Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lots of Press for Iowa Lincoln Highway Tour

I have several searches on the Lincoln Highway and am amazed at how much press the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association's Third Annual Motor Tour is getting. It seems like every day this month there have been articles in newspapers along the route.

We went on the trip last year and would have gone this year except I have to be in North Carolina. Maybe next year.

Unfortunately, even the Dixon, Illinois, newspaper had very little print about this past June's LHA National Conference which was held in that city and I didn't see anything else other than an Aurora article about our visit to the old automobile agency and the Al Capone car.

Here's hoping the Iowa group has a great cruise this weekend.

On the Road Again. --RoadDog

Friday, August 27, 2010

Getting My Cruisin' Tunes Ready

What is a good cruise without good tunes?

I've got five CDs lined up for this trip.


LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING-- BILLY CURRINGTON-- Country with "People Are Crazy" and "That's How Country Boys Roll." One of my favorite new country performers.

THE REASON WHY-- LITTLE BIG TOWN-- Country with "Little White Church." This group is very much like Lady Antebellum, but with two ladies.


100 MILES FROM MEMPHIS-- SHERYL CROWE-- I read a review about this one where she said these songs were not just covers of old Memphis Soul ones, but strongly influenced by that sound. However, "Sign Your Name" is one that I've heard before. I usually only take ones I haven't listened to before along with me, but I was so anxious to hear this one, I did crack open the cellophane.

EUPHORIA-- ENRIQUE IGLESIAS-- Pop music with a Latin flare. Big hit "I Like It." Some of the songs have Spanish titles.

MIDNIGHT SOUVENIRS-- PETER WOLF-- Ex-J. Geils frontman. I probably wouldn't have bought this one, but Little Steven featured the album on his Underground Garage Show and I really liked what I heard. Plus, I am a big J. Geils and Peter Wolf fan.

Let's Get That CD Player on the Truck Warmed Up!! --RoadDog

US Highway 150

From the End of US Highway site.

US-150 was one of the original US Highways as set down in 1926, but it was considerably shorter than its current 571 mile length, just 60 miles between Shoals, Indiana to New Albany, Indiana (outside of Louisville).

From 1934-1977 it ran between Mount Vernon, Kentucky and Rock Island, Illinois. In 1977, it was extended to Moline, Illinois (next to Rock Island). This is the current route.

From Wikipedia.

US-150 runs from the Quad Cities airport at US-6 in Moline (where we spent a night at a motel once) 267 miles closely paralleling I-74 to the Indiana border near Vincennes.

In Indiana, it runs from Vincennes to New Albany, across the Ohio River from Louisville (and those Hot Brown sandwiches). It follows the Buffalo Trace across the whole state. This was a path from Kentucky to Illinois created by millions of bison back in the really old days.

In Kentucky, it goes through Louisville and then to Bardstown. It is aligned with US-31E part of the way.

Looks like I'll have to drive the rest of the Illinois segment later this fall.

Highway 150 Here I Come. --RoadDog

Gettin' Ready to Go Cruisin'

Tomorrow, I leave for Goldsboro, NC, where we are having an 80th birthday party for Mom.

I'm planning on driving a different way for part of the trip.

As usual, I will avoid the Chicago hassle and drive west to Woodstock, Illinois, where I pick up Il-47 and take that south. But, instead of taking it all the way to I-74 by Champagne, I will get off on US-24 and go east to Il-1 at Watseka and then south to US-50/US-150 into Vincennes, Indiana.

Then east on those two roads until Shoals, Indiana where they split. I will continue on US-150 to Louisville, Kentucky, and on to the eastern terminus at Mount Vernon, Kentucky by I-75. I'm not sure where I'll go after that.

I am not really familiar with US Highway 150, but did find out it starts by the Quad Cities in Illinois.

On the Road Again. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 26, 2010

That Was One Really Nice $540 Wedding Anniversary Present

Yesterday, we were planning on going out for a boat cruise, but, when I turned the key in the family buggy, a 2003 Malibu, there was nothing. It would turn over, but nothing beyond that.

We called our Chevy dealer, Ray Chevrolet in Fox lake, Illinois, and they arranged a tow. We'd had this problem two times before with the anti-theft system. When the keys would be rekeyed, we would be on our way.

We found out that the problem was with a defect in the anti-theft system and it was replaced at a cost of $540, not counting the tow. A few months ago we also had to spend $900 on engine repairs.

At $1440, perhaps it is time for a new car. Liz likes the Malinu. I like that as well, but also like the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. I'd also like a Denny Corvette but know I can't afford one.

Liz says that with the last three I am going through the middle age jitters, but, hey, I really like those cars.

Generally, when I have to start spending that kind of money to repair a vehicle, it is time for a new one.

The '03 has 94,000 miles on it.

Well, at least we got a "free" car wash out of the deal, or was it a $540 car wash? Only time will tell.

Let's See What happens. --RoadDog

Route 66 on the Cheap

That last word is a very important word for me. I have been accused of being cheap, but I like to get the max from every buck.

While at a local watering hole, I picked up a copy of the July-August Northern Illinois Southern Wisconsin Biker Information Guide and came across an article of interest on page 39.

"Where to Ride: How to Ride Route 66 in a Week (or less) for Cheap!! by Milwaukee Mike.

I've often thought doing a cruise on Route 66 would have to be the ultimate experience, but that is not likely to happen as I'm too scared of them.

Well, Milwaukee Mike says doing the Mother Road on his Harley is high on his "Bucket List." The challenge is time and money to go the entire 4400 mile round trip, but he knows bikers from the Midwest who have done it in a week and at a fraction of what it should cost.


THANK YOU FOREIGN BIKERS

And that is thanks to the many international bikers who drive Chicago to Los Angeles who rent his late model H-D Electra Glide and Softtail motorcycles. They pay the normal rentals plus the one-way fee (usually $550) and then drop the bikes off in LA.

The wise (and cheap) biker can pick up these motorcycles in LA and save big bucks with a discounted daily rate, plus no one-way fee and drive it back to Milwaukee or Chicago.

Of course, you first have to get out to LA and with the airlines these days ratcheting up their screw job on travelers, that could be be a problem.

"Riding Route 66...the Mother Road is without question the most popular ride in the USA...and for good reason!"

Old Mike suggest you check out their website www.Streeteagle.com for more information.

See the USA...On Your Harley. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our 37th Anniversary Today

Liz and I celebrate our 37th anniversary today of that really hot day back in 1973 when we were married in Dekalb, right there on the old Lincoln Highway. We were married at Northern Illinois University's Newman Center and then had our reception at the Holiday Inn (now Best Western) right on Il-38, the Lincoln Highway.

The priest who married us, Father Dan, is now monsignor at Crystal Lake's St. Thomas, not too far away from us.

Of course, we both went to and graduated from NIU. We liked Dekalb so much we were really hoping to find teaching jobs either in town or nearby, but that never came to pass.

Too bad as we really would have enjoyed living there.

Today, I plan on doing some yardwork, then, we'll go out on the boat and then to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for a late lunch at Popeye's on the shore of Geneva Lake. Who knows, then maybe a trip along the lake on the Gage Marine boat.

"Thirty-seven years with the wrong, wrong woman" as my Dear Old Daddy used to say.

Seems Like Just Yesterday. --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Civil War Along Route 66, Continued

The last two days, I have posted two blog entries on my Saw the Elephant Bloh http://sawtheelephant.blogspoy.com regarding aspects of the Civil War that involve the state of Missouri and, important for us roadies, have something to do with Route 66.

Saturday, I wrote about the Lee and Grant exhibit which will be at the Power Museum in Carthage during September and a part of October. The Missouri Route 66 Association will be visiting this place during their annual motor tour in September.

Today, i wrote about the marriage of Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent in St. Louis at her father's home, the site of which is now a parking lot for Busch Stadium.

I understand that the Missouri 66 Association is planning to have a future tour concentrating on the Civil War in that state.

Missouri and the Civil War. --Old B-Runner

Monday, August 23, 2010

Have a Beer and Eat a Minnow Too-- Part 2

They intend to replace the whole pier system next spring, but have the old ones patched up and supported enough that boaters can use it. If you're on the Chain of Lakes, you definitely want to take every opportunity to get these folks into your business.

Specials today was a Maxwell Street Polish Sausage and fries for $4 (usually $4.75). We didn't orders as we were still too full of wings from Castaways. There was also a shot special for $3, but no beer specials.

A pint of beer is $2 regular price, but the owner said they would be $1.50 one day a week starting next week. We did not like the pour, however, which had almost an inch and a half of foam. That equals a lot of "lost" beer. When I buy a pint, I want a full pint of beer, not 12-13 ounces. Especially when I pay two bucks.

The place has been cleaned up a lot and appears to have new windows, of course facing out to the water. When you dock, you have to walk across a road to get to the place. The outside has been painted a striking yellow which is easily seen from the US-12 bridges to the west.

I liked the old World War II bomb shell casing hanging from the ceiling. When I was pledging Delta Sigma Phi at NIU, we had to look after a big green bomb. If a sorority stolen it, it would not go well with the actives. And, they really tried to get it. I really hated that shell.

But, what about the minnows?

Maybe Next Time. --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 11-- Take the Scenic Route

Continuing with the scenic routes of Nebraska from the 2010 Visitors Guide.


3. HERITAGE HIGHWAY

A 238 mile byway from the Missouri River to Harlan County Lake through farmland and historic main street communities. Visit the Homestead National Monument honoring the homesteaders who opened the west to settlement as well as Willa Cather's home.

It is located in the southeastern part of the state from Brownville to a ways past Alma. Most of it along US Highway 136.

www.HeritageHighway136.com


4. LEWIS AND CLARK SCENIC BYWAY

an 82 mile drive through two national wildlife refuges and discover the culture of the Winnebago and Omaha American Indian tribes.

