Day 30 – Tuesday 30 May 2017 St Louis – Springfield IL

Distance travelled 153 miles.  Time on the road 6.5 hours.

My US SIM Card has time-bombed so that means we have been on the road for a month!

We had great fun today; hunting for things we did not always find!  When we went on our river cruise yesterday I was hoping that we would go far enough upstream to see the famous 1929 Chain of Rocks Route 66 Bridge, but we did not.  It would have been good to have photographed it from the River because, on the Missouri side all access is fenced off as there has been so much crime involving travellers stopping to visit the bridge, but Pauline was able to take a quick photo as we drove past:

then she was able to photograph it from the side as we crossed the bridge that replaced it in 1967:

and she also managed to catch the State Line as we crossed into Illinois:

On the Illinois side, we had to cross this small bridge on the way to the Illinois entrance to the Chain of Rocks Bridge:

There is also a lot of crime centred around the car park on this side of the bridge, so we did not dare leave the car to walk over the bridge.  It is only open to walkers and cyclists nowadays:

There was a disused Motel and Cafe on the Illinois approach to the bridge:

Our first Illinois Route 66 sign – back to brown after Missouri’s blue ones:

Granite City.  The Luna Cafe.

and the Apple Valley Motel – only the sign remains:

Still in Granite City – I wonder what happened to the “R”:

Staunton.  There should have been a photo of the famous Muppet Bus here!  But it was not where it was supposed to be, just up a rough track off a very old stretch of alignment.  Pauline was busy giving me stick for yet another SatNav failure, when a local chap, who was cutting his vast lawn, came across and confirmed that we were in the right place, but the bus had burnt out 4 years ago!

Raymond.  A photo of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Highways should have been here!  We never found it and, having Googled it now that I am Blogging, we needed to go about half a mile further along the road…

Mitchell.   Kaiser Frazer Motel sign on someone’s front lawn:

Signposting in Illinois is very good, and possibly the best we have seen on our trip.  We stayed on the 1926-40 alignment all day apart from small diversions when needed to see a particular sight:

The first time we had seen a cycling Route 66 sign.  Saw them all over the place after this one:

Litchfield:

Outside the Litchfield Town Museum and Route 66 Welcome Centre:

with the “must tick off on the list” Ariston Cafe across the road:

The Museum also acts as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce:

The Museum has the High School Yearbook photographs going back to 1885!

Nilwood.  We then set off to find the famous Turkey Tracks made by an inconsiderate bird that wandered across the wet cement when the road was first laid down.  You know that when you pass the same barn twice, the SatNav is having fun:

We eventually found Donaldson Road and drove along it slowly looking for the tracks.  We then drove back the way we had just come, and spotted this little sign that said that we had to go back a further mile.  So we did.  By this time we had driven about 2 miles at slower than walking pace.

every mark on the road looked like tracks until we looked closely…

Eureka!  Donaldson Road goes in two different directions, at right angles to each other, and we had been on the wrong stretch of road.  After getting on for an hour of searching, we finally found it.  If only we had turned the other way to begin with…

Still in Nilwood:

Girard.  Our Lunch stop and, as with all Mom & Pop eateries along the Route, that we have been in, the food was excellent:

Auburn.  Becky’s Barn:

Still in Auburn, the 1.4 mile stretch of red-brick Route 66:

We spotted a sign for an historic covered bridge, so we detoured off Route 66 to find it.  The bridge crosses Sugar Creek in Pioneer Park which is South East of Chatham:

Old Road Chatham, a section of original Route 66:

Springfield IL.  The Lauterbach Giant:

and a pink elephant just across the road:

Cozy Dogs Drive In:

As we had been on the road for a long time, at this point we decided to leave the rest of the Springfield sights until the next day.

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