Monday, December 30, 2013

NC Bound T-Giving 2013-- Part 7: Getting Lost at Wright-Patterson AFB

NOVEMBER 22ND, 2013: One report after another this morning about this being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. And, a big reason I am here near Dayton as I hope to go on board JFK's Air Force One at the Mational Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, northeast of the city.

But, with the rain coming down hard and what I expect to be big crowds doing exactly what I'm doing, it might not happen. I expected the plane to be outside.

Had my hot breakfast (and a good one at Best Western Plus hotels).

Rain had the visibility way down as I drove from Exit 29 to Exit 44, then there was another 15 mile drive south to get to the base where I promptly lost the signage and got into a long line of cars. A much longer drive than I had expected. They had armed guards checking ID's. That is when I realized I had accidentally gotten into the line going into the base itself. The museum is adjacent to the base. This must have been just before the next shift reported to work.

The guard was polite, but I wasn't going any farther. He didn't know exactly how I could get to the museum and called another guard over who directed me. Made a turn-around and continued for what seemed to be another long drive to the museum with the steady rain making it difficult to see signage.

I Don't Want to Think What Kind of Names I Must Have Been Called While Making My Back-Up at the Air Base Gates. --RoadDog

NC Bound T-Giving 2013-- Part 7: Gas

Prices spent on gas for the trip November 21-Dec. 4, 2013:

11-21 Englewood, Ohio-- $3.28
11-24 Hebron, Ohio-- $3.26
11-24 Wytheville, Virginia-- $3.07

12-3 Goldsboro, NC-- $3.25
12-3 Wytheville, Va.-- $3.09
12-3 Rockbridge, Ohio-- $3.08

12-4 Pittsboro, Indiana-- $3.00 ($2.99.9)   Gas for under $3, well, one-tenth of a cent under $3.
12-4 Dwight, Illinois-- $3.00 ($2.99.9).

And, I never thought I'd see the day when I thought $2.99.9 was a "Great Deal!!" Curse You Big Oil!!! Long gone are the days when I once pulled out of a gas station when I saw they were gouging us at 34 cents a GALLON!!

Totals for the trip: I drove 2.153 miles, bought 62.594 gallons of gas and spent $196.62.

Putting Those Bucks Into the Pump. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting Your Kicks on Route 66-- Part 3: America's Main Street

Definitely some interesting items on this list, many of them, though I am a Route 66 nut, I sure didn't know.

Route 66's nicknames include "America's Main Street" because it actually was the main street in the towns it passed through since they were already paved

"Mother Road" thanks to John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath;" "The Road of Dreams" (I don't remember hearing it called this, but can understand its connection what with Americans seeking a better life during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl); and is properly co-designated "The Will Rogers Highway" because the famous American humorist came from Oklahoma.

CYRUS AVERY of Oklahoma is referred to as the Father of Route 66, but he actually really wanted the US-60 number (as the U.S. highways ending in "0" were considered the most important east-west routes). He even had 60,000 maps printed in 1926, showing his road as US-60 and even began erecting signage with US-60 on it. When it became obvious he wasn't getting the US-60 number, he and others settled on US-66 in Springfield, Missouri, which is why it is called "The Birthplace of Route 66."

Some Interesting Stuff. --RoadDog

Friday, December 27, 2013

Getting Your Kicks on Route 66-- Part 2: Decommissioned and Bobby and Nat

4. Route 66 is the only federal highway to be decommissioned from the 1926 grid that created the U.S. Highway System. However, it was not decommissioned all at once, just parts at a time as the corresponding U.S. Interstate was finished. The very last stretch was decommissioned in Williams, Arizona, in 1984.

5. Bobby Troup met Nat "King" Cole within days of he and his wife Cynthia arriving in Los Angeles in February 1946 after driving across the country on 66. For some reason, the name "Winona" in his song is used out of order of places visited driving east to west.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Getting Your Kicks On Route 66-- Part 1

From the September 24, 2012, CNN Travel "Get your kicks on Route 66" by Rick Antonson. Some interesting stuff, some of which I didn't know.

1. Over 2,000 of Rt. 66's original 2,448 connected miles are still there.

2. John Steinbeack conceived "The Grapes of Wrath" on a late 1937 summer drive from Chicago west to Los Angeles on Route 66, which he called the "Long Concrete Path." His wife took the phrase from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

3. Of the 116 episodes of the old TV show "Route 66," only two were actually filmed on Route 66: one in Needles, California, and the other in Santa Fe, NM. Filming for the series did occur in 81 towns in 23 states.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bill Shea Dies

From the Dec. 15, 2013, Springfield (Il) State Journal Register "Bill Shea, founder of Springfield's Route 66 Museum, dies" by Lauren Leone-Cross.

Bill Shea's Route 66 Museum/gas memorabilia place is located on Peoria Road, the old Route 66, near the Illinois State Fairgrounds. One thing he always did was personally greet all his visitors. I know he came right up to Liz and myself when we first came to his place back in 2002.

He converted his gas station into his museum, because as his wife said, "That old man. He never throws anything away." I know the feeling, Mr. Shea.

He began pumping gas on Route 66 in Springfield in 1946, after he left military service in World War II and continued that until 1995, when he started his museum. His place at 2075 Peoria Road is filled with gas-related items and I was always impressed with the small vial of sand from D-Day that he had there. He was at D-Day  His health was declining in 2012 and he was not always there to greet visitors even though I'm sure he would have if he could.

In 2011, Springfield decalred Bill Shea's birthday, December. 30th, as "Bill Shea Day." He was often seen in Illinois travel commercials and magazines.

Sure Going to Miss Him. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 21, 2013

In Case You're Wondering About the Ten Inexpensive Activities and Games

Like I said in the last post, "Road Trip Bitch" is just one of ten games listed in good old Listverse from March 11, 2010, "10 Inexpensive Activities and Games." These are the other ones. Pictures and information accompany the article:

10. Nerf Wars
9. Capture the Flag
8. Road Trip Bitch

7. Stealth
6. Ghost Hunting
5. Scavenger Hunt
4. Manhunter

3. Urban Exploration
2. Cemetery Safari
1 Geocaching.

OK, Get Busy. --RoadDog

Don't Be the "Road Trip Bitch"

From the March 11, 2010, List Universe "10 Inexpensive Activities and Games."

This is just one game of ten they mention that applied to driving down the road and is more geared for a bunch of teenage guys or 20-somethings. Not recommended for families.

The game requires a silly hat, the sillier the better. Before departure, the driver designates things to be catalysts for the game. That would be something seen along the road, like a large white van, a car with a headlight out, state license plates, a certain sign or anything they might so choose.

If the catalyst(s) is seen, someone yells it out and everyone, whether they've seen it or not, yells it and punches the car roof. The last one to do so becomes "The Trip Bitch" or "Car Bitch" and has to wear the silly hat. That hat must be worn at all times, even in restaurants and bathroom breaks. That person is also open to any and all ridicule.

However, if said person is not the last one to yell and punch the roof the next time a catalyst is spotted, they're no longer the you-know-what and no longer have to wear that silly hat. Someone else gets the honor.

Helps to Pass the Time. I Spy With My Little Eye.... --RoadDog

The Bells of El Camino Real-- Part 2

In 1914, Mrs. Forbes started the California Bell Company because of the heavy demand for souvenirs bells and full-sized bells. By the end of the 1900s, most of the original 450 bells had been removed because of widening and modernization of the road. Others were lost to collectors or the scrap heap.

In 1933, the Calfornia Division of Highways took over the care of the bells. In 1963, it allotted $19,000 for 81 replicas to be built.

In San Bruno, a Mission Bell was dedicated at the City Hall and in the 1990s there was another revival movement to replace all of the old bell sites with modern inexpensive cement bells made to look like the earlier ones.

Mrs. Forbes company is still in business at A solid brass bell went for $3,095 (unpainted $2,295). The bells are 18 by 18 inches and weigh 85 pounds. The 1910 bells cost $25 with $2 shipping.

You can find the most El Camino Real bells along US-101.

In 2005, 555 bells were erected.

Sure Glad They're Keeping Those Bells. A Real Bell-Ringer. --RoadDog

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Bells of El Camino Real-- Part 1

From the Dec. 21, 2009, San Mateo County Cal) Daily Journal "Rediscovering the Peninsula: El Camino Real bells" by Darold Frederick.

Back in the early 1900s, Mrs. A.S.C. Forbers of Los Angeles, an early auto fan, took a trip to the San Francisco Peninsula visiting old missions along the El Camino Real. She was greatly confused by conflicting and poor directions and wrong roads and vowed to do something about it.

The El Camino Real, The Royal Road, was built in the 1700s and connected the old Spanish missions. A member of the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, she began placing 100-pound clapperless bell replicas on a 7-foot tall gooseneck iron pipe to mark the way. These bells were the only markers along the route, there were no signs or numbers yet.

On April 15, 1906, te first bell was erected at Plaza Church in Los Angeles. The next one was put up in 1909 in Redwood City, San Mateo County. Bells along the whole 700 mile stretch were completed by 1913 even though some wanted a bell every mile. The El Camino Real Association also was involved in the project.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NC Bound T-Giving 2013 (Nov. 21st)-- Part 6: Confusing Indy Signage and Wrong Motel (But I Got My Skyline)

Now I'm enetering the Indianapolis metro area on I-65 from the northwest and ready to get on the bypass 465 to go around it (I remembered all the road construction on I-65 and I-70 in September that led to the horrific traffic jam on I-465 south of the city so was not going my usual way, I-74 to I-465 to I-70 coming from Illinois). I took I-465 East and was cruising along when I saw a sign for I-465 South. I knew I had to go south on the bypass to get to I-70 east of town, so took it.

It turned out that this was the I-465 South going around the west side of town. I'm cruising along wondering if I was on the east or west side until I saw a sign for Speedway. Man, I'm on the WRONG SIDE. Rats. The best-laid plans done in by poor signage.

Now I faced that really bad traffic jam on I-465 south of town, but I hadn't seen any signs for I-65/I-70 construction so decided to chance a drive through downtown despite the fact it was evening rush hour by now.

Took my usual Sam Jones cutoff to I-70 and rolled through town in heavy traffic, but no jams. Clear cruising.
Easy drive into Ohio and stopped at my usual Skyway Chili place in Englewood at Exit 29. Got my large four-way and checked out the motel coupon magazines I had picked up at the Ohio Welcome Center and saw the Best Western Plus at the exit had rooms for $59. Unfortunately, there was a Clarion Motel between Skyline and the Best Western which wasn't very well marked and I went to that, but when they told me the room was $100 realized I was in the wrong place.

Got to the right motel, checked in after a 401.8 mile run today.

Lost Again. --RoadDog

Three Threatened Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

J.J. WALSER HOUSE-- 42 N. Central Avenue, Chicago (1903). On a narrow lot in Austin neighborhood and in need of major repairs.

WILLIAM F. ROSS HOUSE-- 1027 Meadow Road in Glencoe (1915). For sale "as is."

WILLIAM J. VANDERKLOOT HOUSE-- 231 Prospect Road in Lake Bluff (1915). An American System Ready-cut "Cottage A" bungalow. Built as a summer rental cottage.

An American Master. --RoadDog

Historic Alden Road in Illinois

Located in my county, McHenry. A two-lane rural road in the west part of the county. At the turn of the last century, 1900, it was all homes, barns and fields. It starts at the Wisconsin border and intersects Il-173 in Alden and ends northwest of Woodstock near Il-47.

Some 5,000 vehicles a day use the southbound lane and the McHenry County Department of Transportation has proposed a seven mile road widening project which will impact several historical properties.

Currently the road is 60-feet wide, including the right-of-way and they want to increase it to 120 feet.


Interesting List of Route 66 Places to See-- Part 2


The 1939 Rock Cafe in Stroud, Skyliner Motel (OK, I don't remember this one for some reason) and the museums in Elkhart and Clinton, and the Trade Winds Motel in Clinton where Elvis stayed.


Oldest Philips 66 station, 1936 U Drop Inn in Shamrock and leaning water tower in Britten.


Tucumcari, vintage motels in Santa Fe and El Rancho Motel in Gallup.


Wigwam Motel in Holbrook (called Wigman in the article), Meteor Crater, Twin Arrows and Two Guns (where a big battle between the Navajos and Apaches took place and at one time a big tourist trap.


Needles, Mojave desert, Amboy, Bagdad Cafe, "Wigman" Motel in Rialto, Bono's Deli and Pasadena Rose Bowl.

