Monday, August 31, 2015

Route 66's Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois Getting 30-35 Bison-- Part 2

Midewin ecologist Bill Glass wants to know if the reintroduction of bison will help in the restoration process and if that will provide a habitat for grassland birds.

Much work has already been done to prepare for the bison arrival, including $700,000 of infrastructure.  They have consulted bison experts and the Nachusa Grassland near Franklin Grove in Illinois which has recently received its own bison herd.  (It is by the Lincoln Highway and I wrote about it in this blog.  Click on bison.)

Of the roughly 19,000 acres in the national prairie, the bison will only be on 1200 acres divided into four grazing pastures.  All of this is enclosed with 6-foot-high fences around the perimeter.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Route 66's Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie In Illinois Getting 30-35 Bison-- Part 1

From the August 27, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Midewin prairie preparing for arrival of 30-35 bison" by Susan DeMar Lafferty.

Until this past year, some 200 years had passed since bison roamed freely in Illinois prairies, but at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, some 30-35 will be doing that roaming this fall.  The staff of the U.S. Forest Service have been planning for this the past two years and they will be grazing on 1,200 acres of grassland where they will do their part to restore the natural prairie.

Midewin was created in 1996 from the Army's now-closed Joliet Arsenal, located about 60 miles southwest of Chicago in Will County.  This is right on Route 66.

They hope the bison will have an appetite for the grasses and devour enough so that other plants can thrive which will attract a more diverse population of birds and insects.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Perhaps BP's Gas Gouge Is Over

We were all shocked two weeks ago when gas prices around here in northeastern Illinois jumped 70 cents in one day, the day after the BP Plant in Whiting, Indiana, was shut down because of unspecified reasons.  I mean, gas prices went up 70 cents in matter of seconds.

We had found one station back then that was still at $2.70 and filled up with gas.  As we were leaving, the price was up to $3.40.

Gas in Fox Lake remained at that price for a week and a half before dropping to $3.36 and then $3.30 the next day  Yesterday it was at $3.

Gas can sure go up fast, but for some reason (read profit) it drops very, very slowly.

We noticed Tuesday though, that our Mobil Station in Johnsburg had dropped its gas to $2.70, the price before the gouge began.  Needless to say, I went there for a much-needed fill up.  I had decided to try not to buy gas during the gouge.

Yesterday, I went there to get gas for the boat and was more than happy to see gas down to $2.40.

Maybe We Are Joining the Rest of the Country.  Not Buying BP gas for a Long Time.  --RoadDog

A Trip to Milwaukee-- Part 1: Miller Brewery

AUGUST 18, 2015

A couple weeks earlier, my friend Kip had called me to say that the Lake County Farm Bureau, to which he belongs, was having a bus trip to Milwaukee to visit the three places in the title.  For $55, I figured that was a good deal, so said I'd go.

Met Kip and his wife Susie in Grayslake, Illinois, and then went to the bus at the Farm Bureau headquarters by the old Lake County Fairgrounds.

I always enjoy a trip when someone else does the driving.  Glad to see I-94 construction between the Wisconsin state line and Milwaukee is mostly completed.  This was a big reason we haven't been going to Milwaukee much the last several years.

Our first stop was at the Miller Brewery in what they refer to as Miller Valley.  Miller is my favorite brew company as I especially like Miller Lite and regular Miller (in bottles).  And, as they often point out in the guided walk and preliminary short movie, they have the free samples at the end.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

N.C. Summer Trip 2015-- Part 10: Raleigh-Durham Horror Not So Bad and Stocking Up On Cheerwine

July 21, 2015

Running into the traffic backup that far west of the airport did not bode well for my travel through the Raleigh-Durham Horror, as I call it.  That traffic is just horrible during rush hour.  Sure glad I don't have to do it but six times a year coming and going.  I'd hate to have to do it every day.

But, after a several minute slow-down, it opened up and other than a few slow-downs, went extremely well.  I got very lucky.

Caught the US-70 Clayton bypass and on my way to Goldsboro.  Stopped at J-R's by I-95 and took a look around.  I actually thought I was going to get out without buying anything until I went into the Christmas, yes Christmas, section and just had to buy some ornaments.

Stopped at the Wal-Mart west of Goldsboro and stocked up on my two liter bottles of Diet Cheerwine.

I finally got to Goldsboro after driving 533.8 miles today and 1,026 since leaving yesterday.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

N.C. Summer Trip, 2015-- Part 9: Andy and the Raleigh-Durham Horror

Full tank of gas, good listening music and an appetite not sated by the few peanuts, I headed for Andy's hometown, M. Airy, North Carolina. That would be in Andy as in Andy Griffith.  He grew up in Mt. Airy which was the basis of his Mayberry.   Unfortunately, Snappy Lunch was closed so no world-famous pork chop sandwich for me.

