I guess there is anger no matter where you go. We were unwilling listeners to a screaming match outside our hotel window this morning at 6 am. If I had a nickel for every time the F word was used, I could have paid for breakfast. It seemed to be between a boss and employee that work for a pilot/escort car company and Bob heard the employee get fired. We saw three enormous “tubes” come through the area today that were being escorted by what I grew up calling “chase cars.” There is a huge, extends for miles two ways, wind turbine farm off Rt 55 (66’s replacement road) between Odell and Pontiac, IL. We think the tubes are the bases of the windmills.
We used a book called EZ66 Guide for Travelers, 4th edition, to plan our trip. Thank you again, Rhonda, for telling us about it. We also have an Illinois Rt. 66 visitors guide magazine. Both of these aids have interesting stops pinpointed, good restaurants listed, and loads of museums and other 66 memorabilia described so travelers like us don’t miss anything. The guide even shows where the original road still exists and where it doesn’t and what roads to use from Chicago to LA. Our breakfast choice, The Old Log Cabin, was listed in both. We can agree it should be. Shannon was our bubbly, informative, attentive server. I had a potato casserole with my omelet and when Bob asked for a bite, I told him he only got one. Shannon brought us their visitor register book to sign. It was actually a large accounting book and our first introduction to how many people from other countries come to experience Rt. 66. We had no idea it was such a big deal all over the world. We figure about 50% of the travelers are not Americans. Some speak English and some don’t. The accents are interesting to listen to. The Old Log Cabin had a wooden quilt block on the outside of the building and inside there was a whole trail shown if you wanted to go exploring. Shannon gave us printed directions to get into Pontiac proper and two pens advertising the restaurant.
Great restaurant in Pontiac, IL. Make sure you order the potato casserole.
We went into town and found the Livingston County War Museum. (It’s interesting to see the same names repeated in each county and state. I wonder if it will still be happening by the time we get to the west coast.) This museum was like nothing I had ever experienced. They have over 200 mannequins dressed in military uniform with all the rank and ribbons earned of local deceased vets, and a few really famous ones. It was like standing among live troops. I was in awe. The education director of the museum, David Estes, and I had quite the conversation. I told him about the Rochester Veterans Writing Group I belong to and the anthology project we are working on. He wants to do a Skype session with us and buy some of our books once they are published. It was all I could do to keep my emotions in check while we were there. Each soldier has his/her picture attached to the uniform with information about where he/she served. Soldiers and memorabilia are on display representing WWI to the present. I wish every locale in the US would do this to honor their vets. We also talked to a Vietnam era sub mariner who had come from Chicago with two other Navy vets to donate some of his personal items to the museum. This experience will live long in my memory. We also visited the Rt.66 museum and the Pontiac-Oakland (car) museum.
A room full of local veterans and their memorabilia. That’s Audie Murphy on the right in the sand color uniform.
Lady veterans from the Pontiac, IL area.
A Vietnam Veteran
And guys in their BDU’s.
A general observation has been, once we got to Cleveland the license plate holders changed as to which sports-teams they advertise support for. Now we are in Illinois they have changed again. We have spotted 38 different US license plates. Tonight we have to do an inventory to see which ones we are missing. We aren’t paying as close attention now we are just doing short jaunts in the car.
This afternoon we drove north on the old 66 to a town called Odell. There is a 1932 filling station there. The gas pump doesn’t work anymore, but it’s one of those that the gas bubbled up into the top receptacle then was hosed into the car via gravity. They also sold Licks66 homemade ice cream. Bob had strawberry and I had butter pecan. Both were very good. That was lunch.
1932 gas pump and station in Odell, IL. Bob with our red “baby.”
The people who visited the station today. Notice all the foreign countries represented. It’s fun to talk to them.
Next we went a bit further north to a town called Dwight. There is a bank there in a building that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Between the one-way streets and lack of easy to spot signage we couldn’t find it so stopped at the local fire station where some firemen were sitting on their truck out in the sunshine. They gave us more directions we had trouble following. In the end, we found the building. Get this, the back of it was directly across the street from the fire station and there was a big sign stating the fact painted on the side of the building facing the one we were looking for. It gave us a good chuckle and we got to see the beautiful Dwight train station.
Dwight Train Station
We had supper at DeLong’s. A local café with good food. The prices here are about two-thirds what we pay in Rochester. I had as good a taco salad as ever and Bob had chicken pot pie which was more like a stew in a bowl with a biscuit. The serving was huge and he had trouble finishing the beef sandwich he ordered thinking the bowl would be a cup.
It’s an earlier night tonight. That’s good. Maybe we will get going in a timelier manner tomorrow.