Friday, March 16, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 13: We Finally Get to PVB and the Driftwood Lodge


We finally arrived in Panama City Beach's west end on Fla. Highway 79.  As bad a s 79 is from Bonifay to Ebro, it is a fast and smooth ride when you get past Ebro.  Four lanes and 65 mph.  Hopefully it won't take much longer to get it like that from Ebro to Bonifay.

Drove east a mile on Front Beach Road and checked into the Osprey for our room at the Driftwood Lodge.  They are both owned by the same family.

We have been staying at the Driftwood Lodge for a lot of years.  It was built in the 1950s and is what would be classified as an old mom and pop motel.  There are two stories of rooms up by the street and down a short hill the rooms where we stay which are called cabana rooms.  The cabana rooms are about 200 feet from the Gulf of Mexico.  And for between $55 and $60 a night in February that is a great deal.

We Like the Price and We Like the Location and Room.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Along 66, February 2018: Kingman's Arch, Launching Pad, Cyrus Avery III

FEBRUARY 15--  Kingman oks arch near Locomotive Park.  The $177,736 cost will be paid for by motel taxes.  Like with neon signs, you can never have too many arches.

FEBRUARY 15--  The grandson of Cyrus "Father of Route 66" Avery dies at age 85.  Cyrus Avery III.

FEBRUARY 16--  Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, may partially reopen for the May Red Carpet Corridor celebration.  The 30-foot tall Gemini Giant is still there, thankfully, despite the place's closure for six years.

Full opening is scheduled for 2019.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I'd Like To Add Some Food You Should Try in Illinois

That was an impressive list for sure.  But, they overlooked some so I feel obliged to include them here.

1.  CHICAGO DOG--  No ketchup, though.  All over the area.

2.  CHICAGO PIZZA--  All over (and you cut the pizza into squares)


4.  COZY DOG--  Springfield

5.  BEER NUGGETS--  Fried dough.  Started in DeKalb, but now in many places in the northeastern part of the state.

6.  ITALIAN BEEF--  Thin slices with au jus,

7.  ONION LOAF--  Hackney's  Chicago suburbs


Oh Boy.  --RoadHog

Along 66, February 2018: Wilder's and Dem Burros

FEBRUARY 10--  Wilder's Steakhouse rooftop sign removed for restoration in Joplin.  A relighting ceremony is set for April 14.  It is an animated sign and has not worked in at least 25 years.  Opened in 1936.

I saw postcards of the interior of the restaurant.  Sure wish that was still open.

FEBRUARY 13--  Contraceptive program suggested to control the population of the Oatman burros.  Something needed badly.  They're cute, but too many of them.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Illinois' 200th Anniversary: 20 Things Every Illinoisan' Should Eat-- Part 4

16.  LARS BAR--  Anderson's Candy Shop, Richmond.  Hey, that's near me!!

17.  BISTER JIBAROTO--  Jibarito's Authentic Puerto Rican Restaurant, Chicago

18.  PACZKI--  Herb's Bakery, Elgin

19.  SMOKED SALMON--  Calumet Fisheries, Chicago

20.  MOONBURGER--  Moonshine Store, Moonshine (near Martinsville)

Sounding Good To Me.  --RoadMoon

Illinois' 200th Anniversary: 20 Things Every Illinoisan Should Eat-- Part 3

11.  CHICKEN DINNER--  White Fence Farm, Romeoville.  A Route 66 Classic

12.  QUAD-CITIES-STYLE PIZZA--  Harvis Pizza,  Rock Island

13.  RAINBOW CONE--  Original Rainbow Cone,  Chicago

14.  CINNAMON ROLLS--  Great Pumpkin Patch, Arthur

15.  BABY BACK RIBS--  17th Street Barbecue, Murphysboro

Eatin' Good In the Neighborhood.--  RoadFood

Monday, March 12, 2018

Illinois' 200th Anniversary: 20 Foods Every Illinoisan Should Eat:

4.  STRAWBERRY BREAD--  What's Cookin' in Charleston

5.  CHICAGO DOGS--  Superdawg inChicago

6.  SALTED CARAMEL GELATO--  Prairie Roots Farm & Creamery in Champaign

7.  RIB TIPS--  Lem's Bar-B-Q  in Chicago

8.  WHITE ASPARAGUS--  Eckert's Belleville Farm in Bellecille

9.  GARRETT MIX POPCORN--  Garrett's Popcorn Shops in Chicago

10.  CHEESE CURDS--  Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville

I'll Bite.  --RoadDog

200th Anniversary of Illinois: 20 Things Every Illinoisan Should Eat-- Part 1

Illinois became the 21st state in 1818 so we are celebrating the bicentennial of statehood.

The Chicago Tribune is running a series of articles in its Travel Section to pick out twenties.

These are 20 things every person in Illinois needs to eat at one time or another:

1..  Horseshoe--  Springfield and central Illinois.

