Wednesday, May 21, 2014

October 4th, 2013     LeClaire, Iowa to Atlanta, Illinois
We started off today by watching rain drops hitting the windows of the hotel.  A storm was going through eastern Iowa and we got some early morning showers from it.
While we waited for the showers to subside we  played a little bit with the software and tablets.  It seems we are having problems getting the photos to load into blogger running on iPad or android.  I'll continue to try to get it worked out, but it may be beyond my capibilities to do.  If that is the case, I'll have to add the pics after I get home.  :(
At about 10 a.m. we dried off the cars and headed off to Antique Archeology (home of the "American Pickers" show on History Channel") in St Claire.  I have watched the show for a few years now and I really enjoy the mysteries of what items are worth.  Since we were in St Claire to pick up the cars at mikE's farm, it was just a few miles out of our way to visit the Antique Archeology store.
When we arrived at the store, my first impressions were:  1) Wow... that place is Tineeeee!  And, 2)  They sure do have a lot of people jamed into the parking lot!  We went in and toured the shop, it was interesting to see all the items in the shop that have been featured on the American Pickers show.  I guess they don't sell most of the stuff they feature on the show, because almost every piece was still there.  They had a lot of NFS tags on items, and just a few price tags on the rest.  After the parking lot had cleared a bit, I drove Lola up next to the front of the shop and David took a pic.
Notice that Lola is almost as long as the tiny shop is wide!

After a couple more pics of the store, we headed out for Joliet, Illinois.  Joliet is where we planned to get on Route 66, The Mother Road.  Cruising on the freeway in Lola is very nice.  David updated the sound system with a current cd/tuner/ipod player and speakers.  Everything looks pretty stock, including the am radio in the dash, but the sounds are definately newer.  With the top down at 70 mph the wind is not bad, and it is definately quiet enough to enjoy the tunes.
For a big car on smaller tires, Lola handles pretty well.  The engine has plenty of power and the car is wide enough to corner quite flat.

Enjoying some tunes and cruising to Joliet

After we arrived at Joliet, we turned onto 66, got some fuel, and headed south. The first stop was the Route 66 raceway.  There are two tracks there, a drag strip and a circle track.  There were no races going on, so the security guards letus drive down and have a look at the empty stands and track at the dragstrip.  

Souveniers truck for the Route 66 Drag Strip

We noticed the the Chicago Land NASCAR track was across from route 66 Raceway, so we drove over there and watched some of the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience  folks learning to drive a nascar race car at moderately high speeds.  
Top - Steve and Renie checking out the cars while in the background a car whizzes by
Bottom- A racer's car sitting on the grid

It was time to go to lunch, so we drove south to tThe Polka Sot Drive Inn and had great burgers and shakes.  The Polka Dot is famous for it's life sized statues of some famous stars.  

Can you guess who they are?

From the Polka Dot we headed down to Pontiac, Illinois to visit the Pontiac Museum.  For a small building, they had a lot of nice cars inside.  One of the nicest ones was a 1963 Bonneville, one of the largest hardtops ever built.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sorry Folks

I'm getting very erratuc results for entering blog posts from my tablet.  Iwill not be entering any posts here until I am home and have access to my laptop.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 2 on Route 66

Well, I am making progress on the blog postings.  Small baby steps, but at least I see a little hope.  I found that the major problems I have experienced are because I have been trying to use my tablet to do the editing. 

At first, I thought it was not going to work at all.  Now I have downloaded a blogger app and it appears I can make it work.  There will be a little delay in catching up, because I haven't been able to post for several days, and frankly, it will take me some time to get used to the tablet app.  

While we are on the topic of speakingly, I wanted to show you the first roadside curiosity we encountered this morning.  A local guy at the restuarant last night told us we had to go to the old downtown district of Atlanta, Illinois and see the "weiner man".  So, of course we drove right over there this morning.  

I think in order to continue the description, I'd prefer to call him "frank man".  You may notice the he has what may well be the largest "frank" in the world.  So large, in fact, that he has to use both hands to hold it!  In fact, he has even developed a method of supporting his "frank" using the special "one hand up, one hand down forearm support method".  This allows him to hold his huge "frank" and still keep one hand available for other jobs, like shaking hands with any other goliaths that may drop by on their travels up route 66.  There are a lot more of these roadside curiosities ahead.

