Tag Archives: Illinois

Sunday 9th June

Again we had a early start, the weather is so hot but on the good news we’re going to have cooler weather next week. Tent away time to do the 14 miles before breakfast in mt olive. Another truck stop diner. Scrambled eggs,cheese,hash browns and onion in a tortilla wrap followed by a choc chip pancake. Got to keep the energy up!

Following old Route 66 again most of the day. We had a choice of 2 Route 66’s today.

We chose the 1930-1940 route to take us to the pink elephant antique shop at Livingston, home of muffler man 4 ‘Harley Davidson man’

We had a look around the shop, lots of old Interesting bits and pieces, Mike rather fancied a change of bicycle but it was a little bit too expensive.

Just short of the 50 mile mark today we roll into our home for the night a kampground of America In Granite city. They have log cabins with air conditioning and tv. Mike being a spoilt brat couldn’t resist.

After settling in and feeling very hot after we cooled off and relaxed in the pool. The 1st swim of the trip. Most of the pools so far haven’t been open, from now on it’s in full season so hopefully more pools will be ready.

Saturday 8th June

Another early start to the day. We went slightly off Route to go to see a covered bridge sugar creek covered bridge. Built by Thomas Black in 1827 closed to traffic in 1984 one of only 5 historic covered bridges in Illinois and is The oldest of all the remaining bridges.

We move on for breakfast a 20 mile ride into Divernon. A truck stop on the frontage road Interstate 55, the frontage road was Route 66 and we followed that pretty much the rest of the day off and on in between swapping onto country roads, crisscrossing railway tracks.

When nature calls sometimes you just gotta go, interesting graffiti

Cooler temperatures today with the odd tailwind made it a good easy cycle ride it also helps that it’s flat, you can see for miles across corn fields. 57 miles today taking our total over 1500 miles into the trip.

Our resting place today is a campsite just passed Litchfield. We stopped for our tea in a old 50s diner Ariston cafe supposedly operated since 1924 the longest operating restaurant along the entire stretch of Route 66. Despite alterations the building still maintains its historic character.

Tent up, showered and over 1500 miles completed it’s a Saturday night so treated ourselves to a little tipple. All along the road since Boston we have been seeing fireball miniature bottles, why not give it a try for ourselves.


Friday 7th June

Today we were planning to do 40 miles. We checked the weather forecast and it was going to be another hot day, so a early start was in order. Packed and ready for 6:30 am of we cycle we would have breakfast in Elkhart. A nice easy ride on old Route 66 taken us past a sign to tell us it’s the site of pig hip restaurant 1937- 1991 not sure why we needed a sign in the middle of nowhere for that!

Breakfast in Elkhart small town population of 400 and a early settlers cemetery. Only 1 restaurant open. Breakfast was good scrambled eggs and toast it’s a really friendly town if you can judge it by the ladies loo at least your friend can pass the paper!

After breakfast we carry on we had 30 miles more to do and it was getting hot. We check our guide book and couldn’t see anything really worth stopping for so decided to push on to get to the motel early and hopefully we could check in early.

On we go stopping briefly for drinks, suntan lotion and bug spray breaks. We were headed to a motel 6 in Springfield and had to leave Route 66 as that turned into interstate 55. Not a problem following the back roads but it meant that we missed giant man statue number 3 the lauderbach giant 7 miles out of our way.

Other places of interest here include Lincoln’s tomb and a historical town.

We arrived at the motel 12:30 pm and they allowed us to check in early. 45 miles in total today done before the heat and a relaxing afternoon great. The weather still looks hot tomorrow so hopefully we wake up early and get our asses in gear and go.

Thursday 6th June

After a early night and a lie in I felt much better. I’m not sure weather it was the heat or being over 50, but I have to say I was rough. I had a headache and was shaking into the early hours but managed to get some sleep. Apologies to Noha and Julian if I disturbed them in the night with my constant loo trips. When your in someone else’s house it’s difficult to know weather to flush the toilet in the middle of the night!

