Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Looking Back to Winter 1941 in DeKalb County, Illinois

From the Jan. 27, 2016, MidWeek

1941, 75 Years Ago:  "Although some of the less traveled rural roads are said to be treacherous due to drifts, the roads in the DeKalb area are not blocked by snow.  It was reported at noon today.  The rural mail carriers working out of DeKalb were able to cover their routes, although they were some delayed by the snow without having much trouble."

Snow Road Problems Back Then.  --RoadDog

Looking Back: Winter in the Midwest in 1916-- Saving the Bridge

From the Jan. 27, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois).

1916, 100 YEARS AGO:  "The hard and fast work of DeKalb Highway Commissioner Frank Fuller and a force of men was all that saved the bridge over the Kishwaukee river at Lucinda Avenue, better known as the Annie's Woods bridge, from being swept away this morning by an ice gorge which formed there and threatened the structure."

This bridge connects DeKalb with the NIU campus.  I have been across it many times.  It has recently been redone and looks better than ever.


The Road That Created Florida, Carl Fisher's Dixie Highway-- Part 4: The Cincinnati Caravan

In 1916, the Palm Beach Post newspaper encouraged locals to welcome a 500-car caravan that was to start in Cincinnati in October and was to drive along the Dixie Highway to Miami.

Old Dixie Highway dead ends at the south bank of the C-17 Canal/ Earman River.  There was once a bridge there, but it burned in 1933.

The article then has a helpful detailed driving tour of the Dixie through the whole county.

So, If You Want drive the Old Road, There You Go.  --RooadDog

The Road That Created Florida: Carl Fisher's Dixie Highway-- Part 3: A Miami Beach Connection

"Dixie Highway modernized the South by providing the first farm-to-market road while simultaneously creating the dream of a winter Florida vacation," historian Tammy Ingram writes.

Credit for the Dixie goes to Carl Fisher, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the famed Indy 500 this May).  he also was one of the leading forces for the creation of the famed transcontinental Lincoln Highway.

Part of the reason for the Dixie Highway was to provide better transportation to his Miami Beach development.

Eventually, there were several Dixie Highway routes stretching across 5.786 miles across northern states from the Canadian border at Sault Ste. Marie to Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay.


Friday, February 5, 2016

The Road That Created Florida-- Carl Fisher's Dixie Highway-- Part 2" US-1, US A1A

Continued from Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.

After US-1 was built in the 1920s, the Dixie Highway became known as the Old Dixie in Lake Park and Delray Beach.

Alternate A1A ran through Palm Beach Gardens and follows the Dixie Highway as it does in Riviera Beach, recently renamed the President Barack Obama Highway.

Over the years, the path of the Dixie Highway shuffled.  In Boca Raton, today's Dixie is on the east side of the tracks, but originally it was on the west side of them, now known as Southwest First Avenue.


"Groundhog Day" Movie Walking Tour-- Part 2

GAS STATION--  Gas Depot Station, 131 Washington Street.  Where Bill was hit on the head by the snow shovel.

BOWLING ALLEY--  Wayne's Lanes, 109 Church Street,  This is also where the car left before the ride on the railroad tracks.

THE DANCE AND AUCTION--  Woodstock Moose Lodge, 406 Clay Street

OLD MAN'S ALLEY--  Benton Street at East Judd Street.  Where the old man died.

NED'S CORNER--  Caldwell, Berner & Caldwell, 100 Cass Street.  Where Ned would accost Bill every day.

THE CAR CRASH--  Northwest Corner of Calhoun & Jefferson streets.  There is a building there now.  "Is it too soon for flapjacks?"

PIANO TEACHER'S HOUSE--  Private residence, 348 S. Madison.  The boy's tree is also nearby.

CHERRY STREET INN--  Royal Victorian Manor B&B, 344 Fremont Street.  Where Bill Murray stayed.  He looked out a window from the house's turret.  Interior scenes shot on a stage.

Worth a walk, but definitely see the movie first.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Groundhog Day" Movie Walking Tour, Woodstock, Illinois-- Part 1

From the pamphlet put out by WoodstockGroundhog.org.

A nice map of the famous Woodstock Square area showing sites where scenes from the famous movie were shot.  I would definitely recommend seeing the movie again, especially if you haven't seen it in a long time before you take the tour.

1.  PENNSYLVANIAN HOTEL--Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren Street.  Also where Bill Murray plunged to his death.

2.  GOBBLER'S KNOB--  Southwest corner of Woodstock Square

3.  BAND STAND DANCE--  Center of Woodstock Square

4..  BAR SCENES--  Old Courthouse.  In today's Public House Restaurant.  Where you can order your sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist.

5.  BILL MURRAY'S PUDDLE--  108 Cass Street, curbside.  Unfortunately, the village has now turned it into a flower bed.

6.  TIP TOP CAFE--  Taqueria La Placita Mexican restaurant.  You can eat in the nook where Bill pigged out.

7.  ALPINE THEATER-- Woodstock Theater, 209 Main Street.  Where Bill did his best Clint Eastwood imitation.  Unfortunately, they removed the outside ticket window.

