Rt 66 - the first few days

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The heat, it's all been about the heat. We've tried for short days but due to slow speeds, lots of winding through corn fields and minuscule, towns that doesn't always work. We managed to get up and on the road by 8:30 on Tuesday and the temps weren't too bad. Our first stop was in Joliet at the Route 66 Visitor Center and Museum.

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We spent about 45 minutes there, picked up a few small souvenirs and headed out on the road. The Route 66 map that Stu purchased for our Garmin has been really great, both for keeping us on track and for notifying us of upcoming roadside attractions. Some we stop at, some we have a hard time identifying and some we pull over to take a quick photo.

It was about lunch time when we were notified about the Polka Dot Diner. Perfect timing with the added bonus of meeting up with a tour group from Norway. They had flown in to Los Angeles and were on the last day of their trip.

It was in the mid-90's by the time we were done with lunch and we opted to use our cooling vests for the first time. Stu had not used one before and he agreed with me that it really does help. We continued on, taking a few roadside photos of old gas stations and some not-so-old but interesting spots.

We stopped in Pontiac, IL for the night and got a good night's sleep (heck, I took a 2 hour nap and then slept 8 hours) before heading out before 9am again. This time it was already in the upper 80's-low 90's. We had thought Tuesday was bad...yikes!

We wound through a variety of large, small and smaller towns, riding on varying road conditions ranging through Interstate, divided highway, two-lane, BRICK, concrete &/or asphalt with grass in the cracks but we opted out of the dirt road that was offered as an option. (The mapping software allows us to chose different routes although we have it set to default to the oldest routing.) At times we were riding parallel to the original road as seen in the first two photos.

As I said, the heat was really bad so we stopped at the Dixie Diner (serving since 1928) for some iced tea and a cool down.

We found the Hot Dog man and got a behind-me-at-a-traffic-light shot of the Lauterbach Tire bearded man as well as a few other interesting shots.

A later stop for lunch was at Ray's 66 Restaurant in Sherman. Good fun, nice folks! Then on through Springfield, the state capital.

Around 5pm we pulled into the Best Western in Alton, IL for the night. Very nice, GREAT price so with another day of temps in the 90's for Thursday, we booked two nights. Ahhhh.....

We spent today doing laundry, catching up on paperwork, reading emails/blogs/Facebook and writing this blog. This evening we'll go see "Riddick" for my birthday and grab some dinner. Tomorrow the temps will have moderated and we'll start the morning out with panels zipped back on to our mesh pants and liners in our jackets.

Where will we end up? Somewhere in Missouri....time will tell. We need to add a note. We've had a lot of folks asking us to let them know when we are in their area. This is tough for us. We are planning on a day by day basis and we are only stopping sporadically: food, gas, bathroom and cool downs as well as an occasional tourist stop. We'd love to see everyone but realistically, it's not going to happen. By the time we pull into the hotel, we are done. We have been eating lunch on the road and dinner in our rooms and not going out unless it's a two night stay. Now that the weather is cooler, we will be starting to camp and going to bed even earlier. Please understand that we aren't purposely blowing anyone off, if it works out then wonderful but we hope you won't get hurt feelings if it doesn't. Thanks!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip! glad to hear about the vests, still thinking of getting one for Eldy so he will get out on the golf course!

  2. Can you let me know if you got my email about suggested a stop in OK ? Thanks


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