Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 22: "Moonshine in the Trunk"

Carrie Underwood and Emmylou Harris sang background vocals on "High Life" about"A bunch of low lifes living in the high life."Another Good Ol' Boy song is "Moonshine in the Trunk."  And, of course, there is all that great Brad Paisley picking on his guitar.  This boy can sure play that thing.

"Gone Green" is a somewhat humorous look at saving the planet and the unexpected things that happen when you do.

"JFK" of course is about the late president "We choose to go to the Moon."  Paisley always likes to have a U.S. song.

The song "Country Nation" refers to all the country music stations across the United States.

Great Album.  I'm Looking Forward to His Next One.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 21: "Moonshine in the Trunk"

No trip for me is quite right without my tunes as I cruise down the road.  One of my listen to album/CDs was the new one by country singer and guitarist superb Brad Paisley titles Moonshine in the Trunk.

This is his 10th album released in August of this year.  It became his 8th #1 album on the country charts.

This is a typical Brad Paisley album with lots of Good Old Boys songs and some with a play on words.  I always like to see that he either wrote or co-wrote all but two songs on it "Me and Jesus" by Tom T. Hall and "Gone Green" by Kenny Lewis.  That is always impressive.

It kicks off with the song "Crushin' It" which like to scared me to death by opening with the sound of a can being crushed.  Not the thing you want to hear while cruising down the interstate at 70 mph.  Believe me.  I thought it was the car doing something.

Cruisin' and a Movin'  --RoadDog

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 20: Driving Around Athens, Ohio

I got off of US-33 at State Street with the intentions of getting some breakfast and to take a look around.  Athens is a beautiful city, but I have never seen any motels (and with a college campus, Ohio University, there really has to be some.  State Street looked like a big thoroughfare.

I did see a couple motels on it.

Stopped at a McDonald's and am sure I have never seen more cars waiting in line at the drive-through.  I rarely use this way to get my food.  I noticed quite a few cars in the parking lot, but was surprised to see three or four lines at the cash registers, each with 5-7 people in it.

I'm not waiting, so used the facilities and returned to the car.  It even took awhile to get backed out of the space and some more time to work my way around to the other side and exit on State Street.

A block down from McDonald's I found a Burger King with six people total in the restaurant and no one waiting in line.  Hey the breakfasts are just as good and the same price, so why not.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 19: The Nelsonville Bypass

NOVEMBER 21, 2014.  Second day of the trip.

I should be reaching Athens, Ohio, in time for my 8 a.m. class at Ohio University.  It is now 7:26 and I am on US-33 and 8 miles northwest of Nelsonville.  The sun is coming up behind the hills (and this is a really hilly area)  It is a pretty sunrise, but soon I will be driving straight into it; right in my eyes.  But, i expect that the hills will help block the sun, hopefully.

Driving on the Nelsonville bypass right now, the last part of US-33 to be made four lane and somewhat limited access. For much of the way from Columbus to West Virginia, US-33 is now akin to an interstate,a far cry from the way it was back in 1976.  This stretch by Nelsonville was probably the last completed (before it was finished, you had to get off US-33 and drive through the downtown with a lot of traffic lights and congestion), because of the big cuts that had to be made in the hillsides.

And with all this cold weather we're having, you could see a whole lot of frozen springs on the hillsides.  I imagine I'll see a whole lot of the frozen springs when driving through West Virginia, especially on the turnpike.


Friday, December 26, 2014

$2 Gas Here in Northeast Illinois!!!

Today, I filled up the Dakota at Murphy USA on Illinois Highway 31 in McHenry, Illinois.  The sign read $1.99.9.  Wow!  I never expected Big Oil to allow the price to go down below $3, and now this!!  Gas all up and down the road in McHenry was at that price as well as Murphy USA started a gas war (another term I never thought to hear again) when it opened a month ago.

Gas in nearby Fox Lake was $2.18 on Christmas Eve, but I filed up the '03 Malibu at Thornton's for $2.05 with my 13 cents off in their Rewards Program.

With gas this low, we'll have to plan a trip in January.

Must enjoy it now as I figure Big Oil will have us gouged back to $4 by May.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

United States Highway 12: The Iron Brigade Memorial Highway-- Part 2

The Iron Brigade was composed of Midwestern regiments from Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin and fought in the eastern theater of the war.  They had a reputation of being a hard-fighting regiment and would usually be in the very hottest parts of the battlefield.  They received the name Iron Brigade for sustaining the highest fatalities at the Battle of South Mountain, leading up to the Battle of Antietam.

Then, the majority of the brigade, 1,153 became casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg, mostly on the first day.

I saw pictures of the BGSs for it (Big Green Sign) and here near us we have the medal-looking one with USV (United States Volunteers) in the middle with spokes radiating out for each of the five regiments in it: 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan, 2nd Wisconsin, 6th Wisconsin and 7th Wisconsin.

A Fitting Memorial to a Hard-Fighting group of Men.    --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

United States Highway 12 a Memorial to Union Soldiers in the Iron Brigade-- Part 1

Continued from yesterday.

United States Highway 12 runs from Michigan west to the state of Washington.  Through the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin it is also called the Iron Brigade Highway.  There is a sign for it at US-20 and Indiana 49 in Chesterton that marks it.  I also like our one near me at US-12 and State Park Road in Illinois.

Al Loomis of Valparaiso, Indiana, a member of the David D. porter Camp of Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War was very involved in having US-12 become known as the Iron Brigade Highway.  (David D. Porter, by the way was the Union admiral who captured Fort Fisher, North Carolina, almost 150 years ago on January 15, 1865.)

At the time of its naming, there was some disagreement as to whether the name should be given to US-20 in Indiana when the sign was erected in 1995 in paragraph one.  Back then, US-12 was to become part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Drive and US-12 would be rerouted to run along US-20.


Monday, December 22, 2014

United States Highway 6 a Memorial to Civil War Soldiers

From the April 11, 2011, Northwest Indiana Portage News "U.S. 6, U.S. 12 memorials to Civil War soldiers" by Joyce Russell.

US-6 is the Grand Army of the Republic Highway.  It was the idea of Major William A. Anderson of the U.S. Army in 1934.  This idea was strongly promoted by the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War( SUVCW)  The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a group made up of veterans from the Union side during the war.

US-6 starts in Massachusetts and is a transcontinental highway, ending in California.  The idea had to be approved by each state for the GAR Highway to come into existence.  Massachusetts was the first to approve it in 1937.  Indiana was the last in 1946.

The formal dedication took place May 2, 1953, in Long Beach, California

The highway runs through 14 states and covers 3,652 miles.  That is more than the more famous Route 66.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Some Route 66 News for December

From Route 66 News.

DECEMBER 12TH--  The Bel-Aire Motel in Springfield, Illinois, should be entirely gone by this summer.  I'm sorry to hear this, but it had gotten into such bad shape with its absentee owner, that is about the only option left.  I do hope they save the sign and the interesting spoke ball, however.

DECEMBER 14TH--  The McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Illinois,  now features a Route 66 penny press.  (Always amazes me, however, how little Bloomington and Normal have to do with their Route 66 heritage.)

DECEMBER 15TH----  The Cafe on the Route has reopened in Baxter Springs, Kansas after being closed for two years.  (I didn't even know it was closed, but have been no farther west on 66 than Lebanon, Missouri, the last two years.  It was great food when we visited earlier.)

DECEMBER 16TH--  Illinois is expanding its Electric vehicles Network along historic Route 66 so it will be easier for electric car folk to tour it.  Stations are at Edwardsville, Carlinville, Springfield, Lincoln, Normal, Pontiac, Dwight and Plainfield.  (The one in Dwight is at the Ambler-Becker gas station and has been there a couple years now.

Plug Me In, Start Me Up.  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead-- Part 18: The Perils of Morning Radio and Disco

November 21st, day two on the road.

Listening to my three disc Disco set this morning.  I usually try to avoid morning FM radio as there is way too much yapping going on.  Lots of blah-blah-blah, commercial, commercial, commercial, blah, blah blah.  Then traffic and weather, commercial, commercial, news.  Blah blah blah and commercial, commercial commercial.

I bought this Disco set several months ago at the Half price Books in Palatine, Illinois, mostly because there were quite a few songs on it that I had never heard before  Track #3 on Disc 1 is one of those "searching" by Change.  I hear some of you making sick noises about Disco, but I always have believed this was great music.  If Disco can't get your feet to moving, nothing will.  I often used Disco to get folks up when I used to deejay.  It was the phony lifestyle the Disco Nuts tried to effect that turned me off and most others.

"Ha, Ha, Ha, Staying Alive."  --RoadDog

Friday, December 19, 2014

No More US-41?

I came across posts in the US Highways Yahoo! Group discussing the impending end of one of the major historical highways in the United States, US-41.  Plans apparently call for it to become Interstate 41.

I know large parts of it are already limited access four lane roadways, but I sure would hate to see the end of the United States highway.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some More on Bernard Queneau: Boy Scout Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

Bernard Queneau died one day after receiving the rare Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.  His wife Esther claims that he held on until then.

The Boy Scouts do not keep an official count of living Eagle Scouts, but with Mr. Queneau being 102 years of age, it is very likely he was the oldest.


The Last 1929 Lincoln Highway Boy Scout Dies-- Part 4

Bernard Queneau graduated from New Rochelle High School in New York and went to Columbia University and later received his Doctorate in Metallurgy at the University of Minnesota.  He joined the Navy reserve in 1939 and served during World War II.  He developed oxygen tanks for pilots.

After the war, he became U.S. Steel's Chief Metallurgist until his retirement in 1977.

Late in life, he married Esther, the president of the Lincoln Highway Association, whom he met at a LHA function.

Quite the Life and One of the Greatest Generation.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Last 1928 Lincoln Highway Boy Scout Dies-- Part 3

The group of Scouts passed through Harrison County and Council Bluffs, Iowa, on July 28, 1928, en route from Carroll, Iowa, to Omaha, Nebraska.

Bernard Queneau kept a journal which has been digitalized by the Lincoln Highway National Museum and can be seen on its website,  (I couldn't locate it, however).

The journey was actually the precursor of concrete markers that would be put up by the Boy Scouts a few years later.  Some 2400 were built, one for each mile.

Mr. Queneau was born in Belgium and moved to Minnesota and then to New York as a child.


Correction on the Last 1928 Lincoln Highway Boy Scout's Name

Bernard's last name is spelled Queneau, not Queneu as listed in my source.  I'll gp back and change the name in the previous posts.

--Road "Scout" Dog

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Last 1928 Lincoln Highway Boy Scout Dies-- Part 2: Oldest Eagle Scout

The display of coast-to-coast half mast flags along the Lincoln Highway dates back to 1915 when Arthur Pardington, a Detroit ma instrumental in the early days of the highway, died.

