Jennifer

Jennifer


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Posts by Jennifer

2014 Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour – 25th Anniversary

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The Route..

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link above for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Photographs

This blog contains a sampling of the photos from our trip. To view all of the photos from our trip, view the slideshow at the bottom of the post or visit our Road Trip Memories page on Flickr at the link below.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Long story VERY short, a change in plans allowed us to be able to attend the 25th Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour. We had been on the tour several times before, but don’t always have a chance to attend. But when we do, it’s always a great time!

After a rocky start Friday evening, we finally hit the road to head west – we were going to stay in Collinsville and then head over to the Chain of Rocks Bridge in the morning to register for the Motor Tour.

We decided to cross over into St. Louis along the new I-70 bridge:

New I-70 Bridge Over Mississippi

We followed along what was known as one of the alignments called “City 66″ ad described in Jerry McClanahan’s EZ 66 Guide, up to the Chain of Rocks Bridge, where the Motor Tour was to begin.

Chain of Rocks Bridge, Route 66, Missouri

What a sight this truck was! Really unique modification of a Ford truck, lots of folks did a double-take on this one!!

Flipover Truck

And here we go, crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge!

Crossing Old US 66 a Chain of Rocks Bridge   After we crossed the bridge, in Mitchell is the Luna Cafe, with its beautifully restored neon sign.

Luna Cafe, Route 66, Mitchell, IL

 

Next, we stopped at Route 66 Ridez in Hamel.

Route 66 Ridez, Hamel, Illinois

 

Then on to our friend Rich Henry’s must-stop – Henry’s Ra66it Ranch in Staunton. Do stop by and say hello to Rich and the bunnies! Rich has old neon signs, semis, both “real” rabbits, and the Volkswagen variety too! He also sells a nice variety of Route 66 souvenirs, books, videos, etc. I have more photos from the Ra66it Ranch in the slideshow, below.

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

 We also picked up a bunny named Spot, a few traveling friend for our grandson!

Henry's Ra66it Ranch - Route 66, Staunton, Illinois

Here’s a video of the flipover truck I took here:

Next stop, Soulsby’s Station in Mt. Olive. Great restoration of the old filling station, and inside is a nice collection of Shell petroliana as well as two very nice old signs for a TV repair business that was also run out of the station, after Route 66 bypassed Mt. Olive.

Soulsby Service Station - Route 66, Mt. Olive, Illinois

Soulsby Service Station - Route 66, Mt. Olive, Illinois

On to Litchfield, where this old cafe sits empty.

Cafe - Route 66, Litchfield, Illinois

We were able to see the newly restored “Vic” Suhling Gas for Less sign, also in Litchfield. It is now in front of the new Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, and is an excellent stop! See slideshow below for more photos from the museum.

Restored "Vic" Suhling Neon Sign - Route 66, Litchfield, Illinois

Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center, Litchfield, Illinois

Next, we spotted a few buffalo roaming! Their timing of dipping their heads down into the grass was perfect to avoid my shutter, but I managed to catch one as he came up for air.

Buffalo on Route 66 in Illinois

Then onto the town of Carlinville. Great “town square” with lots of great shops here. We got out, stretched a bit and took a walk around the square.

Town Square, Carlinville, Illinois

 

This very cool PT Cruiser was also on the tour, decorated by artist Brian Gregory, who also designed art for the Illinois Route 66 Museum in Pontiac.

Route 66 PT Cruiser - Designed by Artist Brian Gregory

 

We cruised up on the IL 4 alignement of 66, and finally made it to Springfield. Though the tour would continue to Lincoln for the overnight, we were late in joining, so we skipped the banquet and decided it would be easier to get a place to stay in Springfield. Of course, we would dine on Cozy Dogs – but unfortunately, not until after we had a flat tire fixed! As soon as we arrived in Springfield, we felt the car drastically pulling to the right. Suspecting we threw off the alignment along the VERY bumpy old alignment near the turkey tracks, we found a Firestone who could take a look. As soon as we got out of the car, Pat spotted the trouble…a flat tire! A broken valve stem, probably caused by the aforementioned bumpy road. After going back and forth with our limited options, after a couple hours we were on our way and headed to the Cozy Dog! Just in time before they closed, too…

Cozy Dog Drive-in, Route 66, Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The next day, after obtaining my necessary coffee fix at Mel-O-Cream Doughnuts, we started north. We stopped for a few photos in Williamsville.

Die Cast Auto Sales - Route 66, Williamsville, Illinois

 

And of course, the fun smiley face water tower in Atlanta:

Smiley Face Water Tower - Route 66, Atlanta, Illinois

And of course some maple sirup and maple candy at Funks Grove!