Anyway I had a little lie in and 8 :00 am Noha and Julian returned from a early morning cycle ride. They had done 25 miles before I even got out of bed! They are in training for a cycle tour of Germany on a tandem in a couple of weeks.

We joined them for breakfast, I had fruit and yogurt delicious and said our good byes.

After yesterday we had decided to have a easy day today only 30 miles to a campsite. I nice easy flat ride still following Route 66 lots of down hills to. Bonus.

The 1st tourist attraction funks grove a maple sirup farm yes they spell it with a I. The lady in the shop was lovely, she could see how hot we were so gave us each a bottle of ice cold water. The sirup was delicious so brought a small bottle for the road.

The next attraction on the road was in a small town called Atlanta were they had a giant man holding a hotdog statue. Apparently there are 4 giants on Route 66 he was called Paul Bunyan statue. Number two ticked off.

Next stop Lincoln this is the last for today. There is a campsite here 30 miles done and it’s hot. Lincoln’s attractions are a phone both on top of the town hall, apparently it was blown up there in a tornado back in the 50’s and they left it there, not sure how true that is but a good story. Google says a different story but who am I to argue with the local that told the story.

Lincoln also has a giant statue of abe Lincoln in a wagon. Lincoln is the only town that was named after him whilst he was still alive. The statue boasts to be the biggest of a covered wagon.

Wednesday 5th June

A story off 100’s. It’s 100 degrees and 100 kilometres. Ok I’ve been using miles 60 miles done in the heat and I was suffering. Yesterday was a day off so we did all our washing, in my wisdom the clean top I put on was black. So here I am in the middle of the day with no tree coverage cooking. Mad dogs and English men!

Mike was getting frustrated with me to the point that after 30 miles he was ready to call it a day. I am stubborn and tough I stupidly said that I wanted to carry on. We had a warm showers host for tonight and a promise of a home cooked vegetarian meal that was spurring me on.

A quick McDonald’s break for a cold drink and change of top we set off. Lovely old towns empty roads just hot! We were following old Route 66 must of it was now a cycle path sandwiched between a rail track and a interstate. It’s really cool that cyclists can use Route 66 but cars can’t, loving it

Lunch stop was in Pontiac a lovely town with lots of wall art. And miniature cars

We ended up at our hosts house 7:30pm hot and tired. We had some difficulty finding their home following the gps but we made it.

We were greeted with warm smiles and made to feel at home instantly. Showered and our clothes off our back in the wash. We sit down for a tasty meal, beer and for me a lovely cup of tea. Unfortunately the heat had got to me and I wasn’t feeling to great so after dinner I had a early night. They were both understanding lovely people.

Tuesday 4th June

A day off the bike today, it’s my 50th birthday. We’re staying in the motel another night and just going to relax and explore Dwight. It’s a small town but has restaurants shops and a old Route 66 garage. (Ambler-Becker Texaco gas station, 1932 era.)

We visit the garage and went out for a birthday meal at a local diner

I’m feeling relaxed and recouped ready for more cycling tomorrow. About 60 miles to do as we have a warm showers host.

Monday 3rd June

Today we will actually cycle on Route 66, Mike is like a big kid so excited I’m surprised that he even slept last night.

We left camp and headed for a town called Elwood for our breakfast. Apparently the blues brothers came from Joliet so on Route we passed their car.

We had a excellent breakfast in a diner I’m still “off” of omelette and had avocado on toast with poached eggs a big surprise for a small town diner.

We followed Route 66 all day,seeing many road side attractions. Giving us the chance to have some fun.

We passed through a small town called Gardner with a old two cell jail house, and a camping shop. My inflatable pillow has a puncture so we went in for a replacement. We asked the store owner if they sold them, she laughed and said we were the second people to ask in 7 years. She didn’t.

A excellent days ride into Dwight where we booked into a super 8 motel for two nights. Tomorrow is my 50 th birthday so we are having a day off . 54 miles completed today. I think we’re making good progress, I might just treat myself to a days sleep after all 50 is officially old.