The Atlanta "Weiner Man"

After leaving the Weiner Man we enjoyed learning about the steam powered grain elevators just around the corner.  The elevators had been in use until the 1950's and are now another roadside curiosity.

Atlanta Illinois Grain Elevator

From the elevator, we drove to another roadside curiosity, the worlds largest covered wagon.
The wagon is the world's largest, but which is longer?

Next, we drove to an aerospace museum at Logan airport.  There was an A7 fighter plane that saw combat in Iraq parked in the parking lot, awaiting restoration.  Steve (being an aerospace engineer,) spent quite a while talking shop with the airplane mechanics.  They were picking his brain about this aircraft.
Swooping in on Lola for a buzz

From here, we continued on to Springfield, Illinois to check out Abe Lincoln's home and the historic Illinois Statehouse.

Top:  Abraham Lincolns home in Springfield, Illinois
Bottom:  Illinois State Supreme Court in the Illinois Statehouse (used before, during , and after the Civil War

Technical difficulties

I've experienced problems using my tablet to update or post new info to my blog while on this trip.  I'll continue to try and get them found and fixed, but intil then, please follow along on our trip by going to where David is posting updates daily.  I hope to be able to get my blog up soon.  Until then, enjoy David's updates and photos.

:(   Gil

Friday, October 4, 2013

We Rendezvous

Today we united.  I literally did, as I flew United from Vegas to Detroit to Moline, Illinois.  Dave and Lola (his beautiful '66 Cadillac) picked me up at the Moline airport.  Steve and Renie dropped off their rental car at the airport, and we all jumped into Lola and headed up to mikE's farm (Officially known as Shardo Farms) to pick up the Cobra.

mikE invited us to a steak barbeque with his family.  Before dinner, I had the opportunity to go out in the fields and ride along in the combine.  mikE's dad (Doug) was operating the combine, and it was fascinating to see how far technology has entered into farm equipment.  The combine has GPS controls and a video display to track where it has been.   The display showed layers with all the crop and overlays of the harvested portion.  It is driven with a joy stick with several controls on the head of the stick, similar to a Jet fighter.

After hauling the harvested corn back to the elevators and dryers, mikE and Steve took the Cobra out for a ride.  Then, mikE showed us part of his car collection, including Doug's '57 T Bird, mikE's '55 Ford pickup, and his barn fresh '36 Chevrolet coupe.  David took the coupe out for a test drive, and was impressed at how this 77 year old car drove.

Dinner was wonderful.  The food was excellent, and the chance to catch up with mikE , his wife Lisa, and their 3 daughters was great.  After the meal, we were introduced to Whitey's ice cream.  it is deeeelicious!

After fond farewells, we headed to Davenport to check into the motel. Driving through the farmlands in Lola and the Cobra, we were treated to nature's light show.  There was an electrical storm just to the northwest of us, and riding in convertibles we were able to see all the action.  No rain, just lots of crackling and light.  Awesome!

It was a great rendezvous, and the trip begins!

Renie takes a ride in the tractor with Doug while Steve tries a hand at the combine operation.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

An Oldy But Goody!


First Recording of Bobby Troup's song

Just a crazy coincidence, but Bobby Troup wrote the famous jazz song "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" in 1946.  It was recorded by the Nat King Cole Trio later that year.  That means the song is and original recording is now 67 years old!  This goes to prove that there was actually music before I was born.

The song was an immediate world wide hit.  It was later covered by many artists, including Chuck Berry (1961), the Rolling Stones (1964), Depeche Mode (1987), Pappos Blues (1995) John Mayer (2006), and Glenn Frey (2012).

Recordings and Videos of Route 66:

They're not fuzzy... but they are Purrfect!

OK, when Willa came home from work today she presented me with the essential "non-fuzzy authentic route 66 dice" to take along on the trip.  So, just in case we need some extra route 66 memorabilia, I'm prepared.  David says we can hang them on Lola's mirror.  I'm thinking it is a nice touch to set off the matching vanity plates that say "RTE6T6"

Last night about 10 pm Steve got the Cobra mounted on the trailer.  Now, both Lola and the Cobra are on the trailer making their way to Iowa.  mikE said to make sure the Cobra is full of fuel.  It sounds like he is in for a helluva joy ride in a few days when they arrive.

Only 11 more daze until my flight to begin the trip.  I can't wait!