Along the Missouri River in the east part of the state.

www.LewisAndClarkScenicByway.com

Let's Hit the Road. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Have a Beer and Eat a Minnow Too-- Part 1

This past week we were happy to see an old bar reopen on the Chain of Lakes, the Aquarium. It is on Nippersink Lake in the Village of Fox Lake.

It is one of only four remaining bars on Nippersink which at one time had at least ten. The others are the American Legion, Blueberry Hill (the old Old Style Inn) and El Puerto Mexican Restaurant.

The Aquarium is an old bar and one that is well-known, but had fallen on hard times the last several years. It had been closed for a year and a half, but reopened last season, but was closed because of health issues regarding the people living upstairs.

We had been noticing this season that there was a sign announcing it would reopen with new owners, but nothing came of it and we were beginning to think it wasn't. The piers were still in horrific shape as well. The outside was painted as well.

I had seen an announcement in the local Advertiser that it reopened last weekend. Wednesday, we were out boating and went over to Castaways on Pistakee Lake and after passing under Beer Can Bridge, I remembered it and we cruised over to the Aquarium, making a careful check of the piers which had been repaired well enough to attempt to dock.

I was wondering if they kept the old tradition where you had the opportunity to swallow or munch a minnow or two.

I Wonder? --RoadDog

Civil War Battle Along Route 66

I just posted to my Civil war blog Saw the Elephant http://sawtheelephant.blogspot.com about battle too few people know about, the Battle of Carthage in Missouri.

I'd heard about it, but didn't know much. Evidently, the Vangilder family has been in charge of setting up an annual observance of it, but this year they didn't and a quickly formed committee did.

The Vangilders claim that this was the first battle between two true armies on American soil since the War of 1812 and that it predated Bull Run.

Check it Out.

A Place to Visit the Next Time You're on the Mother Road. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 10-- NTN Buzztime (part 2)

We have been in Nebraska on three occasions. The last time, we were being chased by an early October winter storm across the state in 2006 so didn't stop to play NTN. We had picked up the snow just west of Denver as we were returning from our end-to-end Route 66 drive.

The first Nebraska trip was on our return from the 2004 Tulsa Route 66 Festival where we went on out to Tucumcari, New Mexico and we were taking US-54 back most of the way, but had gotten off in Wichita, Kansas.

The second time was spring break 2006, when we took the Lincoln Highway across Iowa and then went way out of our way to see the world's largest round barn in Red Cloud, Nebraska. (I don't suggest it.)

Of the 21 NTN sites we've been to, eleven are no long in business or have it.

Ones that have dropped it:

DJ's, Varsity Club, TGIF, In-Play, Crescent Moon, Old Dundee, Oscar's, Clancy's and Digz in Omaha.

Gateway Lanes in Elkhorn and the Penalty Box in Lincoln.

Always sad to see so many have dropped it, and that number would be worse had it not been for all the BW3s (Buffalo Wild Wings).

NTN Cruisin' in Nebraska. --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 9-- NTN Possibilities

I went on the Buzztime NTN site and found that there are 23 sites to play NTN in Nebraska, not a large number, but definitely enough to visit while touring the state. And they're spread out as well.

For those of you who don't know, NTN Buzztime is like the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game on TV. You can play it on TVs in bars and restaurants who have signed up for it. If you have ever been in a Buffalo Wild Wings, you might have noticed it being played.

The two biggest concentrations are in Omaha with 6 and Lincoln with 7. Four of the ones in Omaha are Buffalo Wild Wings.

Other cities with one apiece:

Grand Island
Papillion
Offutt AFB
North Platte
Sidney
Chadron
Kearney
Hastings
Sidney
Bellvue

Looking like it's a good time to do a cruise along the Lincoln Highway through the state as Grand Island, North Platte, Kearney and Grand Island are right on the old road and Hastings not too far from it (plus, all the Kool Aid stuff that might be there).

Cruisin' Down Da Road and Playin' NTN. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 12-- Route 66 At Last

Back to our first June trip.

After filling up at Made-Rite, we continued on US-52 to Camdenton where we got on Missouri Highway 5 to take it to Lebanon and Route 66. Apparently, they are in the process of building a new Mo-5 and this one is to be four lane limited access. Part of it is finished.

This is a much-needed improvement as Mo-5 is a very heavily-traveled road and a major entry to the Lake of the Ozarks region from I-44 by Lebanon. It seems to be narrow and there are a lot of really big trucks and curves to negotiate. Hopefully they will keep the original Highway 5 as it is a nice drive.


LEBANON

One of our favorite Route 66 towns and home of the Munger Moss Motel, a real classic and where we were spending the night.

We took a ride all through the downtown part, but again, didn't find any bars. For some reason Lebanon just doesn't have but about two or three bars.

