Good Morning Joliet

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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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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.