Day 04 - Start of Route 66

OK... Today we are FINALLY hitting the road, and THIS is the actual start. 

Lou Mitchell's is a bit of an institution on Route 66 and rightfully so. The breakfast was great. Just sort of one of those things you need to experience. They don't take credit cards so you need to be prepared for that, sort of the same as the Artists Café in that regard.

We left Lou Mitchell's and back tracked a few blocks to go shoot some video at the official beginning of the Route. Jackson Street has always been the official path of Route 66 but years ago they turned it into a one way road, all but the last block of it before Lakefront Drive... go figure.

So, in order to drive out of Chicago "on" Route 66 you now have to go one block north and drive out on Adams Street. It has taken on the responsibility of being the new 'official' route. As it turns out this is a theme that you run into THE WHOLE trip.

As we drove out of town, this is what the Odometer read. Should be interesting to see what percentage over the "google maps" milage we drive with the side trips and mistakes we'll more than likely make.

These brown "Historic Route" signs will be our best friend for a the next 2000 miles. 

One of the first notable cities you drive through is Joliet Illinois. I'll always remember it as the location of the prison that Jake got out of in "The Blues Brothers".

Not an "official Illinois Giant" but a bonus giant right off the top. This guy is running a jack hammer because it is in the left field of a minor league ball park. The team is "The Jackhammers". The park was all fenced in but there was a gate open so we just walked in, walked out to the outfield, took the shot and left... easier to ask forgiveness then to ask permission.

Illinois has a few of these "giants" across the state. They use to be very popular to entice people to stop at their shops. We found this one right around the time for lunch. It worked... we stopped. The Gemini Giant as this guy is called is the first of the three 'official Illinois Giants'.

In the town of Odell there is an old gas station that is a historic landmark. Out front there is a button to push that plays a sound file with the details about the site. My mom told me that as a kid they always called the "fillin' stations".

The end of our first full day of driving brings us to Bloomington Illinois. Tomorrow we'll take a side trip to fulfill a desire that Chris has had for a few years now. Visit the childhood home of his mother.

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Reader Comments (6)

Living life through you eyes right now. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Jensen

I love it! Just love it! Your Father's soul must be aching with laughter!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Fenwick

Makes me think of Goober's Gas Station in The Andy Griffith Show

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Stennet

WoW this looks like fun. Myself, Wife, and Daughters will be doing a route 66 road trip in July of 2011. I am looking forward to following you and getting as much information as we can. Hope you are enjoying your self and please keep us in touch on you adventure. Lord Lucas and his Leadfoot Ladies

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLord Lucas

This is very inspirational. My wife and I have been talking about visiting every light house in the U.S. This journey of yours fuels this vision. Thanks for sharing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOscar Camejo

"Filling Station" is a term commonly used in the UK. I wonder which way the term travelled?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Howe

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