We stopped at the liquor store across from the convention center on old US-66. At one time it used to be a cottage-style gas station. I bought a fifth of Rebel Yell, one of my favorite bourbons for $12.50. That's a great price as I usually pay $16 around home. Unfortunately, they only had one bottle as I sure would have bought more.

Heading to Munger Moss. --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Read It on a Cereal Box-- Part 4-- Food and Attractions

Finally getting to the bottom of that really long cereal box.

Two last bits of text.

"This main highway for vacationers also marked the birth of the fast-food industry. The first drive-thru restaurant appeared, as well as world famous franchises thriving yet today. Changes like these cemented Route 66's reputation as a near perfect picture of American culture."

The best-known franchise would be McDonald's which started in San Bernardino, California (but the first Ray Kroc McDonald's here in Illinois). Also, Steak 'N Shake started here in Illinois (Bloomington) and Dairy Queen (Joliet).


ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

"The sharp increase in tourism in the 1950s gave rise to a blossoming of diverse roadside attractions including teepee shaped motels, frozen custard stands, Indian curio shops, amusing landmarks and sculptures."


"By 1970, nearly all of the original Route 66 was replaced by a more efficient four-lane highway, but Route 66 stimulated the largest westward movement in US history. Although the road has vanished from the maps, it continues to thrive in the hearts of people worldwide."

One Great Road. --RoadDog

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 8-- Take the Scenic Route

Page 26 of the 2010 Travel Guide has a map of the state with all nine of the scenic routes mapped out on it, "...follow the two-lane to out-of-the-way attractions, breathtaking views, and some of the best homemade pie your fork has ever encountered." That pretty-well sums up those two laners for me.

Tour #1 385-GOLD RUSH BYWAY-- In the 1870s, as much as $200,000 in gold each day was transported over this 158-mile route. Interesting landmarks at Courthouse and Jail Rocks and then there's Carhenge. Follows US Highway 385 along northern part of state along US Highway 385 from north to south in the western part of the state. www.VisitNebraska.gov/goldrush.


Tour #2 BRIDGES TO BUTTES BYWAY-- Almost 200 miles "of untamed open road" through Nebraska "in its most pristine form." Runs east to west along northern border along US-20 from Valentine to western border. www.VisitNebraska.gov/bridges.

Two Down, Seven to Go. --RoadDog

I Read It on a Cereal Box-- Part 3

Back to that box of Millville Honey Crunch 'n Oats. Millville is a brand sold in the Aldi grocery store chain.

Along with the pictures I wrote about last week, their was text.

"The comeback of the American Automobile Industry following World War II further promoted the use of Route 66, and service station prototypes were developed regionally, and then adopted across the country. The filling station became elaborate with service bays & tire outlets." with a picture of Springfield, Illinois' Bill Shea in front of his place.


"Nat King Cole's hit tune helped make Route 66 the most popular choice for the cross-country adventurers, and for overnight accommodations, they stayed at motor courts. having evolved from isolated cottages, the buildings featured all the rooms under a single roof. Lit by neon and designed with flair, the trendy lodging was eventually referred to as 'motel'" with a picture of a Route 66 Motel sign.

And don't forget that Bobby Troup, the "MASH" jeep-driving sergeant who wasn't fond of the Army wrote the tune.

Anything to Spread the Word. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Damn Army, Well, Almost

Speaking of Route 66, I just watched the movie "MASH" last night. AMC was showing it in honor of its 40th anniversary. Could it have been that long ago?

Anyway, Route 66 balladeer Bobby Troup was in it. He who wrote that great "Get Your Kicks on Route 66? song after a drive along it out to California.

I had forgotten that he was in the movie, albeit a VERY short part when he picked up Hawkeye and Trapper John after they flew to Japan to operate on the Congressman's son. Bobby, playing the role of Sergeant Gorman was the one who picked them up and drove them to the hospital.

He had a total of two lines for his part in the movie and looked like he was completely disgusted with the Army and especially these two men.

At first he said "Goddamn Army."

After a bit, it was "Goddamn Army jeep."

Well, he made his money on that song you can't get out of your head.

Get Your Kicks In the GD Army. --RoadDog

ILMOTOR--2010-- Part 11-- Lake of the Ozarks

I spent a lot of time in the morning just sitting outside the room at Shawnee Bluff Motel and enjoying the view of Lake Ozark. Not many boats out and lots of birds singing around the place. One in particular had an interesting little song. It kept going and returning to one branch at the top of a tree.

They definitely need to invest in new tables at least on our level, as they were more than a little shaky. I wrote in my journal in an attempt to stay current.


BAGNELL DAM

After we checked out, we drove a couple miles to the Bagnell Dam and the "Strip" which is a group of tourist traps, restaurants and motels mostly along one side of US-54. I always love tourist traps and love to visit them. We went to two places: Summer USA and Dogpatch. Although both had loads of neat stuff, I managed to get out without a purchase. Summer USA has all things Jimmy Buffett and water-related.

