Today is Day 33 Friday August 8 2008
Today we are going to enter the last state of our Route 66 road trip.
We cross over the Mississippi River from the State of Missouri into the State of Illinois. First stop of the morning is The Chain Of Rocks Bridge. The bridge is closed to vehicle traffic except for special Route 66 themed event weekends, then they will open it up. The rest of the time, the bridge is open only to pedestrians.
We have gotten into a habit of stopping at the entrance to each town and taking a photo of the towns welcome sign. Here is a really good welcome sign for the town of Hamel Illinois. Hamel is obviously proud of their Route 66 heritage.
Next stop is Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton Illinois.
We met the proprietor Rich Henry, who was busy dusting one of the ceiling fans as we entered the store. We spent the better part of an hour with Rich as he showed us around his Rabbit Ranch. He has both kinds of rabbits, the hopping kind and the Volkswagen kind. Rich showed us his version of the famous Cadillac Ranch, with his Volkswagens buried in the ground.
Rich has every kind of souvenir inside his Route 66 store.
Further along the road we came to the Soulsby Station, a restored Route 66 Shell Station in Mount Olive Illinois
We had lunch at The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield Illinois.
Then it was on to see the Our Lady of the Highways shrine in Raymond Illinois. This shrine was erected to protect travellers as they travelled back and forth on Route 66.
The next photo op is Art’s Motel.
Then we pulled into The Cozy Dog in Springfield Illinois to sample the hot dog on a stick that made this restaurant famous from one end of Route 66 to the other.
While we were in Springfield we went in search of the Lauderbach Giant, one of several Giant statues in Illinois.
In Broadwell Illinois we stopped in at the Pig Hip Restaurant. Although the restaurant burnt down a few years ago, and then the museum burnt down, the owner, Ernie Edwards still welcomes Route 66 visitors into his home. We visited with Ernie for an hour and learnt about the history of the Pig Hip and Route 66.
A bit further along Route 66 we came to The Mill Restaurant. The Mill is currently being restored and I have learnt that since our visit and taking our photographs, that the vanes have been restored and placed on the windmill.
If you wish to view all of our photos from today, you can click on the link to my FLICKR site.