The Journey Begins

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The Journey Begins

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.

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Start of Route 66 (Willis Tower in the background)

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.

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Baguette and Brie

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.

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Even Bicycles Have Character on 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.

Leaving Chicago

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…

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Bicycle Memorial

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.

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Decorating the Bike

Castle Carwash

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.

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Castle Carwash

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.

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Two Elders We Met Along Route 66

Henry’s

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.

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Henry’s – Cicero, IL

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Polish Dog and a Malt

Randy

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.)

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Randy

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.

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White Fence Farm

Joliet, Illinois

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.

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Ice Cream Shop in Joliet

On the top of the ice cream shop are none other than Jake and Elwood — the Blues Brothers.  What a kick!

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Blues Brothers

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!

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Car 54, where are you?

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.

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Joliet, IL – Drawbridge

Special Thanks

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.)

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T Minus 4

T Minus 4

At T minus 4 days and counting, we pick up the rental car.  I am debating on what to video today.  Perhaps it will be a little update in addition to this post.

Here is how it will go the next 4 days…

Today – we pick up the rental car near the end of the day.  Paul will pack his things in the car and I’ll drive it back to Palmyra.

Tomorrow – I will pack my stuff in the car.  In addition, I will make a checklist of the car’s inventory.

Sunday – I’ll go to church and do my usual Sunday activities like feeding the missionaries.  About the only difference is, I will hit the sack earlier than usual.

Monday

Monday I will leave Palmyra and drive to Paul’s to pick him up.  From Paul’s we are heading to South Bend, Indiana, where we will spend the night.  We will rise on Tuesday morning and take the 2 hour drive to Chicago where we will officially start the 2017 Route 66 Photographers Tour.

We are spending our evening in Joliet, Illinois.  Wednesday we head towards Normal.  Yes, the city’s name is Normal.  It’s not unusual, but Normal.  We will have a Normal Wednesday night.

 


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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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Roll Over Beethoven

Roll Over Beethoven

While Chuck Berry might be best known for Roll Over Beethoven, he also covered the Route 66 Theme Song.  Enjoy this version as only Chuck Berry could do…

Less Than 8 Months

In less than 8 months Paul and Brent will embark on this epic adventure.  That may seem like it is a ways off, but it will be here before you know it.

When asked, ‘What will you be driving?’ it pains us to say… “We don’t know.”

For that reason, we are looking for a major sponsor to provide our wheels for the trip.  This can be a rental car company, a car dealership, a car manufacturer, or even a car collector.

We’re flexible too.  We can drive the car round-trip from Rochester, New York, or we can pick up the car in Chicago, IL, and drop it off in Los Angeles.  We’re willing to work with the sponsor.

If you’d like to be considered for this sponsorship, give us a call.  Call Brent’s cell phone at (925) 759-3002.

Eats

When it comes to eats, we’ll be photographing every place we stop and eat.  Special mention will be given to those diners along the way who see fit to comp our meals.  Those who do will receive a special 8×10 photo, suitable for framing, courtesy of Bay Photo Labs.  This is in addition to being mentioned on our nightly BLOG and VLOG.


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Goodbye 2016

Goodbye 2016

It’s goodbye to 2016, and tomorrow we say hello to 2017.  2017 ‘s big resolution for these photographers is to drive Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.

As I look back over 2016, I also look back to years past.  Backing up my server today, I saw some pictures one of my children took on our very first Route 66 road trip.  Route 66 was something we saw while driving to the Grand Canyon and we got hooked.

copyright 2016 db walton

My Son Zack on Route 66

We stopped at Alien Jerky and one of my children snapped the above photo of their brother standing by a car with an alien in the back seat.  Alien’s are a huge thing in this area with it’s ties to Area 51.

My daughter had to stop and kiss an alien…

copyright 2016 db walton

Kissing an Alien on Route 66

2017

2017 will be a great opportunity for businesses to come on board and sponsor our Route 66 tour.  Every day we’ll bring people updates and progress as we motor along Route 66.

As we blog (every night) we will mention those sponsors who helped make this trip possible.  This is a huge undertaking, and we will give our sponsors due credit.