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Route 66 Road Trip
I'm on 66 in western Oklahoma. There's a few neat museums around here. Let me know when you're in the area. Smile And cool, you'll be seeing the museum in my town. Big Grin
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1983 Chevy G20 "Bebe"
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tonyandkaren (10-06-2015)
Theadyn - I'll definitely let you know when we get to western Oklahoma but just in case I forget if you see we're getting close remind me. And if you're feeling up to socializing :-) maybe we can get together for a visit.
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Theadyn (10-06-2015)
Pontiac to Atlanta

  Route 66 was improved and widened during the 1950s and by 1957 it was a four lane highway all the way
through Illinois, from Chicago to St. Louis. In some areas two lanes of Route 66 were paved over by I-55
however other sections were just closed down so now two lanes of unused highway parallel the two lanes of
Route 66. It's strange to see this completely empty road alongside Route 66.


 To cope with all of the traffic a new police station was built in 1941. It was in use until 2004. An aerial view is
required to see why this rather dull looking station should have it’s own Route 66 sign. It’s shaped like a gun!
Parking and turn around room for RVs.


   Because the four lanes bypassed many of the little towns there isn't a lot to see on this section of the road
but the collection of eclectic attractions in Atlanta is worth a stop. This tiny town of had it's start as a service
center for the area farmers. The establishment of Route 66 in 1926 brought a short boom that only lasted
20 years but now there's an attempt to revive the town and attract Route 66 tourists. Room for RVs to park
on the street or in the library lot.

 Hot Dog Giant and Smiley Face water tower



Palms Grill-originally opened in 1934 renovated in 2009


Octagon library


J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum – the elevator is only opened for tours on Sunday but an informative,
self guided walking tour is available at any time. RVs will fit in the lot or on the street.


 We stayed overnight at the Lincoln Walmart. Do not stay in Bloomington. We've never had any problems 
staying at Walmarts. If there are No Overnight RV signs we don't stay but this one seems way over the top
Allstays report
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(10-05-2015, 06:45 PM)tonyandkaren Wrote: Theadyn - I'll definitely let you know when we get to western Oklahoma but just in case I forget if you see we're getting close remind me. And if you're feeling up to socializing :-) maybe we can get together for a visit.

Will do, and that would be great! Smile
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1983 Chevy G20 "Bebe"
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tonyandkaren (10-07-2015)
Lincoln and Springfield

   As to be expected Lincoln is a big deal around here both figuratively and literally.  Lincolin, Illinois was named to honor Lincoln after he gave legal advice to his friends who founded the town. The college has a nice little museum that gives a good overview of Lincoln's life. The presentation is a bit creepy. In the main exhibit visitors enter Lincoln's box at Ford theater just before he is shot, then follow his life through a series of darkened rooms that come alive with audio and visual displays. The last room features a death bed scene. The main exhibit is timed with a tour starting every half hour but there are other exhibits to see if you have to wait for a tour to start. Admission is $5.00. The parking lot is huge.

For a less somber experience visit the other big Lincoln attraction in town. A giant Abe on an giant covered wagon! Very large parking lot.


Lincoln has lost all of it’s old Route 66 era buildings except for The Mill, which opened in 1929 as a Dutch themed restaurant. The Mill has been empty since 1996 but an effort is being made to save and restore it.  Enough room to pull over and stop.


 Lincoln lived and worked in Springfield for 25 years so there's a lot to see. We passed through Springfield a few years ago, visited some places then and saw more this time through but there's much more that we skipped.

A 30’ tall Abe made by a local man for the 1968 Illinois Sesquicentennial. Drive into the state fairgrounds at gate 1 and park on the right side of the road to view the statue

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the home where Abraham and Sarah Lincoln lived when he practiced law in Springfield. The Lincoln home is opened for guided tours. The houses along two blocks of Eighth Street have been restored and two of them have exhibits inside. The visitor center has a film and a few exhibits. This is a good one because it's completely free. There is a parking fee of $2.00 an hour and a special lot for buses and RVs.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum - This is more an experience than a museum. The story of Lincoln’s life is told with dioramas featuring realistic full size figures and elaborately detailed scenes. Overall it’s very well done but lacking in substance. A parking garage is located north, in the next block, on the opposite side of the street. The garage also has a lot for buses and RVs – $5.00 a day.