Mr. Queneau was also recognized as America's oldest-known Boy Scout, something that was very important to him.  he was one of four Boy Scouts who made a 34 day trip along the Lincoln Highway from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1928 to show safety and help save the Lincoln Highway after it mostly became US-30.

In the 1920s, signs along the road were often vandalized and even used as shooting targets.  It was decided to have a group of Scouts travel the road to show people how to pay respect for and maintain the markers.


Cold Ahead-- Part 17: The New US-33

NOVEMBER 21ST, 2014: Cruising along US-33 now and saw a sign saying Athens. Ohio, was 33 miles.  US-33 is all four lane highway and often limited access so fast driving on it.  Liz and I had taken it back in 1976 to save time getting to North Carolina and found it to be all two lane, up and down, twisting and going through every town.  You sure couldn't make time on it back then and we hated it.  (Of course, this is before our old road awakening and we'f like it now.)

It bypassed Nelsonville last year, the last town you had to drive through.  Judging by the steep cuts in the hillside, this was a hard to build stretch of the new US-33.

We had such a disagreeable drive on US-33 back then that I always used to drive I-70 to Zanesville, Ohio, from Columbus and then get off and drive my favorite stretch of the old National Road/ U.S.-40 to Cambridge and then take I-77 into West Virginia.


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Last 1928 Lincoln Highway Boy Scout Dies-- Part 1

From the December 12, 2014, Daily Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa,  "Last surviving member of 1928 Boy Scout Lincoln Highway tour dies at 102" by John Schreier.

Bernard Queneau kept his oath to always protect and promote the Lincoln Highway all these years since 1928.

Mr. Queneu died Sunday, December 7, 2014, at age 102 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was the last surviving member of the 1928 Lincoln Highway Safety tour which passed through Council Bluffs on its way west.

The Lincoln Highway National Museum and Archives wants towns along the route they traveled to fly their flags at half mast from noon, when his funeral will be today, to sundown.

In the early years of the Lincoln Highway, all major events along it were marked at noon as well, so this is continuing a tradition.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead-- Part 16: Photo-Enforced Lights and "Uncle Billy"

NOVEMBER 21, 2014, FRIDAY:  Second Day on the Road.

Mighty cold this morning, but at least no frost on the car windows to contend with when I left.  Not as cold as yesterday, but still cold, especially this far south as I was.  Took the Exit 110 road south from the motel, figuring I would be able to run into US-33.

Encountered lots of those mean old photo-enforced lights and they seemed to be "out to get me."  There is a point where you have to make an instant decision, "Do I or Don't I Go Through."  I certainly don't want a$100 fine.  Lots of traffic on the road, but in eight miles, I was at US-33 and don't think I got a photo-enforced ticket.

Gas along the first stretch of the road was $2.73.  I am now entering Lancaster, Ohio, home of "Uncle Billy" Sherman, yeah, that infamous Union general who, 150 years ago was into his March to the Sea across Georgia and making "Georgia howl" while encouraging his army to "forage liberally."  Georgia still howls over it.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 15: No CBS, But Half Price Books!!

NOVEMBER 20, 2014

I checked into the Knight's Inn Motel at Exit 110, using those motel coupon books I always pick up when entering a state.  They do save money.  The cost of tonight was about $50 with tax.  I had driven 491.8 miles today and was up 29.7 mpg from 26.3.

I was going to watch the CBS lineup of shows, but look as I might, just couldn't find the local CBS station.  I figured perhaps this motel had Dish Network which supposedly was going to lose the CBS channels because of squabbling over money.  I have been hearing a lot about this on radio and TV of late.

I figured that as long as I was there and couldn't see my shows that I might just as well take a ride around the area to see what was there, so went back out.  Most of the stores were already closed so went back to the motel, but just before I turned off for it, I saw the sign of one of my favorite places to go these days, Half Price Books.

I shouldn't actually ever go into a Half Price Books store as it always ends up costing a lot of money.  I am puddy in their hands with all that favorite stuff of mine that they have (LPs, CDs and books).  There would be closing in 40 minutes, so I quickly began making my rounds and actually thought I was going to have a first, going into one of their stores and NOT BUYING anything!!

But, I got hooked in the Civil War section with two Navy books: "The Civil War Adventures of a Blockade Runner" and "Ironclad Down: The Story of the CSS Virginia.  I also bought a greatest hits CD by Buck Owens and two calendars for 2015 (Civil War and Military Posters).

Stopped at McDonald's on the way back.

The End of te First Day.  --RoadDog

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 14: All Christmas Music and Commercials

November 20th.

I must tell you that it never got over freezing all day, though somewhat warmer as I went farther south.

After I left Meijer's in Englewood, I got back on I-70 and drove to Columbus.  The idea was to make sure I was east of that city so I didn't have traffic to contend with tomorrow.

Cruising along, i was on 93.3 FM, WODC, usually classic hits, but now, all Christmas music and a WHOLE LOT of commercials.  They finally broke from commercials to do the weather and then went straight back to, you guessed it, commercials.  Get you holiday music and commercials on WODC.  Then, finally a song, Steve Lawrence doing "Happy Holidays" and then another one titled "Santa Baby."

A fairly uneventful cruise on I-70 to and through Columbus to exit 110 where I checked into the Knight's Inn Motel.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

100 Years Ago, Portland, Oregon, Solves Auto Accidents in 1914 with Hard Labor

From the Dec. 9, 2014 Mid Week "Looking Back."

100 Years Ago, December 9, 1914.

"In the last nine months there has not been one person injured or killed in an automobile in Portland, Oregon, because in Portland, the driver of an automobile who exceeds the speed limit is put to work on the rockpile for from two to 30 days.

"No fines accepted.  If the driver is convicted, he must do hard labor and no exceptions are made."

I hate to think what might happen if the driver had been drinking.

Must have Worked Back Then.  --RoadDog

Bald Eagle Hunting... in 1889

From the Dec. 9, 2014, Mid Week (Sycamore, Illinois) "Looking Back 125 Years Ago.

"While driving by Norwegian Grove Saturday, Mr. Turner spied a large bald eagle perched on a treetop.  He drove to town (I imagine not in an automobile) and got his gun, but on return the proud bird had disappeared.u

Let's file this under things you'd better not do today.


Cold Ahead-- Part 13: Gas Prices for the Trip

This was one of the cheapest trips to North Carolina in a long time.  I can't even remember the last time I encountered gas prices under $3, but sure did this time.

Nov. 20--  Mahomet, Illinois $2.65
Nov. 20--  Englewood, Ohio--  $2.77
Nov. 21--  Wytheville, Virginia--  $2.56
Dec. 1--  Goldsboro, North Carolina--  $2.61
Dec. 1--  Wytheville, Virginai--  $2.46
Dec. 1--  London, Ohio--  $2.70
Dec. 2--  Potomac, Illinois--  $2.60
Dec. 2--  Saunemon, Illinois--  $2.69

I never figured to see gas this "cheap" again.

Savings I Can definitely Live With.  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead-- Part 12: "Cruising" Very Slowly Through Ohio, Well, Englewood Anyway

NOVEMBER 20, 2014

After leaving the gas station with the impossible to read prompter on the pump, I decided to take a look at the Meijer's (this is I-70 Exit 29 and I believe it to be US-40) just to the south of the interstate.  I immediately regretted it.  This was one really big rush hour and more traffic than I cared for.

First, it took a really long time just to turn out onto the road, then I ended up stuck in the turn lane to I-70 east bound.  I couldn't get over because of all the traffic coming up to my right (I needed to be in the left lane to turn into the Meijer parking lot.  After two light changes, I was finally able to work my way to the right lane and proceeded on to the Meijer turn in.

Here, I got stuck by the folks going across the road from a side street who would turn and then get stuck by the back up going north.  I had to wait for two light changes.

I figure it took me 15-20 minutes to go a half mile.

I finally got into the Meijer parking lot and there was a lot of traffic there as well.  Everybody was out driving.  I had to park pretty far away and went inside, all the while wondering why I didn't just get back on I-70.  Well, at least with all this delay, that meant reaching Columbus, my destination for the night, farther away from rush hour.

I bought two cassette brick 5-packs of Memorex tapes for recording use in North Carolina.  Meijer is one of the very few places where you can still buy audio cassettes.  I also bought the new Art of McCarthy double CD album.  Yep, I also still buy CDs.

Reckon I'm More Than Just a Little Out of the "In" Loop, Or So I've Been Told.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New Low Here in NE Illinois, $2.29 Gas in McHenry

Last night at Half-Times in Johnsburg, my Buddy Paul was showing his gasoline app on his smart phone and we happened to see gas in McHenry was $2.29!!  That is the lowest price I've seen in years and I decided to go there tomorrow to take advantage of it with my gas guzzling Dakota.

I figured it was because the new Murphy USA had opened by Wal-Mart.  It was.  they were having a welcome deal and all the other stations in the area had also dropped their price to match it.  It had been $2.70 to $2.80, so that is a really big drop.

That $2.29 didn't hurt nearly so much as the nearly $4 a gallon prices we've been getting hit with the last several years.

I would like to thank Big Oil for finally getting their storm trooper boots off our necks and giving the average Joe a break.  But curse you Big Oil for making me thing $2.50 gas is cheap.  It shouldn't be over $2.

Gas in Fox Lake the last I looked was just under $2.60.

I have heard from a Route 66 fan that gas in Oklahoma City has dropped below $2.

Oh Well, You know What They Say About Gift Horses.  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead-- Part 11: More Radio, Chili and Unreadable Prompts

November 20th, Thursday

Driving along, i picked up 92.1 FM by Columbus and heard some pretty good new R&B.  Not sure if 92.1 FM, WRLU might be out of Dayton.  I started losing the station around Exit 66, "Your station on Exit 66, "you know.

By Dayton, I came across the I-75 junction on I-70 and that is quite a spaghetti junction.  The I-75 signs for north said "To Toledo.  A big yuck to that.  Toledo Rockets, not exactly my favorite team.

Now, I found WODC, my first of those all-Christmas, all-the-time stations on the trip which I get every year.  I heard the Roulettes singing a Christmas song and then there was at least 15 minutes straight of commercials (while i was trying to determine if this was a Christmas station or not.  I mean, those commercials just came and came.

Of course, thanks to pal Denny, I had to stop at Exit 29 in Ohio so I could get my Cincy Chili fix at Skyline  And, then, I got gas at the station across from it which features the infamous no-can-read faded out prompt screen.  It is impossible to read it (the first pump across from Skyline Chili).