Maple Sirup - Funks Grove, Illinois

Our stops in Towanda were interesting. The first was the garage (yes, at her house), of Dawn Patterson. Check this out…it’s pristine. She says she uses it as a garage, but it was decked out in Route 66 memorabilia, and I sure didn’t see any tools or cans of oil! We just built a garage and it has unfinished walls and no electricity. Pat was suffering from severe garage envy!

Dawn Patterson's D.K.'s Garage - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

Dawn Patterson's D.K.'s Garage - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

Our next stop was Joe’s Garage, which was in a more commercial building, and houses a very nice collection of motor sports and racing memorabilia. They also have a “diner” recreation built in the building next door.

Joe's Diner - Route 66, Towanda, Illinois

After cruising the old alignment in Lexington now coined “Memory Lane”, were were on to the next stop in Pontiac. We visited the Route 66 Museum, always a great stop. They have lots of Route 66 memorabilia, especially for Illinois – and displays on all of the Hall of Fame inductees. Two newer additions to the museum are a treat – two vehicles owned by Bob Waldmire, legendary Route 66 artist and son of Cozy Dog creator Ed Waldmire. Bob also was the inspiration for the character “Fillmore” in Pixar’s Cars.

Pontiac also had an art display of fiberglass cars. There’s a very cool Route 66 one outside of the museum:

P.R.O.U.D. Art Project - "Cruisin' the Square" - Pontiac, Illinois

Across from the museum is also a very nice mural, which is a tribute to Bob Waldmire. In recent years, Pontiac has commissioned many wall murals around town. Bob Waldmire was asked to design and paint a mural for Pontiac, but unfortunately, Bob was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to do so. But prior to his death, he did design a mural, which would be painted in Pontiac for his friends and family. The very cleverly designed mural features Bob painting the mural. Bob was a very neat individual, and though we could not have been any different from each other, his words of wisdom told to me during the 2006 Illinois Motor Tour have stuck with me – “live simply, and you won’t need a lot of money.” While I will most assuredly not live in an old school bus or VW bus, I can see living in a smaller travel trailer with minimal “stuff.” It’s our dream to travel extensively some day, and I want to live simply so as to be able to realize that goal, and will happily sacrifice a house and material possessions for more Road Trip Memories!

Route 66 Museum - Pontiac, Illinois

Route 66 Museum - Pontiac, Illinois

Bob Waldmire Mural - Pontiac, Illinois

We stopped at the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station, which had a volunteer dressed a Texaco Filling Station attendant, offering neat photo ops.

Ambler-Becker Texaco Station - Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

Pat at the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station - Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

The tour ended in Wilmongton, but we proceeded north through Joliet, Romeoville, and into Bolingbrook where we visited our good friend & fellow Route 66 roadie, Lulu. After dinner, we headed back for home.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Road Trip!

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip. Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on our Flickr site. If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow, please click here to view our photos on Flickr.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157644764388300″ width=”600″]

 

Plans change; relax and go with the flow…

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Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…OK, we didn’t really have an actual trip plan yet; just a general declaration that we were going to go west instead of east this year, and our destination would be South Dakota, and we’d travel in September.

We’re still heading west, only now we’ve bumped up the trip to July! After talking it over, Pat and I decided that since I was planning on taking two weeks off work to watch our grandson, we might as well just take him on a road trip, rather than me just using two weeks off to stay home. Pat only has a week available, so I’ll spend my first 4 days locally with my grandson, then we’ll hit the road for the rest of the time.

So then, the next question came up…where should we go? Take him to South Dakota? I immediately thought “no” on that…he’s only 3, so we need to go somewhere he can connect to and get excited (which I am sure we could do if we went to South Dakota). But now with the date bumped up, I’m not sure how intensely I want to plan on a new unknown destination with him. I’m feeling called VERY strongly back to the familiar and comfortable – the Mother Road. We can travel Route 66 without detailed plans or schedules (though I do want to make a few plans to visit kid-oriented attractions that Pat and I would not typically visit on our own). I already had a copy of our Route 66 friend Emily Priddy’s book, “Route 66 for Kids,” a first edition copy we bought when she first published it in 2003. I found that she has since created a Kindle version, so I bought it (see previous link). She also has a companion website, Kidson66.com, with additional information and even some fun coloring pages that can be printed out and brought along. Getting some great ideas!

Another bonus to taking Route 66, is that our grandson is familiar with Route 66 – not only due to our direct influence indoctrinating him into the Route 66 fold, but the Disney/Pixar film Cars is largely set on Route 66, in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, which is a composite of many places along the Mother Road. Route 66 lends itself heavily to the film, and is a driving theme of slowing down, taking the scenic route, enjoying life and the scenery along the way. That theme is the essence of Route 66 and the towns along the route, and there’s history about the rise and fall of the two-lane, with the coming of the interstate, and its effect on the towns that were bypassed.

