Local News

Getting their kicks on Route 66

Editor’s note: Patti and Brian Blumhorst of Mendota and Dave and Conda McFee of Channahon have embarked on a 2,500-mile trip traveling on Route 66, starting from its origin in Chicago all the way to Los Angeles. The Blumhorsts are driving in their 2005 Mustang convertible and the McFees bought a 2004 Chrysler Seibring for the trip. Patti is chronicling their trip for Shaw Media.

Day 1 in the books. 178 miles.

Starting point in Chicago. First stop Miller’s Pub on Wabash. Historical stops at Dell Rhea Chicken Basket in Willowbrook, White Fence Farm in Romeoville, side jaunt to Lockport for Lock and Mule, and Coom’s Corner, owned by Cubs announcer, Ron Coomer.

The security guard at Statesville Prison didn’t take too kindly of me taking a picture! Made a drive through Joliet and ate the Launching Pad in Wilmington. The last time we ate there was 50 years ago and I threw up my corn dog. I had a burger instead.

Spending the night at Dave McFee and Conda McFee Bed and Breakfast. Resting up for an adventurous day #2.

Day #2! 12.5 hours of traveling and stopping, and only 233 miles

Still in Illinois. There is so much to see in our state. The rain didn’t stop us though. So many wonderful stops - sorry for the overload.

Made stops in Braidwood for pictures at the Polka Dot Drive In. In Gardner, saw the 2 Cell jail and restored Streetcar Diner. Dwight featured the Ambler-Becker Texaco Gas Station. Interesting fact: my Uncle Lee Pope worked at the Texaco refinery plant in Lockport for 49 years and my Grandma Findlay was a Becker from Wilmington. Great breakfast at The Old Rt 66 Family restaurant. Also, in Dwight is a bank designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and still in operation. Wonderful museums and murals in Pontiac. At the War Museum they honor hundreds of area military personal, past and present and found one for Mendota HS graduate Ian Richardson.

Stopped in Lexington to get a quirky picture at the Anvil Horseshoe place. Had to stop in Bloomington at the Beer Nut factory for some munchies and in Funk’s Grove for pure maple syrup! Of course, they spell it Syrip.

Onto Atlanta to the hometown of lifetime friends BCR Sports Editor Kevin Hieronymus and Kip Cheek of the Mendota Reporter. It was raining pretty hard, so only got a few pictures, including the “Smiley” water tower.

In Lincoln, saw the phone booth on City Hall, location where Lincoln christened the town with watermelon juice, the world’s largest Covered wagon and Lincoln statue, and Mill Cafe building.

Had a delicious dinner at the Sabuto Supper Club in Springfield. I love my supper club finds. Carlinville has a beautiful town square. Arrived in Staunton at 9 pm. A night cap at Rooster’s Bar before turning in for the night.