 The Illinois State Museum  is another free museum. It covers the natural and human history of Illinois. A free parking lot is located on Edwards Street, one block west of the museum. Large RVs will not fit in this lot but there are metered parking spaces along the street. Visit on the weekends to avoid traffic and crowds. Visitors can park in either of the large State parking lots to the east and west of the building on weekends and State holidays.


 Springfield is losing one of it's Route 66 icons - [/url]Shea's Gas Station Route 66 Museum. Bill Shea and his wife Helen run a gas station at this location for years and when he retired Bill made it into a museum to showcase his extensive collection of Route 66 memorabilia. Bill died it 2013 and an auction is scheduled for this weekend.


 Fortunately the patriotic giant at Lauterbach Tires isn't going anywhere!


 One last stop before we leave Springfield - Cozy Dog Drive-In - home of the deep fried corn dog and owned by the family of the famous vanswelling artist Bob Waldmire.  In the best interest of our health we've been avoiding road food but Cozy Dog was calling. :-D  A mistake?  Let's just say we'll be ordering an ice cream cone the next time we want to see the decor of another roadside diner!  Cozy Dog does have a lot of cool Route 66 memorabilia though.
The parking lot is small so if you have a RV you might want to skip this stop.



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cyndi (10-09-2015)
Wish I'd thought of it before you got to Springfield, best baked ravioli ever is at Saputos, a totally retro 1950's style Italian restaurant downtown not far from the Lincoln museum.  The kind of place where cheese and fat are good things and the salad is a handful of iceberg lettuce with one tiny sliver of tomato drifting around somewhere.  Tongue
“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?”
~ Auliq Ice
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Saputos sounds a lot better than Cozy Dog!
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We decided take part of the 1926-30 route which is now Highway 4 and zigzags through little country towns rather than the post 1930 route which parallels I-55. Some of the original road surfaces have never been paved over like this section of brick.


or this section of concrete with turkey tracks from 1926!


In the late 1800s the little towns strung out along Hwy. 4 were all coal mining camps. Poor working conditions and low pay led to unionizing efforts by the miners, strike breaking maneuvers by the companies and violence on both sides. One of the worst confrontations happened in Virden in 1898. Eight miners and five company guards were killed. A monument in the town square in Virden commemorates the incident. RVs can be parked on the side streets.


 Farther south in Mount Olive, Illinois -  the miner’s union raised the money to build a monument for 
Mary Harris Jones, a very influential union organizer, affectionately know as “Mother Jones”. She’s buried, as she wished, in the Union Miners Cemetery alongside the miners who had died in the 1898 Battle of Virden. The parking area is large enough for RVs.


The magnificent Maricopa County Courthouse in Carlinville was supposed to cost $50,000.00 when construction began in 1867. By the time it was finished in 1870 $1,342,226.31 had been spent!  The 1869 jail across the street in being restored for tourists to visit. RVs can be parked in the lot beside the old jail.


The Ariston Café has been on Route 66 in Litchfield since 1935. RVs can be parked on the street.


The Soulsby Service Station, built by Henry Soulsby, was in operation from 1926 until 1993. It’s been restored to it’s 1930’s appearance. The bare wood interior contains a random collection of old items. The parking area is large enough for RVs.


Rich and Linda Henry’s Rabbit Ranch has both live bunny rabbits and Volkswagen Rabbits. The bunnies live in cages in the gift shop and the VW Rabbits are stuck head first in the ground just like the Cadillacs at Cadillac Ranch. The Henrys are Route 66 enthusiasts and the rabbit ranch/gift shop (built by Rich in 1995 to look like an old gas station) is a hobby so stop in for the stories or to pick up a souvenir.  RVs can fit into the parking area but turn around space is tight. 


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very cool I love it. that brick road and the turkey tracks were way cool. nowadays they would have had to rip up the road with the turkey tracks because it wouldn't be up to spec, hell heaven forbid if a turkey actually pooped on the wet concrete. then it would be considered hazardous waste. anyhow very cool of you guys to take the time and do this. highdesertranger
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tonyandkaren (10-10-2015)
It's a lot of fun highdesertranger. Kind of like a cross-country scavenger hunt. We're lucky that we have all the time in the world to do this and can go slow. Some people have only a few weeks and miss a lot.
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The following 2 users say Thank You to tonyandkaren for this post:
Theadyn (10-11-2015), highdesertranger (10-10-2015)

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