Wednesday, June 29, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May-June 2016: Civil War Project in Illinois, Jensen's Point Reopens

Taken from the Route 66 News site.

MAY 29--  Class project to identify Civil War tombstones in Odell County, Illinois.  A teacher-led project called Operation Gravestone has identified seven veterans graves.  I will write about this tomorrow in my Saw the Elephant Civil War Blog.  Always great to get the kids involved.

JUNE 4--  Jensen's Point, near Pacific, Missouri, reopened.  Now, if I can just make it up all those stairs for that great view.  Do they have an elevator?

JUNE 5--  So what really happened to the Blue Swallow Motel's former owner?  Ted F. Jones was a prominent eastern New Mexico rancher and owned the iconic motel in Tucumcari, N.M. for much of the 1940s and 1950s.  It was thought that he and his wife died in a plane crash.  And the mystery deepens.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to N.C.-- Part 6: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway "Too Loud!"

We got off the bypass at Crawfordsville Road and took it to the track.  This area has been worked on a lot and today is quite a beautiful drive to the speedway.   We took route this the first several years to get to the Speedway 500 American Legion on Georgetown Road.

Liz had never been to the speedway before and I wanted her to see where we sat, what we saw and where the Legion is located.

We drove under the track up to the museum and went inside.  We didn't go into the museum itself because of time and Liz wouldn't be much interested in it.  But, I wanted to look at the gift shop and found a 100th Running shot glass and bought it.  It is way too crowded during race weekend.  Then I went to one of my favorite places, the gift store selling everything for big discounts and bought a couple hats and flags.

Liz sat outside while I was in the latter and she got to hear some of the cars running the interior tracks.  Her only comment was that they were too loud.  I guess she wouldn't want to go with us for an Indy 500.

--RoadDog

Monday, June 27, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to N.C.-- Part 5: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

June 20, 2016, Monday.

I figured that since we would be driving by Speedway, a suburb of Indianapolis, and the home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, that I might as well take Liz over to it so she could see where I have been over Memorial Day these last five years.

Definitely was strange not to have the usual crowds that gather for the running of the Indy 500.

I had been to the Speedway several years before I started going to the races with the Bremmers and had toured the museum and taken a bus ride around the track.  I'll have to do this again now that it means more to me.

I was not a fan of any kind of racing, but, now, with five Indy 500s under my belt, I am becoming a race fan, at least for Indy cars.  Thanks a lot Paul and Sue (it is their motor home that we use).

--RoadDog

Looking Back to 1915: Roadwork on Sycamore High Pike in Illinois

From the September 9, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"The Sycamore highway commission started this Tuesday the work of widening the high pike just east of the city for which improvement here has been a strong demand since automobile traffic has increased so rapidly.

"About 2,100 feet extending from the turn just east of the city limits to a point 220 feet east of the bridge furthest east, will be widened so that at least two vehicle can pass easily."

The Impact of the Automobile.  --RoadDog

Friday, June 24, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Reporter Finishes Walk in OKC

MAY 25:  Briana Bailey of the Oklahoman took a walk along the Route 66 alignments in Oklahoma City.  Among the things she found:

**  The Carlyle Motel sign is gone, with parts sold all over the country.

**  Route 66 had many paths through OKC.  Some are marked by Historic Route 66 signs.

**  She found several motels from 66 still operating and two no longer there.

You can read all of her reports at the Oklahoman website.

--RoadDog


Guide Books to Help Segregation-Era Blacks Travel-- Part 2

Today, the Hayes Motel is called the New Aster Motel and it still looks the same architecturally.

Black travelers knew they could spend a night there in their trip along Route 66 because of the publication called "The Negro Motorist Green Book.  The Hayes Motel was among the 224 Los Angeles hotels, barbershops, beauty salons, taverns, restaurants, motels and other places deemed friendly to blacks.

This is a part of Route 66 lore you rarely hear about, but a black family was refused service at a whole lot of places back then.

Los Angeles officials and the Getty Conservation Institute are hoping to lay the groundwork for the rehabilitation and protection of significant historic structures that catered to blacks from that sad era of American history.

Some Green Book places are still standing.

There is a large collection of Green Books from the various u\years it was published in the collection at the New York Public Library.

--RoadDog

Guide Books for Segregation-Era Blacks Traveling Across the Country-- Part 1

From the May 17, 2016, Los Angeles Times "This guidebook helped African Americans find a hotel along segregation-era Route 66" by Louise Sahagun.

A picture of the Hayes Motel shortly after it opened south of downtown  L.A. in 1947 accompanies tye article.  It was then sleek, modern and clean.  Sadly, that is not the case now.  Signs about the current property read "No Drugs.  No prostitution.  No Loitering, No trespassing."

Lily Ho now runs the old motor court in a distressed neighborhood at the corner of Wadsworth Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard.

The Hayes Motel back when it opened was a place where blacks could find a room.

So Sad What Has Happened to the Old Motel.  --RoadDg

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 4: Road Woes With Trucks

June 20, 2016, Monday.

Another good hot breakfast at the Clarion in the morning and then on the road, I-70, heading east.  We're cruising along at the posted 70 mph.  Then, we come upon a group of around seven trucks.  I  always speed up when I see a bunch of trucks grouped together, knowing that one is going to try to pass the others.

