While riding Historic Route 66 in Illinois, I tried to take a turn through the towns that seemed to pop up like an oasis after a stretch of nothin’ much. Often my ride would be like road, road, road, TOWN, road, road road…
These places that punctuate the route seemed to hold the most lovely treasures, if you’re the Americana-lovin’ sort. This Selz Royal Blue Shoes ad is in the town of Chenoa, Illinois.
Before the trip, I’d never heard of Selz Royal Blue Shoes. But like so many other things, once my eyes were opened to it and I began looking for information I had myself another rabbit hole to fall down. There are many lovely Selz ads across the midwest.
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:
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!
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.
Isn’t Atlanta just lovely?
Even though there’s a man with huge exposed weiner that lurks in the bushes right in the middle of town.
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. 🙂
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 🙂
When the calendar rolled over to 2015 and the Northeast was frozen in the icy grip of a polar vortex, I didn’t really expect to see any part of Route 66. I mean, sure I’ve always fancifully thought about it but never in a real “I should do this now!” sort of way. But here you have it – my motorcycle boots on Route 66 in Illinois.
Life is mysterious and full of possibility. Gotta take a leap of faith now and then.
Not only did I see the part of the eastern leg of Route 66, but I found myself standing next to the sign at the western terminus on the Santa Monica pier in the springtime. Again, when January showed its face I didn’t expect to be in the warm California sun during the year either.
Being impulsive has its perks.
Route 66 holds mythical sway over my imagination. Now that I’ve traveled a small length of it, I want to know more. The road seems to hold the ghosts and dreams of the people who went before you, the people searching for something, searching for themselves. There are images burned in to our collective consciousness that I need to see with my own eyes. I need to know the Mother Road.