We were determined to spend some time on Route 66. I exited I-55 in Pontiac, Illinois to check out their museum. The staff there were great and helpful. I got a map for the drive to St. Louis.
Saturday morning, May 19th, we departed from Oak Brook, Illinois heading to St. Louis. This would be one of our longest legs of the trip, about 270 miles.
I researched the location of Route 66 before departing Atlanta. The route starts in Chicago but is pretty congested these days in the beginning. So, I waited until we reached Pontiac, Illinois before leaving I-55. We noticed right away that there was a Route 66 museum located here.
I visited the museum while Jackie stayed in the car. I enjoyed what I saw and recommend it for anyone with an interest in this history. Since Jackie was still in the car, I grabbed a map and we drove about 20 miles along the Old Route 66. Wow, it is scenic but it doesn't take long to understand why they developed I-55, parallel and only a short drive away. It is rough shape now and I assume that not much is spent to maintain it.
We wanted to bypass Springfield so we switched back to I-55 and stayed there until we reached Atlanta. Not Georgia, of course. But Atlanta, Illinois. One of the landmark giants was relocated here in 2003. It
Our next stop: Atlanta.
was Paul Bunyon. We learned that there are another three of them along the route out west.
We then got serious about this long drive and stayed on the freeway the remainder of the drive. As we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi, Jackie got her iPhone camera ready to capture the state sign. But, what the heck, no sign! Dang. Who doesn't place a sign at their state line? Anyway, we are in Missouri.
Once in St. Louis we found our hotel, checked in and rested for a while. Out hotel is in walking distance to the Gateway Arch and baseball stadium.
After a short rest, Jackie read of an area with good restaurants and night life about six miles north of our hotel, called the Loop. We gave consideration to using public transportation to get there but now glad we did not. We parked in a triple deck parking lot and walked about the Loop. Soon we decided that we made a mistake. The loud music blasting out of each bar and club was not our style. Tattoos and smokes are not either.
So, we drove back, walked around the buildings near our hotel
This is what it is all about. Here is the Bunyon Giant. It was moved to Atlanta, Illinois in 2003 from Cicero.
and finally decided on a pub in our hotel. Turns out it was fine. We sat outside. The St Louis Cardinals game had just ended and the Saturday night crowds in town were huge.
After we crashed again. We did stop by the hotel clerk and cancelled the second night here. We decided one night in town was enough.
Tomorrow we want to tour the city with stops at the Gateway Arch, Cards Stadium and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery before moving on south.
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