You really have to be able to read it to know what your're supposed to be doing.  I had used it before and forgot.  Went to another pump and filled up, then went inside to find out if my account had been cleared from the unreadable pump.  The clerk had no idea what I was talking about (but only a limited ability in English).  Gas was $2.77 here.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Going Back to 1970-- Part 3

SOUTHERN MAN--  Neil Yound (Remember what Lynyrd Skynyrd said.)
THANK YOU FA LETTIN ME BE MY ELF--  Sly & the Family Stone

OYE COMO VA--  Santana
MAYBE I'M AMAZED--  Paul McCartney

NO MATTER WHAT--  Badfinger
GALLOWS POLE--   Led Zeppelin
SPIRIT IN THE SKY--  Norman Greenbaum
THEM CHANGES--  Buddy Miles (Always a favorite of mine.)
WAR--  Edwin Starr  (And It Sure Was Going On.)

"What Are You Good For?"  --RoadDog

Going Back to 1970-- Part 2

BELL BOTTOM BLUES--  Derek & the Dominoes
LAKE SHORE DRIVE--  Alliotta Haynes & Jeremiah  (All about that famous Chicago road.)
IF NOT FOR YOU--  Bob Dylan

GET BACK--  Beatles
BOX OF RAIN--  Grateful Dead

LOLA--  Kinks
CARAVAN--  Van Morrison
LET IT RAIN--  Eric Clapton

SWEET JANE--  Velvet Underground
BEWARE OF DARKNESS--  George Harrison
BALL OF CONFUSION--  Temptations (Some things just don't change.)

From the North Shore to the South Shore.  --RoadDog

Going Back to 1970-- Part 1

From the December 6, 1014, WXRT Saturday Morning Flashback with Wendy Rice.  Always enjoy this show from 8 to noon on 93.1 FM which streams on the internet. besides the music, there are plenty of events from that year that really take you back in my last full year as a teen.

And, this was a college year at good old NIU.

By the way, Professor John Hook is playing the top 40 Beach Music songs from 1955 on his show at site this week.  This was before my time of listening to music, but I have come to know a lot of these songs as I delve deeper into the roots of Rock and Roll.

These are the songs she played:

MIDNIGHT RIDER--  Allman Brothers

ARE YOU READY--  Pacific Gas & Electric
SWEET BABY JAMES--  James Taylor
NATURE'S WAY--  Spirit

"I Want to Know."  --RoadDog

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cold Ahead-- Part 10: Greetings Mr. HNST ABE

One of the highlights of my drive east on Indianapolis on I-70 was what I saw while tooling down the road.  I came up on a minivan and saw the Indiana license plates which read "HNST ABE."  After a short time, i figured out it was "Honest Abe."  I was chuckling to myself and thinking this must be a real bug Abraham Lincoln fan.

As I pulled alongside, I glanced over to get a look at this Lincoln fan.

And, it turned out to be none other than the Great Emancipator himself.  Abraham Lincoln was driving that vehicle.  There he was, in all his glory, hunched forward over the wheel and staring straight ahead as he tried to keep the ship of state on course through the turbulent war.

Sadly, there was no top hat (probably not enough room), but he sure enough had those strange chin whiskers and beard.  He had on a black suit.

I am thinking he must have a speaking engagement in Ohio.

I just had to chuckle.

Sure Made My Day.  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead: N.C. Trip 2014-- Part 9; Barney Fife? Emergency Brioadcast Testing

East of Indianapolis, I-70 has been under much (and needed) construction the last several years.  Most all of it has finally been completed, but the reduced speed limit signs remain.  That's 55 mph and if you exceed it there are dire warnings about consequences.  So what is a motorist to do?  Drive that speed and get run over or go your regular speed?  

Going a regular speed over 55 mph could cause an encounter with a police man and you have to worry about a Barney Fife who would be a stickler for the law.  "I know there is no construction, but you have to do what the sign says."

As I drove through Indianapolis, I was seeking local stations to see what they had.    Today is evidently the agreed upon testing of the emergency broadcast system with that grating noise.  Sadly, not all the stations do it at once.  I must have heard the test five different times.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pearl Harbor Attacked 73 Years Ago

Continued from the Saw the Elephant and Running the Blockade blogs.


James Vyskocil fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.  A veteran of three wars.  He was in five sea battles and survived three air crashes.

On December 7, 1941, he was on duty at the naval shipyard tower and watched as Ford Island was bombed and ship after ship exploded.  He and his ship mates gave the first warning alert of the attack and remained on duty on the open platform of the 90-foot tower until the next day when they helped recover bodies.

Mr. Vyskocil went on to see heavy action in the Pacific Theater of the war and survived five major sea battles.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Route 66 Wins the 2014 IHSA Football Showdown 2-1

The finals of the IHSA High School Football playoff were played last weekend.

Route 66 beat out Lincoln Highway 2-1.

Lincoln Highways' Providence Catholic (New Lennox) won in Class 7A.

Route 66's Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) won the championship in 5A.

In Class 3A, two Route 66 teams played for the championship and Wilmington defeated Williamsville.

Congratulations Route 66!!  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead, N.C. 2014 Trip-- Part 8

Listening to Brad Paisley's new CD, Moonshine in the Trunk.  The first song, "Crushin' It" startled me when it opened with the unexpected sound of a crushing can.  Something that is quite ominous when you're cruising down the road at 70 mph.

Earlier, I had been listening to the two discs of The London American Story with quite a mix of songs I knew and ones I didn't.  This was music from the 50s and 60s.  The CDs were stowaways as they were already in the player when I left.

I was just barely into Indiana when I saw where someone had hit a deer and I'd never seen so much blood on the road  The carcass was a bloody pulp.  that had to have been quite a big collision.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Cold Ahead, N.C. Trip-- Part 7: McRib Attack!!

Gas in Gibson City was $2.80.  I never thought I'd see it below $3 again.  I hate Big Oil for making me think $2.80 gas is cheap.  It ISN'T.

McRib season is upon us at McDonald's, and just in time to stop the company's earnings which are in the doldrums.  I try to get at least one McRib every week during this time, and it was coming up on one week, so stop it was at the Mac's in Gibson City.  It was a bit more expensive than at back at home (hard to believe as everything around Spring Grove is more expensive than this distance from Chicago.

It was $3.39 for the McRib sandwich ($2.99 back home).  A full meal was $5.55 (($4.99 in Spring Grove).  Regardless, it was a DELICIOUS meal.  McRibs are so G-O-O-D!!

On to I-74 at Mahomet, Illinois (near the southern terminus of Il-47.  Shortly after getting on the interstate, i see a marker for the origins of the Kaskaskia River.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cold Ahead, N.C. 2014 T-Giving Trip-- Part 6: "Squirrel Stalks" and WGCY

NOVEMBER 20, 2014

There is a strong west wind blowing pieces of recently harvested corn stalks across Il-47.  Looks like squirrels skittering across, but I am now used to them so not slowing down.

My first hint as I passed Forrest, Illinois, that WHHP was no longer WHHP was a song playing on it that you would never hear on that station.  Then I heard the new call letters WHP.

I am now approaching Gibson City, Illinois, on 47 and have tuned in 106.3 FM WGCY with its beautiful, easy listening music format.  I've lost WJEZ by now and, of course, no more WHHP.  But, i have been listening to this "little pleasure" of a station the last couple years since I drove by the station and saw it's sign.

Today, they were playing more of a selection of easy listening rock songs:

I'D LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU--  Spanky & Our Gang
HOW CAN I BE SURE--ON AND ON--  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Unfortunately, I am pretty sure this is a canned music station for part of the time, at least.

I did enjoy listening to the local news on WJEZ and WGCY.    Local happenings in Gibson City wasthe Christmas parade and tree lighting downtown this Saturday.  Part of the town's Main Street is still brick and the town's Christmas tree is right out in the street surrounded by what looks to be giant presents, but are actually huge concrete blocks.  I don't recommend by a Scrooge and ramming that tree.


Cold Ahead, N.C. T-Giving Trip 2014-- Part 5: It's 10:26 A.M.

It's 10:26 a.m..  I always know that time because that is when my watch alarm goes off every day.  (I still tell time by looking at a watch and not by looking at my cell phone like so many do these days.)

If I was home right now, I'd be recording or listening to Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten on WDRV, 97.1 FM in Chicago.  And, if I was in the car right now I'd be listening to it, but alas, am out of range.

It goes off every day at 10:26 a.m. because I can't figure out how to turn it off.  I can set it to another time to go off, but can't figure out how to eliminate the alarm altogether.  I have a Timex digital watch (don't like figuring out those pesky hour and minute hands, you know).

If anyone knows what to do to turn it off, please let me know.

Always Knowing When It's 10:26 A.M..  --RoadDog

Cold Ahead, N.C. T-Giving Trip 2014-- Part 4: The Difference Between Live and Dead Deejays

One thing I like about WJEZ, 98.9 FM out of Pontiac, Illinois, is that they have live deejays all the time (well, at least during the day.  A live deejay is always better than a dead deejay.  Dead deejays are, well, DEAD.  I used to kid the bars advertising me as a live deejay when I was doing that.  Well, of course I'm live, otherwise I would be dead, wouldn't I?

But, a lot of stations nowadays have what I call canned music and no people there doing the announcing.  I will always listen to a station with those "live deejays" as opposed to canned deejays.

I am still thinking about becoming a deejay (well, nowadays CJs, Computer Jockeys, as they all play music off their laptops and pcs).  at our local LP (Low Power) radio station WRLR in Round Lake Heights, Illinois at 98.3 FM.  It has a whole 1 watt of power and goes out maybe 10-15 miles in every direction.  We get it quite nicely here on the hill in Spring Grove.  But more importantly, it streams out over the internet, so can reach much larger audiences.

But, then there is all that technology I'd have to learn (not exactly my strongest area).  I probably would have started deejaying way before 1981 but was afraid of all those wires I'd have to contend with.

Said the Guy With an Old Flip Phone from 2003 Who Still Doesn't Know How to Operate It.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Driving in N.C. During World War II

From the July 17, 2012, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Back Then" by Scott Nunn.

Wilmington, N.C. was an important arsenal for the war and coastal areas could come under attack by German U-boats, known to lurk off shore, especially in 1942.  Besides gas rationing, Wilmington-area residents had further restrictions.

JULY 10, 1942:  Brigadier General P.A. Wethered of District 2 Interior defenses announced that motorists along the coast could drive any time of the day or night on unrestricted roads as long as they followed regulations, including a nighttime speed limit of 15 mph and use of parking lights only.

Hey, It Was.  --RoadDog

Route 66's "Halloween" Movie Connection

From Yahoo! Answers.

Haddonfield, New Jersey, is the home of "Halloween" co-screenwriter Debra Hill.  John Carpenter, screenwriter and director, was raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and there is a small town of Smith's Grove 15 miles from Bowling Green.