I went to Walgreen's to buy some murine and got behind a girl who took forever to figure out if she had enough money to buy two cartons of cigarettes.  Then, she tried several credit cards.  And then, after several more minutes reached the conclusion that she didn't have enough cash or credit.  All this sure made my day.

But, the thought of grazing at the local Golden Corral down the road kept me going.  It did not disappoint.  We often wish they'd open one near us at home but probably are glad they haven't.   Way too big of a temptation.

On US-52 now and heading to Winston-Salem.  This will eventually become I-74.  Then US-421 to I-40.  Clear cruising on the 40, but I still have that Raleigh-Durham horror in front of me and iy was getting to be evening rush hour.  Nothing to look forward to but one long, long traffic jam.  It usually starts when I hit RDU Airport, but we started to slow down significantly about five miles west of it.

Syopping Again in Raleigh.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

N.C. Summer Trip, 2015-- Part 8: Peanuts, Gas and Classic Country in Virginia

July 21st.

On through the West Virginia Turnpike and a stop at the Virginia Welcome Center.  main reason here is the Virginia peanuts.  These are without a doubt the best peanuts I've ever had (even better than my Mt. Olive peanuts).   Plus, there are all those neat brochures, especially the Civil War ones.  (Northern Welcome Center on I-77, the one at the south border, does not have peanuts.)  It is too bad they don't sell the peanuts there.

About twenty miles from the Va. W.Va. border, I can pick up WBRF-FM out of Galax, Virginia at 98.1, Classic Country.  And, they sure do play the classic country, quite often songs I don't know.  I can keep listening to this station until I get near Greensboro, N.C...

Gas as usual at Wytheville, Virginia, always the cheapest gas on my trip.  ($2.36)

Then, the long seven mile ride down the side of the mountains (including all those runaway truck lanes) to the N.C. border.  This is a hard drive, especially because of the beautiful views down into the valley with Pilot Mountain, N.C. out in the distance.


Monday, August 24, 2015

N.C. Summer Trip 2015-- Part 7: Tailgate Radio

No problems through Ohio on US-33.  Passed by Athens, home of Ohio University and then the straightaway to West Virginia and I-77.

Approaching Charleston, West Virginia, i was seeking radio stations and came across a very interesting one called Tailgate Radio at 107.3 FM.  It bills itself as America's first tailgate party music station.  And they play music you'd expect to hear blaring over boomboxes and the like at a football tailgate party.

They play a great variety of party music from pop, hip-hop, rock, rap, country and even oldies.  Whayever is good fast, upbeat football tailgate music.  Often it is played in what they call 12-packs, groups of twelve songs.  Then, we had "Sweet Caroline."  OK, everybody do that hand thing.  I listened all the way through Charleston and considerably south.  A station I will look for next time through.

But, I have to get around to writing down the numbers of favorite stations along the drive to North Carolina as I don't always readily remember them.

there are evidently two or three other Tailgate stations: one in Florida and another in West Virginia.  I don't know if it is canned music or live deejay.

What Other Music Would You Like At Your Tailgate Party?  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 22, 2015

N.C. Trip Summer 2015-- Part 6: Stuck in Rush Hour Anyway.

July 21st, Tuesday.

Left the motel and had quite a wait to get out onto the road as I was right by an entrance ramp to I-70 and it was backed up with people getting on it to go yo work in Columbus to the west of me.  So, even my plans to avoid the rush hour came to naught.  And those people would not give me a chance to get over to the far lane.  Thanks, folks.  As I finally crossed over the bridge, I saw traffic on I-70 was moving very slow heading west.

It is about a 6.3 mile drive south to US-33 from I-70.  Once on it, it is almost a freeway.  There are only three stoplights between where I got on and Lancaster and anywhere from 60 to 70 mph.  Not much traffic heading southeast like I was.

There are large stretches of limited access four lane highway as well, but the only drawback being the near constant changing of speed limits from 55 to 60 to 70.  Made it a bit hard to use the cruise control.

As usual, I got gas at Dogwood Crossing in Rockbridge, Ohio..  Usually the cheapest along this stretch.  You want to have a full tank getting across West Virginia which is usually almost as high as the Chicago area when it comes to gas prices.

Surprisingly, there are even two rest areas on this stretch of road.  You usually don't see these on U.S. Highways.--RoadDog

Friday, August 21, 2015

N.C. Summer Trip 2015-- Part 5: Gas Prices

I drove 492 miles the first day, July 20th.


Date, where, price, gallons bought, cost.