Pat and I (along with other Route 66 roadie friends) learned about Cars many years before its release (5 long years!!!), from Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis and his wife, photographer Suzanne Wallis. Michael served as the Route 66 consultant for Pixar, leading them along several Route 66 journeys, fully absorbing them into the road. If you own or rent the DVD of Cars, there is a good “making of” bonus feature, with footage of the Pixar team traveling Route 66 with Michael Wallis. Not only did Michael Wallis serve as the Route 66 consultant, but he also was given a role in the movie – the Sheriff – and Pixar did a great job animating the Sheriff to resemble Michael, with the car’s front grille resembling Michael’s mustache.

Michael Wallis Booksigning at Hit the Road Travel Store, Chicago

Disney-Cars-Sheriff

Pixar did an excellent job of incorporating the people and places of Route 66 into the movie – whether they outright animated a building (Ramone’s is dead on to the Conoco-Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas – or paid homage to them, like the mountain range that resembles Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo – or somewhere in between, like the Cozy Cone, which is based upon the Wigwam Village motels (route 66 has two – one in Holbrook, Arizona and the other in Rialto, California). For an in-depth comparison of Route 66 locations to Cars, check out our friend Ron Warnick’s page on his Route 66 News site: A Route 66 Guide to the “Cars” Movie

We know we’ll have fun showing our grandson the Route 66 sights he’s already familiar with, but can be excited to see and experience for himself. While we were looking forward to a new destination, I’m actually feeling really good about visiting an old familiar friend. We may just veer off on our way back and take a different route…we’re not sure yet, but we’ll have fun and enjoy no matter where the two lane roads take us.

Stay tuned!

A drive like we took back in the day….

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I’ve really been been itching for a road trip! For the past couple of months, we hadn’t been able to go on many road trips because we’re providing some necessary care and maintenance to our house, which has been neglected for just a little bit too long…due to so many spontaneous road trips and camping trips! So now, we have to be responsible homeowners! But regardless, I’m still itching for a road trip. LOL But, as I posted recently, our vacation has been moved up from September to July, so now I can really anticipate an upcoming road trip!

But about two weeks ago, before this latest change in plans, I was traveling home from a doctor appointment in a part of the city I don’t normally visit, and I decided to return home via local roads I don’t usually travel. As soon as I reached the Michigan Road, I needed to turn south to head toward home…but I was wishing I was turning north to head to Michigan instead! One of my favorite drives is along the coast of Lake Michigan. We have done the entire loop twice. The first time, in September of 2005, we made the trip clockwise, starting in Chicago and looping through the UP, across the Mackinac Bridge, and along the Michigan coast. In September of 2012, we made the trip counterclockwise, starting in New Buffalo, Michigan and effectively ending in Chicago. Coming home from a doctor appointment and waiting at a intersection of a road that has taken me on some fun adventures instantly made me long for a road trip.

There’s so much fun, freedom, and adventure to be had on a road trip. You get to see and experience real America – something you don’t do when you fly over it. Sometimes, you can on the Interstate (there are some that have some nice scenery) – but for the most part, the Interstate is just an endless slab of monotony with the same generic rest stops, indistinguishable from one another.

By contrast, America’s two lane highways have so much more to offer. We have found these quirky little museums in small towns and cities that have this claim to fame that they cling to and are so proud to share with visitors. And you’ll rarely find anyone as passionate as the local volunteers who work at these museums and share their stories. Blink and you might miss them; but stay and you’ll learn all about things you probably would never have!

I have mentioned this previously in our US 12 Heritage Trail post, but I am entranced by the “Pure Michigan” ad campaign, in particular, the radio ads featuring Michigan native, actor Tim Allen. They are mesmerizing and perfectly capture the spirit of travel and specifically to the featured Michigan locations. This ad below remarkably epitomizes road trips.

The family road trip. It was the high point of summer. The car packed to the gills, a folded-up road map at the ready, surrounded by enough snacks and drinks to last into next month. Well, let’s go there again. Take a drive away from our schedules and routines…to a sandy beach, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a secluded trailhead. Someplace that right now is calling our name at the top of its rustic little voice. It’s time to go fishing, to go exploring, to experience firsthand some of Michigan’s small town treasures. Miles of shoreline, forests, and endless lakes and trails. Let’s follow our noses and see where we end up. Because adventure is out there…waiting for us at the end of a drive. A drive like we took back in the day. The kind of summer to remember…that’s Pure Michigan.

Time to come out of hibernation!

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Road Trip Memories isn’t dead, we’ve just been hibernating! It’s been such a harsh winter, we haven’t really had an opportunity to take any road trips or camping trips (we do like to camp and hike in the winter too)!

We hope to get out and about this year. We’ve selected got our annual vacation destination – we’re heading west to South Dakota, which I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. After Dances with Wolves came out, I really wanted to visit the Badlands, and had a trip planned and booked. Unfortunately, the Great Flood of 1993 put the kibosh on that trip. So this year, it’s time to finally head west! We’re planning on including some Lincoln Highway into the trip as well.

