After our Grand Haven experience we spent some time in Monticello, Indiana with great friends. We had spent the winter together at an RV Resort in Crystal River, Florida, so it hadn’t been that long since we’d seen each other. Our friends were also former Navy and P-3 folks who were stationed at Brunswick, Maine Naval Air Station during the same period of time that we were there. We had an awesome time boating on their lake and experiencing all the great eating establishments in Monticello. Evenings we sat up around their fire pit and reminisced, told stories and solved the world problems. I don’t recall, but we maybe even enjoyed an adult beverage or two, lol.
We thought, being only 1 1/2 to 2 hours away, that it made sense to leave our Motorhome in the RV Park in Monticello and drive our car into Chicago to find the start of Route 66. So, off to the Windy City.
Perhaps not as “enlightening” as a Pilgrimage to Mecca, but none the less a Pilgrimage of discovery for us. We felt that this trip officially started our quest to discover Americana! Our route begins in downtown Chicago. As we walked the inner city looking for the sign that says we’ve found the start of the MotherRoad, I was reminded that we were in the inner city when we saw the remnants of someones bicycle still locked to a bicycle rack and totally stripped of every part not locked. Although I chuckled when I saw it, I thought it a sad commentary on the rigors and challenges of life in any big city, today.
We Googled the location of what we considered the “official starting line” of our Route 66 odyssey and followed the directions to “THE SIGN”:
With the photo taken and memorialized for the ages, we headed back to the car, which was in a parking ramp on Adams Street. As we redeemed our parking ticket and realized that the stupid picture just cost us $16.50 in parking we could only laugh. So please enjoy the stinking picture. We headed out of Chicago towards Joliet and didn’t seem to even notice that Route 66 in Chicago was all but forgotten in the struggles with inner city life. Nothing glamorous and barely acceptable, this area of Chicago and into Cicero was pretty much what I’d consider a ghetto area. We stopped in Cicero at the World Famous “Henry’s Hot Dog Stand”. The hotdogs were great and a true Chicago Hot Dog doesn’t have catsup. As a matter of fact, there was no catsup even available. When you have no options, you have no problems! Looking around and remembering that we made a decision to not take a gun into Chicago because of their stringent regulations, prudence seemed to remind us to not allow our enthusiasm about the start of our journey to overshadow complete awareness of our surroundings. As we neared Joliet however, it improved. We were finally on the MotherRoad and headed down that asphalt ribbon to our next adventure.
Photos from Chicago