A Short Trip on Route 66

This past weekend the Plumber convinced me that a short jaunt down to Springfield to see his buddy Rich would be just the ticket. Since I absolutely abhor riding the motorcycle on any type of speedway, multi-lane or super-highway he promised that it would be a leisurely trip down the famed Route 66. You know “get your kicks on Route 66”.

Not knowing what to expect, and knowing that the Plumber took this route many times in his solo adventures, I packed my extra pair of socks and jeans, grabbed my latest JD Robb novel and off we went – yes I have been known to read entire novels and fall asleep on the back of the Plumber’s motorcycle.

After a quick breakfast we were off to whiz through the town of Dwight. Affectionately called “Not Just A Bump in the Road” by its residents, Dwight is a quaint little town that boasts a Big Al’s Hot Dogs, which is one of the first things you see as you enter Dwight.
Still swimming gastrically in Biscuits and Gravy, I was unable to sample a Route 66 dog.

Soon you will pass Ambler’s Texaco Station.

Built in 1933, it later became The Marathon Oil Station and serviced travelers until 1998. The building is currently being restored by the community and will serve as visitor’s center.
Next up, my favorite Odell. Odell made the most of the Mother Road distinction and you can tell that it was quite the rambling town in its hey day! My favorite is the Standard Oil Station that now serves as the town’s historical center.

When you pull up, a man rambles out of his on-site trailer and shuffles up to open the museum. He waits patiently and quietly while you survey the museums goodies, which has an impressive display of refrigerator magnets, which I have been known to purchase.

Restaurant Tip? Try Old Log Cabin in Pontiac or my now ultimate favorite “Filling Station” in Lexington. What a surprise that was! We were starving and really could eat so we pulled into Filling Station and sat down. There was more Route 66 memorabilia that I had seen in the previous towns.

It seemed the owner who has owned the place for 26 years, bought everything up that had anything to do with Route 66. Anyway, I ordered the Chicken Fajita sandwich. Not expecting much I was floored when the server brought out a huge slice of Italian bread loaded with Fajita filling and sizzling from the broiled pounds of cheese on top. OMG! It was heaven on a plate!!! Of course, the Plumber ate half. Order it if you stop.
In Towanda or nearby in the never-ending fields of corn, there is a halfway decent looking biker bar- we got lost there. Try it and let me know how it works out for ya!
Bloomington/Normal. If there was ever a town that did not give a rats ass about history then this is it! The signs for Route 66 abruptly stop and you are sent on one helluva goose chase through subdivisions, ratty areas and fraternity houses. Skip this area! Bypass by going around and use I-55. You can pick up Route 66 right outside of town.
Funk’s Grove was set deep in forestland. And they have some kick butt maple syrup – I bought some in a really cool maple leaf bottle. But spell it SIRUP not syrup. Stop there and ask why – I’m not telling.

Atlanta is not and I repeat NOT to be confused with the Peachtree city. Talk about a “children of the corn” moment. We drove in to a deserted town where the only sound was a squeeking swing and past more bars then I think they are people. A dingy scary town with taverns and boarded up shops with no windows and rusty metal siding. Even the police station is falling apart. Stopped at an intersection in that very eerie town, all of a sudden, a bell tolled loudly right above out heads – we skedaddled as quickly as we could out of that place all the while I babbled about white blond, blue eyed children zombies coming out of the corn to sacrifice us.

Elkhart is pretty cute.

The town boasts the Talk of the Town café where we spent an hour sipping a pop and observing the townspeople. That poor little waitress was running the whole show and in flip-flops no less – ouch!

Well this is my slice of traveling the Mother Road. Hope you enjoyed it but I have get back to my book.

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