D&D Travel's Illinois Route 66 Journey goes on...


Above two photos: Artist Bob Waldmire's 1972 VW Microbus on display inside the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum in Pontiac. The van was the inspiration for the "Fillmore" character, voiced by George Carlin, in the Disney/Pixar animated film CARS! Quite an honor, we'd say!

The sign on the side of Bob Waldmire's "school-bus-converted-to-Road-Yacht" (below)! He actually traveled across country and lived in this thing...and the inside is as much a packed museum of Route 66 mementos as was his place in Hackberry, Arizona. It is now in its permanent home outside the 66 Hall of Fame Museum in Pontiac...

A bit about Bob's life... and his importance to Route 66's history - and future!

The old Wishing Well Motel Sign, now preserved next to Bob Waldmire's school bus. The motel was in Countryside, Illinois and first opened in 1941. After its closing, the sign and original wishing well were moved to the 66 museum in Pontiac and preserved...another great job by the preservation committee (Thanks, John!!)

In Lexington, you can walk a completely original mile-long piece of 66 from 1926. Dubbed "Memory Lane," it offers nostalgic signs and billboards and is the site of an annual country fair and Route 66 reunion...

Sitting abandoned along Memory Lane, a "ghost" telephone pole recalls years past. Railroad tracks run parallel to the road, just visible in the background

Old Lexington Motel sign along the lane. The motel is now apartments at Main St and Bypass 66

An original concrete bridge along a part of abandoned 66, still in good condition...

Looking south across the bridges, you can see both the old (right) and new alignments. Note that the new bridge (on left) has almost the same design as it predecessor!

An obvious Route 66 local enthusiast in Lexington has quite the display on his garage!

In the hamlet of Funk's Grove - an oasis of Maple and other trees amidst cornfields...Above is the Old Country Store. Funk's Grove is perhaps one of the most popular stops along Historic Illinois Route 66!

The Shirley Railroad Depot in Funk's Grove, just down from the Old Country Store. The Maple Grove here is now a National Natural Historic Landmark!

One of the only places in the Midwest that makes pure Maple Sirip (yes, "Sirip"). The land has been owned by the family since 1824 and sirip has been commercially made here since 1891 by Arthur Funk. We stocked up while there...It's sold in the shop below - a great bunch of folks!

The Dixie Truckers Home in McLean - the original home of the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum before it moved to Pontiac...a great place for a meal while exploring the area!

Inside the Dixie...

Lia - Our sweet waitress, served up some great ice cream during our visit!

Above and below: The J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator and Museum in Atlanta, IL...It operated from 1903 until 1976. The site was dedicated as a museum in July of 1999 and is the only fully-restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The lovely Public Library in downtown Atlanta, built in 1908...

Next to the Library is a 40-foot, 1909 clock tower with an 8-day, hand-cranked movement!

Please move on to Page 4!