The movie, however, despite its fall setting, was actually filmed in southern California in the spring.

The original movie referred to Haddonfield as just being somewhere in Central Illinois (which is around Springfield).

The 6th Halloween movie, "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" was directed by Chicago native John Chappelle who chose to have Haddonfield located in Livingston County, about 70 miles south of Chicago.  The movie featured a map of the area in the deserted bus station before Michael broke in and that is where I saw Dwight and Pontiac.

Like, BOO!!  --RoadDog

Back Home Again

After almost two weeks and 2200 miles, I arrived back home last night.

Sure enjoyed the cheaper gas and filled up for a low of around $2.46 in Wytheville, Virginia, on Monday.  The last several trips to N.C., I paid around $3.30 to $3.80.  Big savings.  Thanks Big Oil for taking less of a profit and  helping your country.

All sorts of temp changes on the way home.  Leaving Goldsboro, N.C.,  it was upper 40s and 72 degrees in Mt. Airy around noon.  Going up the mountain side into Virgina, it dropped to 40 degrees in a matter of minutes.  Then stayed in the lower 30s the rest of the way that day.  All day yesterday it was 28-32 degrees.

Miserable driving the last two days with rain and drizzle all through West Virginia and southeast Ohio.  Yesterday, I had black ice and freezing rain from Richmond, Indiana, to Indianapolis and then overcast, but dry the rest of the way home.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Indian Link to Route 66-- Part 2

Virginia Salazar-Halfmoon is coordinating the project for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association said foreign visitors and even some American tourists along the route still expect to find Indians wearing headdresses and living in teepees (and you can see those at some of the Indian trading posts.  But, she wants them to know that these were unique nations and each has a different story to tell of their history with Route 66.

During the next year, they plan to produce a guidebook using federal grant money that will highlight significant tribal sites along the road.  It will also include stories of how communities were affected by the commerce which came along with the traffic.

Representatives from the Park Service and American Indian Center of Chicago participated in the Wednesday meeting to kick off the project.  Also officials from the Acomo and Zuni pueblos in New Mexico, the Cherokee and several other tribes attended.

Many talked about the roue's role in the federal government's Indian relocation program of the 1950s and the migration of many Indian children to boarding schools.


Indian Link to Route 66-- Part 1

From the Nov. 23, 2014, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus, AP.

Lesser known story of Native Americans' link to route being told.

"Greasy diners, big-finned Cadillacs, mom-and-pop souvenir shops, dusty trading posts and the promise of the West were undoubtedly part of the recipe that made historic Route 66--  America's Mother Road--  famous."

The lesser-known story, however, are the more than 24 American Indian tribes impacted along its 2,400 miles stretch from Chicago to California.  These tribes are now reaming up with a tourism group and the National Park Service to tell their Route 66 story.

Their whole way of life was disrupted for better or worse.

The groups also hope to dispel long-held stereotypes.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cold Ahead, N.C. 2014 Trip-- Part 3: "Heat Wave" More WJEZ and Less WHHP

It was 15 degrees when I left Spring grove this morning.  And, it had risen to a "balmy" 25 degrees by the time I got to Dwight, on good old Route 66.  There were flashing lights on at the railroad crossing where Route 66 and Il.-47 split.  I waited awhile. but saw nothing coming so, like everyone else, proceeded carefully through it.  I have seen a train hit a car before and sure gained a new respect for train crossings.  As such, the folks behind me weren't happy, but I don't take chances.

As I drove through Dwight, WJEZ put on a great Route 66 tune, the Eagles' "Take It Easy."  You know, "Standing On the Corner in Winslow, Arizona."

WJEZ has live deejays, which I like as I am no big fan of the "canned music" so many stations use instead of real folks.

Further south on Il-47. I tuned into 98.1 FM. WHHP, another favorite that features blues and Americana music out of Farmer City, Illinois.  Sadly, it is now WHP and a classic rock station and it sounds like it is probably canned.  I like classic rock, but we sure lost a unique station.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cold Ahead: N.C. T-Giving Trip 2014-- Part 2: WJEZ and DeKalb Corn

November 20, 2014:

Gas prices continued to fall as I drove south on Illinois Highway 47.  Gas at Stark's Corner and the Mobil station on Il=38 in Elburn are usually the highest along Il-47, which is expensive in the northern stretch of Il.-47.  Gas at Stark's was $3 and Elburn was actually $2.97!!

Yorkville's stretch of 47 is still torn up with a major road construction project.  It took considerably longer to get through it as I was stuck behind a truck.  It sure will be nice when they get it finished, but right now, it is absolutely no fun.

South of Yorkville, I began picking up WJEZ in Pontiac, 98.9 FM.  I enjoyed hearing a commercial for DeKalb Corn.  This is our corn company since it used to be based in DeKalb, Illinois, home of Northern Illinois University where we went to school.  We always enjoy seeing those signs out in the fields.  For some reason, they used to disappear from those fields back in our school days.  We have a sign in our garage, but it was one I bought from the company.  I never took one.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cold Ahead: 2014 N.C. T-Giving Trip-- Part 1: Huntley's Mean Old Main Street Stoplight


Early leaving by 7 a.m..  I usually don't get off until after 10, but now with these very short days, I like to maximize my daylight driving hours,  Driving at night is getting harder to see things,

I had to scrape off the truck windows as it was outside so I could put the '11 Malibu in the garage so I wouldn't have to scrape it.  Temperature this morning is a balmy 12 degrees with wind making it even worse.  Feels like mighty cold for all this Global Blah Blah Blah.

Took Il-120 to Il-47 as usual.  This is part of my avoid Chicago route.

Blinded by the rising sun if look to the east.

Easy drive until Huntley, Illinois, and all of its many, many, many stoplights.  The one at Main Street has particularly been a nemesis for me over all these many years as it is almost impossible not to get stopped by it.  Several years back, there was a huge amount of construction on this stretch of Illinois Highway 47 through town because of the huge growth that has occurred since Dell Webb's Sun City was built.

As usual, this mean old stoplight caught me again and, believe me, it is a really long wait.  I have been driving this way to DeKalb since 1976 and can only remember perhaps making it through this light maybe two or three times without a lengthy wait.

Gas in Woodstock and Huntley at $3 a gallon.

Passing over the I-90 Tollway (lots of tollways around Chicago), I saw a truck with four or five boats stacked upright on it going under the bridge.  Is it that time of the year again?  I sure do wish it was.

YOU Will Wait and Wait At that Doggone Light.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Was Haddonfield, Illinois on Route 66? Halloween's Michael Myers Hometown

I recorded and watched the six "Halloween" movies AMC had on TV during the week of Halloween.

When I got to the sixth movie "Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers" I had to back the VHS up when I saw a map of the Haddonfield area.  It was what I thought it was.  There was a map at the bus station showing Haddonfield and its surrounding towns.  To one side was Dwight and the other was Pontiac.  I also saw Joliet and Gardner nearby.

That would be nowhere else but Illinois' Livingston County.

Haddonfield would be about where Odell is.

That means, Route 66!!!  I didn't know that.  I'd always figured the town was somewhere south of Springfield.

A Route 66 Connection.  --RoadDog

Shorpy's Take on Those Old Cars

From the Shorpy old photograph website

9-28-14:  Grant Six: 1920--  touring car.

9-25-14  Blazing Buick: 1922

9-24-14--  Jacked Up 1919:  Studebaker with an interesting way to work on the under carriage.

9-10-14--  Self-Service: 1920.  Washington, D.C., 1920.   Man filling his car with gas.

9-9-14--  Filtered Gasoline:1920.  Another shot of the previous photo.

Worth a Look If You Like Old Cars and Gas Stations.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bicoastal Buick: 1929

From the Oct. 3, 2014, Shorpy blog."Coast-to-Coast Buick, 1907, on San Francisco's Auto Row on Van Ness Avenue and California Street in 1929."  Evidently at the end of its jaunt.  Of all the marques shown at the dealers: Buick, Graham-Page, Pontiac and Oakland, only Buick remains.

And, today, according to their commercials, people don't even know what a Buick looks like anymore.

The photo shows a man in a suit shaking hands with the car's driver.

COMMENT:  Driving a 22-year-old Brass Era auto across the continent was a very noteworthy event in 1929.  He doubts that driving a 1992 Buick from New York City to San Francisco would be as impressive a feat today.

COMMENT: Noticed the guy had parked the Buick on a sidewalk.

COMMENT:  Started in 1907, finished in 1929.  Not so impressive.

When you look at the Shorpy photos, make sure to enlarge them and definitely read the comments.


Music for the Road

I'm getting ready to make that long drive to North Carolina and have picked several CDs for cruising down the road.


JUST AS I AM--  Brantley Gilbert

DISCO ANTHEMS-- a 3 CD/60 song effort.  I know some of the songs, bit there are a whole lot I don't like "Searching" by Change; "Weekend" by Phreek;"Get On Up" by Freddie James and "I Surrender" by Voyage.


STATE OF CONFUSION--  Kinks  I already liked the Kinks for their 60s greats, but have been buying  other  CDs of them.  4 bonus tracks.

BEST OF BADFINGER--  A Canadian CD.  21 songs.

Cruisin' and Listnin'.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Route 66 Continues to Lead 2014 IHSA 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown

Here at the end of Round 4, and nearing the end, Route 66 continues to hold on to a 3-1 lead over Lincoln Highway.

Remaining for Route 66:

5A  Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

3A Wilmington and Williamsville

Remaining for Lincoln Highway:

7A  Providence Catholic (New Lenox)

May the Best Road Win.  --RoadDog

Road Music-- Part 6: Turn Blue-- Black Keys

And, you get a giant folded poster of the album cover tucked inside the CD cover.

I didn't much care for many of the songs upon first listen, only the ones I'd heard before on WXRT like "Fever."  But, after listening to it several times, I like all of the songs.  Definitely a grow-on-you CD by a band that continues to grow and surprise.  (I was surprised to see the group has only two members.)

I especially liked "Bullet in the Brain."


Road Music-- Part 5: Kinda Kinks

Second studio album released by the band and was completed and released in just two weeks.  Featured the song "So Tired of Waiting for You."  You can hear the American R&B influence on many of the tracks,.  Fifteen tracks, but rearranged on American release.

Most of the songs written by Ray Davies.

Great harmonies.

"So Long" would be a great closing song.  "Something better Beginning" could easily have been another hit.  Did a great cover of "Dancing in the Streets."


Road Music-- Part 4: Unorthodox Jukebox-- Bruno Mars

Kind of the new Michael Jackson.  This was the fourth-biggest-selling album of 2013.  definitely has a unique voice.  This was his econd studio album, released in 2012.