I’d also like to add a few movie filming locations to the site. I’ve been researching locations for a good number of my favorite movies over the past few years. This year, I’d like to add “My Cousin Vinny”, so stay tuned for that. Since a lot of that movie was filmed in Georgia, we’ll be close to Juliette, which served as the Whistle Stop Cafe in Fried Green Tomatoes, which I’ve done a blog post on, here. But it’s always great to stop by there because they have excellent fried green tomatoes, naturally!

As time and finances permit, hopefully we’ll mix in more road and camping trips!

July 31-August 4, 2013: International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

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Day 1: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Today’s the big day – we’re finally hitting the road for the 2013 International Route 66 festival, to be held this year in Joplin, Missouri. While I highly believe the Route 66 festivals should be held alternating in all of the various Route 66 states, for us and work schedules it’s obviously easier for us to attend the farther east they’re held.

It’s also the first time we’ll be taking our retro/Route 66-themed Serro Scotty trailer on a longer journey – traveling, rather than weekend camping. We mostly use it for camping only trips, where we spend the bulk of our time actually hanging out at the campground; to me, that’s a far different experience than using it on a road trip, where it’s just a place to lay our heads down for the night.

Though our goal was to stay off the Interstate as much as possible, we headed west out of Indianapolis on the Interstate through Indiana and part of Illinois. In St. Elmo, Illinois, we exited the Interstate and took US 40. An unexpected VERY early morning (after a late night) ensured my need for a nap, so Pat hopped back on the Interstate, which we took through the remainder of Illinois and into Missouri. After passing St. Louis, we exited – finally – for Route 66 in Eureka.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

We made our way along Route 66 in Missouri toward Joplin, and our destination for the night would be the Ladybug RV Park, west of Cuba. Just before arriving, we stopped at the Fanning 66 Outpost, a great stop along the road for Route 66 souvenirs, a Route 66 soda, some Missouri wine – and of photo op at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!
66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

We went back into Cuba for dinner at Missouri Hick BBQ, then went to a local frozen yogurt / ice cream shop called Dessert Island for some froyo -I got their salted caramel pretzel, which was really good! We were very impressed! We drove around and took a few photos of some of the murals in town (see the slide show at the bottom of this post), that provide Cuba with its nickname, the Mural City; then back to the campground for some much-needed rest.

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

 Day 2: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

We continued to cruise Route 66, and stopped for a photo op at the Mule Trading Post (it was not yet open for the day).
Mule Trading Post, Route 66 - Rolla, Missouri

We stopped at the Totem Pole Trading post, where we picked up a “Cars” bag, featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater, for our grandson.

Along the way, I noticed a car along the side of the road, and the people by it were waving at us. I waved back, and in the split second we passed by, I thought I recognized them as our Route 66 friends, Kip and Quinn, and their daughter Natalie. Pat wasn’t sure, as he didn’t really notice (being the driver), so up ahead we found a safe spot to pull over and sure enough, they came rolling up behind us! We had a nice roadside chat, then continued on to Joplin.

We stopped by to say hello to Ramona, the owner of the iconic Route 66 motel, the Munger Moss, and made our always necessary stop at Redmon’s Candy Factory for a few sweet snacks.

In Carthage, an alert came up on our Garmin GPS’ “Roadside America” app for a roadside attraction called “Crapduster.” The creation of artist/sculptor Lowell Davis, it is a manure spreader fashioned with biplane wings and situated by a gas station.

Crapduster - Route 66, Carthage, Missouri

We arrived at the campground where we’d be staying until Saturday, the Big Red Barn RV Park, and got the Scotty all set up.

Serro Scotty HiLander at Big Red Barn RV Park

We decided to cruise Route 66 a little more, to head out to Galena and Riverton before we went over to the 66 Drive-in in Carthage. As part of the festival, the 2006 Pixar film “Cars” would be playing at the drive-in and Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis would be there “deputizing” kids (in addition to being Pixar’s go-to expert on Route 66, he provided the voice of the Sheriff in the film). For the weekend, Pixar provided life size versions of Lightning McQueen & Mater, who would be making several appearances throughout the festival. Tonight was their first appearance, at the drive-in.

So, we got to Galena, where we saw that the business Cars on the Route, was open and serving dinner. We were hungry, and always wanted to support local business as much as we can, decided to have dinner here. Cars on the Route is the home of the original tow truck that was the inspiration for Pixar’s character “Tow Mater” from Cars (the one on the right).

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

After dinner, we decided we needed to get back to Carthage for the drive-in. We were not doing the cruise, just going straight to the drive-in on our own. We didn’t have too long of a wait, as we showed up later. We were able to get a spot in the back (didn’t really matter to us!), and started walking around. We ran into a few more Route 66 friends, Mark, Mike and Sharon.

