Monday, September 25, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 35: US-421

US Highway 421 has always been a favorite of mine, primarily because this is the road you drive to get from Wilmington (and all that horrible traffic and those pesky photo-enforced stoplights) to Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher.

From Wikipedia.

I.S. Route 41 is a spur road of U.S.- 21 and 941 miles long running from Michigan City, Indiana, (U.S. 20) to its southern terminus at "The Rocks" in North Carolina.  I have driven the whole road from one terminus to the other.  It goes through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, a real short distance in Virginia and North Carolina.

Big cities it goes through are Indianapolis, Lexington, Frankfort and Richmond, Kentucky and Boone, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina.

The stretch between Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River and Richmond, Kentucky, is as beautiful driving as you'll ever do.  Then there is some real serious mountain driving through the rest of Kentucky.

Once you get to "The Rocks" at the southern terminus, there is a sign saying "End U.S. 421."  On the other side of that sign is a sign saying "Begin U.S. 421."

421in' It.  --RoadDog

News Along 66, August 2017: Grants and Spindles

AUGUST 24--  The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announced its 2017 cost-share grants which came to a total of $98,137 with that going to seven projects.
Tropics neon sign, Lincoln, Illinois--  $25,500
Wilder's neon sign, Joplin, Missouri--  $24,100
Trucking on Route 66 in Missouri oral history project-- $5,697
Texas Rt 66 property online database--  $18,668
Online educational guide to Route 66 in California--  $6,484
Route 66 Bridge Assessment and Prioritization Project Chicago to Santa Monica--  $6,484
Women of the Mother Road documentary film--  $25,000

AUGUST 26--  Spindles from the Route 66 bridge in Carthage, , Missouri, can be bought starting September 22.  One hundred limestone spindles will be sold by Vision Carthage during the Artwalk event downtown.

Own a Piece of the 66.  --RoadDog

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A "Crying Need" for Street Signs in DeKalb in 1917

From the August 28, 2017 MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The crying need for street signs in a progressive, hustling city like DeKalb was forcibly brought to the attention of the councilmen last night by Alderman Jacobson.

"He said the lack of signs at street corners was one of the first and most powerful impressions to prejudice a stranger unfavorably and the condition was one that the authorities of a self-respecting town ought to lose no time in changing."

We Know Where We Are,.  Why Should You?  --RoadDog

Near Bad Accident With Train in 1917

From the August 26, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"H. Bannister of Sycamore Road, driving his Buick yesterday afternoon onto tracks at Fourth Street in DeKalb, had the narrowest of escapes from being struck by a train.  He backed off the track at the sound of the engine but for some reason the auto balked and stood stock still so close to the passing train that rthe yellow paint on the railroad coaches was scraped off onto his front tires.

"Spectators of the incident held their breaths while the long train rolled past almost atop the auto and its driver."

And, those trains fly through DeKalb still.

Real Close Call.  --RoadDog

Along 66, August 2017: Own a Building, Take Care of a Camp

AUGUST 23--  For Sale on Route 66.  Formerly Jerry's Liquors.  Building built in 1907.  Such a deal at $60,000 in Galena, Kansas, at 203 Main Street  It originally was a bottling company in the late 1800s.

Own a piece of the Route!!

AUGUST 24--  Missouri to retain the Gasconade Bridge near Hazel Green until 2018.  The Gasconade River Bridge Guardians are expected to take it over.

One of my favorite Route 66 bridges.

AUGUST 24--  Looking for a job on Route 66?  The Cool Springs Camp needs a newcaretaker.  Neat building, neat scenery, who could ask for more?  Between Oatman and Kingman, Arizona.

Own It, Work It.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 21, 2017

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 34: The "Begin U.S.-421" Sign


Well, I'm at the very southern terminus of US Highway (Route)-421.  There is a parking area and boat launch there by "The Rocks" and Battery Buchanan.  And, I really like the "Begin I.S. 421" sign.  On the other side, it has a "End U.S.-421 sign.  I wish all highway termini would have these signs.

