May 20, 2019: At about 6:30 am, we loaded up our rental car and began our Route 66 journey. I had been dreaming of this trip for about 10 years if not more, and now the moment was finally here! With our “66 Bible,” as I called it, in hand, we took off. First stop on the agenda was Pontaic, Illinois (my hometown), to meet up with friends for breakfast. On the way to Pontaic we stopped in Wilmington to see the first Muffler Man. It turns out we were pretty lucky to see that Muffler Man on that day as he had just gotten a facelift and did not have his mask back on. Then off to Braidwood and Dwight, before arriving in Pontiac. Pontiac has several Route 66 related musuems, but this stop was all about seeing my friends. After a wonderful breakfast at Edingers Filling Station, we grabbed some donuts from Pfaffs Bakery and made sure to get a picture at the Route 66 Mural. On our way out of town, we stopped at St. Mary´s Cemetary to visit my mom, my dad, and my aunt. We brought some special candles from Germany and visited a moment with all 3 of them. I sure do miss them, and I know my dad would have loved to take this trip with us.
In Litchfield, Illinois we stopped and took in our first museum. The gentleman who was working that day had of course also traveled the mother road, but not with a car, no by BIKE! I was in awe and somewhat jealous at the same time. After taking some time to enjoy the museum, we hopped back in our car to continue the drive to St. Louis, where were going to spend the night and meet up with some more friends! We stayed in a wonderful Airbnb and enjoyed reconnecting with Regina and Mike.
May 21, 2019: Today the four of us took a tour of Anheueser Busch. Now, before you ask why didn‘t you go to the St. Louis Arch, well we all have been in St. Louis before and had visited the Arch, so this time we wanted to do something different. The tour was amazing. We learned all about how the beer is made and even got to try some! Of all the facts and trivia we learned that day, one bit of information stuck with me. One of the stops on the tour was in the building where the “bright beer tanks” are located (Actually, there are more than just one of these buildings.) We learned that in one tank there is so much beer that in order to empty it, you would have to drink one 12 oz glass of beer every hour for 171 YEARS!!! That is sure a lot of beer.
Later in the afternoon, the four of us traveled to Herman, MO. Herman is off the Route 66 path, but we American-Germans just had to go see the statue of Herman the German and do some wine tasting. It is in Herman where we almost got to live through a tornado! The sirens were going and we ducked into a brewery and decided to wait out the storm there. What better place to wait out a tornado than in the basement of a brewery!!!
Before leaving the next morning, Regina and I got in a 5k run together. That was pretty cool as she is my running/biking/swimming mentor and is always cheering me on from far away.
May 22, 2019: At 8:30 am, we parted ways. Regina and Mike made their way to their son‘s graduation, and we continued our journey with our end destination for the day being Carthage, Mo. Along the way we made some stops:
- Route 66 Rocker-Fanning Outpost, Cuba, Mo
- Bass Pro Shop, Springfield, Mo
May 23, 201: After breakfast, we got back on the road. Highlights today were:
- Cars, Galena
- Totem Pole Park, Foyil
- Blue Whale, Catoosa
- Buck Atom-Muffler Man, Tulsa Ok
- Round Barn, Tulsa
- Pops, Tulsa
- The Red Fork Centennial Oil Derrick, Tulsa
Total Miles Driven So Far: 851! Still lots of miles to go . .