New Route 66 Adventure

Today is the last day of my art show at Oriole 9 in Woodstock, New York – “Route 66 Revisited”! It’s been such fun to share some of my paintings from our trip last January in Arizona and California. That trip ignited a true passion for this treasured route and I have made a commitment to explore the entire road within the next few years.

So, the new plan is to do the first leg of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis the third week in October. Very excited! I belong to an e-group on yahoo that’s devoted to Route 66 fans – it’s a chat group where people share questions, memories, ideas and just hang together virtually with their love of the sacred road. I put out a question to the members looking for recommendations. I have been swamped with replies! No doubt we will not begin to be able to see or do all the things there is to do – in one short day!! I decided this letter was too great not to share – just in today from a lovely #66er named Lulu:

“Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket Willowbrook
White Fence Farm-Romeoville
The Rt 66 Welcome Center first stop for souvenirs
The Rialto Theatre built before the depression for 1 million dollars!-Joliet
Out of Joliet is The Route66 Raceway is on your left . Home of Nascar Races-Joliet
Gemini Giant at The Launching Pad-Wilmington
Polka Dot Drive Inn – Braidwood
Two cell Jail in downtown- Gardner
Marathon Gas station to your left- Dwight
Old Family Rest great murals, Dwight
Standard Station from 32 with a gas gravity pump in front- Odell
Mermen Caverns sign to your right -Cayuga
Old Log Cabin rest on your left-Pontiac
The Museum’s and murals to see in downtown – Pontiac
Bob Waldmire’s VW van and the recycled bus that Bob lived in are here!
Chenoa Pharmacy in Downtown circa 1889
Memory Lane north of town, is gated off but you can walk around, great photo ops-Lexington
Old alignment that is now a linear park – Towanda
Funks Groves Church 1845 If you take a right and then a left about a mile down is the church. These trees are tapped for the sirip are here.
Make a right back on 66 and stop at the shop on the left hand side-Funks Grove
Dixie Truck Stop, not much to see there any more. Commercially owned -McClean
Bunyon Giant holding a hot dog, the smiley water tower, The Atlanta Clock Tower and Library, The Palms Grill, recently renovated to its 30′s or 40′s original look including the counters. I hear they have a mean pie-Atlanta
Postville Courthouse where Lincoln practiced court in, nice square downtown, look at the tops of the buildings. There is a phone booth. It was above the police station as a lookout for tornados.
On the way out of Lincoln to your right will be two cemeteries,drive up to the get and walk around it and follow the road. This was an old alignment walk to the creek The Ghost Bridge. BRING BUG SPRAY! Mosquitoes are HORRIBLE!
The site of The Pig Hip, there is signage there-Broadwell
The Lincoln sites, Home, Library, Cemetery, Cozy Dog-Springfield
Bill Shea’s Gas Station and Museum-Springfield
Sky-view drive in still open, Aristion Rest been around since the early 30′s. Great food, you won’t regret it. Pork tenderloin sandwiches to DIE FOR. Tell Paul or his Dad, Nick tell them Lulu says Hi!- Litchfield
Russell Soulsby’s Shell Station, great photo op, put your car underneath the canopy- Mount Olive
Stay on the 1926-30 Alignment and that will take you to Henry’s Rabbit Rich, photo op on a huge Jackrabbit, great place to buy ‘stuff’ Staunton
When you drive under I-55, immediately look to your left, another Meramec Barn Sign, its not going to be there for much longer, if it is still there? On your right is St. Paul’s church. It has a neon cross -Hamel
There is a roadhouse on the left hand side in Hamel. Great food, in IL Hall of Fame It’s changed hands numerous times.
Not much to see Edwardsville, Glen Carbon.
The Ketchup Bottle Water Tower. It is not on 66 but it is worth the detour. I don’t have the infor, Mike Gassman might pipe up or Kip? Google it and get the info.
Old drive-in sign, photo op right hand sign after you cross 111. Further down is The Luna Cafe. Their Neon sign has recently been restored to it’s early glory! It also use to be a house of IL -repute. When the ‘girls’ were working, the cherry in the martini glass would be turned on. You definitely need a guidebook to get to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, you need to get on 270 cross the river, the bridge is to your left , make the first exit and make a left, to your left is the parking lot. It might not be open, Kip help out here? Any valuables lock up in your trunk.!!!!!!!!! Don’t leave ANYTHING visible in the car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I forgot when in Livingston, on the right hand side is an awesome Antique Shop and Ice Cream shop that looks like an Ice Cream Cone, it has other neat stuff for the kids. There is also a ‘flying saucer’ that the kids can crawl up into and eat their cones. I had cotton candy ice cream, again to die for!!!!
I sure hopes this helps, you have to pick and choose where you want to stop.
Like Brenda told me about our CA trip, make a list of must stops, maybe’s, then big maybe’s! I worked on that for 3 hours! LOL
One of the trips that I was on, there was a flea market open, found some great buys that I still have.
Don’t hesitate to stop somewhere that looks interesting.
When staying at Motels, tell them you are traveling 66,
If you have AAA, AARP? You might get a discount. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
All, they can say is no.