We walked up to see the activity at the front, and caught sight of two familiar characters. We even did Face Time with our grandson so he could see the giant Mater and Lightning McQueen – I think he enjoyed it (couldn’t hear a thing as there was very loud oldies music blasting from nearby speakers).

Lightning McQueen & Mater  at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

Michael Wallis greeting and deputizing young fans:

Michael Wallis at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

It was fun watching Cars at the drive-in, despite having seen it many (MANY!) times before. We were fans when it came out in 2006, after having waited at least 5 years. I first heard of the movie when I saw Michael Wallis speak at a book signing in Chicago in 2001, and he talked about his tour of Route 66 with the folks from Pixar. Along with other Route 66 roadies, I was immediately excited about it, having been a Pixar fan starting with Toy Story in 1995, which I took my daughter to see, and following through with many of the others. Now, we’re getting our 2-1/2 year old grandson into “Cars,” so it’s viewed quite frequently at our house! The drive-in is digital, so the quality of the movie is completely on par with its small screen counterpart. Nice!

Day 3: Friday, August 2, 2013

We woke up bright and early to get a start on the day. I wasn’t hungry, but definitely needed some coffee, stat! I also wanted to visit a local place, and the Mother Road Coffee, on the town square in Carthage, fit the bill perfectly! Pat got a blended coffee drink and I got a regular brewed coffee. Finally having real cream in my coffee, and not my allergy diet substitute -coconut milk creamer- was sheer delight!

Mother Road Coffee - Carthage, Missouri

As we motored west into Joplin, we passed by the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. As part of the festival events, they were to be doing tours, so we decided to stop and do that now, as that was something we were interested in.

They had loads of various types of candy, mainly chocolates, but also taffy, Jelly Belly, rice krispy treats, lollipops, etc. Many of them were also Route 66-themed.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

The tour was fun and informative, and if you’re ever in Joplin, it is well worth a stop and a tour!

We also bumped into a roadie friend we hadn’t seen in a while, Bob and his wife Kitty. We chatted for a while, picked up some chocolates, and on to our next stop.

Next up, we were going to check out Grand Falls, the largest, continuously flowing waterfall in Missouri. But along the way, we passed by Wilder’s Restaurant and its very cool sign, which is in great shape.

Wilder's Restaurant - Joplin, Missouri

Along this route, evidence of the damage and destruction from the 2011 F5 tornado that ravaged Joplin. There were a mixture of concrete foundations where homes once stood, new homes, new homes still being constructed, and in the midst of this were also older homes that were relatively unscathed. I always liked Joplin, and when I heard about the tornado, I really wanted to try to help out and volunteer some time. But due to my work schedule and staffing, all we could do is donate financially.

The waterfall was just south of Joplin, and is situated along Shoal Creek.

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

By this time, we thought we still couldn’t make it to Riverton, so we headed back into Joplin for the opening ceremonies and dedication of a Route 66 mural.

Here is a video of Michael Wallis’ brief speech during the opening ceremony:

Patrick Tuttle of the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who organized the Joplin festival:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Rick Freeland of the Route 66 Alliance

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri
Michael Wallis, also of the Route 66 Alliance:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean
Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Dedication of the mural

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

After the ceremonies ended, we went down to the Christman Center, where the authors and artists were set up. We saw Carolyn there, as well as Mark, Mike and Sharon. We also stopped at a booth for Annie Mouse Books. Our friend Laurel had given us the Route 66 book for our grandson last year, and we decided to get him another book as well. Worth picking up, give them a look!

Afterward, we checked out some of the outside booths. There was a mix of various vendors, mostly local. There wasn’t much going on today, as tomorrow would be Joplin’s big festival day. Today, there was alot of activity at Galena’s festival.

We also went over to the see the Route 66 quilt exhibit at the City Hall:
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri

We decided to continue our westward trek to get to the Old Riverton Store, but as we really hadn’t eaten anything today, I thought it would be good to have some lunch too. We were so close to Miami that I suggested Waylan’s KuKu Hamburgers….sure didn’t need to twist Pat’s arm. Crushed ice and deep fried pickles? He was completely on board!

As we cruised through Galena, we noticed a new addition to the roadside, homage to Radiator Springs, a Happy Place! LOL

Galena, Kansas: A Happy Place

Then on to Waylan’s.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Hamburger, Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

We came back and stopped at Nelson’s Old Riverton Store. Formerly known as Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store, the store had been managed by their nephew Scott Nelson, who purchased the store in December 2010.