Just a Start, Just a Start. --RoadDog

Interesting List of Route 66 Places to See-- Part 1

From the Nov. 25, 2013, Huff Post "Road Trip on Route 66, Americana" by Sidonie Sawyer.

OK, we 66ers have seen them, but always good to get any publicity we can. Broken down by state: 

ILINOIS-- Henry's Drive-In, Castle Carwash, Rialto Theare, Gemini Giant and the Lincoln Springfield sites.  
MISSOURI: Ted Drewes in St. Louis, Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Rail Haven and Wild Bill Hikock shootout in Springfield and Boots Motel in Carthage.

KANSAS: 4 Women On the Road in Galena, 1925 Eisler Brothers store in Riverton and Crowell Bank in Baxter Springs--robbed by Jesse James.

Five More States to Come. --RoadDog

Monday, December 16, 2013

Route 66 in Illinois Loses Bill Shea

Sad to hear that Bill Shea, long famous for his ties in Springfield, Illinois, with his gas memorabilia museum, passed away this past Saturday. Liz and I feel fortunate to have met this interesting character many times and we've sat outside his place by the picnic table and listened to his stories many, many times and never got tired of it.

On our first trip on Route 66 back in 2002, we met not only Mr. Shea, but Tom Teague as well, sitting out on some chairs and after just a few minutes, we were hooked on Route66.   We never had a chance to NOT become Route 66 Roadies.

Poor Illinois has sure lost some of its greats over the last several years, including Bob Waldmire and, of course, Ernie Edwards.

Fortunately for us, though, Bill's son was always at the station and I'm sure will continue on in the Bill Shea Way.

We'll Sure Miss You Bill Shea. --RoadDog

Food Trails Reach Across the Country-- Part 3

Some other food trails worth eating:

THE CONNECTICUT CHOCOLATE TRAIL identifies sweet shops where world-renowned chocolatiers and local artisans create handmade goodies.

NEW HAMPSHIRE'S ICE CREAM TRAIL-- The state has more than 130 dairy farms and this trail spotlights 39 ice cream stands and shops offering locally-made you-know-what. I scream, you know the rest.

THE APPLE PIE TRAIL in Orange County, New York. Includes more than a dozen orchards and farms producing 25 varieties of apples, many offering pick-your-own and fresh pies. I bet there's a few caramel apples, too.

CALIFORNIA CHEESE TRAIL-- Over 50 miles in Sonomo and Marin copunties with two dozen cheese artisans offering farm and creamery tours. Hey, and tasting, too. Wisconsin is so jealous.

FRUIT AND WINE TRAIL in Palisade, Colorado. Learn how fruit, wine and farm products are grown, prepared and marketed. Known as the Peach Capital of Colorado, the area also produces apples, apricots, cherries, pears, plums, melons, chili peppers and more.

Something Every State Tourisn Department Should Get Involved With. Nothing Like Eating Your Way Across a State. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Food Trails Reach Across the Country-- Part 2: SC, the Birthplace of Barbecue?

Most (of the South Carolina BBQ joints) are small, family-owned restaurants and roadside stands witn recipess handed down through the generations, some in one-of-a-kind settings, too. The Schoolhouse BBQ in Scranton, for example, is housed in a renovated former African-American schoolhouse." I wonder if that would be one of those Rosenwald Schools?)

And, South Carolina claims to be the birthplace of barbecue (though I'm sure this is open to debate). Experts at Drayton Hall, the country's oldest unrestored plantation house, "have established the state as the birthplace of barbecue, dating to the 16th century when Native Americans introduced it to Spanish colonists."

Up Next, Some Other Food Trails. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Food Trails Reach Across the Country-- Part 1

From the Nov. 10, 2013, Chicago Tribune by Irene Smith.

The last several days I wrote about the Barn Quilt Trails in Ohio and other states.

Now, it is time to write about Food Trails. As the subheading said, "Barbecue, pies and more on tourism maps." "Trails aren't just for hiking. Increasingly, state and local tourism officials are creating trail itineraries to showcase the unique culinary traditons of a state or region."

South Carolina is known for its beaches and golf, but tourisn officials are hoping to lure tourists inland for food, more specifically, SC BBQ. " A new SC Barbecue Trail identifies more than 162 barbecue joints across the state where travelers can find 'slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone, good ole' barbecue.'"