Drove over the dam and went to a park offering a scenic overlook of the lake behind the dam and a full-size turbine that used to provide electricity. It is on the other side of the road from the Lodge which serves at a Lake of the Ozarks museum and visitors center and used to be a hotel.

We also drove down to the bottom of the dam on the Strip side of the river.

We had a buy one, get one free coupon for one of my favorite burger joints, Made-Rite, and stopped for lunch there before leaving for Lebanon and Route 66.

How Do You say Messy Burger. So That's Why They Give You a Spoon. --RoadDog

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Read It on a Cereal Box-- Route 66-- Part 2

Hey, when you're eating cereal in the morning, it's fine to have some reading material, especially if it is about something as interesting as you-know-what.

Pictures on the back of the Millville Honey Crunch 'n Oats with Almonds cereal box.

Route 66 shield

50s Corvette

66 Motel sign

Bill Shea in Springfield, Il, by some of his gas pumps

a hamburger

the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma

the "Here It Is" sign from Arizona, complete with the rabbit

Definitely a good choice of pictures for the limited amount of space they had.

Now, You Can Eat Your Cereal and Have Your Route 66 Too. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR-- 2010-- Part 10-- Lake of the Ozarks

Since this is our trip to go to where we'll meet up with the Illinois Route 66 Association's annual motor tour which will be meeting up at Pacific, Missouri, outside St. Louis to start the cruise, I promise we will eventually actually get there, or at least to some spot along Route 66 in Missouri.

However, we're still, ion June 10th, Thursday morning, about 50 miles from Lebanon, Missouri, the closest Route 66 spot. We had bought a copy of the Fratelli's "Costello Music" album at a used CD store in Jefferson City for $5.99yesterday, June 9th. This is the one that has the Blackhawk chant on it "Chelsea Dagger." Needless to say, the album got played a lot, and the song even more for the rest of the trip.

I should also mention that yesterday, we bought some of Burger King's new ribs in Moberly, Missouri. Who would have figured you'd ever have the opportunity to buy ribs at a Burger King? You've come a long way, baby. When I was working at the BK in Palatine, Illinois, back in high school, I would have never thought it. But, then again, back then, a Whopper went for a whoppin' 49 cents.

The ribs were considerably more than 49 cents, actually, around $7.99 for the large order. They were very tasty, but too small for the amount they were charging.

Still Not on 66. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Read It on a Cereal Box-- Route 66-- Part 1

A friend of ours, Kelly, said she was eating a bowl of cereal a while back and was really surprised when she read the back of it and saw that it was about good old Route 66.

The cereal is Millville's Honey Crunch 'n Oats with Almonds and is sold by Aldi here in the Midwest. Aldi is a low-cost, no-frills grocery store chain with some really fantastic prices. I do a lot of shopping there, but have never looked at the back of any cereal boxes.

This one is titled "Historic US 66: Explore American Pop Culture. It shows a map of the states it passes through along with Chicago and Los Angeles along with red dots for Springfield, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City; Amarillo, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Albuquerque, NM; and Gallup, NM.

Then, on to Arizona with Winslow, Flagstaff and Gallup; and then Barstow and Los Angeles, California.

HISTORY: One of the original federal routes, US 66 was established November 11, 1926. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through St. Louis, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California before ending at Los Angeles (well, Santa Monica actually) for a total of 2,448 miles.

More to Come. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR-- 2010-- Part 9-- Still Road Boating

The name Road Boaters came from having to pull your boat to where you launch. But in this location in the Lake of the Ozarks area, you have tourists coming in by car and, of course, with all of the lake area, lots of boaters. Definitely a good combination.

Behind the bar they have the wooden stern of a pleasure boat that they rescued from a junk yard.

Watched the Hawk celebration and all that Stanley Cup kissing. All the other customers were completely oblivious, but some said they would have been more into the game had their local NHL team, the St. Louis Blues, been in the championship. I don't blame them.

Jonathan Toews received the Stanley Cup MVP and for Marian Hossa, it was third time is the charm as he had played on the two previous teams to get to the championship, Penguins and Red Wings, but lost.

Latham gave us free tickets to play the state Keno game which is in a lot of bars and Liz won $55. Not a bad deal at all.

The local NBC News station mentioned the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup after they reported about the Springfield, Missouri, Triple A baseball game. I guess that puts it in perspective.

Sure Enjoyed It, Though. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 8-- Road Boaters Again

Like I said, Road Boaters used to be J.J. Twigg's and had only been open a month back in June when we were there. The place had been completely remodeled and the bar moved.

The owner, Latham, is from Roscoe, Illinois, a little north of Rockford. He also owns a business in Las Vegas where he does casino landscaping and lawn maintenance. In addition, he has a restaurant in Big Bear, California. If you ask me, this is one really busy man.

Road Boaters was having its grand opening this weekend.

Their menu is not your standard bar grill fare. We were getting a little hungry so tried the Wasabe Burger & fries for $7.95. A unique creation to say the least.