Big hits so far from it: Locked Out of Heaven (#1 for six weeks)  Treasure (#5) and "When I Was Your Man #1.

Bruno Mars sings this in many different styles from reggae, rock, disco and soul.

Like many young artists, he gets quite explicit in some of his lyrics.  The album cover features a gorilla and one of his songs is "Gorilla" where he makes love like a gorilla.  He used one m-f word.

I especially liked "If I Know" which unfortunately was just 2:13 long.  "Show Me" was a reggae dub.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Road Music-- Part 3: Joe Nichols Greatest Hits

I have to have some country when cruising down the road.  This was it.

Joe Nichols bridges the gap between today's "Bro'" country male performers and the much older ones.   performers out these days,  has had seven albums and fourteen Top Ten singles.  His first album, self-titled was Joe Nichols in 1996.

All of his top hits are here, including #1s: Broken Heartsville, Tequila makes her Clothes Fall Off and Gimme That Gin.

I especially liked his "What's a Guy Gotta Do," "Size Matters" and "It Ain't No Crime."  These hit #14, #7 and #16 respectively.

As Joe Says in Broken Heartsville, "Here's to the Past, They Can Kiss My Glass."  Though, I doubt he sings those exact words in concert.


Will Bradley: Trombonist and Bandleader

From Wikipedia.

I mentioned him in yesterday's post.

He was born Wilbur Schwictenbery and was known as one of the premier trombonists on the New York swing scene.

He and Ray McKinley were known for their boogie woogie beat and made the Billboard Top Ten with "Down the Road a Piece.

In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and played in Glenn Miller's band.  After the war, he was a studio musician for many years and was in the Tonight Show Band during the Johnny Carson era.


Ray McKinley: Jazz Drummer, Singer and Bandleader

From Wikipedia.

I mentioned a couple songs he had ion the Rock 'n' Roll: The Early Years 2 CD I reviewed yesterday.


Was good friends with Glenn Miller and joined the Dorsey Brothers in 1934.  After the brothers split, he remained with Jimmy Dorsey until 1939 when he joined Will Bradley and they had their biggest hit "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" which they recorded in early 1940.

He was referred to as "Eight Beat Mack" in the song "Down the Road a Piece.

In 1956, he was chosen as the leader of the revived Glenn Miller Band.


Road Music-- Part 2: Elton John's Madman Across the Water

Continuing With CDs I listened to going to and returning from North Carolina this past summer.

Only three songs could be considered really big from Elton John's 1971 effort:  Tiny Dancer #41, Levon #24 and the title track.  I was fairly unfamiliar with most of the rest of them.  "Razor Face" reminded me a lot of "Levon."  "Indian Sunrise" was about Indians.

Of interest, when I looked up Elton John in Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles 1955-1993" John was listed right next to Billy Joel except for a 1992 band named Joe Public (must have had something to do with alphabetical, you know).

Wikipedia said it was Elton's fourth studio album with the title song originally supposed to be on the previous album, Tumbleweed Connection.  "Madman Across tghe Water" was written for John's friend Long John Baldry.  On its release, the album was almost ignored in England.

There were only nine songs on the album except "Goodbye (at 1:48) were over four minutes long and three: Tiny Dancer, Madman Across the Water and Indian Summer were over six minutes.

I especially like "Holiday Inn" and "Peaches."


Friday, November 14, 2014

Road Music 2014 Summer N.C. Trip-- Part 1: Rock 'n' Roll: The Early Years 2

Since I am getting ready to hit the road again next week, it is time to write about my ride-along tunes from this past summer.  I listen to various radio stations and to CDs I select to bring along.


This is part of a four separate  CD (I only saw three though) set I bought at Half Price books, always a very expensive place for me to enter.  Way too many things of major interest for me, and, even better, nicely priced.

The songs in this set cover probably the late 40s to early 50s and is put out by Signature Records of England, Australia and New Zealand.  Interesting music, though some of it is decidedly inferior recordings.  Also, there were no dates or pertinent information given.

The artists:

LOUIS PRIMA:  4 songs.  I especially liked "Bourbon Street Blues" about all the good times you can have there

LIONEL HAMPTON:  4 songs.  All instrumentals with that good old boogie woogie feel.

BILLY PENROSE:  4 songs  all instrumentals.  I especially liked "Billy's Boogie."

WILL BRADLEY/RAY McKINLEY:  2 songs of very poor sound quality included.  But I especially liked their "Scrub Me Mama, With a Boogie Beat."  I will write about these two men in an upcoming post.

TOMMY DORSEY:  4 songs.  His "Boogie Woogie" is a classic.

SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON:  2 songs.  "Bouncing Ball Boogie" is a great one about a kid singing about basketball.

Rock Before the Rock As We Know It.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

California State Automobile Association Signs, 1925

From the October 24, 2014, Shorpy site: "Circa 1925: Man pointing at California State Automobile Association signage."

"Woman with pennant reciting, 'Boost the Redwood Highway.'"  A souvenir from the early days of motoring, when signage was a do-it-yourself affair, with routes marked and mapped by automobile clubs.

The top sign reads, with arrow pointing to the left, "Garberville 39 5/10, Dyerville 70, Eureka 117."

Bottom sign reads, with arrow pointing left, "Bell Springs 12, Harris 24  Willits 38.

A comment says that the photo was taken at or near the intersection of Bell Springs Road and the current US-101 (Redwood Highway) about ten miles north of Laytonville.

The state of our roads before the U.S. Highway System was superinposed on the existing routes.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vietnam Veterans Memorial to Be Dedicated Today in McHenry, Illinois

I will be at the dedication today at 10 a.m. at Veterans Park in McHenry.  It is being placed to honor the lives of four McHenry High School graduates who gave their lives in the Vietnam War.

Carter Freund, Class of '64
James Ambrose III, Class of '64
Glenn Davis, Class of '64
John Granath, Class of '67

The Vietnam War was my generation's war, so this especially means something to me.

College Station, Texas, to Add Civil War Memorial to Veterans Park

The city already has eight statues to commemorate service in various wars, but none to the Civil War until now.

Some 90% of the money needed has already been raised, $72,000, and they memorial is expected to be dedicated on April 9, 2015, the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Today, 133 new names are going to be added to the park's Wall of Honor listing service men and women form the area.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Route 66 Takes a 6-4 Lead Over the Lincoln Highway Into Round Three

These Route 66 high schools are still standing going into the third round of the IHSA Football  Playoffs for 2014:

8A:  Bolingbrook

6A:  East St. Louis

5A:  Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)

4A: Central Catholic (Bloomington)

3A: Wilmington and Williamsville

I did find one more Lincoln Highway team that I had overlooked, Newman Catholic in Sterling.

7A  Geneva, Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort) and Providence Catholic (New Lenox)

4A: Newman Catholic (Sterling)

So, Route 66 takes a 6-4 lead into the third round this weekend.


U.S. 14 Beats U.S. 12 in Illinois IHSA Football Playoffs

This competition between high schools located along the two roads in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs goes to last teams standing.

The two teams shared by the two roads, Palatine and St. Viator both lost their second round games.

The two remaining are both U.S. 14 (Northwest Highway) schools: Barrington and Marian central (Woodstock).

As such, i am declaring U.S. 14 the winner for the 2014 competition.

Way to Go Northwest Highway.  --RoadDog

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Shorpy Classic Extinct Vehicles-- Part 2

10-27-14  TO BUILD A FIRE: 1920--  Briscoe automobile at a camp site (perhaps early motel?)

10-28-14 BRING THE KIDS: 1917--  Jordan Touring Car on a nicely-paved street.

10-29-14  LUXURY CAR: 1917--  Jordan Touring Car on a really bad road.

10-31-14  TRAILBLAZERS: 1917--  Jordan Touring Car on a really bad road.

11-4-14  FLIVVER JORDAN: 1917--  Jordan Touring Car on a really bad road.

11-5-14  CUSTOM CHASIS: 1923--  Bathing beauty on the grill of a 1920s Peerless Touring Car.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Shorpy's Classic Extinct Automobiles-- Part 1

This last month the Shorpy photo website has been running lots of pictures of Extinct Automobiles from the 1920s.  As always, great resolution and you can blow up the photo for some unbelievable details.  Make sure to read the comments as well.

Many of the photos clearly show how bad roads were back then unless you were in a city.

These are some of the photos with type of car.  All dates are for 2014.

10-6: SLEEPS TWO: 1920:  Chalmers Touring Car
10-9:  BATTERED BUROUCHE: 1921: Studebaker

10-12:  READY TO RUMBLE: 1928:  1928 Hudson with a man in the rumble seat.
10-15:  CLOSE FRIENDS: 1920:  San Francisco.  Oldsmobile Coupe

10-20: L.A. TO YOSMITE: 1920:  May 1920. Yosmite National Park.  "Prize Cup Fourth Annual AAA Economy Run, Los Angeles to Camp Curry.  Overland Car.

10-21: MR. RIGHT: 1920:  Oldsmobile Touring Car


Road Work Ahead-- Part 35: Home

Listening to WJEZ, I heard a commercial which explained something I've been wondering about the last several years.  While going around Normal-Bloomington, Illinois, I have been seeing a sign showing an exit for a place called the Corn Crib.  I found out that was a ballpark where a Frontier League minor league team called the Corn Belters play.  I found out the stadium opened in 2010 and seats 7,000.

When on Route 66, I always bypass Bloomington-Normal as these towns do not appreciate their Route 66 heritage.

Further north, I lost WJEZ reception and found a Polish language and music station at 99.9 FM.

It took forever to get through Huntley because I was fortunate to hit every one of the considerable number of stoplights just as they turned red.

Arrived home today on August 1, 2014.  Drove 380.5 miles today and 2136.2 for the whole trip.  The odometer now reads 30,542 mostly highway miles.

Always Good to get Home.  --RoadDog

Missouri's Route 66-- Part 5

West of Carthage is The 66 Drive-in Theatre, built in 1949 and on the NRHP.  It is the last of six drive-ins along the road named for Route 66.

WEBB CITY--  As stated earlier, this is where the miners who made the millionaires in Carthage rich lived.  In 1916, a trolley was built by the Southwest Missouri Electric Railroad to take the workers to the mines.  It is still running.

There is also a 32-foot-high praying hands statue created 36 years ago.

JOPLIN-  The mines made Joplin a boomtown and a wild one at that.  The City Hall has a mural by Thomas Hart Benton depicting its lawless history.  A second mural by his grandson shows Joplin in its Route 66 days.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had a shootout in town in an apartment in 1933 but left a camera behind and the authorities had pictures of them for the first time.  Some of the photos are at the Joplin Museum
Complex at 504 S. Schifferdecke Avenue.

