Get your Kicks on Route 66
Day 3: Joliet to Bloomington, IL – 93 miles
We begin our day with the ritual playing of Nat King Coles “Get your kicks on Route 66” on the IPOD attached to the Jag’s Retro Sound radio. The IPOD will be providing a 60’s soundtrack throughout the journey.
Today we have resigned ourselves to becoming unabashed tourists – stopping at every kitchy landmark, touring every museum, and spending money at every gift shop. Our first photo stop is at the Gemini Giant, who, as a reminder of the space race, still stands guard over the long-shuttered Launching Pad Restaurant in Wilmington IL.
In Odell, IL, we take a moment to visit the beautifully restored Standard Oil gas station. Built in 1932, it remained active until the 70’s. Inside are an enchanting collection of vintage tools that were used during its life of service. The photo was kindly taken by a German tourist, who was on the pilgrimage as well.
The highlight of the day is a visit to the lovely town of Pontiac, IL. After eating lunch in a town square that looks like a Hollywood movie set, we set about visiting the town’s wonderful museums. One of these is the Pontiac car museum, where Pontiac fans come from all over the world to consult the extensive library of shop manuals and sales literature. We were especially transfixed by the collection of art deco Chief Pontiac hood ornaments from every year of production.
Perhaps Pontiac’s most alluring attraction is the wonderful collection of murals that festoon almost every building.
We end our day at the beautiful Chateau Hotel in Bloomington. Not only have we been enjoying 60’s memorabilia – we are also paying 60’s prices. Our king size room is only $76!
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