I know the Holiday Inn Express in Pontiac gives a 10% discount. Ask locals if there are anything interesting in town to see? Ask old timer’s that are hanging out at rests. How long have you lived here? Do you have any memories of 66? You will get history lessons that will be cherished forever. To bad Earnie is gone, he would have talked your ear off!
Bring umbrellas as it looks we are going to catch the tail end of the hurricane this weekend, bummer for you. One thing I will NEVER leave home without is Ziplock bags, you can keep road treasures in them dirty socks, so they don;t stink up stuff. Postcards hat pins, etc. You can keep them in one spot. xtra napkins, wetnaps, I also bring a magic marker/Sharpie. If, I pick something up, I can mark and date it. If you get wet this week end? You can put wet socks in them!
A couple of things I always bring, an extension cord. Sometimes the electric outlets are in odd places, you may need more than one outlet at a time. Charging phone, blow dryer,etc. A small flashlight, I have used mine numerous times, had to find an outlet under a bed with low light in the room, Carthage, Mo. haha.The place was great otherwise.
When packing? For example when packing T-shirts fold them in half length wise. fold the sleeves in then start at the top and ‘roll’ it, there are no wrinkles, plus because they are now smaller, you can pack more in. Do that with all your clothes. Now,If you have wrinkles and there is no iron? There is a product out on the market called Wrinkle Releaser by Downy. You find it in the laundry isle. You lay your clothes out flat, mist the shirt with this product. Then take your hands and rub your hands over the shirt. Viola! The wrinkles are gone! I will not leave home without it! I also bring a roll of duct tape, you never know when you might need it.
Can you tell I am getting into a traveling mode? I leave for Ca, in less than 2 weeks!
You also might want to bring with a notebook and take notes and write down memories. Hang on to it and you will have memories to hang on forever.
I was out west for 2 weeks. I spent about an hour every night writing in a journal. I left it on the train.
Oh yes, one more trip. I’m sure everybody has a camera and takes pictures. Stuff happens. I take a return address label and put it on my camera. I have lost 2 cameras and they were returned to me as my address was on it!
Also, in all your luggage, this is for my friends that fly anywhere and everywhere? Take a piece of paper and put your info on it, place it inside every piece. This way, if your luggage gets lost. Eventually it will be returned to you!
Another tip for people flying? Take duck tape, there are so many colors and patterns now. Take 2 pieces and make and x and put it on your luggage. When, it comes thru claims. You can spot it out right away!
I hope this helps!
To the gentleman who posted up all the other info. My hat’s off to you! Between the 2 of us. A week or 2 in IL LOL
Hugs to you traveler’s

“To access the COR you need to do so via the Illinois Side. Out of Mitchell, make the sharp left, take I-270 East, immediately exit on Old Alton Rd., turn right at the end of the exit ramp and turn right at the end of the exit ramp. turn right shortly thereafter on Chain of Rocks Road. Go straight past SR 3 and follow COR road to the bridge. The Missouri side is open sporadically at best.
The Ketchup Bottle is awesome! Take SR 159 out of Edwardsville, thru Collinsville, down a big hill and it will be on the left. One nice thing, it is hard to miss, and if you have probs getting there, anyone can get you in the right direction. Also, go to www.catsupbottle.com and connect with Mike Gassman—he is one helluva great guy! SGF, Kip”

So you can see – not too much dust settling under my feet! Gotta get back out there on the road – SO much to see and do! Many more paintings in my future!

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