And, that's good stuff, though mustard-based in the SC places I've eaten.

But, Like I Said, I've Never Met a 'Cue I Didn't Like. --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oops! I Made a Mistake in the Route 66-Lincoln Highway Showdown: Lincoln Highway Wins

And, it was a big one. For some reason, I didn't pick up on Sterling Newman Central Catholic as being on Lincoln Highway. Sterling is on the Lincoln. And, that school won the class 2A Championship. So, instead of there being a tie with Lincoln Highway's 6A Batavia and Route 66's 5A Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin winning championships, I now declare Lincoln Highway as the winner of the 4th Annual IHSA Lincoln Highway-Route 66 Showdown.

Winners in the eight classes (Championship games played in Dekalb, Illinois, home of NIU:

8A Naperville Central
7A Mt. Carmel (High School of NIU's Jordan Lynch who is one of the six finalists for the Heisman Award this Saturday!!! Unfortunately, they defeated Route 12's Lake Zurich to win it, however)

6A Batavia (Lincoln Highway)
5A Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (Route 66)
4A Rochester (Of course)  Richmond-Burton and Johnsburg are in 4A.

3A Stillman Valley (In Richmond-Burton's conference)
2A Sterling Newman Central Catholic (Lincoln Highway)
1A Lena (On US-20) out near Galena.

Wrapping It Up for Another Year. Congrats Lincoln Highway. --RoadDog

Watseka's Full Bull Smoke House Saloon

I mentioned seeing this place in the previous post and they have a website. It is located in Watseka, Illinois, by the Indiana state line, at 217 East Walnut Street.

They advertise killer hickory-smoked bbq, booze and live music.

Looks Like a Place for Me. --RoadDog

NC Boud T-Giving 2013-- Part 5; Strange Truck

From Sauneman to Forrest, I listened to another favorite radio station of mine, 98.3 WWHP out of Farmer City, Illinois. Their music could best be classified as Americana, and, of course, I get those farm reports, always great to have while driving through all that Illinois farmland. I turned it off however, before I got out of range as they were playing nothing but a steel drum concert which I didn't like so well.

Normally, I take Il-47 all the way to I-74 in Mahomet, Illinois, near Champaign, and then that to Indianapolis. However, my last time through Indianapolis, I-65 and I-70 were under construction and I got caught in a huge traffic jam taking the bypass. I decided to take US-24 east to I-65 and that to Indianapolis to avoid it. It started to rain in Dwight and continued the whole way until I got east of Indy.

In Watseka, Illinois, I saw a sign for The Full Bull BBQ and Saloon, a place I might have to check out sometime.

Gas was $3.29 in Indiana. Stopped at Kentland, Indiana, at a McDonald's and saw that they had Bears cups with the purchase of a large-size meal. You'd think being Indiana, the cups would have been Colts.

At 1:34 PM, I saw a convoy of four cop cars with flashing lights escorting a truck with something big under a tarp. I have to wonder what that was all about. About 25 miles north of Lebanan, Indiana, I saw a bad accident in the northbound lanes and a huge backup on I-65.

Home for Thanksgiving. --RoadDog

Ohio's Barn Quilts-- Part 2

Today, there are over 4,000 quilt squares on barns and other buildings in 34 states, most located on 120 designated barn quilt trails. Suzi Parron, author of Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, says, "The trails are very localized. What's going on is local pride."

Quilt squares are painted by farmers, professional artists, high school art students, quilt guilds, 4-H groups and other organizations. Local communities put together their quilt trails and seek grants to cover the materials. Local minicipal departments and people volunteer services.

Barn quilts remind people of their agricultural roots (especially for areas like our McHenry County in Illinois which used to be very farming until the growth of Chicago outward). In Morgan County, Colorado, enthusiast Nancy Lauck, 65, has painted nearly 200 barn quilts since 2007. She has painted 16 small quilt squares on her family's 1909 cattle barn in Fort Morgan.

Many barn owners have also repaired and renovated their barns after receiving a quilt.

