The Journey Begins
Today the journey begins. We left South Bend, Indiana, and headed to Chicago. Our GPS led us right to the start of Route 66. I was wondering where we would find parking, but there it was — Parking Straight Ahead.
We learned quickly Route 66 has two roads at the start Adams Street (heading west), and Jackson Street (heading east). Walking to Adams Street we found the historic marker for the START of Route 66. It’s right across the street from the Chicago Art Institute.
Because Chicago is a big city, there is a mix of the old and the new. Without some research, you may not know what was there when Route 66 was a U.S. Highway, and what was built after its decommissioning.
Along our way, a friendly lady stopped to chat. She was excited for us. I presented her with one of our Route 66 mirrors.
We came to a plaza with a farmers market. I’m a sucker for cheese we bought some brie with apricot and almonds and a baguette of bread. That was lunch today.
We continued down to what used to be called Sear’s Tower, but now Willis Tower. That’s when we cut over the Jackson Street and began our walk back to the car. Jackson is the east-bound portion of Route 66 in downtown Chicago.
There at the end of Jackson Street is the sign marking the END of Route 66.
It was very easy finding the parking lot, but it wasn’t so easy finding how to get back in to the underground parking log. Jokingly I told Paul, “We passed through a one-way portal.”
We found a door, opened it, and it was the stairs down to the parking lot. They hide it well.
The drive leaving Chicago is interesting. Part of the road has a frontage road. That’s the only way to stop to take pictures.
We found this bicycle strapped to a lamp post. Because of the sign, it is deserving of a photo…
On the other side of the bicycle was a collection of silverware. There was nobody around to ask the story behind the bicycle and its decorations. Thus, there’s definitely a story there.
We found what used to be the Castle Carwash. A man named Nathan was walking by and told us the man who owned the place was killed here. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but the building stands unused.
As we were talking to Nathan, two L.D.S. Missionaries walked by. I called out, “Elders! ELDERS!”, before they turned around. I asked to take their pictures and share them online. They gladly posed with the Fire House Church in the Background.
As soon as I spotted Henry’s, I knew we had to stop. This iconic hotdog diner dons a huge hotdog above a neon sign. As a result, we stopped and ate dinner.
I was checking out a 1960 Coupe DeVille when this guy came out and asked if we had questions. I noticed his tattoos. Now, I’m not a tattoo guy, but this guy has Route 66 tattooed on his arm.
Randy agreed to let me photograph him. (And, Bay Photo Labs will be sending Randy an 8×10 he can hang in his shop.)
Randy is working on other cars. He gave us a quick tour. His shop is located in McCook, Illinois . He is right next door to Steak n’ Egger.
White Fence Farm
These two cows are at a HUGE restaurant, petting zoo, and take-out place named after… none else… than the white fences. The place is worth the visit inside. They have old cars, motorcycles, appliances, toys, dolls, as well as big restaurant that specializes in chicken.
Our destination tonight is Joliet. We entered town and saw this ice cream shop — Kicks on 66. We stopped.
Two sweet young ladies gave us a map of the area, and asked where we were from. I ran to the car and got a couple of Route 66 Mirrors created for us by Warner 5 Color.
On the top of the ice cream shop are none other than Jake and Elwood — the Blues Brothers. What a kick!
Next to Kicks on 66 is a park with several kiosks about Route 66. We didn’t wander the park because it was starting to get dark. However, we did go across the street and took pictures of Dick’s on 66. (Dick’s… Kicks… on 66…)
Besides, I couldn’t resist when I saw Car 54. Ooo! Ooo!
As we entered downtown Joliet we cross this old draw bridge. The river and lights were too much to resist. What a nice ending for a long day.
Special thanks today to…
Warner 5 Color — the mirrors are a HIT. I think I gave away 3 today.
Bay Photo — Randy is very deserving of the 8×10, and we’ve handed out several cards and a couple of Route 66 pins.
ACDsee — all images in the blog today were processed using ACDsee Ultimate 10. I had a LOT of images to sort through and ACDsee was fast and efficient. (Readers, if you don’t know what ACDsee is, it is like Adobe Lightroom… only better in many ways.)