Just before crossing into Missouri. Click here to take the short cut to get there.

This was on the side of the road in southern Illinois. I remember seeing these years ago.

The ramps near an old 'filling station' were left here a long time ago. They are embedded in the side of the tree trunk. The ramps were here first and the tree grew up between them. I do believe they've been sittin' a while.

And another dead end.
Nathan with an Illinois shield and fighting the wind.

A small pond with white caps.

A looming thunderstorm ahead. The wind was incredible.

I had my Route 66 maps to get me where I needed to go but it was reassuring just the same to see these occasional signs confirming that I was going in the right direction.

Almost home! Well, maybe just wishful thinking.

A stretch of brick 66 through the farmland of Illinois. It's not the yellow brick road but cool just the same. This is a beautiful part of the state. The farmland soil is almost black.

Leaving Springfield and the Lauderbach Giant.
Lincoln's home.

The Lincoln tomb.

The House of Representatives where Lincoln lay in state.

The court room in the old court house.

The Lincoln law office.

Several blocks around the Lincoln home have been preserved as they were during Lincoln's time there. Definitely worth visiting.

The train station burned recently so this building is a replica but these orginal steps were found under a part of the building that had been built above the older one. Lincoln walked on them?

There was an eerie feeling here.

The Lincoln Depot in Springfield, IL. This is where Lincoln left for the White House. Also, it was the last train stop after he was assasinated. Of course it didn't look exactly like this at the time but it's the same location and it was still fascinating.
Lincoln's farewell address as he left for the White House:
"My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

We made it as far as Springfield, IL and stayed at Route 66 Hotel. This place was really cool and a strong '66 supporter.
Grain elevators were a common sight along the way.

An oddity.....a phone booth atop the Lincoln courthouse. No explanations were given. And I didn't ask.

In Lincoln, IL Abe Lincoln christened the first town named for him with a cup of watermelon juice on this spot.

We passed through Bloomington, IL, home to McLean Stevenson (of MASH fame) and his kin Adlai. This is also home to the Bunyon Giant, brother of the Gemini Giant.

An abandoned stretch that looks around 'Deadman's Curve' has been turned into a walking tour called A Geographic Journey with displays of all 8 Route 66 states.

A rare highway marker painted on a bridge that predates 66. The route zigzags through many now deserted towns on it's way to St. Louis.

Roadside barn advertising Meramec Caverns in Missouri.

Route 66 ran parallel to the interstate in many places.

In the 1930's Route 66 was so busy that a pedestrain tunnel had to be built so that the children could safely cross the street. The entrance was filled in with concrete in the 1950's but the first 3 steps and railing remain. I thought this was interesting. Not a single car passed while we were there so it was hard to imagine the traffic in years past.

Another restored 1932 station in Odell, IL.

An abandoned stretch of old 66 in Illinois.

One of several road shields along the way.

Remember Ethyl?

Vintage gas pumps and signs just a little further down the road.
A wheel cover from?

A restored vintage 1933 'filling station' in Dwight, IL. We found a great place to eat (finally!) just across the road from here.

This is outside the Polka Dot Drive-in, a 1950's themed diner (too early to eat here too!). I'm beginning to wish we had stopped at Lou's for breakfast. The hunger is growing.

On the outskirts of Chicago, the first of many, many murals that will be seen all along the route. Just down the road in Wilmington is the first 'giant' we see, The Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad Drive-in (too early so it's not yet open when we drive by). In the first few miles I had to accept the fact that there is no way that I will be able to see everything. There's just too much! Another road trip some day?
View of Chicago from the back window. We are well on our way now.
I had planned to stop at Lou Mitchell's for breakfast but the best I could do was a drive by photo. This restaurant has been at the same location since 1923 and the Route 66 books say it is traditional for the 'Routers' to have breakfast here before beginning their journey. I was already behind schedule, as usual, so I had to pass it up. It took 4 hours to get out of Chicago proper but that was because I did a lot of turnarounds.