Day 32 – Thursday 1 June 2017 Pontiac – Chicago

We made it!  Distance travelled today 124 miles.  Time on the road just under 8 hours.

Just like Santa Monica, there are two start points in Chicago and Pauline managed to catch this one as we drove by in heavy traffic.  Note to Self – avoid Rush Hour in big cities!  She never managed to catch the other one, as it was behind us as we turned a corner.  However, we will be visiting both sites tomorrow.

Some basic stats:

  • Distance travelled from Santa Monica – 3,516 miles.  2,448 is the official mileage, so our side trips, and meandering along pretty well every different alignment as we came to it, certainly added some extra miles!
  • Cost of fuel – 281 USD so approx £225!
  • Photographs taken – over 6,000
  • Hotels/Motels stayed in – 22 + 1 Resort Apartment
  • Days on the road – 32

We were up and out early this morning so that we could visit the Pontiac sights before we got going on the day’s journey.  This is outside the, now disused, 1941 State Police Office on Old Route 66 South of Pontiac.  It is next to an original alignment of the Route.  I have not posted a photo of the Station itself, as it is fairly nondescript from ground level.  However, from the air it is in the shape of a Derringer pistol!

Pontiac is another small town that it was a pleasure to visit.  A whole collection of Museums, including Route 66, and some really good murals.  I have only posted some of our pictures as there were so many:

The owner of this converted School Bus, the late Bob Waldmire, used it to cruise up and down Route 66, and he was a major contributor to the Pontiac Museum:

Little cars like these were all along the pavement around the Museums:

Rose who told us all about the Museum and Pontiac, and she gave us a free badge each:

This VW Campervan was also owned by the late Bob Waldmire:

A Steak & Shake Diner Table:

I always grab centre stage!  This will keep me in Pauline’s Good Books for many years to come!

Some more murals after we left the Museum:

The approach to Odell:

A beautifully restored Standard Oil Gas Station:

Next to the Gas Station was this 1953 caravan just like the one Pauline’s parents used to have in their garden:

Another Gas Station in Dwight this time:

We met the owner of this bike at Ambler’s Gas Station, also in Dwight, and he was from Iowa and had ridden across to Chicago to start his trip down to Santa Monica.  He has allowed a month for the trip, and he will certainly need it judging by the amount of interest his copper plated bike was generating:

Amblers Gas Station:

The Mining Museum in Godley:

In Braidwood, we stopped at the famous Polka Dot Drive In where I had a Shake so thick and full of fruit that I had difficulty finishing it!  When we signed the Visitors’ Book we were given free key rings which was a nice gesture:

Then it was on to Wilmington.  The Green Dinosaur was much bigger than the Guide Books had suggested:

and then we had all three!  The Gemini Giant which is just along the road from the Dinosaur:

When we reached Elwood we spotted their monument to Munitions Workers who died in a massive wartime explosion:

Joilet.  A large city but with a small town feel to it.  Used to be called Juliet, and was next to the town of Romeo,  However, Romeo changed its name to Romeoville so Juliet chnaged their name to Joilet:

Joilet’s 1926 Vaudeville Movie theatre:

The Jefferson Street Lifting Bridge:

On the “Must See” list:

A very inviting looking Ice Cream Parlour – but I had already had a Milk Shake! Not a brilliant picture (fast traffic again) but you can just see the Blues Brothers dancing on the roof.

Dell Rhea’s 1938  Chicken Basket in Willowbank.  Its iconic sign is being refurbished and is being re-erected in July:

The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill on Joliet Road in McCook:

The Cindy Lyn Motel in Cicero:

Approaching Downtown Chicago:

Traffic was very heavy, and fast, going into Chicago, so we could not take photographs of all that we wanted to as we passed by.  We finally reached our destination, and here it is again for good measure:

and we then set off for our hotel for the next three nights.  Very tall buildings and SatNav’s do not mix very well!  The GPS signals can’t always reach the receiver, and we ended up doing a lot of random turns, but arrived eventually.  Very tired and very happy, until we checked in.  Over 1,100 USD for the three nights and we were charged extra for parking!  No breakfast provided either!  Corporate Greed.

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