I don't know why, but when a truck passes me in my car, he whizzes by very fast.  But, when they pass another truck, it is done very slowly.  Very, very slowly.  It is like that trucker decorum or courtesy calls for a slow pass so as not to upstage the passee.  And, I am sure they know that this slow pass-by is making the motorists lining up behind him a little unhappy.

Well, that truck pulled over into the left lane and it was off to the races we went at 55-60 mph.  And, he decided to pass ALL of the trucks.  We have now been behind the guy for around 15 miles and are in Indiana, just past Richmond, and I see an opening to the truck's right and floor it to pass him on that side.

Only to encounter a car with its right turn blinker on going about 25 mph.  Foiled again.  And then, the cars behind the truck wouldn't let me back into the left lane.

No Wonder My hair  Is Turning Gray.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 3: No Porkchop Sandwiches for Us

June 19th.  We stopped in Mt. Airy, N.C., on our way home this past Sunday.  Unfortunately, Snappy Lunch (and those great porkchop sandwiches) was closed on Sundays.  We did enjoy walking around the main street and looking at all the Mayberry (Mt. Airy served as its inspiration as this was where Andy Griffith grew up).  This town knows how to cash in on the ongoing popularity of this timeless TV show.

Gas at Wytheville (still $2.04) and more traffic going from there through West Virginia than usual.

We got a room at the Clarion in Englewood, Ohio, and went to Bolt's to watch the final NBA game.  Everyone in there was pulling for Cleveland for some reason.  We noticed a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) across the street and went there to play some NTN and watch the game.

This place was packed and really loud with most everyone cheering for the Cavaliers.  We saw the end of the game at the Clarion bar.

We were pulling for Golden State, but it is always good when a Midwest team wins it all.  We are not LeBron fans and I was surprised that the Cavalier fans accepted him back after that Miami stunt he pulled.

--RoadDog

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 2: No Porkchop Sandwiches for Us

June 19th.  We stopped in Mt. Airy, N.C., on our way home this past Sunday.  Unfortunately, Snappy Lunch (and those great porkchop sandwiches) was closed on Sundays.  We did enjoy walking around the main street and looking at all the Mayberry (Mt. Airy served as its inspiration as this was where Andy Griffith grew up).  This town knows how to cash in on the ongoing popularity of this timeless TV show.

Gas at Wytheville (still $2.04) and more traffic going from there through West Virginia than usual.

We got a room at the Clarion in Englewood, Ohio, and went to Bolt's to watch the final NBA game.  Everyone in there was pulling for Cleveland for some reason.  We noticed a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) across the street and went there to play some NTN and watch the game.

This place was packed and really loud with most everyone cheering for the Cavaliers.  We saw the end of the game at the Clarion bar.

We were pulling for Golden State, but it is always good when a Midwest team wins it all.  We are not LeBron fans and I was surprised that the Cavalier fans accepted him back after that Miami stunt he pulled.

--RoadDog

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Unexpected Trip to North Carolina-- Part 1: Eating Chili and 'Cue

I had just been down to North Carolina five weeks ago, but I had to return to the state last week.  It was under very sad conditions.

On the way down, on  June 13, we stopped at Englewood, Ohio, for my Cincinnati Chili fix at Skyline Chili.  We then drove through Columbus and got a room at the Comfort Inn and went to Thirsty Turtle where we watched the NBA Championship game which Cleveland won to get to 2-3 in the best-of-seven series.  Being in Ohio, the crowd was quite into pulling for the Cavaliers.

The next day we got gas at Wytheville, Virginia was $2.04. by far the best price on the trip.  Stopped near Clayton, N.C. at the White Swan and had their bbq.  Mighty good.  Love my Carolina 'cue, especially Eastern-style.

Checked into the Best Western Plus in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

--RoadDog

Monday, June 20, 2016

Our Concrete Rivers

No, no one has been dumping concrete into our rivers, but anyone with youngsters (15-25 years) knows what I am talking about.

Sometimes, the corn liquor, tuned in by some amazing sun graphics,

Personally, I miss the old steel girder bridges.  At least they looked like bridges.

--RoadDog


Saturday, June 18, 2016

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Normal, Illinois, Buys Route 66 Gas Station

MAY 16--  There was a video of the Cruisers Route 66 Cafe in Williams, Arizona.  The Grand Canyon Brewing Company is by it.

MAY 17--  Normal, Illinois, buys the Sprague Super Service station.  gain, I am so happy that the Bloomington-Normal area has finally become aware of its 66 heritage.

MAY 18--  The "This Place Matters" picture was taken at the Meramec River Bridge in Missouri.

--RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, May 2016: Gasconade River Bridge Saved

MAY 11--  MoDot will repair and reconstruct the closed Gasconade River Bridge by Hazelgreen, Missouri.  It is estimated to cost $5.4 million and work scheduled to start in 2018.

Glad to hear it,.  That was one very determined group of people trying to save it.

MAY 13--  Springfield, Missouri, is seeing a boom in its hotel business.  You think Route 66 might have something to do with that?

--RoadDog

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gas Comes Down in N.C., Evidently Goes Up in Illinois

When we got to Goldsboro, N.C., gas was $2.20.  Yesterday, it dropped to $2.06.

I received notice from Thornton's Gas that I had 10 cents off a gallon this weekend.  That usually means gas is up at least ten cents.  That would put gas at at $2.90 back home in northeasterngas Illinois.

Only in Illinois.  --RoadDog