This journey is perfect for a top down Mini Cooper cruising along the back highway with our hair blowing in the wind. Wow, the dream is incredible, but unfortunately not totally accurate. First, my hair is long gone, there will be no blowing in the wind. Second, It's cloudy and too cold this time of year for the top down. Third, We actually have this great big motorhome towing the trailer to take down this meandering, narrow roadway.
Downtown Chicago, Illinois is the official start of Route 66, right on the shore of Lake Michigan. We are not taking the motorhome there! We will meet up with Route 66 in Joliet, IL, just a little south of Chicago and we will travel mostly on Interstate 55, the Illinois replacement for Route 66. Illinois really embraces its Route 66 heritage and we stop at restored gas stations / visitor centers in Dwight and O'Dell. It's a little scary, These stations actually look familiar to me and remind me of Irish's Mobil and Dube's Gulf stations.
Our best stop along this segment was Pontiac, IL. This town has really embraced the folklore of Route 66 with a fabulous museum dedicated to the highway and life along the route. It also boasts 20 "Wall Murals" scattered around downtown reminiscent of the wall and barn side advertising of the early 1900's.
Further south are Lincoln and Springfield, IL with a great deal of heritage devoted to President Lincoln. We didn't have time to study the history of Lincoln, so instead we just took a picture of him riding in the "World's Largest Covered Wagon". That was enough history for us today.