July 11, 2001—Day 7, Route 66-Chicago, Illinois to Lincoln, Illinois

July 11, 2001.

July 11, 2001.

Upon waking in Chicago to head west on Route 66, the weather was perfect. Not one cloud in the sky and a cool breeze broke through the 78 degree temperatures. It didn’t take long to hit our first Rt. 66 landmark—one that has since been moved. Bunyon’s Hotdogs in Cicero had a fiberglass roadside giant standing on the side of its joint. The square-jawed Paul was cradling a giant hotdog, paint faded and peeling in the heat. Bunyon’s closed down and the giant moved to Atlanta, Illinois, greeting Route 66ers in the quiet downtown where not much happens anymore. However, it’s a better home for him because he is well taken care of.

Kyle and I hit Odell, where the town has preserved an early 20th century gas station. Then, the road kept giving—The Gemini Giant, the well-worn streets of Joliet where the downtown was bustling (and where Kyle and I got some grub) Dixie’s Truckers Home, and more small towns with Main Streets no longer main. Kyle and I settled down for the night at The Redwood Motel in Lincoln, Illinois, right across the street from The Tropics, a tiki-themed restaurant that had become a run-of-the-mill diner… and one that would close a few years later. As for The Redwood—neither Kyle nor I thought we’d live past the night.

A Roadside Giant, also known as a Paul Bunyon Statue, once stood on the side of this hotdog joint in Cicero, Illinois. It now stands in the center of Atlanta, Illinois. July 11, 2001.

A Roadside Giant, also known as a Paul Bunyon Statue, once stood on the side of this hotdog joint in Cicero, Illinois. It now stands in the center of Atlanta, Illinois. July 11, 2001.

The Court Yard Dine and Dance. A throwback to the Supper Club days of the midwest. When I returned to Lincoln in 2005, this building was gone.

The Court Yard Dine and Dance. A throwback to the Supper Club days of the midwest. When I returned to Lincoln in 2005, this building was gone.

Dixie's Truckers Home, a place that had true home-cooked meals. This place was packed when Kyle and I stopped for lunch. It's not even a shell of what it once was. July 11, 2001.

Dixie’s Truckers Home, a place that had true home-cooked meals. The dining room was packed when Kyle and I stopped for lunch. It’s not even a shell of what it once was. July 11, 2001.

Kyle standing on an original stretch of Route 66 just north of Shirley, Illinois. July 11, 2001.

Kyle standing on an original stretch of Route 66 just north of Shirley, Illinois. July 11, 2001.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s