Well hello there route 66

by Natalie

Waking up to tornado and hail warnings all along route 66 would make any motorcyclist rethink their plans. Although lovely to spend the morning in pjs we were glued to the weather channel watching the severe weather that had already and continued to ravage Illinois and Missouri. We considered rerouting our entire trip and heading west to Vancouver before heading south because the storm looked so ominous. Then we decided we weren’t ready to leave route 66 for later so we piled our gear on in a torrential downpour and were completely soaked to the bone before we even got on the bike….and wouldn’t you know it that was the end of the rain for the rest of the day! So we rode soaked all day but that was simply poor planning.

But since we faced the weather head on we were able to start the trekk of route 66. It is odd how much you really can feel the spirit of route 66 right from the sign downtown Chicago announcing its beginning. Between the historic gas stations, the crumbled original road stretching out for miles beside you, the friendly small towns of America “where everybody is somebody” route 66 in Illinois has impressed me so far.

As we began this morning and headed into the south side of Chicago (and I sang Bad Bad Leroy Brown over and over again) I was instantly taken in by the feeling of community and historical pride. I saw some beautiful graffiti stating “a community united cannot be divided” and was inspired. Everywhere we went people offered help, directions or local lore.

 

We took in our first cheesy tourist site with the gemini giant, a huge astronaut statue in Wilmington Illinois. Random yet amazing. We managed to ride the old road basically all of the way to Bloomington-Normal where we have set up camp (not literally) At a days Inn.

Now if the weather holds out we will whiz past St Louis tomorrow and hit true open road in the warm and dry weather. Pictures to come soon when Kurt is done making our movie.

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