2.  Pink Cookies--  Southern Illinois

3.  Birria--  at the Birrieria Zaragoza in Archer Heights.  (A Mexican dish)


Friday, March 9, 2018

Sycamore Drivers Going Through Stop Signs in 1943

From the January 3, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Observation shows that many Sycamore motorists are becoming careless at the stop signs, following removal of much of the ice at the various intersections.  When ice covered the streets, and there was a chance of becoming stalled at some of the street intersections, auto drivers became accustomed to driving past the crossing to avoid wasting gas to get going again.

"Now that most them approaches to the stop, streets have been cleared of the treacherous ice, it seems the auto drivers still cling to the former practice and drive through the stop signs, even if they delay traffic approaching from each direction."

Stop Running Through Those Stop Signs Guys!!  --RoadDog

A Fire At the Station at Fourth and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb in 1917

From the September 20, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago

"Fire of an undetermined origin caused some alarm last night at the DeKalb Independent filling station at Fourth and Lincoln Highway.  A transient car pulled in for service and the driver was using a can to fill up his gas tank when the car suddenly burst into flames.

"The attendant at the station, while attending another car on the other side of the drive saw the flames and with the aid of a Pyrene extinguisher squelched the flames almost immediately."

A Scary Time At the Ol' Station.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 12: That Horrible Florida Highway-79 Bonifay to Ebro

Alabama Highway 167 is a nice cruise.  Two-lane road and little traffic, all the way to Florida where it turns into Florida Highway 79 and goes straight to Panama City Beach (PCB).

In Florida it remains two lanes to Bonifay where I-10 crosses it.

Eventually, and I say EVENTUALLY, the drive from Bonifay to PCB will be fantastic when its four lane all the way with 65 mph speed limit.  Like a limited access road.  But not at this time.

From Bonifay to near Ebro they are making it four lane.  It does not appear there has been any progress made since we last drove it last February.  And, even though with the exception of one small area, there is NO CONSTRUCTION going on, it is 45 mph the whole way.  I really hate when the speed limit is dropped for construction and there is no construction going on.

Making it worse, the Florida folks who drive it are pretty insistent on going much, much faster than 45 mph.  I mean 65 moph.  Just no way I am going to go 20 miles over the speed limit and especially in another state.

Sorry Guys.  --RoadLimit

Along 66, February 2018: Gasconade Bridge and Eat-Rite

FEBRUARY 8--  Workin' Bridges drops the Gasconade River Bridge project near Hazelgreen, Missouri.  Too bad.  Hopefully someone will step up to run it.  That is a pretty old bridge.

FEBRUARY 9--  Ear-Rite Diner gets new owners.  May reopen in April.  It is in St. Louis, but since they shamefully removed the Confederate statue from the park, it is on my boycott list.

They are hoping to be open for the April 5 St. Louis Cardinal Home Opener just a few blocks away.

It closed in October and had been in business since 1966  Other businesses at the site sold coal and gas.  It opened as a White Kitchen restaurant in 1920.  Eat-Rite opened in 1986.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 11: We Finally Get to Panama City Beach


We drove the car over to Enterprise Chevrolet, carefully, and had the brakes fixed.

While waiting, I started reading "Firestorm in Peshtigo" about the horrible fire there that killed between 1,50 and 3,000 people in Wisconsin.  It is largely unknown today because it took place on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire which killed far less people.  My goal while in PCB is to read the book.

They had the brakes replaced ($330) and we were on our way.  Sure nice not to hear that grinding noise this morning.

Enterprise is home to Fort Rucker Army base.  A lot of helicopter pilots get training there and you see lots of them in the air.  So, boll weevils and helicopters for Enterprise, Alabama.  Heading south on Alabama 167, you pass a major helicopter base and often there are two to three in the air at the same time.


North Carolina Minor League Teams-- Part 2

GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS--  Called "Hoppers" by fans.New stadium seats 7,500.  Derek Jeter played here.

HICKORY CRAWDADS--  Play in L.P. Frans Stadium, seating 5.062.  South Atlantic League.

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS--Dale Earnhart bought team in 2000 and adopted his nickname.

WINSTON-SALEM DASH--  Has played in Carolina League since its inception 70 years ago.  The only tea, for that long.  BB&T Ballpark downtown.  A White Sox Class A team.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

North Carolina Minor League Baseball-- Part 1: Durham Bulls

Places to visit in the Old North State.

From the July 2016 Our State Magazine  "Home Field Advantage"

North Carolina has nine Minor League teams.

CAROLINA MUDCATS--  Zebulon  Five County Stadium

ASHEVILLE TOURISTS--  McCormick Field--  4,000

BURLINGTON ROYALS--  Burlington Athletic Stadium--  3,500

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS--  BB&T Ballpark  White Sox Triple A team.

DURHAM BULLS--  Durham Bulls Athletic Park   Yep, those Durham Bulls from the "Bull Durham" movie.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 10: Brakes A Lot and Boll Weevils


They told us that I should be able to drive the car to Panama City Beach, about 90 miles away if I drove carefully.  But, when it comers to brakes, I will not take a chance, plus, darkness was coming on fast and two lane roads.  They said they could get to replacing the brakes first thing tomorrow as they had them in stock.  We inquired about a nearby motel and bars and they gave us directions.

Coaxed the car over to the Days Inn about a mile away and got a room.  We took a taxi over to Oscar's, a bar/grill near the Chevy dealer and enjoyed talking with the people there.