It's a Movement I Can Barn. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

N.C. Bound T-Giving 2013-- Part 4: A Route 66 Burger King

NOVEMBER 21ST: Gas in Morris, Illinois, was $3.10, but $2.99.9, ($3) with gas purchase. I still really hate Big Oil for making me think (and get excited) for seeing gas at $2.99.9. That is NOT CHEAP, like they'd love us to believe. I still wish I could find information about their quarterly profits which have to be absolutely HUGE!!

South of Morris on Il-47 and passing Il-113 and sign to Coal City which was one of the places hit by last Sunday's tornadoes.

Now that I have passed out of the reception area on the Drive, 97.1 FM and the A to Z Countdown, I popped the new Paul McCartney CD called "New" into the player. This is a mighty good album for someone 70+ of age.

Stopped for one of those great new Burger King rib sandwiches at the BP station at Dwight by I-55. This was owned by Route 66 Hall of Famers Ambler-Becker after the old Marathon station dating back to the 1930s was rehabbed. This is probably the only Burger King you can eat at with a Route 66 theme. Of course, Route 66 used to go through Dwight, but now is Il-53 and Il-47.

Having a Rib With 66. --RoadDog

Monday, December 9, 2013

My 3010th Post

Well, I missed the number 3,000 post, but today noticed I was at #3008. Two posts into today, I see that I am at 3010. That sure is way more than I expected to make when I started back in 2007.

And, this was the only Blog I planned to have. I now have WAY TOO MANY with seven, but get great enjoyment out of researching the information, but not too crazy about the typing part as I am a two-fingered typist. But, I am a fast two-fingered typist, thankfully.

My niece Andrea in White House, Tennessee, helped me get it all set up.

Way Too Many Posts and Blogs. --RoadDog

Ohio's Barn Quilts-- Part 1

From the April 21-27 American Profile "Barn Quilts: Folk art movement covers the countryside" by Marti Attoun.

Donna Sue Groves and her mother, Maxine, bought a farm in Adams County, Ohio, in 1989 and came up with an idea of how to add some pizzaz to it and honor her mother by painting a quilt square on it. She remembered in her childhood watching her mother and grandmother sewing and socializing with friends over magnificent quilts.

In 2000, she expanded her folk art idea and, as an Ohio Arts Council employee, decided she could enlist local artists to paint them on barns throughout the county and this would also draw tourists.

The Adams Count Quilt Sampler Committe was set up and drew guidelines for the 8-foot-by-eight-foot painted wooden quilt squares. On October 2001, an "Ohio Star" quilt debuted at the Lewis Mountain Olde Thyme Herb Fair in Manchester, Ohio.

The squares caught on right away and soon barns all over the county had them and tourists began driving the back roads looking for them. "Donna Sue's gift to her mother had become a gift to rural America."

And, I Like to See Patterns on Local Wooden Barns. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 7, 2013

It Was 72 Years Ago: Pearl Harbor

Even though I didn't teach about Pearl Harbor for my first 13-15 years, I did after that. Rarely did I ever have any students (7th graders) who knew anything about it. I even once had a Pearl Harbor veteran come and speak to my classes about that Day of Infamy, the Greatest Generation's JFK Assassination.

Today, I am writing the name of one American who died that day on each of my blogs.

GERALD G. LEHMAN of Hancock, Michigan. On the USS Oklahoma. His remains were returned to Houghton County and reburied in 2010.

I wrote about a New Hampshire man who also died on the Oklahoma that day whose body has been identified but not returned as of yet which is causing some big problems. It is in my World War II "Tattooed On Your Soul" Blog.

The Greatest Generation.  (GreGen)

The World's 18 Strangest Roadways-- Part 4

15. CANTON AVENUE-- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Small cobblestone street in Beechview neighborhood. 37% grade. That's 37 feet up for every 100 feet horizontal. Has an ongoing feud with New Zealand's Baldwin Street which has a 35-38% grade as the world's steepest drivable street.

16. THE HIGH FIVE INTERCHANGE-- Dallas, Texas. Where I-635 connects to U.S.-75. Tremendous verticle mode here with lanes as high as a 12-story building in places.

17. LOMBARD STREET-- San Francisco. A curvy icon. Originally had a 27% grade but was too steep for early autos. In 1922, 8 curves added and reduced to 16% grade. It was two-way until 1939.

18. TIBBITT TO CONTWOYTO WINTER ROAD-- Northwest Territory, Canada. Made famous by the History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers." 370 mile ice road from diamond mines over interconnected lakes.