As I Said, My Favorite Route 66 State.  --RoadDog

Missouri's Route 66-- Part 4

SPRINGFIELD--  Claims to be the birthplace of Route 66.  Where it was first proposed on April 30. 1926.  Recommends a breakfast of stuffed oatmeal or eggs at Gailey's Cafe, a 1930s diner at 220 E. Walnut Street.  On St. Louis Street, there is a Steak 'N Shake in its 1962 design and sign.  Also, the Best Western Rail Haven Motel.  Refurbished to reflect its glory days from the 50s.

CARTHAGE--  The Jasper County Court House is built of Carthage stone from 1894-1895.  At the time the city had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States because of lead and zinc deposits in the area.  They wanted a courthouse to reflect their wealth.

It has three and 20 Victorian mansions.  The mine owners lived in Carthage.  The miners lived in Webb City.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Missouri's Route 66-- Part 3

Not far from Cuba is Fanning's U.S. 66 Outpost general Store which features the world's largest rocking chair, clocking in at 42-feet 1 inch.

ROLLA--  The Totem Pole Trading Post at 1413 Martin Springs Drive, old Route 66, claims to be the oldest business on Route 66 that is still operating.  A classic tourist trap if there ever was one.  Then there is that huge sign.

DEVIL'S BEND--  The Elbow Inn & BBQ is a classic bikers' bar on a bypassed section of Route 66 by Hooker Cut.  This stretch of 66 is my favorite drive on all of Route 66.

LEBANON--  The local K-Mart has been converted into the town library and the Route 66 Museum and Research Center at 915 S. Jefferson Avenue.  They have 2,000 to 3,000 visitors a month during the tourist season.  Then, of course, there is the Munger-Moss Motel.  A real classic.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Road Work Ahead, N.C. Summer 2014 Trip-- Part 34: Another Good Radio Station

I have another station I like to listen to around Pontiac, Illinois.  It is WJEZ now at 98.9 FM.  Their trade is with oldies, and not always the same-old, same-old ones played to death on some oldies stations.  They dig deep.  Even better, they always have deejays at the helm, none of that canned stuff like on so many small stations.

This drive-by, i heard them play "Pretty Blue Eyes" by Steve Lawrence.  I'd never heard the song before.  I looked it up and it went to #9 on Billboard's Top 100 in early 1960.

While I had the station on the radio, they played the top five songs from 1961: #5 Quarter to Three, #3 Tossing and Turning, #2 Hats Off to Larry and #1 was Michael by the Highwaymen.  I missed #4.  They also played a song by Danny Hutton from 1966 called "Big Bright Eyes."  This was before he became one of the lead singers of Three Dog Night.  Looking him up, I see that he was a studio singer for Hanna-Barbara Productions.

When you can cruise down the road and hear a song you've never heard of before (and it is a really good one like this) and find out it was before he was with Three Fog Night, WOW!!

I was able to pick up WJEZ from quite a ways south of Pontiac to Yorkville.

Cruisin' and Tunin'.  --RoadDog

Route 66ers Can Tour Chicago's Union Station-- Part 2

Docents conduct the tours and focus in part on the architecture of the building which was designed by Daniel Burnham and finished in 1925, after his death.

Of course, the most impressive place in the structure is the beau-arts-style Great Hall which was very modern for its time period.  It has 18 Corinthian columns, pink marble floors and a five-story-high atrium with sun coming in from the skylight.

It is impressive to say the least.

It was the site for many World War II farewells.

As Windy City Road Warrior Dave Clark likes to point out, Union Station's location by the Chicago River and Route 66 shows the growth of Chicago due to the various modes of transportation.

The tours meet at Union Station, 500 W. Jackson Blvd at 1 p.m. on Nov. 9, 23, Dec. 14 and 21, Jan. 25 and Feb. 22.  Cost is $25 ( $20 for history museum members.


The Toronto Star's Trip on 66 Blog

Canada's Toronto Star is taking a trip on Route 66 this week and just posted Day 2 where they drove from Cuba, Missouri, to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  They had to drive from Miami, Oklahoma, to Tulsa in the dark, though, so missed a lot of neat stuff.  (At night, I get off Route 66 except through towns as you really can't see much.)

The day before, they did a quick drive through Illinois to Cuba (also a mistake).  Most recently, they drove through Devil's Elbow and were impressed with the four lane stretch through Hooker Cut (which is my absolute favorite part of Route 66).

They weren't too impressed with Kansas, but did take a picture of "Mater" in Galena, but made no mention of the "Four Women on the Route" business. They were less impressed with Galena, but say it is making a comeback.

Check It Out.  --RoadDog

Missouri's Route 66-- Part 2

Suggested stops:

TED DREWE'S FROZEN CUSTARD in Sr. Louis for the concretes or anything ice creamy.  Since 1929.  Don't let the long lines deter you.  They are very fast.  6726 Chippewa Sr.

MUSEUM OF TRANSPORTATION in at 2967 Barrett Street.  You can see part of the original famous Coral Courts Motel and a jalopy much like that which the Joad family might have driven to the "Promised Land." in the movie "Grapes of Wrath."  It was Steinbeck who first called 66 "The Mother Road."

MERAMEC CAVERNS in Stanton  One of 66's oldest attractions with lots and lots and lots of signs on the way including on barns.  They used to give away/place bumper stickers on your vehicle.

MURALS in Cuba which bills itself as "Mural City."  There are twelve and the town once boasted as having the only stoplight between St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri.  One mural is painted on a 1932 filling station.  Bette Davis came to Cuba in 1948 with a gentleman friend.  A local reporter snapped their picture and the "friend" gave chase."  ( I didn't know about these two things.)

WAGON WHEEL MOTEL in Cuba.  On NRHP and oldest continually operating motel on the road.  It has just been spiffed up.  (We still want to stay there as we once did before its spiffing up and tat was quite an  experience.)

My Favorite Route 66 Stretch Is Missouri.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teams Still Standing in the Route 66-Lincoln Highway Football Showdown


Waubonsie Valley

St. Charles North
Providence Catholic
Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way West

Rich East
Joliet Catholic




Normal Community

Normal Community West
East St. Louis

Sacred Heart-Griffin
Joliet Catholic

Central Catholic


Getting Ready for Week Two.  --RoadDog

Route 66-Lincoln Highway Football Showdown: After Round One, It's a Tie!

Going into last weekend's action, Lincoln Highway had a five team advantage over Route 66, 21-16.   But now it is even with both roads having 11 teams remaining.

On the Lincoln Highway, teams from Matea Valley, Joliet West, Plainfield East Lincoln-Way North, Plainfield North, Lincoln-Way Central, Batavia, Marmion Acedemy, Aurora Central Catholic and Aurora Christian dropped out.

Route 66 lost Joliet West, Plainfield East, Plainfield North, Springfield Southeast, Normal University.

Nexr, the Remaining Teams.  --RoadDog

Route 66ers Can Tour Chicago's Union Station-- Part 1

From the November 2, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Next Stop: Union Station" by Nancy Maes.

Most people going through Chicago's Union Station or on their way to somewhere else, but now you can actually take a tour of it on the Chicago History Museum's walking tour.

This walking tour grew out of the museum's :Railroaders" exhibit which runs through August 15, 2015.  It displays photos by Jack Delano who was commissioned in 1942 by the World War Ii's Office of War Information to document the role of the railroads in American life (and especially the war effort).

I have come across a lot of his photos on the Shorpy old picture site.

Public programs coordinator Ani Schmidt helped develop the tour and said "there are a lot of images of Union Station in the exhibit and we wanted to make them come alive."

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Road Work Ahead, 2014 N.C. Trip- Part 33: Oh No, Beautiful Music

I must admit to feeling that I need to tune away from WHHP FM (blues, bluegrass and Americana music) out of Farmer City, Illinois, these days to listen to 106.3 WGCY out of Gibson City. I have been doing this the last several times after driving by the station.  They say they play "Beautiful Music" something I'm not too keen on, but, so help me, I sure enjoy it now.  Must be an age thing.

They played the not-so-beautiful "Louie, Louie," but then, there I was sing along to "Guantanamera" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."  And the last one was one of those light strings arrangements. I'm doing that right now for some reason, despite listening to the Drive's A to Z on 97.1 FM right now.

Then came "Come to Me Baby" by the Beach Boys and "Rhinestone Cowboy," this time by the real Glen Campbell.

This is a weak station and I was soon out of range and went back to WHHP.  And, you'd sure expect to hear a show like the Mid-Day Farm Market Report out of a radio station in Farmer City.

Continuing north I saw all of the windmills at the huge wind farm by Odell were stopped.  I've never seen them all stopped at once.

Tunes and the Road Just Go Together.  --RoadDog

Monday, November 3, 2014

US-12-US-14 IHSA Showdown: US-14 Clinches At Least a Tie

The results from the first weekend are in and US-14 has clinched at least a tie for champion in thsi contest.

The US-12 teams of Fremd, Hersey, Lake Zurich and Richmond-Burton all lost.

The US-14 teams Fremd, Hersey, Prairie Grove and Crystal Lake Central lost as well.

That leaves 4 US-14 teams to 2 US-12 teams still standing.  And, two of each's teams are in the other one's bracket as well: Palatine and St. Viator.

US-14 TEAMS still in the running:


Marian Central
St. Viator

US-12 TEAMS remaining:


St. Viator

If Barrington and Marian Central lose, it will be a tie between the two roads.

Tomorrow I will give the Route 66-Lincoln Highway standings.

Football in My Neighborhood.  --RoadDog

Road Work Ahead, N.C. Summer 2014 Trip-- Part 32: Snappy Lunch and Skyline Chili

Leaving Goldsboro, N.C., on July 31, 2014, the odometer stood at 29,508 miles and 1,102.5 miles for the trip with a 31.4 mpg.  Drove US-70, I-40, US-52, I-77, US-33 and I-70 today.

I drove 653 miles that day, stopping at Snappy Lunch in Mt. Airy (Mayberry), N.C., for one of those unbelievably good pork chop sandwiches.

Listening to my tunes on CD and various radio stations..

Stopped at another favorite, Skyline Chili, on the Columbus, Ohio,  bypass for dinner.

Arrived in the dark at Richmond, Indiana, right on the Ohio border off I-70.  Stayed at the Motel 6 again.

AUGUST 1st:  Listening to the radio and now in Illinois heading north on Il-47, my way to avoid the Chicago hassle.

Had breakfast of champions, Sliders, in Indiana, but why the White Castles in this state (or at least along I-70) only have Diet Caffeine-free Coke and don't have the great Dusseldorf mustard is beyond me.

