The Route 66 Adventure Begins

We’ve been planning it for months, and now it’s actually real. This morning I met up with Buffy, Birgit, and Tom to begin our Route 66 adventure.

“The Four Vanditos,” as Birgit calls us.

We met at the Route 66 park in Joliet. Buffy and I didn’t feel like fighting traffic in and out of Chicago to get to the very beginning of Route 66, but Birgit and Tom did, and got their picture. But the Rich and Creamy was the actual start of the adventure for our entire group. Every great adventure begins with ice cream.

Dick’s on 66.

The Route 66 memorabilia began immediately, with Dick’s on 66 right across the street. This is actually still a working garage, not just some roadside attraction.

I got my kicks on Route 66.

The giant sign a short walk away, though, is definitely just some roadside attraction. I had to strike a pose.

Buffy and me hanging out with Jake and Elwood.

The Route 66 museum in Joliet was our next stop. City traffic was difficult, and so was finding parking. Buffy and I grabbed this photo op.

The adventure begins.

I also grabbed a sticker to commemorate the occasion for the headliner. I’ll get another one at the end of our journey to bookend it, as well as whatever else strikes my fancy in between.

Speaking of the Blues Brothers, we visited the now-closed prison where the beginning of the movie was filmed. I had to recreate the shot where Elwood picks up Jake when he got released from prison. What makes this funnier is that I don’t even have a brother.

Buffy had suggested that we stay at Harrah’s casino for the night, since casinos often allow overnight parking for travelers. Not here, though. It’s more like a hotel in the heart of the city with a garage at least two of our vans won’t even fit into. We returned to the Walmart in New Lenox where Birgit, Tom, and I stayed the night before. This wasn’t our top choice, but it worked, which is what really matters. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of quiet scenic camping as we head southwest.

I think Lister wants Birgit and Tom’s Ram Promaster.

Today was a mad dash, between so many places to see in such close proximity and the traffic in town. I hope our trip doesn’t continue to be like this, and I doubt it will be, particularly as we head out of the city. One thing that worked really well was the FRS radios I got us. We could all talk to each other as we drove, which was especially handy when Harrah’s turned out to not be what we expected. We coordinated by radio and made an escape from the valet parking lot without getting out of our vans, and before anyone even noticed us.

The only blemish on an otherwise great day is that my WifiRanger Spruce mobile router appears to have died. It worked perfectly for my work meeting in the morning, but refused to give me any WiFi since turning it off. Two full reset processes haven’t worked, and I can’t even access it by Ethernet. A call to support went to voicemail, and being Friday I likely won’t hear back until next week. Not good. It’s not absolutely necessary for me to get online, but I’ve really gotten used to having it, since it makes doing so a whole lot easier.

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