Day 4: Chicago (Illinois)-Springfield (Illinois)
We got up early to take a cap to the Alama Car Rental Center at the airport. It was an interesting ride… Our driver didn’t speak much English and didn’t know where he was going. Once we got near the airport we had to tell him where to go.. When we didn’t know either he called a colleague.. We took the right road, but he drove passed the entrance of the Alamo parking lot and ended up on another lot. Luckily there was someone that could tell the driver where to go.. The driver had already stopped the meter when he started making mistakes…
At alamo everything went a lot faster. They tried selling us an upgrade to a Chevrolet Camaro, for $15 per day extra.. But we declined, because we already saw there was still a Dodge Charger on the lot in the Fullsize category! We put everything in the car and started our trip along Route 66.
First stop was the birth house of Walt Disney. Heidi wasn’t feeling very safe in the neighbourhood, but everything went fine. We took some photos and drove to the Museum of Science and Industry.
This museum is very interesting with many experiments like a giant Tesla-coil to produce lightning bolts and a real tornado. Highlight of our visit was the submarine U-505. It was captured from the Germans in 1944. We also had tickets for the extra exhibit by Google: Robots. Nice to see, but i could have been better.
Normally we would have lunch at Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, but we spent too much time in the museum and were hungry so we ate at the museum.
Next stop was Joliet Prison. This prison was closed years ago, but it has been the decor for many movies and series. The most famous are The blues Brothers and Prison Break.
A little further we met the first of the ‘Muffler Men’, Gemini Giant. These giants were placed alongside highways in the 50’s to promote a carparts shop. In their hands they carried a muffler. Some owners put clothes on the giants. The owners of Gemini Giant replaced the muffler by a rocket en dressed him as an astronaut to promote the now closed Launching Pad Drive-in.
Next stop was the Polk-A-Dot Drive-Inn, with life-size statues of famous people. After some photos we drove to Gardner to go see the Two-Cell Jail. This prison only had 2 cells. We have also picked up a geocache here.
After that we passed 2 old gas stations, The Dwight Texaco Station and The Odell Station.
Not a lot further we passed the Old Log Cabin Inn. This wooden building was turned arout 180° when Route 66 was rerouted to the other side of the restaurant.
In Pontiac we stopped at the famous murals. After some photos we drove to Atlanta, where we saw the 2nd of the Muffler Men, The Bunyon Giant. The muffler was replaced by a hotdog. We met another couple. They came from London and were also driving Route 66.
It was getting late. Because we had always followed the original Route 66 and never took a shortcut we were 3 hours behind schedule.. We arrived at the hotel at 8.30pm. We stayed in the Baymont Inn & Suites Springfield. We ate in a very cozy and cheap restaurant. Eleven dollars for 6 gigantic ribs with fries and a salad. Heidi also liked her chicken.. 😉