Today marked the start of a trip west down Route 66. Certainly some parts of “America’s Highway” as John Steinbeck named it must still exist. My objective is to go westward following as best I can while documenting it until I reach Santa Monica, CA.
Today was a travel day full of rain and road construction. As we got closer to Chicago (the starting point) traffic became the bigger issue. My road partner and I chose to leave the tollway for the western suburbs. After securing lodging, we ate some wonderful barbecue at the Steamboat BBQ Restaurant located in a shopping mall -who knew –right! It was terrific — great St. Louis ribs, beans and hand sliced fries. In Wheaton of all places.
Then we headed downtown. It was 7:15 pm. The hotel clerk warned us it would be a three hour tour, a three hour tour… Well dur to construction and rain the trip downtown was tedious. Still, we made it in 50-minutes. I decided to cheat a it by taking a photo tonight I order to avoid tomorrow’s certain rush hour mess:
This signage is posted at Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. You know I’ve walked by here many times and yet I’d never seen the marker — I admit I was thrilled. Of course, upon returning to my hotel and researching the route further I learned that the beginning actually lies a block north. Fortunately this failed to stem my enthusiasm.
While downtown my mate and I took some additional photos:
This is my origination point:
On the way back we drove by the Chicago Portage National Historic Site. this park commemorates the French explorers Father Marquette and Louis Joliet and their search for the source of the Mississippi River and the area now known as Lake Michigan. The portage covers Mud Lake and includes links between the Chicago River, the Des Plaines River and Portage Creek. Together they represent a link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.
Tomorrow we begin the journey by traveling through Willowbrook to see “Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket” located near Illinois Highway 83. It’s an old roadside tavern. Then it’s off to Joliet — home of Joliet Jake and Springfield — home of Abe Lincoln.