The Chicago BLACK HAWKS won 4-3 in overtime, their first Stanley Cup in 47 years!!! Are you going to remember where you were when the Hawks finally won again. And the really amazing thing is that the new owner, Rocky Wirtz, the son of the previous owner turned an almost forgotten Chicago team into a winner like this in just three years.

We had another pitcher of beer for $7 to celebrate.

Go You Hawks!! --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 7-- Regions and Scenic Routes

The Nebraska 2010 Travel Guide divides the state up into seven regions, starting from the east:

Metro (Omaha area) (east central)
Lewis and Clark (northeast)
Pioneer Country (southeast)
Frontier Trails (midsouth)
Sandhills (midnorth)
Prairie Lakes (southwest)
Panhandle (west)

On page 26, the guide has four pages on what us roadfolk would really find interesting, "Take the scenic route" which consists of nine different ROAD TRIPS across the state.

Gold Rush Byway
Bridges to Buttes Byway
Heritage Highway
Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway
Lincoln Highway Scenic and Historic Byway
Loup Rivers Scenic Byway
Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway
Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway
Western Trails Scenic & Historic Byway

I figure I'll definitely be on the Lincoln Highway Byway next June on my way out to the 2011 Lincoln Highway Association Conference in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

On the Road Again. --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lincoln Logs: Illinois Murals

Lincoln Logs-- New news About an Old Road, the Lincoln Highway.


ILLINOIS MURALS-- Two more to be exact.

The June 17th Beacon News reports a new Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition mural being unveiled in St. Charles. It is one of a planned 40 murals across the highway's 179 miles across the state.

The Lincoln Highway passed through the southwest corner of the city, but the mural is downtown at 102 E. Main Street. It shows travelers venturing off the road to enjoy entertainment at the Arcadia Theater and staying overnight at the Hotel Baker, two landmarks.

Channel 13 NBC News out of Rockford reported on June 16th that another LH Coalition mural was unveiled in Byron at 504 Blackhawk Drive featuring the Lincoln's racing heritage. In 1925, Lewis B. Miller made a record-breaking transcontinental race on the road.

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition is to be commended for bringing the road's history to the general public with these murals and the information gazebos that are popping up all along the alignment.

On the Road Again looking at Those Neat Murals. --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Well-Known Residents-- Part 6

Some more well-known residents of the Cornhusker state.

MARG HELGENBERGER-- actress on CSI, grew up in North bend.

MALCOLM X-- famed Civil Rights advocate born in Omaha.

WILLIAM F. CODY-- better known as Buffalo Bill ran his famed Wild West Show from his ranch in North Platte.

HENRY FONDA-- actor born in Grand Island and took acting lessons from Marlon Brando's mother in Omaha.

CLAYTON ANDERSON-- this astronaut's hometown is Ashland. he recently completed a tour of duty at the International Space Station.

FRED ASTAIRE-- as a boy, he first took dance lessons in Omaha.

WILLA CATHER and MARI SANDOZ-- well-known authors were inspired by their lives on the Nebraska prairie.

Gettin' the 4-1-1 on Nebraska. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR-- 2010-- Part 7-- Road Boaters

We actually went to Road Boaters before we checked into the motel as we wanted to be sure they were going to have the Black Hawk Stanley Cup game on TV. We definitely were not in Black Hawk land and they were completely unaware that a game was even being played. After some work, they found out what channel it was on and said they'd show it tonight.

After playing NTN at Chicago Brother's Pizza and JJ Twigg's (also where we watched the first two periods of the Black Hawk-Philadelphia Flyers game because they had a very few fans. JJ Twigg's started out as a Chicago-area pizza place in Wauconda and Lake Zurich, Illinois, near us. It is always more fun to watch a game with people who are fans.), we went back to Road Boaters and got seats right in front of one of their big screen TVs which had the game on.

There was a crowd, but no one else was watching (which would have been us had the Hawks not been playing). But, they KNEW the Hawks were playing as Liz and I were doing some yelling and cheering.

Bringing the Hawks to the Ozarks. --RoadDog

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 5-- Well-Known Residents

Well-known residents:

** President Gerald Ford was an Omaha native.

** Financial phenom Warren Buffett calls Omaha home.

** Johnny Carson grew up in Norfolk.

** Lincolnite Joba Chamberlain pitches for the New York Yankees. he also pitched for the University of Nebraska--Lincoln.

** Larry the Cable guy grew up on a farm outside Pawnee City.

** Red Cloud and Standing Bear, American Indians who fought for the rights of other people, were born in Nebraska.

More Famous Folk to Come. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 4-- Fun Facts

Still using the 2010 Travel Guide.

** WAHOO is featured as the home office of the Late Show with David Letterman. There really is a place near Omaha called it. Check it out in Roadside America.

** OGALLALA was the destination of cattle drives on the Texas Trail and became known as the Cowboy Capital. You just have to love that name.

