“It goes from St. Louis, down to Missouri
Oklahoma City looks oh so pretty
………”    Get your Kicks on Route 66.
Actually, it starts Chicago and runs through some of US heartland first.

Our last days in Chicago were a little unkind weather-wise. Resorted to collecting a range of architecure & street scenes of the city in the mist. Here’s a couple of phone shots.

image

image

The day to hit the road arises,

we st

ack ou

r Chev

y SUV

thing

with o

ur bag

s, hea

d for

the st

art/fi

n

image

ish l

ine to

get a

shot

of “the si

gn”. ”

Don’t ask me why this is lying down….please.

Then to the open road route only to find road works block our progress. So our reliance on GPS becomes total as we seek to work around this one, only to find much of the city is subject to Chicago Triathlon detours that the machine didn’t hear about. About an hour later via other than Route 66, forced to miss our first intended point we get to the 2nd planned stop, we do make our planned destination for the day, Springfield, the state capital.
Rural America is Chev Silverado country. These monster pickup trucks (oversized utes) are everywhere, to be fair, there other brands too but the Silverado seems to dominate. There

‘s the od

d checky

Mustang t

hat pokes

it bonne

t out fro

m a side

road too.

image

But you

don’ t ex

pect to s

ee one of

these pu

ll in to

refuel.

hillarious! Might have to look closely at this to work it out. I did and I was there.

Heading out of the urban area there seems an endless string of near deserted, real run down towns with derelict buildings, often tumbling down & boarded up. In fact there are so many boarded up homes and commercial buildings that it is a business on its own. I see a sign on one: “County Boardup and Glass Co”. A lesson in what can happen when industry changes occur I guess.
Once we get on the historic route it all seems worthwhile. Little historic towns dot the route.  Generally they require a small diversion and our exit Chicago delays mean we need to fly past many unfortunatley. In most there a few shops, most selling old stuff, tack and some interesting artifacts

or antiques

from early-

mid 20th cen

tury. A few

old service

station to m

useu

image

m conver

sions. All q

uite interes

ting. This o

ne says “ope

n” in the wi

ndow but as

we’ve come to t

o expect

already, part of the fun is everything ain’t necessarily what it seems ’round ‘ere. see

Mostly these places are interesting if a little contrived feeling, but then thats how you get your kicks on route 66. The road so far is pretty good. Just like a slightly un-maintained country road. The odd detour crops up, and as 66 does’t seem to be on GPS we have check our progress against the books & maps Anne so reliably got before we left. 66 for the main part so far runs between to new 55 highway about 10 metres

to right and ra

il line about 1

0 metres to lef

t of us.
Towns

so far, and not

image

in the words o

f the famous so

ng, that we get

includes Wilmi

ngton

with the

1st so-called

big three broth

ers. Theses somewhat corny statues..???

THen comes Braidwo

od, Dwight, Pontia

c, etc to Springfi

eld where book int

o the Hilton for t

he n

image

ight. I expect

to meet Homer of

the Simpsons. He s

eems to be away no

w.

We also come

across this dude b

y a Best Western along the highway,

Springfield turns out to be a quite nice town, nearly as populous as Tauranga. We walk a few streets, visit the state capital building (what a building – absolutely stunning interior), visit a record & music shop, like you aint never seen! Real old world, thousands of old vinyl records and CD’s in  building like something out of the 1800’s. This town is the centre for all things Lincoln. Was his home town before becoming president and being assinated. He’s buried here too. Then return to the car and head on out, stopping at the Cozy Dog.

A once apon a time drive-in but now a pretty grotty diner. Note the ever-present plasstic mutard and ketchup bottles.

Got talking to a couple of old dudes there, they reckon the food was good, not healty (you better believe that) but good they say. They ask a bit about us, and where we are headed ànd share some info. The day to St Louis was pretty uneventful, stopping a couple of places that probably shouldn’t exist, but do. An interesting phenomenom today. Yesterday

Harley Davis bikes s

warmed around us. The

was a fairly constan

t Harley gurg

image

le in th

e atmosphere. Today,

nothing, none, nada,

zip, seems Harley rid

ers do have to work a

fterall. Reassuring.

This sign was at a “stop” that if you ever do the route, you could or should mi

ss out. But thought this

sign showed a little la

ck of taste in exclusivi

t

image

y. Realise Murray H, yo

u’ll being feeling ok no

w.

At the same place am

ongst the VW wrecks was

this parked up to rot.

As we’ve ripped through the prairie the relatively flat landscape has been essentially growing corn. There’s the typical American farm 2 storey homes and grain silos scattered amongst the expansive fields.
We are now in Missouri.
Arrive at St. LOUIS and book into the Moonrise Hotel. A truely themed deco/space place. So much detail here would take a week to see it all. The street is about 15 mins from centre of the city, obviously been in serious disrepair a few years now revitalised, supposed to be in top 10 US streets.
1 September, officially day 1 of the fall/autumn, though you’d not believe it. No colour yet, today was 32 degrees and rest of week expected to be above 30.
We head, on train, into the downtown. $2.50 fare seems real cheap. Trains and service good, and there’s always someone noticing you difficulty working out the system that comes to your assistance. Said it before, Americans always seem so helpful.
A quick look at the CBD, the architecture etc, then up the arch. What a piece of public art/attraction. Great views from

top. Then a river cruise t

o learn a bit more about th

e history of the de

image

velopmen

t o

f the US and the role of

th

e mighty Mississippi

Th

e i

conic a

image

rch silhouetted a

t e

nd of downtown street.

More

image

bridges than you can shake th

e proverbial at around here. 

A view from the top of the arch.

The return train trip presented a bit of fun. We are about to board, naturally I’ve checked everything, 3 times, and know exa tly what train we are to get on. Doesn’t stop Anne double/triple checking I know what I’m doing. Only one station to travel on this leg, the station arives, its the wrong bugger. Hmm. With the help of a security man we learn we need to return, and return on the right one. Turns out 2 trains go in same direction, o e on red line, one on blue and of  course
We take a joy ride on the wrong one. Tomorrow is side tr

ip into Mark Twain country and the Osarks. O

sarksBefore we do that,

image

here

‘s a c

ouple of shogs from the revitalised 

Delmar area we a

image

re staying in.

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