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
Davidhsoh.wordpress.org 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!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Journey Begins

"Lola" begins the journey

Today the journey has begun.  At least for one of the participants.  Her name is "Lola" and she is a seductive looking thing.  She is now on her way to Iowa, stopping at Saint George to be joined by her Cobra escort vehicle.  Once they arrive at mikE's farm in Iowa, we will be rendezvousing with her there.  
Lola is a '66 Caddy convertible.  White, with black top and red interior.  What a beauty!  
 I can't wait to meet her!  Meanwhile, between getting ready for the trip, I'm going out for a few days of camping with Willa and the dogs.  More, later.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Details, Details, Details

We have finalized most of the details for the "66 on 66 in a 66" road trip.  Here are the highlights:

The car transporter is going to pick up David's Caddy any day, then come to Saint George and pick up Steve's Cobra.  They will be dropped off at another Jeep friend's farm in Iowa.  Steve and Renie are flying to Chicago on the 1st of October.  David will join them in Chicago on the second.  They will get a rental car in Chicago and drive to Moline, where I will arrive the afternoon of the 3rd.  We will hang out at mikE's farm on the 3rd, then head for Joliet, Illinois on the 4th, where the route 66 trip will begin for the four of us.  

We aren't going to start in South Chicago, the original start of route 66.  We've all been there before, and it is an unnecessary risk to drive into South Chicago in such desirable cars.  Joliet is the famous location of the Illinois State Penitentiary, and that should offer enough adrenaline rush for the start of our trip.  So, we will start our adventure at the famous location of Jake and Elmo's start of the Blues Brothers adventure.   It must be a "mission from God".

Stay tuned for more preparation details and pics.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

29 Days 'till Take-off

OK, the Cobra in the picture on the last post belongs to Jeeping friend  Steve's.  He is going along on the trip.  This sweet Caddie belongs to David (another Jeeping guy).

Once I decided to go ahead with the "66 on 66 in a 66" project, the challenge was to find a '66 car that would meet some specific requirements:  1)  It had to be capable of over 2,000 miles without major breakdown.  2)  It had to be comfortable for travel,  3) Decent fuel mileage and range.  And... 4) Something I could afford to acquire.

There are plenty of cars out there that meet the criteria above, but after a long search, I couldn't find a car that I could afford.  It was especially hard when I thought of buying the car and then turning around and driving it over 2,000 miles.  I came up with an idea that if I could find the right car, I could "flip" it to help pay for the expenses.  Collectors in the mid-west are always on the lookout for classic cars that don't have rust issues, so I reasoned I could buy a nice rust-free car from the areas south of my home in Utah, then drive it to Chicago via Route 66.  I hoped to be able to sell the car there for a profit that would also help defray the cost of driving and pay for the return flight from Chicago.

After several days of research, I determined that the prices of classic cars in Chicago were not going to make it affordable for me to pick up a car and flip it after driving it there.  It's hard to gauge the value of a non-rusty car in the mid-west, because all the ads there say the car is "rust free".  Most of them have had rust repair during the restoration.  The prices for those cars were very close to the cost of an original car with no rust here in the dry climates.

No sooner had I decided I would have to scrap the project than my Jeeping friend Steve told me another of our Jeeping friends, David, was looking for a co-driver to drive his '66 Cadillac convertible on a route 66 trip.  Eureka!!!  I called David, and we started putting together a plan.  David is going to ship the Caddie to Iowa where another Jeeping friend (Mike) has a farm.  Steve is going to ship his Cobra on the same carrier.  David, Steve, and Renie (Steve's wife) are going to fly to Chicago and then drive a rental car to Iowa to pick up their cars at Mike's farm.  I'm going to fly to Moline, Illinois and join the fun.

So, the "66 on 66 in a 66" is underway.  In 29 days we will be ready for the launch.  Since we have all been to Chicago multiple times, we are going to jump on 66 in Joliet, just south of Chicago.  Joliet is a lovely town, famous for it's prison.  It was immortalized in the "Blues Brothers" movie where Jim Balushi was set free and picked up by Dan Akroyd.  That sounds like a great place to begin the excellent adventure.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kick Start This Blog For A New Adventure!

Escort Vehicle Ready to Launch
OK, it has been a long time since I posted any adventures.  (3 years almost!)  There have been several adventures that didn't get documented.   

The last series of posts during the winter of 2010 documented the building of my off-road trailer.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I sold that trailer to a lucky buyer in New Mexico that plans to use it  for camping and hunting.  He'll be towing it behind his Nissan Frontier.  It will be a great trailer for his purpose.

My motivation for starting up the ol' blog again was a vision I had earlier this year. April 6th, to be exact.  While celebrating my 66th birthday, I had this thought come into my feeble brain "Why not take a trip down route 66 this year?"  Taking a trip down "66" while I was "66" sounded like a fun thing to do, but what would I do for a vehicle?  Traveling in any of my existing vehicles sounded either mundane or torturous.  Willa's 2010 Ford Focus is a very good car for travelling the freeways in comfort economically, but really seems out of place on the "Mother Road" alongside classics and exotics.  My Jeep Wrangler  is an awesome rock crawler and fun to drive off-road or on trips, but not for a trip involving thousands of miles of pavement.  My little '95 Tracker would be more economical than the Jeep and is a lot of fun driving on two track roads or around town, but it would be an enduro test for my back driving it to Chicago and back.  

To really enjoy the ambiance of the Mother Road, I feel you need to travel it in a vehicle that was built during the times when US Highway system was a maze of two and three lane roads that wove the fabric of America together by going through as many small towns as you could.  In other words, my transportation needed to be classic or vintage.  Then it struck me, the best vehicle would have to be a 1966 year model.  1966 was about the last year that the interstate highway system was incomplete, so you still got to experience the wonderful ambiance of the Mother Road without being forced onto the mindless mega highways we called "freeways".  

So, Project "A 66 Driving 66 In a 66" Begins"