Unfortunately, it doesn't say where or how far the northern terminus is.   That would have been even neater if they did have it.

Of course, US-421 is the one we would get on by Wilmington and take it to Carolina Beach, North Carolina, where I spent lots of time growing up.  It is also the bridge over Snow's Cut, where you got that wonderful first-glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, meaning "You have ARRIVED at the Beach.  Oh Boy, Oh Boy!!"

And, of course, from there you drive through Kure Beach to FORT FISHER!!  So you know how important this stretch of road is to me.

The Road to Paradise.  --RoadDog

N.C. Jan. 2017-- Part 33: South Past the Hermit To "The Rocks"


I took US-421 (and I've driven from its northern terminus in Michigan City, Indiana, by Lake Michigan, all the way to the end of it, which is just a short distance south of Fort Fisher) from Fort Fisher to "The Rocks," which is at the end of federal Point.  "The Rocks" is a man-made dam in effect built to close New Inlet in the 1870s.  It extends for several miles out to some islands.  I've written about it before, just click "The Rocks" label.

Along the way, I passed by the Fort Fisher State Beach, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher and the Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry.

By the aquarium is the World War II bunker where the Fort Fisher Hermit lived for many years.  Our family never went to Carolina Beach without visiting this strange man.  He could tell some great stories.

"The Rocks"  has been a family favorite for as many years as I remember.  We used to do a lot of crabbing and fishing there.  They have some huge blue crabs there.  I took a walk out onto for a distance.  "The Rocks" were constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1870s to close off New Inlet entrance to the Cape Fear River, which Fort Fisher had protected during the Civil War.

I also walked onto the remains of the Civil War's Battery Buchanan, which was apart of the Fort Fisher defenses and where the garrison finally surrendered to the overwhelming Union forces January 15, 1865, just 152 years earlier.

It most closely resembles a sand dune now.

It's a Hermit's Life for Me.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Festivals, Eclipses and the Red Cedar Inn

AUGUST 16--  Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Missouri, set an attendance record with 53,000.  Love those Route 66 festivals, but we need more of them.

AUGUST  20--  The Red Cedar Inn in Pacific, Missouri, to become a museum and visitors center.  It opened in 1932.  This is a place I wish we had gotten a chance to eat at, but it closed soon after our first trip through the area.  Definitely will be on out list of places to visit when we drive Route 66 end-to-end in October.

AUGUUST  22--  Total eclipse of the sun in Pacific, Cuba, Sullivan, Bourbon, Stanton , Eureka and St. Clair.  Hundreds had shown up in St. Clair two days before the eclipse.

That would be the place to watch the total eclipse--  on Route 66!!  Too bad we didn't drive down as we sure didn't have anything here to see in northern Illinois.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Along 66, August 2017: Neon Signs in Tulsa


Tulsa may encourage neon signs along its stretch of Route 66.  It will be a neon sign overlay district, similar to the one in Albuquerque.  They will make it easier to put up the signs and provide incentives for businesses.

The biggest problem is the expense.

But, you can't go wrong with neon.  Mighty "purty."


Avalon Theatre in McLean, Texas, torn down.  the art deco place has been long-closed.  Dated to the 1920s-1930s.  I don't remember seeing it.


Ryburn Place in Normal, Illinois, opens  Better known as the Sprague Super service station.  So glad Bloomington-Normal has finally awakened to their Route 66 heritage.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Hey, Gov.!! Dare You To Drive Illinois Highway 64 in 1967

From the August 9, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Although Governor Kernor has not yet accepted Sycamore Mayor Harold Johnson's invitation to visit the city and to take a ride on bumpy highway 64 east and west of the city, some patching was done on the highway's west entrance of Sycamore."

What, Potholes Even Back Then?  --RoadDog

Regional Pizza in the United States

Here is a list of regional pizza styles, other than Quad City style in the United States.