7-20  Yorkville, Ill.--  $2.69
7-20  Mahomet, Ill.--  $2.44  2.356 gallons for $5.75
7-20  Engklewood, Ohio  $2.56--  7.156 gallons for $18.31
7-21  Rockbridge, Ohio  $2.54--  3.905 gallons for $9.91
7-21  Wytheville, Va.  $2.36--  7.517 gallons for $17.73

7-29  Smithfield, N.C.  $2.43--  7.724 gallons for $18.76
7-29  Wytheville, Va.  $2.36--  7.273 gallons for $17.16
7-29  Rockbridge, Ohio  $2.35--  8.269 gallons for $19.42
7-30  Richmond, Ind.  $2.38--  4.858 gallons for $11.56
7-30  Crawfordsville, Indiana  $2.09--  3.097 gallons for $6.47
7-30  Yorkville, Illinois  $2.45--  5.867 for $14.31

I especially liked the big drop of gas in Crawfordsville, Indiana, which was $2.33 on my way to N.C.  Just wished I could have put more gas in the tank, but definitely took the advantage to top off there.

Sad to say that gas around here (northeast Illinois) is now $3.40 thanks to BP's plot to increase profit.  It had been as low as $2.70 this past Wednesday.

Sure Loving These Lower Gas Prices.  --RoadDog

The Midwest Still Has Ferry Crossings: Mississippi River

From the August 8, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Midwest still home to unique ferry crossings" by Mary Bergin.

About 130 bridges cross the Mississippi River which is one of the longest rivers in the world at 2,300+ miles.

Unknown to many, ferries still are a mode of transportation across the river, but becoming increasingly rare because of new bridges, funding cuts, weather and floating debris.  The Mississippi's oldest continually operating ferry began service in 1853 between Canton, Mo., and Meyer, Ill.  Service stopped in 2014 because it was deemed too expensive to repair.

Only 11 public ferries still cross the Mississippi.  One of them is the Pride of Cassville which takes 17 minutes to cross between Cassville, Wi., and Clayton County, Iowa.  ferry service began there in 1833 when a flat, wooden boat was oared across until ywo horses on a treadmilled started propelling it 25 years later... Everything crossed by horsepower until engines replaced the horses around 1912.

Operations ceased for 40 years until 982.  The village owns and operates the ferry from May through October.  It costs $2 one-way for a walkon rider and $12-$15 for car or van.

A Ferry We Will Go.  --RoadDog

Thursday, August 20, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- Part 2: Preston's Station

In 1923, George Preston Sr., a junk dealer, bought the station for $100 and moved the station to 13th Street to accommodate a change in the Lincoln Highway's routing.

Today, the station is almost completely covered in old road signs  Preston died in 1993 but was known for his love of talking with visitors.  He was the real draw to the station, not just the signs.

Today, George Preston's granddaughter, Mary Preston, owns it and is working to restore it.

Next to it is a former three-room motel and a garage.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back Then on 66: 66 Bowl in OKC and the Chenoa Depot

66 BOWL--Back on Oct. 10, 2010.  The contents of the 66 Bowl on OKC, established in 1959,  were auctioned off and it will now become a Spices of India food store. The unique sign was the highlight of the auction and went for $3,900 to Chuck Clowers and Cameron Eagle who run Junk Yard daddies who will restore it and put it up for sale.

A genuine Route 66 sign sold for $500.

CHENOA DEPOT--  The May 25, 2011, Shorpy Photo site had a picture of it circa 1905.  "Station and buildings of Chenoa, Illinois plus circus posters.  Some interesting comments.  Plus another postcard view of the buildings.

Showing wooden sidewalks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- July 2015: Phillips 66 Cottage Stations and the Tropics Restaurant

JULY 9--  The Oklahoma's Brihanna Bailey wants to track down old Phillips 66 cottage-style gas stations in the OKC Metro area.

She has found four so far: two on Robinson Avenue (old US-66).  One is now an auto repair shop and the other is a delivery place.  One is on Northwest 23rd Street (Route 66) and now vacant and once was Market C Catering.  There is another one in Norman, Oklahoma, now Ellison Feed and Seed.

These are really interesting architectural nuggets.  We have one here in Fox Lake, Illinois.

JULY 10--  The Route 66 Association of Illinois has inducted the Tropics Restaurant and Lounge in Lincoln and Steve's Cafe in Chenoa into its Hall of Fame.  Both iooperations are now defunct.

The Tropics and that great sign of theirs, was opened by Vince Schwenoha in 1950 after serving in the military in Hawaii but that was not the inspiration.  he got that from a trip to California.  It was managed by Lew Johnson until 1992.  The restaurant featured one of the first smorgasboards in Illinois.