** CHARLES LINDBERGH learned to fly in Lincoln before becoming the first to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

** SHARKS AND TIGERS, OH MY!-- Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is the home of the first test-tube tigers and was the site of the first virgin shark birth.

** UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-- the newest member of the Big Ten, er Big Eleven, er Big Twelve, well Big Ten Plus Two was called the Old Gold Knights, the Antelopes, the Rattlesnake Boys and Bugeaters before settling on the less colorful Cornhuskers.

Sounds Like an Interesting State. GO YOU BUGEATERS RAH, RAH. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 6: Dookie, Wookie and Mookie

While at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Jefferson City, I noticed that three of their top ten players have the names Dookie, Wookie and Mookie. That's pretty good. For awhile, i was playing the names Whodah, Doodah and Boodah while I was protesting the forced switch to the new sign in.

We then took US-54 to the Lake of the Ozarks area and checked into the Shawnee Bluff Motel in Lake Ozark. This is a great little and old Missouri motel with that wonderful giraffe stone on the outside of the rooms, a pool, hot tub and a panoramic view of a large part of the Lake of the Ozarks.

We had happened upon the place the last time we came through the area and were hoping they had a room. They did. The price is reasonable as well, around $80 for a tourist spot during the summer.

Even better, it is just about a 100 yards away from a bar. It used to be Risky's and was owned by the folks who also owned the J.J. Twigg's by us in Lake Zurich and Wauconda, Illinois. However, they have moved to another site closer to the Bagnell Dam.

A new bar is in its place called Road Boaters. We thought that was a great name since both Liz and I definitely like boating and the road.

One day, we Might Even get Out to Route 66. --RoadDog

Friday, August 6, 2010

It Was Definitely a Retro Night

Yesterday, August 5th, Liz and I had what could definitely be termed as a retro night.

After boating, (still no wake on the Chain of Lakes due to flooding, but the waters are slowly going down), we drove over to nearby Ingleside, about a mile away, and ate at the Dog 'N Suds. Miller's Dog 'N Suds has been owned by the same family since it opened in 1967.

Every Saturday they have a classic car show and once a month during the summer they have live bands. Thursdays the special is Charcoburgers for 99 cents. This is one of the best burgers I've ever had. Then, there is all that great root beer to wash it down with. We always order the 16 ounce small root beer as it comes in frosted mug. Usually, i always order the biggest size, but root beer really has to be served in a glass mug.


IT'S THURSDAY

Then, we drove to Antioch, Illinois, about ten miles away, where they were having their weekly It's Thursday party. Every Thursday, they have a band playing out at their band shell. Tonight, the band was the Fairlanes who played two hours straight of 50s and 60s music.

In addition, they had about 150 old classic cars parked all over the place. All were neat, but I was especially impressed with the 1967 red Firebird convertible. I used to have a 1967 blue convertible Firebird, but i found that I like driving them but definitely not working on them.

On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's for a chocolate sundae. You sure can't beat these for a buck. Of course, the first McDonald's opened in nearby Des Plaines in 1955.

All in All, Quite a Trip Back to the 50s and 60s. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Some More Talk on Recommissioning Route 66

These are comments from members of the US Highways: From 1 to US-830 Yahoo e-Mail group.

Route 66 is similar to other old roads, but is more popular because of all of the hype"This decertified chunk of concrete has done more to sustain itself and evolve than recertifying it will ever do."

You'd risk losing the character & flavor of the old road.

Personally, I don't want it recertified. Like they say, it would lose a lot of what makes it so unique. I wouldn't mind states making it state 66 like they do in Missouri. This way, they would put up more signage.

Right now, only Illinois, Missouri and Kansas have anything approaching the needed amount of signage. Once you get to Oklahoma, its hit-or-miss as to whether or not you're on it.

Don't Bring back Route 66. It's Already Here. --RoadDog

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 5-- Don't Blink

Continuing into Missouri.

We passed a sign for Queen City, a small town with a population of 638. We couldn't help but chuckle when it went on to say, "Don't blink or you'll miss us."

Continuing south on US-63 and we came to Columbia, the home of the University of Missouri. This is when I recalled that there was a TGIF that had NTN which we hadn't visited before. We saw it right by I-70, but not in time to exit so had to go on a few more miles and double back.

Not too much farther south is Jefferson City, Missouri's capital. We drove by the capitol and then got off looking for the new Buffalo Wild Wings, but it was so new it wasn't on our Tom-Tom GPS so had to stop for directions. It ended up being north of town off US-50.

This is also where we found the used CD and record store where I found "Costello Music" by the Fratellis, a CD I had been looking for during the whole trip. It is the one that has Chelsea Dagger, the song they play at the Blackhawk games whenever the Hawks score. It has kind of grown on us.

Played that song all the rest of the way to Lake of the Ozarks. The rest of the album is pretty good as well.

One of these days we might even get to Route 66, our destination.

Showing Me Through Missouri. --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 3-- State Originals

Continuing with my look at Nebraska.