Nelson's Old Riverton Store - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

We continued on back to Galena for the festival there and to see The Road Crew – I’d often heard about them, but was not fortunate enough to have seen them; until today, that is. They were performing at the festival in Galena tonight, Joplin tomorrow night, and at Laurel’s Afton Station on Sunday. We had to leave early Saturday to make the haul (literally) back to Indy, so Galena was our only opportunity to see the band. They were great! here’s a quick video I took, followed by a few photos. The rest of my photos can be seen in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

We ran into a number of friends again in Galena, and bumped a few we hadn’t seen yet, including Robert, Fred, Jane, Jim and Shellee. Pat also spotted John Paget, a filmmaker who did one of my favorite Route 66 videos, “Route 66: An American Odyssey.” It was really hot and humid tonight, so we took a brief respite for a cold drink at the Main Street Deli. We listened to The Road Crew for a bit more, then took another lap around Main Street before heading back to the trailer.

As much as we want to go to the Route 66 e-group breakfast, we weren’t looking forward to the event ending prematurely for us.

Day 4: August 3, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Despite having gone to sleep reasonably early, Mother Nature had other plans early this morning, when she decided a thunderstorm was in order. The sound of the rain on the aluminum roof is magnified and immediately woke me between 3:30 and 4:00 am. Despite my body thinking it was an hour later, I was still tired and not wanting to hear the raindrops beating down on the trailer like BBs! My incredibly trusty “Simply Noise” iOS app, which generates various “noise colors” to cover up unwanted noises, didn’t fail me after I stumbled out of bed to grab my headphones and iPhone. Unfortunately, while it sufficiently drowned out the rain, after looking at the radar and seeing a thunderstorm nearby, there wasn’t any way I was going to sleep well until it passed. It isn’t bad enough being in a structure in a place where there is obvious possibilities for severe storms; but being in a tiny aluminum box during a storm did not do my nerves any good and I only drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. By 6, I was able to fall asleep, but it was past the time I wanted to get up! The Route 66 e-group breakfast started at 7!! I rushed to get ready, and we made it there by 8.

We had a nice time at the breakfast, always a great event organized by Mike and Sharon. We sat with Jane and a couple from Missouri. In addition to everyone we’d seen before, we caught up with more roadie friends, we hadn’t seen yet – Jerry, Emily, Ron, and Laurel, and met some new ones – Joe from the Road Crew stopped over to say hello and thank me for the photos from Galena and we chatted with him and the rest of the band (Jason, Don, and Woody) for a few moments before we left.  I even won a print of a brand new painting by Jerry of the Munger Moss Motel! I was hoping to win that, and was I surprised when I actually did!

We sadly said our goodbyes and went back to the Candy House to pick up some turtle candy for our T@B/camping friend Elaine. We’d be meeting her and her husband Dane in St. Louis this evening for dinner at The Big Chief (on an alignment of Route 66), and some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

We meandered east alternating on 66 and unfortunately, the Interstate. We stopped by Spencer for a photo op.

Spencer Phillips 66 Filling Station, Route 66, Spencer, Missouri

We also stopped by Mr. C’s Route Post, which was closed on the way out, as he was attending the festival. He must have had help today, as his father was tending the store. We purchased some 66 soda and a few souvenirs.

Mr. C's RoutePost, Route 66, Lebanon, Missouri

A perfectly timed Tweet from Roadside America reminded us that today was “Picture on the Rocker Day,” the single day per year that visitors are allowed to sit or stand on the giant rocking chair at the Fanning 66 Outpost. Pat was hesitant, indicating that he didn’t really want or need to go up there, but as you can see below, I was able to persuade him otherwise.

The World's Largest Rocking Chair - Fanning 66 Outpost

We also picked up one of the Road Crew’s CDs here, then continued on to Pacific, where we’d be staying at a KOA on Route 66.

We settled down and set up the Scotty, and waited for Dane and Elaine to arrive. We had a nice dinner at the Big Chief Roadhouse, on an old alignment of Route 66, followed by some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

Serro Scotty at KOA St. Louis - Route 66, Pacific, Missouri

Big Chief Roadhouse, Route 66, Wildwood, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Day 5: August 5, 2013

Our last day was fairly uneventful. We alternated between I-70 and US 40 throughout Illinois and Indiana, finally arriving home at 8:00 PM.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634928577191″ width=”600″]

July 7, 2013: Day 3 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

 

Our final day, we left our hotel in Indiana and went back up into Michigan to complete our journey on US 12 across Michigan. We made a short side trip hoping to locate some of the elusive Amish berry pie, but it was really elusive! We visited a few non-Amish farmer’s markets, hoping for even regular Michigan berry pie, but even that proved futile! But a road trip is always fun anyway.