These Are All in the Woodstock Square or By It.--RoadDog

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Road That Created Florida, Carl Fisher's Dixie Highway-- Part 1

From the Jan. 13, 2016, Palm Beach (Fla) Post "We take a look back at the road that created Florida" by Barbara Marshall.

A photo accompanies the article taken in 1922 in Boca Raton showing a camel arch built over the Dixie Highway to attract Shriners on their way to their national convention in Miami.

Beginning in 1915, the Dixie Highway delivered the tourists that spawned motels, juice stands and wacky roadside attractions that so dotted the Florida landscape.

It wasn't actually much of a road.  It was a rutted, grueling journey along its mostly dirt path.

In Palm Beach it followed the dry ridge.  Today it is still called the Dixie Highway in downtown West Palm Beach to north.  Evergreen and Poinsettia avenues follow it southward.


32 Route 66 Experiences-- Part 4: Arizona and California


WEIRD--  Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs

COOL--  Meteor Crater near Winslow

HISTORIC--  Historic Seligman Sundries in Seligman

FOOD--  Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman


WEIRD--  Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande

COOL--  Last Stop Shop on Santa Monica Pier

HISTORIC--  Broadway Theater and Commercial District in Los Angeles

FOOD--  The Donut Man in Glendora


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

32 Route 66 Experiences-- Part 3: Texas and New Mexico


WEIRD--  Leaning Water Tower in Groom

COOL--  Glenrio Ghost Town in Glenrio at Texas-New Mexico border

HISTORIC--  Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe in Shamrock

FOOD--  Mid Point Cafe in Adrian


WEIRD--  Musical Road on Route 66

COOL--  Blue Hole in Santa Rosa

HISTORIC--  New Mexico Mining Museum in Grants

FOOD--  66 Diner in Albuquerque


32 Route 66 Experiences-- Part 2: Kansas and Oklahoma


WEIRD--  Galena Murder Bordello, Galena  (Also the inspiration for "Tow Mater" from the movie "Cars.")

COOL--  Brush Creek Bridge  (Marsh bridge)

HISTORIC--  Old Riverton Store in Riverton

FOOD--  Baxter Springs Smoke House in Baxter Springs


WEIRD--  Blue Whale in Catoosa

COOL--  Totem Pole Park in Foyil

HISTORIC--  Coleman Theatre in Miami

FOOD--  POPS--  Acadia


Monday, February 1, 2016

32 Route 66 Experiences-- Part 1: Illinois and Missouri

From BLT Blog of Lifestyle & Travel.


 THE WEIRD:  Henry's Rabbit Ranch in Staunton

THE COOL:  Sears Tower in Chicago  (Not that other name.)

THE HISTORIC:  Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield

THE FOOD: Del Rhea's Chicken Basket in Willowbrook


THE WEIRD:  Uranus Fudge Factory and General Store in St. Robert

THE COOL:  Gateway Arch in St. Louis

THE HISTORIC:  Jesse James Wax Museum and Meremac Caverns in Stanton

THE FOOD:   Historic Route 66 Steak 'N Shake in Springfield

Definitely.  --RoadDog

"Cars" Tourism Revitalizes Kansas Town-- Part 2: Mining Played Out

For many years, like Radiator Springs in the movie "Cars," Galena has been in decline.

The town was born as a mining settlement when lead and zinc were discovered near the surface in 1876.  By 1900, the Galena area had more than 250 producing mines and a population of 30,000.  Population growth was even greater with the new-found popularity of Route 66 which went through it.

Sadly, we know what happened to Route 66 and then the mines played out in the 1970s and population began shrinking until today it has about 3,000.

The Cars on the Route is in a former Kan-O-Tex gas station.  More than 3,000 visitors recently went through it in a three-month period of time.


"Cars" Tourism Revitalizes Kansas Town-- Part 1

From the Oct. 25, 2015, Arkansas Traveler by Jaime Dunaway.  Recently documentary film makers were in Galena, Kansas, taking pictures of the reddish brown 1951 International boon truck that inspired the "Cars" movie character "Tow Mater."

This truck gets lot of visitors and can be found in front of the Cars on the Route place of business (formerly Four Women of the Route).City Clerk of Galena Renee Charles and three partners took a rundown former gas station and reopened it as a tourist attraction.  One of their huge acquisitions was "Tow Mater."

Before "Tow Mater" people would come through and either drive by or stop in for just a short time, but not anymore.  Even better, they are spending money.

Friday, January 29, 2016

N.C. for T-Giving 2015-- Part 18: Home Finally

December 4, 2015.  Friday

Finally got home after driving 379.4 miles today.  Overall, I drove 2073 miles on the trip.

I got gas 9 times and spent $122.77, a lot less than pent in recent years.