Tag: illinois

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

During my ride through Illinois in the fall of 2015, I followed Route 66 north from Springfield and passed through the town of Lincoln, Illinois. Prior to leaving home, I did almost no research about the areas I might ride through. I was just sort of floating on the wind and letting the ride unfold on it’s own in between a few punctation marks. And so, as I passed through Lincoln I wasn’t really looking to see anything in particular.

My knowledge of Route 66 is pretty limited in the grand scheme of things. I think that worked in my favor. When you don’t know what to expect, everything is a surprise and quite often, exciting.

When I pulled in to Lincoln, it felt like the type of America you see on tv. That may sound funny to you if you’re from an area that looks like Lincoln. But to people who exist in the bland, homogenized suburbs of a major city like New York, places like these look special.

In the middle of town there’s a square with green grass and a grand courthouse. Also a firehouse with a telephone booth on the roof. Brick buildings line the streets that spider away from the square. The whole place felt like it was covered in lovely nostalgia dust.

Figuring I may never pass that way again, I took a turn around the town, riding up and down the side streets around the town square. Along Pulaski Street, I spied a lovely ghost ad.

“Smoke Greenback Tobacco – Purest and Best(?)”

The ad is for Greenback Smoking Tobacco, a brand I’d never heard of before. A quick Google turned up this article: ‘Ghost’ turns up in Lincoln alley from The Lincoln Courier discussing the mural. The article from 2009 mentions the hope of findinf out about its history but my Google searches haven’t turned up anything more posted since then.

Greenback Smoking Tobacco Ghost Ad
Side of 414 Pulaski Street
Lincoln, Illinois
Google Streetview

Before continuing on, I snapped a shot in front of the big penny mural. A perfect way to say goodbye to Lincoln.

Petrol-Love: Olde Tyme Service Stations in Illinois

Petrol-Love: Olde Tyme Service Stations in Illinois

Last fall after finishing a stint at the Void Rally 10 in Virginia, I set off on a road trip around Illinois. My plan was to just bum around and look at stuff. As an Americana-lover, Illinois and it’s section of Route 66 have a lot to offer.

One thing that always catches my attention is old service stations. It must have something to do with my affinity for what petrol-powered vehicles represent to me: freedom, possibility, motion, the open road.

These were some of the lovely old stations that I saw in Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Dwight, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

Odell, Illinois:

I previously posted about this lovely old skeleton in Vienna, Illinois:

If That’s Tall Paul, This Must Be Atlanta

If That’s Tall Paul, This Must Be Atlanta

After spending the night in Springfield, Illinois, I set off north on Route 66. My goal for the day was to see the Gemini Giant. But, between Springfield and Wilmington, there were a lot of sights to check out along the way. One of the places I was most looking forward to was Atlanta, Illinois – the home of Tall Paul!

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

Who doesn’t love a guy with a huge weiner? AMIRIGHT? 

But, his weiner does look a little dirty.

And apparently he like to put in buns.

Moving on…

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

Isn’t Atlanta just lovely?

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

Even though there’s a man with huge exposed weiner that lurks in the bushes right in the middle of town.

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

Apparently Illinois is a hotbed of smiley water tower activity. In addition to the one that I saw in Makanda, wouldn’t you know there was also one grinning above Atlanta?

Just look at this guy. 🙂

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

Before I left home on my trip, I told the hubs that I would be visiting the guys on my coffee mug in real life. And I did 🙂

Gemini Giant and Tall Paul

fuzzygalore on route 66 atlanta illinois

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant stands sentinel on Route 66 in the town of Wilmington, Illinois. For as long as I can remember being aware of muffler men, he has captured my imagination as being special. Is it the handsome green space suit? The helmet? Maybe his name? I can’t say for sure.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

What I do know is that he is my favorite muffler man. That’s just the way it is. To some people these fiberglass giants all look the same. They think, what’s the big deal? They don’t do anything. They just stand around being the same as every other muffler man who stands around looking the same.

But, those people would be wrong.

The town of Wilmington is 900 miles from my house. In the scale of this big, wide world it’s not that far. Hell, people ride further than that in a 24 hour period. But, the truth is – sometimes it seemed like I would never be able to get there. I mean, it’s easy to hop on a plane, fly to California and do some sightseeing around San Francisco or LA. A trip like that seems to have a much more concrete purpose, a more definitive destination. You don’t question that you would be able to fill your time there with a million things. When would I ever have a reason to find myself in Wilmington, Illinois?

But, you know what? The only places you can’t get to are the ones you decide you can’t get to. When you decide there isn’t reason enough to go, there isn’t reason enough. But, when you decide you can and there is? Well, then…

In October of 2015, I finally made my way to Wilmington.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

It might sound silly but when I approached the spot where he stands I actually got a flutter of excitement. Especially when my GPS stopped marking his distance in miles and started marking it in feet. I may have said “Ohmygahhhhd” out loud. Maybe.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

When I pulled into the lot and parked, I stumbled around for a few minutes just gawking.

I’d made it!

To a parking lot of a closed down restaurant!

In Illinois!

😀

Reconciling what you’re seeing with what you’d imagined is a curious feeling. Arriving at knowing versus wondering is almost a physical sensation.

Though I was dazzled by his gorgeous green suit, that I did something that I set out to do was as important than seeing the thing itself. Maybe more important.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

I just now realized that the Gemini Giant is secretly smiling underneath his helmet. I know someone else like that.

Thankfully, I don’t have a football jammed up in mine, though.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant

Just wanting to is reason enough to do things.

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