We crossed into Indiana and spotted a couple of old motel signs in Michigan City:
Al & Sally's Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana
Blackhawk Motel - US 12, Michigan City, Indiana

I happened to see a Facebook post by Pickle Barrel, a favorite vendor of mine from the Indiana State Fair, that they would be at the Lake County Fair, and by coincidence, today was opening day and we were nearby! This is the “good side” of social media. We stopped there for a bit and I had some sirloin tips.

We also stopped at a nice farm market called Garwood Farm. We bought some produce and baked goods, and though the pie was not from Michigan and only a single berry (raspberry), we bought one anyway.

We continued to meander back to Indianapolis on as many back roads as possible, also making a loop around Bass Lake, a neat little resort community, where Pat’s aunt had a home at one time.

By the time we reached Indianapolis, we hopped off the Michigan Road (US 421) onto 465 and headed for home.

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634726099179″ width=”600″]

July 6, 2013: Day 2 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

We started out the day by heading into Mt. Clemens for breakfast at Louie’s Ham & Corned Beef with Thomas and Becky Repp, owners of American Road Magazine.
Thomas & Becky Repp - American Road Magazine
After a very filling meal, we said our goodbyes and Pat and I headed into Detroit to start our westward trek on US 12, the Heritage Trail. I’m not a big fan of unfamiliar urban environments, because the area’s quality and safety can shift from one street to the next, so with our route plan firmly in place, we followed it precisely and didn’t make any stops until were were out of Detroit.

My Roadside America app alerted us to the presence of a statue paying homage to “Dearborn’s Jaunty Racist Mayor.” Interesting.

Statue of Dearborn's Racist Mayor

Always on the alert for old signs, my eye caught sight of this one in nearby Inkster:

Alpine Motel, US 12, Inkster, Michigan

We also saw this one in Wayne, but unfortunately, the diner is closed:

Brownie's Diner (closed) - US 12, Wayne, Michigan

The Chick Inn Drive-in is in Ypsilanti:

Chick Drive-in, Ypsilanti, Michigan

We then made a stop at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum. Pat had always wanted to go there, explaining that it has become known as the unofficial Corvair museum, due to the connection of Yspilanti to the Corvair, and also to Hudson, Tucker, Kaiser Frazer, and also Apex Motors and Hydramatic transmissions. These are the companies with a direct connection to Ypsilanti, though the museum’s collection also contains items relating to other manufacturers. It’s very a interesting place for general automotive history, and for the specific manufacturers I mentioned. They have several models of each car they feature and plenty of other memorabilia and documentation as well. I am posting a few photos below highlighting the collection, but for all the photos from the museum, please see the slideshow, below or click it to go to my Flickr page where you can see all of the photos from the museum (and this trip).

1960 Chevrolet Corvair Super Monza

Chevrolet Corvair Neon sign

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet - 1952

Allen’s Root Beer Drive-in is in Coldwater:

Allen's Root Beer Drive-in, US 12, Coldwater, Michigan

Thomas Repp gave us a tip that we would be passing by an abandoned dinosaur/prehistoric theme park, so we were on the lookout!

Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park

This funky 70’s 7-Up-sponsored sign for the Knights of Columbus was in Bronson:
Knights of Columbus - 7Up sign, Bronson, Michigan
Unfortunately, lodging in  the area of Michigan we stayed was sparse (or a bit past our budget), so we stayed in Elkhart, Indiana.
Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634732633826″ width=”600″]

July 5, 2013: Day 1 – US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan

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Above is the trip map tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

 

We got an early start today (good thing, it turns out). We started out on all local roads, following US 36 from the east side of Indianapolis. I have the iOS app “Roadside Attractions” from the people at the cool website Roadside America, as well as an add on to our Garmin Nuvi. These apps feature the offbeat roadside attractions from their site. I knew it would be fun to start adding visiting some of these places to our travels. I immediately had a few attractions I wanted to take photos of that I saw on the app. The first was this giant cow:

Big Cow - US 36, Indianapolis, Indiana

This bovine was closely followed by a plastered pink pachyderm:

Martini drinking pink elephant - US 36, Fortville, Indiana

We continued on US 36 east and in Greenville, Ohio was a tribute to the 1800’s sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, whose life was the basis for the musical, Annie Get Your Gun:

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Annie Oakley Statue - Greenville, Ohio

Afterward, we happened upon a store called the KitchenAid Experience, which also featured a museum dedicated to the history of KitchenAid products, most notably, the stand mixer.

KitchenAid Experience - Greenville, Ohio

We also opted to pick up a refurbished blender, since the motor on my cheapie blender has started to sound not so good.

The next item on the Roadside America app was the Maid-Rite drive-in and its legendary “gum wall, ” which is almost as famous at their loose meat sandwiches. We opted for a couple of sandwiches and drinks to go as it was fairly crowded inside. The sandwiches feature ground beef, but not in the form of patties, it’s loose ground beef. A bit sloppy but very good! We’ve been to two Maid Rites before, in Missouri and Minnesota and enjoyed them.

