Category Archives: Illinois

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Good Morning Joliet

Good Morning Joliet

Good morning Joliet, Illinois.  We stayed in a local motel.  While clean, the electrical needed a little work — broken plugs, missing light bulbs, non-functioning power outlets, etc.

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Joliet, Illinois

We have a 10am appointment to meet a guy from Route 66 Soda.  Our meeting is at the Joliet Route 66 Museum.  We’re off to our appointment.

Route 66 Soda

We entered the museum, paid our entrance fee and asked the lady at the window if she knew Alan from Route 66 Soda.  She said she does.  She said she would tell him where we are.

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Joliet, IL, on Route 66

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Alan (Route 66 Soda), Me and Paul and a bottle of Route 66 Soda

Alan met up with us within minutes of our entering the museum.  He told us all about Joliet, Illinois, Route 66 Soda and Soda Pop in general.  We even got let in on a little secret about a new flavor.

I wish I could have visited with Alan all day, but he had other appointments.  He left us with 4 bottles – orange, lime, grape and cherry – of Route 66 Soda.  On the way out, we stopped at the gift shop and purchased a couple other flavors.  (Oh, their Cream Soda, developed by Alan, is the BEST. )

We then wandered around the museum to take it in.

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Car Hop and a Cruiser Bicycle

Breakfast or Was It Lunch?

By the time we completed our museum tour, it was nearly noon.  We have not had breakfast, so we went to the Route 66 Diner in Joliet.

 

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Entering the Route 66 Diner in Joliet

I had the chopped steak and eggs.  It’s delicious.  3 eggs and a chopped steak and hashbrowns for about $10.

The diner is decorated with cute little model cars and trucks.  This is the one at our booth…

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Next to our Booth in Route 66 Diner in Joliet

Route 66 Raceway

On our way out of town we found the Route 66 Raceway.  Actually, you can’t miss it.  It is HUGE.  A paved oval, a dirt oval and drag strip all with seating for THOUSANDS of spectators.

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Speedway Sign on Route 66

 

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Route 66 Speedway

Launch Pad

In Wilmington, Illinois is a diner, now closed and for sale, called the Launch Pad.  It is home to the landmark repurposed Muffler Man called the Gemini Giant.

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Gemini Giant

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Gemini Giant (a repurposed muffler man)

I hope it is purchased soon and fixed up.  It has much potential!


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Casting Call

Casting Call

This is sort of a casting call.  Paul and I are looking for people to photograph as we travel Route 66.  You don’t have to be a professional model.  In fact, you don’t have to be a model at all.  (Although, models are always welcome!)  Also, you could be a guy with a very cool car and want pictures of your car.  That’s cool too.

For models, we encourage you to dress for where you plan to meet us.  If you plan to meet us at a 50s diner, dress in 50s attire.  But, you don’t have to play dress up for the shoot.

If you’re a car or motorcycle owner, you can have your picture taken with your car (or motorcycle) or just the car/motorcycle by itself.  This is a chance to make your car/motorcycle famous… and possible you too.

How This Works

Here is how this works…

  • Look at our travel plans at http://route66photographers.com/dates/
  • If there is a day and location that works for you to meet up with us, contact me at brent@route66photographers.com and let me know the day and location.
  • In your e-mail, include the following:
    • Your name
    • The best phone number to reach you at (and let us know if you accept text messages)
    • A picture of yourself so we’ll recognize you
    • A short paragraph of why you are meeting us at the Route 66 location.
  • When the day gets close (1-2 days before) we will contact you and let you know if we are running ahead or behind schedule.
  • You must be flexible on the time of day.  We are driving from Chicago to L.A. over a 30+ day period.
  • When we meet, you’ll have to sign a release.
  • We’ll take a few pictures (it won’t take very long).  We’ll shoot until we get some good usable photos
  • That night, you’ll see your picture on our blog, social media pages and/or in our vlog.
  • We’ll e-mail you copies of the pictures we publish.
copyright 2017 db walton - casting call

Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona

We Cannot

  • We cannot photograph minor children without a parent signing a release.  And, we cannot photograph minor children without the parents being present the entire time.
  • We cannot offer financial compensation for your modeling.  This isn’t that type of venture.
  • We cannot guarantee we will agree to meet up with everyone.  Schedules are very nebulous for our tour.  We will not leave you in the lurch if we say we will meet you, but if we have to cancel, we’ll do so at least 24 hours in advance.  (We’d expect the same from you.)
  • We cannot provide “copyrights” to the images.  That would involve legal fees and involving lawyers.  But, we will give you license to share whatever files we send to you on social media, your personal website, and e-mail them to friends and family.  If you want prints, we are partnering with Bay Photo Labs.  You’ll be able to order professional prints at www.dbwalton.com.

Summary

In summary, this casting call is simply… we want to meet you and photograph you as we take this epic journey.


