|Lion Statue at Chicago Museum of Art, Grant's Park|
|Buckingham Fountain in Grant's Park|
"If you ever plan to motor west; travel my way, take the highway that's the best. Get your kicks on Route Sixty-Six!" - from the song Route 66 by Bobby Troup.
We headed west on Jackson Drive and just a couple of blocks later ran into another challenge - road construction. Jackson was closed, blocked off, and the detour took us 3 or 4 blocks south and then west for at least a mile. By the time we were able to head back to hook back up with Jackson, it had curved and we had lost it. About 2 miles from the start, we couldn't find the route and had only been on it for about 2 blocks. Not a great start. I drove us around for a few blocks in the general direction of where I thought it should be, but I couldn't reacquire it. Finally I pulled off to the side and plugged in the address to Henry's Drive-in in Cicero.
|Henry's Hot Dog Drive-in - a meal in itself!|
The town of Cicero, basically a suburb of Chicago, was where Al Capone moved to get away from the Chicago police after building his criminal empire there. According to legend, the whole town is still riddled with tunnels which were used by the gangsters and bootleggers. It has also long been a place of government scandal. Recently, the town mayor was convicted of misappropriating $12 million in funds and is serving time in a federal prison. As of late May, 2012, at least the old Route 66 part of Cicero we saw, the town is very blue collar and economically disadvantaged, some might call it "gritty." With burglar bars on most windows and doors of the businesses, Youngest-daughter didn't want to stop until we got out of that area. I felt OK, but I might not advise you drive through it in a convertible after dark.
|Robin Hood Mufflers - for sale|
Passing through several small towns with nothing much of note about them, we had to get on I-55 in Burr Ridge and then on and off several more times in a couple of other places because the interstate was laid on top of Route 66. After going through Romeoville (yes, Youngest-daughter and I had fun with "Oh Romeoville, Romeoville, where fore art thou Romeoville?"), we stopped in Joliet to take pictures of Statesville Correctional Center, known as the Joliet Prison. Sound familiar, but just can't place it? It is featured in the motion picture The Blues Brothers as the prison from which Jake Blues is released at the beginning of the movie. It is also the location for the first season of Fox TVs Prison Break television show and the movie Lets Go to Prison. Interestingly, the outer front gate was open and no guard was in site. We pulled up, got out of BFT and walked just inside the gate, but decided to go no further. I'm allergic to prison.
|Along Illinois Route 66 in Joliet|
Still a little too early to eat, we purchased cokes, spent a couple of minutes talking to the young and obviously very bored counter girl, took a few pictures, jumped back into BFT and headed on to the old coal-mining town of Braidwood where we would grab supper at the Polk-a-Dot drive-in, a Route 66 classic.
|Dick's Garage on Route 66|
|Roof top Blues Brothers|
|The Gemini Giant at the Launching |
Pad Drive-in Diner
Go to the first Route 66 entry here.
Or go to the first entry of each state: