Day 4: Illinois, Route 66

We set out on the Mother Road from Chicago through the Illinois countryside toward St. Louis…

DAY 4 PLAN:
DEPART: Chicago **START ROUTE 66 HERE**
DRIVE: Chicago, IL to St. Louis, MO to Meramec State Park, MO (estimated 500 miles / 9 hours straight driving) — stop to resupply en route
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Hike of Memory Lane, Lexington IL | Visit Shea’s gas station museum, Springfield | Visit Henry’s Ra66it Ranch, Staunton | Visit Times Beach Route 66 Park
ARRIVE: Meramec State Park, MO and set up camp

RESOURCES: DAY 4 PLANNING PAGE | CHICAGO WEATHER | SPRINGFIELD WEATHER

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: ILLINOIS ROUTE 66 STARTS HERE(on the road from Chicago to St. Louis)

Early wake up today, and it wasn’t even hard, because we were so excited to be FINALLY setting out on Route 66. We checked out of the hotel and were loaded into the Jeep by 7am, camera batteries fully charged, spirits high, and ready to go. Now we just had to find the “start” point. Somehow it seemed important to me that we start at the “official” beginning, so we headed back toward Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute, where the “Route 66 Starts Here” sign is located, and turned around and were off … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: ROUTE 66, WHAT IT MEANS… (importance of Route 66 historically)

For us, Route 66 symbolizes a spirit of adventure, an openness, a readiness to follow the road wherever it leads, always on the lookout for new discoveries along the way. This is one trip where that old axiom “the journey is the destination” rings true. And an important part of our journey is seeing how this fabled highway fostered a process of historical change, transforming people’s lives and influencing the character of the nation … [ read more ]

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: PORTFOLIO: ILLINOIS ROUTE 66 (images from the drive)

Illinois Route 66 takes us out of urban Chicago and into small town America. This is the flat and level terrain of the mid-west, where corn is king. We follow the road into rural towns, like Atlanta, with beautifully restored Main Streets that make us feel like we have stepped back in time. This portfolio contains a selection of imagery from Illinois Route 66 including the town of Atlanta, Tall Paul and The Palms Grill … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: THE PALMS GRILL CAFE (review)

The Palms Grill Cafe is a wonderful step back into the past. It first opened on Route 66 in downtown Atlanta in 1934. Providing home-cooked meals for hungry travelers and local residents, the restaurant quickly became a bustling meeting place. For years, travelers along Route 66 mingled with townsfolk enjoying good food and good friends in a comfortable setting … [ read more ]

ILLINOIS ROUTE 66 THINGS WE LIKE:
Memory Lane, for a walk thru Route 66 history
Atlanta, IL, because the town is beautifully restored vintage Route 66 (and Tall Paul is there!)
The Palms Grill, for the ambiance (and the food, of course…)
Shea’s Gas Station museum, because its beautiful…
Henry’s Ra66it Ranch, for the rabbits….