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route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes)Route 66 Trip '99        Baker, Alex, John, and Rachel
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   e-mail us on our trip!
Day 1 - Illinois
Day 2 - Missouri
Day 3 - Kansas/ Oklahoma
Day 4 - Oklahoma
Day 5 - Oklahoma/Texas/New Mexico
Day 6 - New Mexico
Day 7 - New Mexico/Arizona
Day 8 - Arizona/California
Day 9 - California
Day 10 - California
Day 11 - California
Day 12 - California
Day 13 - California / Nevada / Utah / Wyoming
Day 14 - Wyoming / Colorado
Day 15 - Colorado / Nebraska / Iowa / Illinois

Day 1 [7/21/99]
From: Chicago, IL
To: St. Louis, MO
Total Miles: 293 
Sites Seen: Launching Pad Cafe, Log Cabin Inn, Funk's Grove, Atlanta, Jane's House.
Today's Entry By: John Raskin

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John and Rachel contemplate the loins of the Gemini Giant
Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock, as the day begins
Silently closing the kitchen door
Leaving to pick up of the four
He goes downtown to the Frankes’
Picking up Rachel first

Quietly turning onto Ogden
Leaving downtown they are free
They’re leaving home

Well, we made it to Chicago before we got lost. Something about Ogden turning out from under us, and we ended up driving by a lot of places that said "taqueria" and other stuff in Spanish. Anyway, we ended up on Joliet Road for a while and drove past a big Martian where some woman who didn’t speak English took a picture of me and Rachel.

route66Sign.gif (1961 bytes) We stopped at the Log Cabin Inn in Pontiac, so that the athletic kids could use the batting cages while Alex and I looked behind the building for a road that didn’t exist. According to our guidebook, which is about as clear as the Francis Parker cut policy, a section of the original Route 66 was supposed to fade off in the distance behind the building. Instead, there was a freshly constructed pile of rubble which we believe is the still-warm corpse of the Mother Road. Rachel took a souvenir brick.

After Pontiac the road stayed just east of I-55 mostly, and it ran alongside an antique but seemingly operational row of telephone poles. Sometimes I veered away from the highway and into the rest of America, which is apparently filled with corn. Each time we got lost, though, we somehow turned up found, especially in time to eat lunch in Lexington (named, of course, for the battle). We also played on their brand new community playground and Rachel used the bathroom of the fire department, which in turn spent the day rotating its trucks.

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Won't you take me to...Funky Town.
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Alex Franke: "Oh my god.  It IS the apartment from Flashdance."
We then proceeded Towanda into Bloomington, which was Normal. In Funk’s Grove, population negligible, we bought their world-famous maple "sirup" and Baker mispronounced Glaida Funk’s name to her face. We also visited the library/museum in Atlanta, Illinois, a town with a rich history of citizens being born, living, and then dying in their rocking chair of unexplained causes while they otherwise feel just fine. This is according to a newspaper article framed in the museum. They also single-handedly consolidated their school districts in the 1970s, when the supply of children dried up. That was a big event in Atlanta.

We followed Route 66 pretty successfully through Springfield, where we examined the itinerary, time of day and weather and decided that we were sick of driving on the damn frontage road and getting lost in cornfields. So we got on the interstate and went to St. Louis, an area that has the fine accomplishment of becoming a bustling city in spite of the fact that nobody lives there. The streets are empty, the restaurants are empty, and all the signs that mark state roads are shaped like Missouri, which is just weird. We passed by the arch and argued over whether there are windows in it (there are), and then we rented a movie and fell asleep to it, except for me. I fell asleep late, late at night and woke up in the morning to find that, thanks to continental drift or something, Baker was sleeping about an inch from my face. And you don’t want to see Baker’s face while he’s sleeping. But I’m encroaching on Alex’s territory, so I’ll sign off.

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