How Steep Is Too Steep? Wonder How Steep the Turn Off US-12 at Sunset Road in McHenry County Is? --RoadDog

The World's 18 Strangest Roadways-- Part 3

12. KARAKORAM HIGHWAY-- Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. 800 miles linking with China through the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamir mountain ranges. Three miles above sea level in spots.

13. AVENIDA 9 DE JULIO-- Buenas Aires, Argentina. Opened in 1937. Eight lanes each way in some spots.

14. TROLLSTIGEN-- Rauma, Norway. Through a mountain pass. Opened in 1936 and called "The Troll Ladder" with 11 hairpin turns. An average of 2800 feet above sea level and a 9% grade.

No Place For Backseat Drivers. --RoadDog

The World's 18 Strangest Roadways-- Part 2

6. THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT-- Swindon, England. Notoroius for its many roundabouts and also has five smaller roundabouts. (I hate roundabouts. You never know when or where you're going to get hit.)

7. HIGHWAY 1-- Iceland. The "Ring Road" loops around the entire island.

8. THE CHEROHALA SKYWAY-- Robbinsville, NC. Fifty miles long two lane road that cost over $100 million. Opened 1996 and varies from 900 feet to 5,400 feet. Serves as part of border between NC and Tennessee.

9. YUNGAS ROAD-- La Paz, Bolivia. "Road of Death" Check It Out.

10. DALTON HIGHWAY-- Livengood, Alaska. Gets a nod for extreme remoteness and desolation. Some 414 miles of unpaved gravel with no restaurants or gas stations. What? No motels?

11. CAPULIN VOLCANO ROAD-- Capulin, New Mexico. On an extinct volcano. Covers two mles of extremely narrow road with 6% grade.

Some Strange Roads Here. --RoadDog

Friday, December 6, 2013

The World's 18 Strangest Roadways-- Part 1

From Popular Mechanics by Chris Sweeney.

1. HANA HIGHWAY-- Maui, Hawaii: 600 curves and 54 bridges in just 52 miles.
2. PASSO DELLO STELVIO-- Lombardy, Italy: Stelvio Pass with 48 hairpin turns and average 7.4 foot grade.
3. GUOLIANG TUNNEL-- Hunan, China: Chiseled out by hand in the 1970s. 15 feet high and 12 feet wide. (Hopefully no vehicles.)

4. MONUMENTAL AXIS-- Brasilia, Brazil: world's largest median.
5. THE ATLANTERHAVSVEIEN-- More of Romsdal, Norway: 8 small bridges passing over 8 small islands.

Boy, That's One Weird Road. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NC Bound T-Giving 2013-- Part 4: School Speed Zones

I had to switch from my usual 96.9 FM to 97.1 FM by Lily Lake and had some folks really angry at me for going the state speed limit of 20 mph past the old school. Sorry guys, but I'm not getting a speeding ticket. I always have to wonder if that 20- mph is required when you see kids outside or is that the speed anytime school is in session. I found out from a cop friend that technically it is anytime school is in session. A warning to Chicago drivers as they now have speed cameras near all schools that operate for many additional non-school hours in an effort to get money for the city..

Gas at the Elburn BP at 47 and Il-38 was $3.27. That is usually the most expensive gas on Il-47.

Of course, along with trucks and lots of traffic, another problem you occassionally encounter on Il-47 is slow-moving farm machinery.

Gas in Yorkville, the town that seems to go on forever, was mostly around $3.10. Il-47 is torn up between US-34 and Il. 71, including the whole downtown by the Fox River. I started losing 97.1 FM in Yorkville, so no more A to Z, sadly. The last songs I heard were "Uncle Jon's Band" by Grateful Dead, "Under My Thumb" by Rolling Stones and "Under My Wheels" by Alice Cooper.

Well, time to pop the old CD in, and it was the new one called "New" by Paul McCartney.


Lincoln Highway and Route 66 Play to a Tie

The 2013 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football Tournament is now over and our two famous old highways played to a tie in the 4th annual competition. Both roads had one team win their division's championship.

For Route 66 it was 5A's Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. For the Lincoln Highway, it was 6A's Batavia.

Congratulations to Both Roads.