Well, I got a fairly early start. I left Braidwood just after 8 o'clock. I found a nice diner just down the road from a huge McDonalds that was on an Interstate exit between the highway and Route 66. The weather was much better todayno rain and even some sunshine.
One thing I find hard to remember is to slow down. Every other long distance driving trip I have been on has always had a goal to reach some place as fast as I can and then enjoy my vacation time or conduct my business. This time of course, the trip is different. I have to take my time and enjoy the sightsor else I'll end up in Los Angeles way too early. Other than not finding a suitable place to end, today I was able to pace myself and double back if I thought I missed something interesting. Not something I'd normally do.
I found a lot of old Route 66 sections today. Some are cement and others are brick as in the picture on this page. These sections of road are very narrow and makes you think of when this was the only roadhow jammed they must have been when two vehicles tried to pass. Many of the smaller towns now have a bypass but, in Illinois at least, there are signs directing you into, through, and out of the towns. If it weren't for these trips through the towns Route 66 would be like a slower version of the Interstate highway.
There are a lot of radio stations here that play music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. This is not something I'd normally listen to for more than a song or twobut it seems fitting for this trip and I'm enjoying it.
I wanted to stop for the night before I reached St. Louis. However, the old 19261930 section of Route 66 I was following ended with the road closed due to construction and no detour in sight. Being a guy it was out of question to ask anyone. So, I memorized the Interstate I-50 highway route through the city and raced into the fray. As I was speeding along on my course the very exit I wanted was closed due to constructionof course. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and couldn't get off! I saw the St. Louis arch flash by as I was surrounded by speeding cars who obviously knew where they were going. I was eventually able to get off the Interstate and join it again in the reverse direction and get to the route I wanted.
This all put me on the other side of St. Louis which is OK as I wanted to avoid the big cities anyway. I got to see the arch and I doubt I would have gone up to the top as I'm iffy about heights.
Tonight I'm staying in a small motel on the southwest edge of St. Louis. My Route 66 Traveler's Guide tells me to take my time in Missouri. In their words, "There is no other place quite like it." I plan to take their advice.
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