I Lost Count of How Many Miles of Road Construction I Had to Endure.  --RoadDog

Missouri's Route 66-- Part 1

From the September 5, 2010, Chicago Tribune by Katherine Rodriguez.

If I had to pick my favorite Route 66 state, I'd have to go with the stretch in this state.  This would be followed by Oklahoma and Illinois.

"Route 66, Something of a ghost, the highway still provides plenty to see in Missouri."  It was replaced by Interstate-44 and decommissioned in the 1980s.  But, even so, it remains a marked road, just look for the Historic Route 66 signs.

When we first drove it back in 2002, the signage wasn't very good compared to that in Illinois, but it was still the second best compared to all the rest.Missouri's Route 66 goes through cities, rural areas, farmlands, and, of course, those wonderful rolling Ozarks.

For the most part it parallels I-44, even under the interstate at times.  From St. Louis to Joplin, it runs 260-317 miles if you count the spurs.

Mire to Come.  --RoadDog

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Trippin' to 1969, A Really Good Year-- Part 2

JINGO--  Santana
SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES-- Crosby, Stills & Nash
OH WELL, PART 1--  Fleetwooc Mac
SOMETHING--  Beatles

IT'S YOUR THING--  Isley Brothers
BADGE--  Cream  (No more Jack Bruce)
CRIMSON AND CLOVER--  Tommy James & the Shondells
SPACE COWBOY--  Steve Miller

SAINT STEPHEN--  Grateful Dead
25 MILES--  Edwin Starr
SOMETHING IN THE AIR--  Thunderclap Newman

ROCK ME BABY--  Steppenwolf  (Another Palatine High School Senior Lounge jukebox favorite.)
TOUCH ME--  Doors  (I remember hearing this song and the album Soft Parade in a Lincoln Hall 3A Floor dorm room across the hall.  The student had a new stereo with conical speakers.)
MIDNIGHT RAMBLER--  Rolling Stones

Listening to Songs on the Dorm Floor and Playing Hearts Most of the Night.  --RoadDog

Tripping to 1969: A Real Good Year -- Part 1

I graduated from Palatine High School back in 1969 and started freshman year at NIU.

WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback show to 1969 with Wendy Rice.  Bringing back lots of memories.

The Playlist:

I'M FREE--  Who
HELPLESSLY HOPING--  Crosby, Stills & Nash
EVERYDAY PEOPLE--  Sly & the Family Stone

HEY BULLDOG--  Beatles
FREEDOM--  Richie Havens
WHITE BIRD--  It's a Beautiful Day

GIMME SHELTER--  Rolling Stones
ROOM TO MOVE--  John Mayall
TIME IS TIGHT--  Booker T. & the M.G.s

SHE CAUGHT THE KATY--  Taj Mahal--  I never heard this song before the "Blues Brothers" movie.
I CAN'T GET NEXT TO YOU--  Temptations
FORTUNATE SON--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

Four Hours in the Wayback Machine.  --RoadDog

A Piece of Route 66 Comes Back to Life, and Just in Time for Halloween

The turnaround for Williams, Arizona, began a short five years later when the Grand Canyon railway began offering passenger train service between Williams and the South Rim of the canyon, 60 miles away.  Tourists began flocking to the town to take the train and to see a piece of the legendary road..  Local gift shops and restaurants began opening in the abandoned buildings.

One famous one is Twisters at 417 E. Route 66, an old-fashioned soda fountain where you can get a root beer float made with the Route 66 brand of root beer.

The former Santa Fe railroad depot now houses a visitor center where one exhibit notes that the last of many thousand stop lights along Route 66 stood right outside the place.

And, there are quite a few old Route 66 motels to stay in (as well as bars to clear the dust out of your lungs).


Friday, October 31, 2014

A Piece of Route 66 Comes Back to Life-- Part 1

From the October 19, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Jay Jones.

An interesting update on one of my favorite Route 55 towns, Williams, Arizona.

"Thirty years ago, people in Williams were mourning Route 66.  The world famous highway officially met its demise as Interstate Highway 40 bypassed this northern Arizona town-- the last town along the entire route to be bypassed.

"'Our street was just one big, giant truck stop,' Mayor John Moore recalled of the decades in which the big rigs motored into town.

"That changed in the blink of an eye October 13, 1984, with the opening of the final stretch of I-40.  Before long, businesses began to close.  The town was in a tailspin."

I hadn't realized that we slopped by the anniversary of the end of Route 66 earlier this month.  I always felt that Williams more or less served as the inspiration for the fictional Radiator Springs in the movie "Cars."


Thursday, October 30, 2014

IHSA Football Showdowns: How Winners Are Determined

Now, you have the teams playing each other in both the Route 66-Lincoln Highway and the US-14-US-12 Showdowns.

There are same schools playing in both Showdowns.

In the 66-Lincoln Showdown both roads go through Joliet and Plainfield.  The teams representing both roads: Joliet West (8A), Plainfield East and Plainfield North (7A) and Joliet Catholic (5A).

In the 12-14 Showdown both roads go through Arlington Heights and Palatine.  Those teams are Fremd (Palatine) and Palatine (8A), Hersey (Arlington Heights) (7A) and St. Viator (Arlington Heights) (5A).  US-12 enters Illinois at the Indiana border, but I am only counting the teams in the Northwest suburbs where I live.

Winning roads determined by last man standing.  The winner is the road that still has one or more teams in the playoffs after all the ones from the other have been eliminated.Last yearthe Lincoln Highway and US-12 won.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Other Showdown: US-12 vs. US-14

I also have the teams from these two famed U.S. highways competing against each other, but only through the length of the Northwest suburbs from Chicago to the Wisconsin border.  I lived in Palatine, Illinois, from 7th grade, through high school and into college so these roads were quite important to me.  We live just about a quarter mile from US-12 even now.

Palatine and Arlington Heights have both highways going through them.


Fremd (Palatine)

Hersey (Arlington Heights)

Crystal Lake Central

Marian Central (Woodstock)
St. Viator (Arlington Heights)


Fremd (Palatine)

Hersey (Arlington Heights)
Lake Zurich

St. Viator (Arlington Heights)


So, it is seven teams for US-14 versus six for US-12 with the two sharing four teams (Fremd, Palatine, hersey and St. Viator).

Let's get ready for Some Football!!!   --RoadDog .

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's the Route 66-Lincoln Highway IHSA Football Challenge Again--Part 2

Like I said, this is the first time ever that there are more Lincoln Highway schools in the playoffs.


Waubonsie Valley (Aurora)
Matea Valley (Aurora)
Joliet West

Plainfield East
Plainfield North
St. Charles North
Providence Catholic (New Lenox)
Lincoln-Way North (Frankfort)
Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort)
Lincoln-Way Central (New Lenox)

Marmion Academy (Aurora)
Lincoln-Way West (New Lenox)

Rich East (Park Forest)
Joliet Catholic

Aurora Central Catholic

Aurora Christian

Quite the Competition, and All Four Lincoln-Way Schools (Named After the Lincoln Highway).  RoadDog

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's the Route 66-Lincoln Highway IHSA Football Showdown Again!!!

The brackets are set and this Friday is the opening round to pare down the 256 teams with winning records in the state down to eight champions.

There are eight classes, 8A-1A.  Each one will have one champion by the end of the month.

This is the 5th Showdown between high schools along Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway.

This is also the first time that there have been more Lincoln Highway than Route 66 teams: Route 66-16, Lincoln Highway-21.

The Route 66 teams:

Joliet West

Plainfield East
Normal Community
Plainfield North

Normal- Community West
Springfield Southeastillinois ro
East St. Louis

Normal University
Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)
Joliet Cathonlic

Central Catholic (Bloomington)


Those Are the Route 66 Teams.  Tomorrow, the Lincoln Highway Teams.  I Wonder How Many of the Four Lincoln-Way Teams Are In It?  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 25, 2014

256 Teams, 5 weeks, 8 Champions: IHSA Football Playoffs Set to Begin


Last night, i was at the Johnsburg-Harvard high school football game in Johnsburg, and after some games today, the groups of winning high school teams will be bracketed in eight different groups, 1A to 8A,and next weekend, the fun starts.

Some of the games are played on Friday nights, but best of all, the vast majority are played Saturday afternoons, which to me is the correct time that high school football games should be played.

Again, I will be running the Route 66-Lincoln Highway and US-12 (Rand Road)-US-14 (Northwest Highway)  Showdowns.

Looking Forward to It.  --RoadDog

It's NIU Homecoming-- Part 3: Lord Stanley's and the Footstompers

OCTOBER 11, 2014

We drove to Sully's on Lincoln Highway, but they didn't have the NIU game on TV, so went to Lord Stanley's, also on Lincoln Highway (the old Shamrock back in our student days) and were able to get seats at the bar even though there was already a big crowd there.  We were able to watch the rest of the sad homecoming game.  We played as badly as we could (think Chicago Bears on a bad Cutler day) and Central Michigan played well (think Packers on a regular Rodgers day) and it never was much of a game after the first quarter.

Talked with Rick, the tuba player with the Footstompers, who is a huge Huskie fan and he was more than a bit peeved by our effort.

Even so, the vibes in Lord Stanley's was high and everyone enjoying themselves, some way past when they should have stopped.  There were other college football games on and everyone was excited about the Black Hawks game which would begin soon.  Lord Stanley's is a huge hockey bar with all sorts of hockey stuff everywhere you look.  Obviously a whole lot of it is Black Hawk.

And, of course, the Footstompers were about to play.

A Great Time Looming, Even If Our 28-Game Home Winning Streak Was Snapped.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 24, 2014

Midwest Fall Foliage Trip: Great River Road at Mississippi Palisades State Park

By Robert Duffer.

This is one we've driven on many occasions and a great drive it is.

Starting at Galena, Illinois, Illinois' Great River Road hugs the Mississippi River south for 550 miles of bluffs and riverside stops that can rouse the ghost of Mark Twain.  Head south on Illinois Highway 84 through Savanna, in an area around the Mississippi Palisades  State Park, where eagles soar and a lazy road winds around the lazy river under the bluffs and along waysides..(Galena, however, is not actually on the Mississippi River, but the Apple River, a tributary.)

A drive up on the bluffs there affords great views of the river and Iowa. He recommends a drive south to the Quad-Cities.

Both sides of the river afford great views and vistas.  We like to cross the Mississippi at Dubuque, Iowa, and drive down the Iowa side to the Quad-Cities, always with a stop at beautiful Clinton, Iowa.

Mighty Pretty Driving.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Midwest Fall Foliage Road Trip-- Part 5: Parke County, Indiana, Covered Bridges

By Casey Williams.

This is one I plan on going to at some point, maybe even this year, but I hear it gets quite crowded, especially on the weekends.  Fortunately, being retired, we can do it during the week.