Maid Rite Drive-in, Greenville, Ohio

After lunch, the next roadside location was the graves of Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler:
Annie Oakley & Frank Butler's Graves - Brock, Ohio

Due to a nail in our tire, which was unfortunately in an area that couldn’t be repaired, we decided to go off our planned route in order to get to a Firestone to get it replaced. Several detours later, we made it to Napoleon for another roadside attraction:
Giant Campbell's Tomato Soup Can - Napoleon, Ohio

And a Campbell’s water tower:

Giant Campbell's Soup Water Towerb- Napoleon, Ohio

It was getting late, so we needed to unfortunately get going along the faster route, so we took US 24 to I-75. We finally made it to Michigan!

Pure Michigan

We stopped off for dinner at Monroe’s Original and got a coney dog and root beer.

Monroe's Original Hot Dogs & Root Beer

We had to take the superslab up to Detroit, and get to our hotel. Until tomorrow!

Pat & Jennifer

Today’s Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of today’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634499605795″ width=”600″]

July 5-7, 2013: US 12 Heritage Trail, Michigan – Overview

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This trip was inspired by one of the radio ads in the fine arsenal of “Pure Michigan” advertisements. I love Michigan, and it doesn’t take much to sell me on this beautiful state. But these Pure Michigan ads are pure genius…pure enjoyment…pure road trip daydream bliss. I stop what I’m doing to listen to the ads when I hear them each weekday morning. I am easily mesmerized by the music, Tim Allen’s voice beckoning me to visit various Michigan locations. For the past few weeks, I have been hearing this one on US 12, the Heritage Trail and Coldwater Country.

“We go this way to school, that way to work, one way home. Before we know it, we’re stuck in a routine. So when our days start to run together, let’s take a left instead of a right. Instead of the direct route, let’s take the scenic route…to Coldwater Country on the southern edge of Michigan, along Route 12 the Heritage Trail. Coldwater Country shows us the unexpected is just what we’re looking for. So belly up at the diner for an old fashioned root beer; get hooked catching walleye and bluegill on two chains of lakes. Watch the gladiolas grow and grow. Let the kids stay up late for a drive-in movie, and save room for a slice of Amish Berry Pie we’ll never forget. Sometimes when we go off the beaten path, we find something worth coming back for. Right this way, to Pure Michigan.”

Having been convinced to take the Heritage Trail, I started a Trimble map and trip plan, adding various POIs and then forming the route to one end, then the route (we were going to go east to west), and back home.

Here is the route and all planned waypoints (all possibilities of things to do, not necessarily see and do them all!).

Above is the trip plan I created using my Trimble Outdoors web account.
Click the link above for a bigger map.

June 7-9, 2013: Mounds State Park – Anderson, Indiana

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This weekend we *finally* got the trailer out and camped somewhere other than our own yard! We had reservations at Mounds State Park for Friday and Saturday nights. We were going to see Huey Lewis and The News Saturday night at Hoosier Park Casino, and Mounds State Park is a small, but very nice, state park close to the casino.

Here was our spot for the weekend, in a small loop right next to the airport. We saw many small planes taking off and landing throughout the weekend.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Here are a few photos inside our Serro Scotty, featuring our new turquoise bedding, throw rug, and turquoise storage tubs under the bed.

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Serro Scotty - Camping at Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

We used our electric grill, the Griddler, to make a reasonably healthy dinner Friday, chipotle lime chicken and grilled veggies.

Grilled chipotle and lime chicken and veggies

On Saturday morning we went for a 3 mile walk around trail 5 that loops the entire park, and also a bit of trail 1, that goes by the mounds.

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

Hiking on Trail 5, Mounds State Park, Anderson, Indiana

After our walk, we relaxed around the campsite for a while, then we went out to an early dinner at the nearby Lemon Drop Drive-in and had onion burgers – yummm.

Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

Dinner at the Lemon Drop Drive-in, Anderson, Indiana

We went back to the campground to get cleaned up for the reason we were in Anderson – to go see the band, Huey Lewis and The News. They are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their hit album “Sports” with a tour and we thought it would be fun to go see them at the Hoosier Park Casino. I’d seen alot of popular bands back in the 80’s, but not Huey Lewis. I thought about so many of his songs and liked them all, so why not?

Why not indeed…the show was terrific. Huey Lewis sounds excellent, exactly the same as he did back in the 80’s. He puts on a very good, entertaining show and I recommend anyone who likes his music to go see them.

Huey Lewis and The News

The venue… The Outdoor Music Center:

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino - Outdoor Music Center, Anderson, Indiana

The main attraction – Huey Lewis and The News!

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The NewsPhotographs

Below is a slideshow of the weekend’s photos.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634030508545″ width=”600″]

Video

Here’s a video of “The Power of Love”

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