While waiting for the cab in the lobby of the motel, I saw that Enterprise is the only city anywhere which has a statue to the boll weevil, an insect that is particularly harmful to cotton.  This being Alabama, I figured they had cotton, so had to wonder why they would have a statue to it.

Nobody Likes Boll Weevils.--  RoadDog

Along 66, February 2018: Video, Joliet Prison and Lebanon

These are taken from the Route 66 News and are the stories of special interest to me.  The Route 66 News site has more information on each of these along with pictures as well as a lot more stories.  Check it out.

JANUARY 23--  Emma Lee, a Canadian singer-songwriter has a video out featuring a whole lot of western Route 66 sites.  Good song as well.  Her song is called "Drivin'.  Well worth a watch.

FEBRUARY  2--  The Old Joliet Prison (Illinois) will be a haunted house this October.  Make sure to go in your Blues Brothers costume.

FEBRUARY 5--  There is some fear about the proposed homeless shelter in the former Forest Manor Motel in Lebanon, Missouri.  Especially from people and businesses who are close by it.  That would include the Munger-Moss Motel and Starlite Bowl.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 9: Help at Enterprise Chevrolet


That drive to Enterprise wasn't much fun, worrying about the brakes as we were.    I made sure to give myself plenty of room to brake and applied very slowly whenever needed.  We got to Enterprise and pulled into a gas station and filled up.  It was pretty horrible with that noise when he carefully stopped at a gas station.

I got gas because Alabama is usually quite a lot cheaper in gas than Florida.  I got gas for $2.30, it was $2.60 in PCB the next day.  Liz stood outside the car when I pulled away from the pump and listened.  I had turned off the radio as well so I could hear.  The sound was still there.

We decided to look for a Chevy dealer for the 2011 Malibu to have them take a look.  And, like in any Alabama town, there is a whole lot of traffic at all hours.  Had to be real careful with the brakes to say the least.

Liz looked down a side street and saw a Chevrolet sign so we went back.  Parked outside the service department and explained what was wrong.  They were getting ready to close in 20 minutes, but took the car in and examined the brakes.  One front one was really bad and the other about ready to go.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Warm Here We Come-- Part 8: The Real Horrible Noise


Finally through all the Birmingham construction and congestion, it doesn't seem to be so long to get to Montgomery, Alabama, where we took I-85 east to US-231 and the Eastern Expressway.  This is a very heavily congested stretch for awhile, but eventually we get out into the country and it is fairly easy drive on four lanes to Troy, where we encountered a lot of traffic.

We missed Alabama-167, which we need to take to Florida and PCB, and drove a ways toward Dothan before realizing we were on the wrong road.  We used an atlas (that's right, an atlas) and found we were going in the wrong direction, but were right by the road we needed to get back to 167 on and took it.

When we got back to 167, I came to the stop sign and when I applied the brakes, there came a real horrible noise.  Never fun to have your brakes making that noise.


Crackdown on Burned-Out Headlights in DeKalb County

From the September 13, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Better turn on the headlights of your car and then walk around in front and see if your headlights, both sets, are burning properly.

"because if they are not, Sheriff Melvin W. Shaw has some news for you.  The entire force of deputies has been ordered to crack down on cars with only one headlight burning."

You've Been Warned.  --RoadDog

Paving Sycamore's Streets in 1942

From the September 13, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Resurfacing of four blocks of Sycamore streets, which has been in the mind of Mayor Frank Ashelford for many months was started when State Street from Main to Simonauk was closed to all traffic and actual preliminary work started."

So, they had to resurface streets even back then.  I can think of a few around here that could sure use that now.

Pave Them Streets.  --RoadDog

Sycamore's Mayor Runs Down "Silent Cop" in 1917

From the September 13, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Mayor Brown of Sycamore was returning home last evening in his Buick car at about 10:30 when he endeavored to run over one of the poor, unprotected 'silent cops' in the county seat (Sycamore).

"Whether he thought the Buick would go home without further attention or not, we do not know.  Nevertheless, the cop resented such treatment and entangled itself with the mechanism of the machine to such an extent, in fact, that they had to stop and carefully carry him from under the machine to his former dignified position on the main thoroughfare, slightly the worse for the accident."

Of course, "silent cops" were a traffic control device used back then.  Check out the Silent Policeman label.

With Mayors Like This, We're All In Danger.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Paved Road Between Sycamore and DeKalb in 1917

From the September 13, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The large cement mixer to be used in the work on the cement road from the C, M. & G. crossing around the Electric Park corner and the pavement of Sycamore started work today and from now on the road will gradually near completion.

"When this road is finished that is now in course of construction there will be practically a paved street from Sycamore to DeKalb and it will be one of the best improvements imaginable."

That road is Illinois Highway 23 today.


Impolite Motorists in DeKalb in 1917: Funeral Processions

From the September 6, 2017,  MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"In this busy world of today it is often wondered that people of today pay so little respect ro a funeral cortege.

"It is known that in many occasions in DeKalb processions have been interrupted, motorists drive by one way or the other at rapid rate, making all the noise possible."