It started a decline in the 1990s, but the building is still there.

I'm sure it won't be there too much longer.  We are fortunate in that we got to eat there and watch a Bears game as well before it closed.  The building itself wasn't too impressive, but then, that sign, wow!

Steve's Cafe opened in 1924 as a garage/gas station and lunchroom.  It was one of the first places to feature air conditioning outside of Chicago.  It closed in 1997.


Monday, August 17, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway-- Part 1 Preston's Station in Iowa

From the June 21, 2015, cedar Rapids Gazette "Iowa All Over: Preston's Station in Belle Plaine still a draw for passing drivers" by Kiran Sood.

Belle Plaine, Iowa.  Mitch Malcolm believes people today are too much in a hurry to get to their destination.  They don't take the time to stray off the interstates and find neat stuff.

Preston's gas station is not operational today.  Doesn't matter, though, as there is no way to drive by it and not look at all that stuff. Some folks might even call it cluttered.

It was built by Frank Fiene in 1912, a year before the Lincoln Highway was dedicated.  It was first located on the original Lincoln Highway route on 21st Street.


News From Along Route 66-- July 2015: Haunted House, Circle Inn

Taken from Route 66 News Site.  This site has many more articles and information about the fabled highway.  Well worth a look.

JULY 7TH--  The Oklahoma City Haunted House Restaurant reopened over the July 4th weekend.  In April it was sold at auction for $216,600.  It is now called J. Bruner's at the Haunted House.

It is located on a dead end road near a former Route 66 alignment from the 1950s-1960s.  The 1935 house gets its name from three deaths that took place in it.  The original restaurant opened in 1964.

Sounds like an interesting place to dine as long as you can keep the spirits down.

JULY 7TH--  The Joplin, Missouri, city council has ok'd an architectural study on the old gas station.  A photo shows the place is in really bad shape.  Let's hope it gets restored.

JULY 8TH--  The Circle Inn Malt Shop in Bourbon, Missouri celebrated its 60th anniversary after opening in 1955 by Bud and Marie Ware.  It has stayed in the family and is now owned by third generation Joshua Ware.

We stopped there for a great lunch once.  Always like their sign with the N inside the circle.

--Happy Birthday Circle Inn.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Wichita's New Airport Terminal Makes an Aviation Salute-- Part 2

Another panel features World War II when aircraft construction made Wichita's airport one of the busiest in the country.  Then in 1962, Learjet came.  Since then, Wichita builds a third of the world's general aviation planes.

And, there are other things to see in the Wichita area, including:

The Kansas Aviation Museum which has 40 historic aircraft.

Exploration Place is a hands-on science center and has a full-size Cessna.

Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas which chronicles the soace race.

Eyes to the Skies.  --RoadDog

Wichita's New Airport Terminal Has Aviation Salute-- Part 1

From the August 9, 2015, Chicago Tribune by John Handley.

I never knew Wichita had an aviation history.

It cost $200 million and is designed to look like an airplane wing. It makes perfect sense because the largest city in Kansas boasts that it is the "Air Capital of the World."  It is at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport which opened a month ago.

More than 300,000 planes have been built in Wichita since the 1920s.

Dare-devil air show pilots are showcased, as are aviation pioneers Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman.  They helped put Wichita on the flight map.

Because of its midpoint location in the U.S., the city became a much-used refueling stop for the earlier coast-to-coast flights, including some piloted by Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Good Times Around Here Last Weekend

People ask me why I don't travel a whole lot during the summer.  Well, being retired has something to do with it.  Plus, there is so much to do around here.

An example would be last weekend.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6TH--  Boating.  Yardwork.  drive to Antioch, Illinois, for their weekly It's Thursday concert and saw the Blooze brothers (think Blues brothers).  They also had a car show.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7TH--  Shopping in McHenry.  Yardwork and the American Legion.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 8TH--  American Legion picnic.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9TH--  Rally By the Lake Car and Motorcycle Show at the Fox Lake Lakefront Park.  Then went to Johnsburg for the St. John's Parish Fest and saw the band New Odyssey.

Left that early and  went over to Veterans Park in McHenry for the annual Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive event honoring our World War II veterans.  Along with honoring these people, there was a big band and an Andrews Sisters trio.  I am writing about this in my World War II blog.

Stopped at Sunnyside tavern on the way home.

See.  --RoadDog

N.C. Summer Trip 2015-- Part 4: Interstates

July 20, 2015, Monday

Once to Mahomet, Illinois, I picked up I-74 and took it to Indianapolis.  Gas in Crawfordsville, Indiansa, was $2.33, the cheapest I'd seen in awhile, but I didn't need gas.

I hit Indianapolis right at the peak of the go-home rush hour (one if the problems of getting a late start from home and losing the hour to the Eastern Time Zone).  Never a good thing.  Took I-465 bypass to I-70 right into the city and had just one little slow-down, no problem.  But just try to drive the 55 mph speed limit and you get run over by traffic.  Must go faster.

Then, easy cruise on I-70 east to Richmond and then under that great Ohio Welcome Arch.  I wish all states would put these up to welcome folks.

Stopped for my usual Skyline Chili fix at Exit 29 by Englewood, Ohio.  That is a tradition.  Love my Cincy chili.  Lots and lots of construction at this exit, but managed to find the entrance ramp back to the interstate.   Construction continued for a lot of miles after that.

Went straight through Columbus and got off at Reynoldsburg.  I always thry to get through to the other side of big cities when I am getting ready to stop for the night.  That way you avoid the morning rush hour.

Another thing I like about this exit is that there is a Half-Price Books, one of my favorite places.  Got a room at the LaQuinta for the night.

Mileage for the day was 492.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Just Got Back From N.C.-- Part 3: Cruising South on Illinois-47

July 20, 2015, Monday.

Driving south along Il-47 now and finally clear of all that big time traffic once past Morris.

South of Sauneman, I see a Betty Boop on the east side of the road.

In Forrest, there is a very interesting house featuring a lot of those bottle trees on the west side a little south of the US-34 stop sign.

I am seeing several good old DeKalb Corn signs in test fields along the side of the road. near Sibley

Gas is $2.49 in Gibson City where I start listening ro "Beautiful Music" on their 106.3 FM radio station.  I never thought I would like this kind of music, but reckon I'm getting old.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 22: Home

MAY 25TH, 2015, Monday

I wake up to an overcast day and quite a few RVs left yesterday and even before I got up.  Yesterday was perfect in the weather department and sure glad we didn't have today's weather which was off-and-on rain, threatening skies and really strong wind.

The total cost of the weekend came to $310 each, more than half ($186) for the ticket, but a great price to see "The Greatest Racing Spectacle in the World."  But, I fear I am starting to get hooked on it.

I tried to use the porta-potties behind the Legion (which was closed) and stopped short when I opened the doors of several and the waste was up to the seat.  And, the smell was indescribable.   After gagging a bit, I beat a hasty retreat.  These things should be cleaned on a daily basis, not at the end of the weekend.

The others did most of the packing and preparing to leave as I tend to get in the way.

Managed to get back on I-65 and had all sorts of fun with the strong winds which buffeted us pretty well the whole way.

Arrived back in Round Lake at noon and Liz picked me up.

We went to the Hardee's on Rollins Road for some of their delicious chicken tenders and then stopped at Kross Inn in Ingleside on the way home for a drink and Chain Crawl stamp.

After a much-needed nap at home, we went over to Half-Times in Johnsburg and saw the Hawks lose in OT.

A Long Day.  --RoadDog

Indy 500-- Part 21: Still Kissing the Bricks and a Replay

Next, the captain and then his Verizon Crew kissed the bricks.  And, they wonder why the 500 winner and crew get sick the next day.  Now the Chevy folks kiss the bricks and now they do the hat dance in Victory Lane.

I can clearly see the Museum Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Capital of the World.

A person standing below me suddenly collapses and there are several people standing around him.

I have a mighty hot walk back to the RV at the American Legion Post 500 where we enjoy cocktails and burgers.

I go over to the Legion bar, which is about to close in a couple hours.  Those folks, all volunteers, have put in a hard and long four-five days and they're ready for a break.

While in the bar, I talk with a young couple who took one of those Uber cabs to the speedway earlier today and they are trying to get one back, but with little success.

We spent the night watching the replay of the race on ABC.  It is nice to see the whole thing.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 20: "Kissing the Bricks"

The other three folks with me left.  I remained in the seats to watch the aftermath.

Helicopters are taking off and flying right above my head, fairly close.  Must be important folks avoiding the congestion.

Montoya has now had three Indy 500 starts and won two times.  Not a bad record.

He "Kissed the Bricks," another Indy tradition.  I am watching this on giant video.  Now his family bends down to "Kiss the Bricks."  it appears the daughter is not too keen to do it, but does anyway.

Still referring to the race as the Greatest Spectacle in Sports.

A person from right below us is up checking our seats for possible seats for next year.  he says he paid $82 for where he was.  That is about $100 less.  Of course, we have a great view of the race from where we sit high up on the catwalk, and, of course, always have cool breezes.  That came in real handy a couple years ago when the other seats were almost unbearable.

We can see all of the first and second turns and part of the beginning of the third ine.


Indy 500-- Part 19: Juan Pablo Montoya Wins

Juan Pablo Montoya, the racer I had seen yesterday, won the race.  The racer I was pulling for, Scott Dixon, ended up in 4th, despite leading much of the way.

And, then Montoya got to drink the milk toast which is an Indy tradition.

Montoya had won Indy in 2000 and then gone to Formula One and even NASCAR before coming back to Indy cars two years ago.  He started the race in 30th place and led only nine laps, but the last one was the important one.

He had a 161 mph average.

There were 37 lead changes during the race, involving ten different drivers.

Montoya is now a two-time Indy 500 winner in 2000 and 2015, the longest between wins.  He and his family are from Colombia.

Might Be getting Hooked.  --RoadDog

Monday, August 10, 2015

News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Indiana Group Seeking National Scenic Byway Status

From the June 3, 2015, (Ind) Daily Journal "Group seeks National Scenic Byway nomination for Lincoln Highway in northern Indiana."

Dyer, Indiana:  The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association is creating a corridor management plan to market the historic highway, preserve its history, encourage business and develop tourism.

The Lincoln Highway passes through 8 county court houses and already has National Scenic Byway status in Ohio and Illinois.

They hope to have everything completed by the end of 2016.

Go, Indiana.  --RoadDog

News From Along the Lincoln Highway: Mural in Kearney

From the May 29, 2015, Kearney (Ne) Hub "Mural to depict historic downtown Kearney's Lincon Highway."

There will be a mural on the south brick wall of Garrett Tires at 18 25th Street.

It will show a map of the United States with the Lincoln Highway on it and a Lincoln Highway sign in the corner.In the foreground of it will be black and white images of historic downtown Kearney, Nebraska, painted to look like it was being seen through a car window.

The mural costs $5,000 and will stand ten feet high and from 20-25 feet across.  Painting of it will begin June 8th and expected to take a week, weather permitting.

So, I imagine it is already there.

Every little Bit helps.  --RoadDog

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Death of Steve Funk

There are two reasons this story is important to me.  Besides the fact that they really have some excellent sirup (spelled their way) and the fact that the last time through there on the Illinois Route 66 Association Motor Tour, they opened our eyes to their maple sirup on ice cream.  You want to talk about something good and unhealthy for you.

But the  main reason is that on our first trip on Route 66 back in 2002 we stopped at Funks Grove after they were closed.  We were getting ready top pull our when Glaida Funk came out and opened their store for us.  If there were any reason we might not get hooked on Route 66, that ended right there.

I'll Take Some Maple Sirup With That 'Nilla Ice Cream.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66-- July 2015

These stories are taken from the Route 66 News site.  There are many more, but these are the ones of particular interest to me.  The site had much more information and pictures.

JULY  1ST--    Funks Grove.  Funks Grove Maple Sirup owner, Steve Funk, 90, died on June 21.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and met Glaida, his wife of many years, while stationed in Enid, Oklahoma.  They were married in 1945.

In 1942, sirip production at Funks Grove halted because of the war's heavy taxes, but resumed in 1943.  In 1937, he and his wife took over Funks Grove Sirip.  Sirip is the correct way to spell maple syrup that has had no sugar added to it.

In the 1970s, I-55 was routed to go straight through Funks Grove's timber, but he petitioned successfully to get it rerouted to where the interstate is today.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Indy 500-- Part 18: Skywriting and Where's Pinky?

About now I noticed some very interesting and very different skywriting than I've ever seen before.  There were five planes flying and putting out dashes spelling out the U,.S. Army Salutes.  I didn't catch what they saluted.  But, it was interesting.

Lap 124 and Dixon in the lead.  By lap 137 there had been 22 lead changes.  Talked with the couple sitting next to me (they've been there all four years I've been coming.  They said this is their 25th time they've been there and they come all the way from Texas.

I have to wonder what happened to the female driver who drives the pink car.  I call her "Pinky."

Lap 151 and Tony Kanaan has a wreck, greatly disappointing John, Paul and Sue who are huge fans of his.  lap 164 and Montoya leading.  Lap 165 and Dixon back in first.  Where's "Pinky?"

lap 167 and debris on track and every pit-stopped.


Just Got Back from N.C.-- Part 2: Tacos at Burger King

As usual, I drove Il-47 south from Woodstock all the way to Mahomet as my way to avoid the Chicago Hassle.  I see that the old two-story building at the northeast corner of Il-47 and US-52 has been torn down since I last drove through there.  I believe it was a gas station, maybe a restaurant at one time, but has been vacant ever since I started driving the route.

Gas was $2.69 in Yorkville, Illinois, where I filled up as I was nearing empty  I stopped at the Burger King in Morris with intention of getting that $1.49 for ten chicken nugget deal.  I also had to get their two tacos for $1.49.  We liked the Burger King tacos when they had them awhile back as they are pretty close to those wonderful greasy Jack-in-the-Box ones.  But, sadly they stopped selling them.  Hopefully they are coming back.

From Morris to south of Dwight, I listened to 98.9 FM, playing classic oldies.  The station is WJEZ and out of Pontiac.  It is 102.9 miles from our house to Route 66 in Dwight.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Just Got Back from North Carolina-- Part 1: Blues For the Cruise

I returned home to Illinois this last July 31st, after a 12-day trip to North Carolina to visit my family.

I left Spring Grove July 20 with odometer reading 37,071 in the 2011 Malibu, the traveling vehicle for trips.  The gauge showed 29.4 mpg.

Enjoyed the wild flower/weeds, along Miller Road and much of Illinois for that matter, which were in full bloom and pretty.  Two of them had yellow and blue flowers and one was white, Queen Anne's Lace.
Gas was $2.90 most of the way along Il-47, but a high for the trip of $3.12 at the Elburn BP, always one of the most expensive.

Enjoyed listening to WDRV's Ten at Ten on 96.9, then 97.1 FM as I drove.  Today they were doing Blues Monday.

BOOM BOOM--  John Lee Hooker
THE SKY IS CRYING--  Stevie Ray Vaughan

GIMME GOOD LOVIN'--  Blues Brothers
STORMY MONDAY--  Allman Brothers

RED HOUSE--  Jimi Hendrix
HEY BARTENDER--  Koko Taylor
I'M A MAN--  Yardbirds

Got My Blues Down da Road.  --RoadDog

Roads in DeKalb County, Ill. in 1915-- Part 3

From the July 22, 2015, Mid Week "Looking Back."

July 1915, 100 years ago--  The DeKalb Commercial Club has a petition circulating and signed by owners of property near the intersections of the townships of South grove, Mayfield, DeKalb and Malta asking that a hard road be put through from the road leading south from Clare to the hard road in northern DeKalb Township leading to the City of DeKalb.

July 29, 1915--  The new hard road along the edges of the intersection of Malta, South Grove, Mayfield and DeKalb townships will be built, according to the majority vote of the highway commissioners present at the meeting Saturday at the Marvin Zellar place near Sycamore.

The four townships are all adjacent.  The road may be present-day Il-64.

Hook Me Up With That Hard Road.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Drilling for Oil in DeKalb County in 1940

1940.  Drilling for oil in DeKalb County will begin soon.  Last week there was the erection of an oil derrick on Lewis Eraas' farm south of Shabbona.

Evidently nothing came of this search for oil as I don't know anything about oil production in DeKalb County.

Now, ask me about corn and I can tell you about that.


Roads in DeKalb County in 1915-- Part 2

From the July 15, 2015 Mid Week "Looking Back."

A comparison was made in regard to power, economy and durability among all makes of automobiles, regardless of the price.  Thirty miles per gallon of gas and 3 to 70 mph on high speed.

Thrice winner of the Glidden Tour, "Metz" five passenger automobile $495.  The "Metz" 2 passenger runs about $495.

Aaron Johnson got a Ford automobile a couple days ago and has been traveling his rural mail route east and south of Sycamore in half the time he had done on a horse.

Andrew Winans bought a handsome, swift-running Metz runabout for rural county #3 duty west and northwest of Sycamore.

Upkeep of one of these machines is less than for a pair of horses, service rendered prompter and expected to be used for ten months a year.

So, evidently, the new automobiles were considered to be of great service to the post office, but it sounds like the carriers had to buy them themselves.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Roads in DeKalb County in 1915-- Part 1: Good Ol' Fords and a Narrow Escape

From the July 8, 2015,  DeKalb County (Sycamore, Il.) Mid Week

1915:  Among those purchasing Ford automobiles in the past few days: Alderman Jim Johnson of Sycamore, Ernest Swanson who lives on Black farm and James Entwhistle who lives on the Willmarth farm.

NARROW ESCAPE--  F. Eddys and child of DeKalb had a narrow escape.  The steering gear of their automobile broke and the car was thrown on one side of the road and turned over.

He was stunned but remained in the car until a truck came to haul him home.  Some friends passed by and took his wife and child to DeKalb.


Monday, August 3, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- June 2015: Sky-View Drive-In for sale, Mr. C's for Sale, Route 66 Visitors Center in Joplin May Not Happen

JUNE 27TH--  The historic Sky-View Drive-In movie theater in Litchfield, Illinois, is for sale for $275,000  It recently underwent a $77,000 conversion to the digital format, necessary to show today's movies.  It has a 400 car capacity and opened in 1950.  It has been owned for 30 years by Norman and Del Pratt.

I've wanted to see a movie there, but never have.  Hope it is sold and continues as a drive-in.

JUNE 29TH--  Mr. C's Rout Post in Lebanon, Missouri goes up for sale after his recent death.  Owner  Scott Cameron died this past February at age 78.  And again, here's hoping someone buys it and continues his legacy.  I am especially worried about the Route 66 Root beer and pop.

JUNE 30TH--   The nearly century-old gas station in Joplin, Missouri, envisioned as a Route 66 visitors center may not happen as it might have to be torn down because of costs.  The station, located at 1108-1111 Langston Hughs-Broadway was bought last year by the city for $23,000.  It is in a severely dilapidated state.


News From Along Route 66-- June 2015:Problems in Galena, Ks., Thefts at the Gay Parita, Mother Jones Monument Retsored

JUNE 22--  The mayor and the Women on Route 66 are embroiled in indictments.  Mayor Dale Oglesby and six former and current city councilors have been notified that they've been indicted on a felony charge of misuse of public funds in regards to the city's most prominent Route 66 property.

The mayor is pushing for the revitalization of the city's Route 66 District which includes resurfacing the road and streetscaping.  He is actively attracting businesses to the long-decayed Main Street, Route 66.

I sure hope they can solve the problems.  This is a town which seriously needs to upgrade itself.

JUNE 23--  Sad to see that with the death of the owner, the place is not watched much now.  They had thefts at the station.  Really sorry to hear that.

JUNE 24--  The Mother Jones Monument in Mt. Olive, Illinois, has been restored after 88 years and was rededicated on June 20.  She is buried at the Union Miners Cemetery in town, the only union-owned cemetery in the U.S..

She was quite the lady and an avowed supporter of the kmen and women.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- June 2015: Demolition of the Bel-Aire Begins, New Attraction in Atlanta

JUNE 17TH--  The Demolition of Springfield, Illinois' Bel-Aire Motel began.  A while back it was proposed that a Route 66 tourism center be located there, but the city doesn't have enough money.

It is too bad that it came to this, but the motel had decayed so much and had such a bad reputation that it was time to to this.

JUNE 21ST--  Atlanta, Illinois, a town that really knows and pushes its Route 66 heritage, has a new attraction, the "Hit the Road" game modeled on the strongman contest you see at county fairs and boardwalks.  It is located next to the Bunyon statue

You pick up a giant mallet and swing down to see how far you travel up the tower which is 7-feet wide and 16-feet tall.  It shows famous Route 66 landmarks.

Spitting On My hands Right Now.  Gonna Hit That Bell.  --RoadDog

News From Along Route 66-- June 2015: Laurel Kane, Sapulpa's Giant Gas Pump, Vandals Damage Spencer, Mo.

JUNE 15TH--  Laurel Kane of Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma can legally marry folks passing through on Route 66.  Sorry, already married.

JUNE 16TH--  New renderings of the proposed Sapulpa, Oklahoma, giant gas pump have been released  It will be 66-feet tall and folks can climb to the top for a view of that great Oklahoma countryside.  I can't see myself climbing that high.  Fear of falling, you know.

JUNE 16TH--  Vandals damaged the Spencer ghost town in Missouri, located on the 1928 alignment.  Though it was never much more than a spot on the road, it has been semi-restored.

We stopped there on a Missouri Route 66 trip once.


News From Along Route 66-- June 2015: Funks Grove, "Cars 3"

JUNE 11TH--  "Cars 3" is slated for a 2018 release.  Michael Wallis will once again voice the Sheriff.  The movie will go back to Route 66 for this one.  The movie will also include the significant US-99 in California.

The first "Cars" was released in 2006 and made $460 million worldwide and more than $5 million in merchandise-- by far the most by any Pixar movie.  "Cars 2, released in 2011 was not as well received but still grossed more than $550 million.

I have to admit that I wasn't much of a fan of animation movies before "Cars."  But I really like them now. I saw the original "Cars" at both the theater and a drive-in. Looking forward to the new one.

JUNE 12TH--  The Route 66 bridge near Funks Grove in Illinois will soon be closed until late October.  It is a 1950s-era bridge.  As a result, a 4 and 1/2 mile stretch of Route 66 north of US-136 (Dixie Truckers Home) will be closed. while Timber Creek Bridge is being repaired.  Sixty-Sixers can go on I-55 to the US-136 exit at the Dixie.

Hopefully they will keep the bridge looking the same.  I would imagine that you would be able to get to Funk's Grove for some of that great "sirip" if they have any left.