benefit from the tourist traffic.  They host gift shops, restaurants, and other delights for the Route 66 travelers today.

copyright 2016 db walton
Diner in San Bernadino

Once you hit the L.A. basin, those portions of Route 66 are thriving as they are surface streets in cities like Pasadena and Santa Monica, for example.  It is when you get out of town that Route 66 becomes a piece of Americana from the past.

copyright 2016 db walton
Oatman, Arizona

Here’s Bobby Troup…

For your entertainment, here’s Bobby Troup’s version of the Route 66 theme song.  Bobby Troup WROTE the song, and then Nat King Cole brought it to the top of the Billboard hits that same year. (click here for the Wikipedia story)  Since then at least 50 artists have covered the Route 66 Song.

THANK YOU BOBBY TROUP!