This time, it is about ORIGINALS, meaning things that come from Nebraska.

*** Center Pivot Irrigation (is this what waters circles of land?)

*** Kool-Aid from the town of Hastings

*** Arbor Day (I have bought little bitty seedlings from the Arbor Day Foundation.)

*** Cabela's-- the big outdoors store

*** Runza (OK, I admit I have no idea here.) (I just looked it up and it is a chain of restaurants featuring overstuffed sandwiches based almost entirely in Nebraska and a few locatins in surrounding states.)

*** Cliff Notes--- (What got me through high school and college. I was partying too much to read those darn books. Thanks, Cliff.)

From the 2010 Official Travel Guide.

And You Thought There Was Nothing to See or Do in Nebraska. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tribune Article About Boating on the Chain of Lakes

Today's Chicago Tribune had a long article on the Chain of Lakes saying that people using it has increased from last summer, which was very cool and usually cloudy, definitely not what people like when they're out on the water.

Of course, this is near and dear to me as we have been boating since 1985 and I had been a deejay mostly in the Chain for several years before that. That means we're now in our 26th season (and on our third boat).

The first one was a 1979 Imperial, then, we got a 1990 Four Winns and in 2003, our present one, a Bayliner (Just Another Bayliner). All have been open bows with the first one at 17 feet and last two 19 footers. There are lots of Bayliners out on the Chain since Fox Lake Harbor Marina and Boat Sales sells a lot of them. For the price, you get a lot of boat.

Local businesses that are involved with the Chain are happy for the small recovery, but the rains of the last two weeks that have hurt since the lower Fox River is closed below Stratton Dam and all the rest is No Wake.

However, Liz and I love the No Wake status as we can float in peace without the cruisers and boats usually pulling kids on tubes which we see far more often than skiers any more.

We're hoping for another weekend of No Wake.

Come On Rain!! --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ILMOTOUR 2010-- Part 4-- Iowa to Missouri

Much nicer weather after all the rain we drove through yesterday and the odometer read 338 miles.

Gas in Ottumwa was $2.44 for regular plus and $2.54 for regular. I never have understood why regular is almost always ten cents more expensive in Iowa. I'm always tempted to use the cheaper plus stuff, but figure I'd have problems id I did. And, even at $2.54, it was still 19 cents cheaper than in Dekalb, Illinois.


IOWA CRUISING ON US-63

US-63 south of Ottumwa definitely has some beautiful rolling hills and extra passing lanes on the inclines, always nice to have, but I was the one being passed today.

We went through Bloomfield, Iowa, which had a pretty court house as the county seat of Davis County.

We were now in Amish country and saw several of their buggies, only different from the enclosed ones. For the summer, they sport a convertible look.

There was also a sign "Share the Road" with an Amish buggy on it.

At the state line, there were several big fireworks stores.

Now in Missouri. --RoadDog

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 2-- Really Big Things

Page 1 of the 2010 Nebraska Official Travel Guide has s big highway shield with "Rediscover the Road Trip" which is what us roadies are all about. You can go to VisitNebraska.gov for information.

Again, most folks view the state as someplace to just get across as fast as possible to get somewhere else. Too bad as there is lots of stuff to do, from the "Big City" stuff in Omaha (but don't try to find a motel room there during the college World Series games).

Page Two has the 4-1-1 for the state with some mighty interesting things.

Under BIG DEALS:

** Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha has the world's largest indoor rainforest, indoor desert and nocturnal exhibit.

** The world's largest Kool-Aid stand during Kool-Aid Days in Hastings.

** You can sit on the world's largest porch swing in Hebron with seating for 18 adults.

** The largest-ever mammoth was found in Lincoln County (well, its fossil bones were found).

** The largest hand-planted forest in the world at the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest.

** The world's LARGEST BALL OF STAMPS at Boy's Town in Omaha.

** Bailey Railroad Yard in North Platte is the world's largest railroad classification yard.

** The largest grass-stabilized dune region in the Western hemisphere can be found at the Sandhills in the central part of the state.

Who Needs a Giant ball of Yarn When You Have All of This. --RoadDog

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cruisin' Nebraska-- Part 1

A lot of people believe there is nothing to see or do in Nebraska. Wrong!!

We've been through the state a few times and driven parts of the Lincoln Highway around Omaha and North Platte. North Platte by itself is quite the destination with the World War II canteen history, the train yard, and all the Buffalo Bill stuff.

I have come across a copy of the Nebraska Official 2010 Travel guide, something i highly recommend.

The front page section has a full page ad for Kearney, Nebraska, which will be the site of the Lincoln Highway Association's 2013 Conference marking the centennial of the country's first coast-to-coast highway. In addition, there are the Oregon and Mormon Trails and what they call a walk through of twelve immersive environments which have earned AAA's "Must See Attraction."

A major attraction is the Great Platte River Road Archway which features the development of the American West via transportation.

Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog