Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago!

Day 13: 603 Miles
Total: 5,857 Miles

I made it! All the way from Chicago to Santa Monica and back again. The last two days were pretty brutal, but I still had a chance to see and experience some things I missed on the trip to California, so it was worth it.

I left Lebanon, Missouri at about 7:00am today and made good time throughout Missouri and into Illinois. I wound up stopping for breakfast in Rolla, Missouri at a Huddle House. The main reason was because it was completely redesigned and didn't look anything like any Huddle Houses I have seen before. These are mostly in the south, so some of you may not be familiar with them. They are typically 24-hour diners.

This one had all fifties-retro decorations and looked really nice. I liked the atmosphere, but they should have spent some of the money used in the redesign to hire a new cook. Enough said.

I drove through one of my favorite places in Missouri today - Devil's Elbow near Fort Leonard Wood. The road loops off of the main four lane section of Route 66 and crosses this narrow bridge. It was early in the morning and still foggy when I went through here.

This is a used car lot. Really. I had to shoot this. All of these cars are for sale. I guess they're "fixer-uppers."

This beautifully restored Phillips 66 station is in Cuba, Missouri.

This restaurant in Lincoln, Illinois is undergoing a restoration.

This guy is in Atlanta, Illinois. I believe he is a close personal friend of the Gemini Giant at The Launching Pad restaurant.

This is a section of Route 66 in Illinois that is being utilized for a walking parking, jogging trails, bike paths, etc. The sections are broken up every so far, but they stretch on for many miles.

I showed another picture of this restored station in Odell, Illinois in an earlier blog.

In the next town over, Dwight, Illinois, is this restored Texaco station. It has the distinction of being in operation longer than any other service station on Route 66. I missed shooting it on my way to California, so I'm glad I got a second chance.

The home stretch - downtown Chicago skyline from Jackson Avenue.

Like Santa Monica, this was very anticlimactic. Worse in a sense, because I couldn't even park to get out and take a picture of myself in front of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Avenue; the eastern terminus of Route 66. All I could do was take a shot through the windshield while I sat at the light. Still, I made it! Though virtually indistinguishable from the hazy sky, that's Lake Michigan straight ahead.

Now it's on further east. My plans are changing again, but I'll fill you in as I go. Tomorrow is Route 20.



Anonymous said...

Yes, I think the Hot Dog Guy is related to the Gemini Giant, too. And somewhere near Bangor, Maine is their cousin, Paul Bunyon, if my childhood trip memories are correct.

Love, Sue

Anonymous said...

Almost home again, home again jiggidy jog. Thanks for sharing this trip with all of us. Mom

Anonymous said...

Did you do the Power Tour? Or just go on your own? What are you driving? You should have picked up a couple of those fixer-uppers! Your Dad would have loved it!!


Pablo said...

I'm tired, are we there yet? Are they going to have a pool? Can we get a Dairy Queen?

I just wanted to give you a reminder of what you're missing by not traveling with other people...

I hope you're still having fun. On Route 20, I'd be curious to know the exact Walmart count as you pass them...I'm sure that's high on your agenda! Also, you could stop at the exciting "highest point in Ohio", which as I recall was an office parking lot near a farm, not far from Route 20 at a breathtaking 650 feet above sea level.