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Before Decommissioning

Before Decommissioning

This video shows portions of Route 66 before decommissioning.  The video is an hour and 45 minutes long, but it presents a good overview of Route 66.  It’s worth watching…

I like how this video presents the people and communities.  While it is from the 1980s, it presents the importance of Route 66 and it’s place in history.  Imagine riding a bus for a week while traveling from Chicago to L.A.  Today, people fly.  Back then people couldn’t afford to fly, so they took the bus.

Bloody 66, Mother Road, and other nicknames have been given this highway.  Because you cannot drive it end-to-end any more, few people get off the Interstate to drive it.  That’s why we’re driving it.

Our Tour

Our tour will be spread out over a month.  We know many of you will never get a chance to drive Route 66.  For this reason we want to provide you with a virtual road trip along Route 66.

Paul and Brent plan to stop at every significant attraction – man made or natural.  Come night time, if we have access to the Internet, our pictures and videos will go online.  Our blog will post here along with links to our videos and social media posts.  We will also Tweet updates as they happen — signal strength permitting.

 


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Route 66 Bus

Route 66 Bus

In Pontiac, Illinois, there’s a Route 66 Museum.  A feature of the museum is the Route 66 Bus.. .or should I say Hippie RV.

This is one of the things that attracts me to Route 66 — the eclectic nature of what you’ll find.    I’m looking forward to visiting this museum and seeing the Hippie RV.  (Thank you to my friend Gary Morse for bringing this to my attention.)

Sponsorships

We need sponsors.  In return for your investment we will promote your business.  We will start immediately by posting links to your web site here.

Here is a quick summary of what $100 in sponsorship gets your business…

Larger contributions to our tour get even more perks.  Check out the perks here.


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Surface Streets

Surface Streets

What I wrote about decommissioning Route 66 leads us to a discussion about surface streets.  Like most U.S. Highways, Route 66 (the former U.S. Highway 66) was never a freeway.  Today, sections of Route 66 are simply surface streets.

In cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Oklahoma City are examples where Route 66 is now just one of the streets in town.  Driving Route 66 through Pasadena, California, meant keeping my eyes open for street names.  Portions of it were marked with “Historic Route 66” signs in white and brown, but for the most part, sections looked like any other street in a Southern California city.

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Route 66 – Pasadena, California

Turns and Disconnects

When attempting to navigate Route 66 today one must watch for turns and disconnects.  Historic Route 66 can end, and then pickup later on the other side of town.  This is because when it was decommissioned, portions of Route 66 were completely removed and built over.

Some, I discovered, aren’t worth the drive to find.  Others, however, have you saying, “I’m glad I took time to find this!”

As Paul and Brent drive Route 66 they will let you know about those disconnects and you’ll be able to see for yourself whether it was worth the detour or not.

For Your Entertainment

Enjoy these four guys as they swing out on Route 66…


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Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Life is a highway when you’re traveling on Route 66.  By highway, I don’t mean freeway or Interstate.  I mean HIGH WAY.  It’s the better way to travel.

I never drove Route 66 when it was the main artery from Chicago to L.A.  I was too young and we lived too far away, however I remember much of those Americana icons.  I remember the top loading soda machines, the cans of oil, full-service service stations, Burma Shave signs, and other things you find along Route 66.

Why I-40 Killed Route 66

People ask why I-40 killed Route 66.  To understand why, watch the movie Cars.  While it is a cartoon, it explains what happened.  With an interstate freeway, people stop less often, and when they do stop, they stop at freeway exits.

The old way of travel took you through tiny towns.  You drove by mom-and-pop stores.  You might very well find a service station in the middle of nowhere.  True, it took longer to get from point A to B, but it is the journey that matters.

 

And now for your entertainment…

Life is a Highway, from the movie Cars, by Rascal Flatts applies to Route 66.  It’s not the Route 66 theme song, but the movie Cars is all about Route 66.

From our Friends at B&H


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Get Your Kicks

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


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Welcome

Welcome to Route 66!

Welcome to our Route 66 Photographer’s website.  We are live!

Here is a map to our web site:

  • Home – just as it implies.  That’s our landing page.  You will find the latest blog entries at the bottom of this page.
  • About –  Paul’s and Brent’s biographies.
    • Tour dates – these are estimated dates of where we plan to be.
    • Route links – these are other Route 66 websites.
  • Sponsorships – This tells about sponsorship opportunities.  This is a “must visit” for business owners and managers.
  • Sponsors –  This lists our sponsors.
  • Models – Are you a model?  Do you want to meet us along the way?  Check out this page.
  • Terms of Use – Think twice before spamming us.  You need to read this page before you spam us.

Check Back Often

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Road to Oatman

Check back often.  We are updating this site constantly.  It will be updated regularly before the tour, during the tour, and for a period after the tour.  Who knows, we may do this again in which case we’ll update it then too.

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Route 66 Highway

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned because we are offering branded  items.  Shirts, hats and bags are all on the list of Route 66 Photographer tours items will will sell.  Watch our blog for the announcement.