Chicago style

Detroit style

New York Style

St. Louis Style

Bar pizza

California style

Grandma pizza--  Long Island

Greek--  northeast

New Haven--  Connecticut

Sicilian--  NE, metro Detroit, Portland, Oregon

Tomato Pies--  New England and Philadelphia

Old Forge-- Old Forge, Lackawanna County, Pa.

Of course, I much, much prefer the Chicago style pizza, but I have to admit to being a bit prejudiced for some reason.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Still Talking About Pizza: Quad City-Style Pizza

While researching Happy Joe's, I came across this style of pizza.

From Wikipedia.

We've often been to the Quad-Cities, comprising Rock Island and Moline in Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa.  These cities straddle the Mississippi River as it runs east-west through that area.

And, they have their own unique style of pizza.  Its crust consists of a generous amount of malt syrup which gives it a nutty taste, a spicy sauce and fennel-based crumbled sausage.

The pizza dough rests in a refrigerator for 24-28 hours and then it is placed at room temperature for another 2-3 hours.  Once the pizza is cooked, it is cut into 1 1/2 inch strips using kitchen shears.

Wikipedia credits Frank's Pizzeria for creating this pizza in 1955.  They have a Frank's Pizzeria listed in Silvis, Iowa.  In the Quad-Cities area, there are some 25 places serving it, including Sports Fans in Bettendorf where we have played NTN.

There are two places in Chicago serving Quad City-Style pizza, both called Roots.

Guess We'll Have to Try It the Next Time We're There.  --RoadDog

Thursday, September 14, 2017

While On the Subject of Pizza: Shakey's Pizza

In the last post, i mentioned eating at Happy Joe's in Galena.  Its founder, Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty, had worked at Sharkey's Pizza.

We used to stop often at Shakey's Pizza places here in the Midwest (especially Wisconsin) back in the 70s to 80s, but I don't remember seeing any for a long time.  There was one, I think, at Fondulac, Wisconsin.

Well, back to Wikipedia for some more research.

Shakey's Pizza began in 1954 when Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer opened the first restaurant in Sacramento, California.  "Shakey" Johnson's nickname came from nerve damage he suffered after a bout of malaria in World War II.

Shakey played Dixieland jazz piano and decided to entertain his customers and hired the original Silver Dollar Jazz Band for $10 and all the beer and pizza they could drink and eat.

Today, there are about 500 Shakeys globally, with about 60 here in the U.S., mostly located in the West.

Sure Wish We Could Get Them Back.
 Here In the Midwest.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

To Galena for Our 44th Anniversary-- Part 5: Stuffin' It at Happy Joe's


Sat outside the motel room in the morning, then went on the internet to post some pre-written blog entries, but had to get a new password.  I had been "asked" to make it more concern several months ago and did as I was told, but forgot to write the new one down for the trip, so had to change it again.  I am definitely one you'd call "password challenged."

We went to Happy Joe's a restaurant a little bit north of the motel and had their lunch pizza, pasta and salad bar buffet for $9 (Senior price), including pop.  Good deal and great selection.

Happy Joe's  from Wikipedia.

Based in Bettendorf, Iowa, one of the Quad Cities between Illinois and Iowa.founded in 1972 by Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty, a former Shakey's Pizza manager.  Today there are 61 Happy Joes, mostly in the Midwest, but one in Arizona.

We ate at this Happy Joe's in Galena a long time ago.

And, We'll be Back.  --RoadDog

Another 9-11 Flag Raising at the Oasis on Bluff Lake

Liz told me that she had read on FaceBook that they were going to have a flag raising ceremony for 9/11 at the Oasis Bar and restaurant on Bluff Lake in Antioch, Illinois.  members of the Antioch Fire department were there and raised the large U.S. flag up to the top of the flagpole and then lowered it to half mast (as they did at the McHenry commemoration at Veterans Park.

I did not even know they had the flag pole, which was a really big one.

I'd say we did our bit to honor those who died 16 years ago.