Maybe not quite the Bridges of Madison County, but Indiana's Parke County offers a beautiful fall drive to see 32 covered bridges of all shapes and sizes.  Begin at the visitor's center in Rockville, Indiana, about an hour's drive west of Indianapolis on U.S.-36 (Rockville Road).

From there, maps will guide you through curved, tree-covered roads and stretches between harvest fields.

Time it through October 19 to attend the Covered Bridge Festival (Oops, missed that one), with its seasonal food, arts and crafts.  The inn at Turkey Run State Park is a good place for dinner-- or for the night.

Go north on US-41 for continued scenery.

Gotta Go There.  --RoadDog

Midwest Fall Foliage Road Trip-- Part 4: Shawnee Hills Wine Trail

By Robert Duffer.

This one goes all the way to the southern tip of Illinois.

In the Shawnee National Forest, near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the southern tip of the state, the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail winds south of Carbondale (Home of Southern Illinois University and a wild Halloween party).

Take I-57 from Chicago and consider picking up off the Great River Road (Ill-3) along the Mississippi, then head east on Town Creek Road over the Big Muddy River to Route 127, where the trail begins.  Two-lane roads will take you to a dozen wineries.  Along the way, places like the Little Grand Canyon and Jackson Falls are treasures

Wine and Scenery.  Sounds Like a Winner, Just Don't Taste Test Too Much.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's NIU Homecoming-- Part 2: Alumni Tents and the Game

OCTOBER 11TH, 2014:  Checked into the Baymont Hotel on Lincoln Highway, parked and walked over to the Alumni tent area by the Barsema Center.  Most schools have tents and free food and goodies, so definitely on our list of places to visit.

There was a deejay and we saw NIU President Baker walking around on several occasions.  Unlike past presidents, Baker is of the people and we see him often at functions.

First stop was the Alumni Association tent and Italian beef sandwiches and deep-fried Cajun potato salad.  We had the potato salad because Fatty's Pub and Grill on Lincoln Highway was providing the food.  Mighty good regional food even if we're not in Louisiana.  I know of no other place that has it.

Then, we went to the School of Education tent and saw the dean of it and also our contact with the NIU Foundation for our scholarship in education, Terri.

The Huskie Marching band came by to play a couple of songs and we had speeches by the president and others.

We caught a golf cart over to the stadium and went to the Dog yard area, but it was closing down because the game was beginning.  We had decided not to buy tickets to the game as we would have to leave by half time if we wanted to get into Lord Stanley's and find a seat to see the DeKalb Footstompers.

We watched the first quarter from a rise near the apartments south of the stadium and were right near the ROTC howitzer that they fire whenever the Huskies score a touchdown.  We scored six in just a little over a minute.  Things were looking good, but Central Michigan came right back to score and then scored two more times.  A pretty bad start as NIU was trying to stretch our winning home streak to 29 games, the longest in the country.

We then walked over to Fatty's to watch the second quarter, but the lione waiting to get in was clear out to the parking lot so got the car (Baymont is next door) and drove downtown to watch it there.

A Sad Day As It Turned Out for Huskie Nation.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finally, Decent Weather: Boating and Driving for Color

If anything can be said about this year's fall, it is that the weather has been exceedingly crummy.  Almost all extreme cold, rain and bluster.

However, today looks to be a good one with nothing but blue skies and sun today and temps near 60 degrees.

A perfect day for a boat cruise around Fox Lake and then an auto trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin along US-12 for a while and then through Genoa City at the Illinois-Wisconsin border and Highway H, the original US-12 to Lake Geneva.

We then drive around Geneva Lake and have some great spots we know about for color, and, of course, the old Owl Bar.  The to Fontana, Wisconsin, and the historic old Abbey Resort and those beautiful vistas.  Then to Williams Bay and then a drive along the shores of Lake Como and then Snake Road, which is on the list of Wisconsin Rustic Roads and about the prettiest 3-mile drive you can imagine.

Last stop will be at Popeye's for dinner right on the shore of Geneva Lake across from the Riviera Docks.

Color Here We Come.  --RoadDog

Midwest Fall Foliage Trip-- Part 3: East to Gilmore Car Museum, Michigan

By Jerry King, Tribune Autos contributor.

Admittedly, much of this drive around the southern tip of Lake Michigan is about the destination, but it offers plenty of opportunity to check out the "other" side of the lake before winter.

Reaching Hickory Corners in Michigan is a pleasant journey once you've gotten Interstate 94 in favor of quieter roads beyond Kalamazoo.  The two-lane road then twists and turns through forested areas.  The area still has a rugged, old-fashioned, vacation feel to it.  You wonder what is around the next bend.

Then you get to the 90-acre Gilmore Car Museum.  It is home to 115-years of automotive history.

There is a Spooktacular auto event planned for October 29 at Gilmore.

Sounds Like an Interesting Drive and Museum.  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Heading Back to DeKalb in a Bit

We're going to another NIU football game in DeKalb in some really crummy weather this time.  Last Saturday we had perfect football weather and enjoyed viewing the foliage as the trees were just starting the Big Color Blast.  It's all overcast and drizzly today, so that will definitely take away from the enjoyment of seeing the trees.

As the holders of a scholarship to Northern for education students while student teaching, we are invited once a year to the President's Reception at the Barsema Alumni Center and that comes with parking there, food and drinks and a chance to meet and greet President Doug Baker.

Then, we have prime seats at the game right by midfield and with regular seats.  But, watching football outside in the cold and the rain is not one of my favorite things to do.  We'll have to see.

Rah, Rah, Ras.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 17, 2014

Twenty Years Ago Today Was the Beginning of the Round Lake Teacher Strike

It started October 17, 1994, and it went on for 38 school days.  It had quite a profound impact on me, including a change of political parties.  And who ever would have believed it would go on so long (not to mention going to school until after the 4th of July).

It was the intention of the school board and administration to "Break the Union."  They didn't.  Only about ten of the 400+ teachers crossed the line and in the end, after they couldn't get anymore of those people, they were forced to actually begin negotiations.

And, we ended up with most of what we had asked for at the beginning.

I will be writing about it in my Cooter's History Thing Blog today.

Actually, today we are planning on going to Waukegan to walk the line with those teachers, who begin day eleven of their strike today.  Wonder if I can fin my old "Don't tread on Me" flag.

Something That Needn't Have Happened.  --RoadDog

Fall Foliage Road Trip-- Part 2: North (from Chicago): Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers

By Rick Popely, Chicago Tribune autos contributor.

Wisconsin Route 60 west of Madison winds along the north bank of the Wisconsin River through gently rolling hills, wooded areas and interesting towns like Spring Green.  There are apple orchards and organic farms selling locally-grown food.

Wi-60 ends at Prairie du Chein (and the site of Wisconsin's only War of 1812 battle) on the Mississippi River, about 100 miles from Madison.

Side trip along the Mississippi River from Prairie du Chien to La Crosse on Wi-35 and then.  Popely says there are plenty of scenic views of the Mississippi as well as many independent restaurants on this drive.  On return, go south on the Minnesota side and to Iowa-26 to Prairie du Chien, cross back to Wisconsin and take US-18 to U.S. 61 to Dubuque and then US-20 to Galena, Illiinois to Rockford.

Anyone who thinks Illinois is all flat needs to drive from Dubuque to Freeport, Illinois.

From Chicago to Prairie du Chien will take about five hours and cover 267 miles.

Great Fall Color. --RoadDog

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Midwest Fall Foliage Road Trips-- Part 1: Five Favorites

From the October 12, 2014, Chicago Tribune.

"It's time to roll out the crockpots, wool socks and hoodies, but there's time enough to get out and enjoy the autumn splendor before construction season falls into winter.  Midwestern forests make for great scenic driving on uncrowded roads undulating through bluffs and dells, past single-light small towns and alongside rivers of all sizes.

"While destinations like Door County, Wis., Starved Rock State Park, Il., and shorelines elsewhere on Lake Michigan remain popular, we came up with a lost of drives worth the destination.  In most cases, until teleportation becomes possible, you'll have to flee the city via interstate construction zones to get to our favorites."

And, believe me, the "Color Wave" has arrived here along the Wisconsin-Illinois border.  The Tribune had four writers give their five fav drives.

In a few minutes, we'll drive on a very short one about ten miles to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, taking Johnsburg Road, which becomes Wilmot Road into Wisconsin and then a few others to Twin lakes.  This is always a pretty drive, especially the hill going down to US-12 and past the Chain of Lakes State Park.

Looking Forward to Seeing the Color.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Well, we have now missed it.  Most Americans think, including me, that Oktoberfest takes place in October because of the name.  But actually, it doesn't.for most of its run.  It is actually from late September to the first weekend in October.

From the September 25, 2014, Lake County (Il.) Suburban Life.

What do folks look forward to during Oktoberfest?  "Great food, abundant drinks and festive music" are the biggies for most, including myself.

Generally it is considered an adults-only party.

"Oktoberfest is the world's longest fair, running for sixteen days from late September to the first weekend in October.  More than six million people from around the world attend the event in Munich, Germany, each year.  Smaller Oktoberfest parties are held elsewhere."

I have often thought that I sure would like to go to Munich for it, but have heard the prices are astronomical, crowds huge and a big head of foam is considered the only way to drink one of those huge steins.  I don't like overpriced or big crowds and definitely hate having a big head of foam as that is beer you pay for but can't drink.

We are starting to have a lot of them around here, including the annual one in Fox Lake, Illinois, which is why the weather was so cold and miserable around here on October 4th.  Every year we get that extra shot of crummy weather thanks to it, like the Round Lake spring carnival brings in May.

But, I am a huge fan of the German oom-pah music and polkas.

Maybe, One Day, Munich.  --RoadDog

Road Work Ahead, NC 2014 Trip-- Part 31: Beach Walking, "Lima Beans" and the Jolly Roger Pier

JULY 29TH:  Bob and I walked the mile from the cottage to the Jolly Roger Pier and sat out at the end (after paying our $1 entrance fee) and watched the fishermen and enjoyed their "stories."    They had a big tank of water at the end and fishermen would drop what they caught in it.  One guy caught a small Spanish mackerel on it.  There were a lot of much smaller spots in it who kept as far away from the mackerel as they could..  That mackerel was quite agitated and really swimming around the tank at a fast clip.

I collected quite a load of the "lima bean" rocks going there and back.  These are ancient stones that have been ground and polished during thousands of year in the ocean and so named because of their size and shape.  Actually, it was Dad who named them for us.

Sometimes they are all over the beach, sometimes you can't find any.  The best ones for me are the small ones that are almost opaque.  I have never seen these "lima beans" on any other beach, even the nearby Carolina Beach