Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Woodstock Win and Route 66 Fail

Today started off on a great note when I saw a message on my phone from someone telling me that my posts and my enthusiasm for life makes her smile. So I smiled.

And then I packed up the car and River and I went to Naperville for Woodstock Experience at the Alive! center. Kendra was my host and she found a fun venue. We got to play with the kids' balls and the hula hoops. They really helped us get into the playful spirit of the free dancer. This was the smallest Woodstock class I've taught, but we went to some playful and joyful places I haven't been to yet with this routine.

After class, I spotted a cool looking hoodie with the logo for the Alive center on it just as Kendra was handing me my pay. So I went with an impulse and bought it. I wore it the rest of the day.

I was feeling pumped. We had a great class and now I was going to begin my long awaited journey along Historic Route 66 from beginning to end. The weather was gorgeous. It was 78 degrees and low humidity. I was told to expect rain, but I laughed at that notion, telling them that I always brought nice weather with me. (I wish. I didn't tell her about the pounding I took in Indiana yesterday!)

I didn't really have a plan. If you could call it a plan, it was to look up on the internet where the route begins and then go there and follow the signs. But it didn't turn out to be that simple. The starting point has been moved a few times and now there is dispute as to where it really begins. I decided to choose one of the beginnings and go with it. I set my navigation for that intersection.  And it wasn't quite where I pictured it being.
approaching Downtown Chicago

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But finally, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown traffic, I spotted my first evidence.
A sign!
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I took a turn that I thought was what I read to do and I didn't see any signs for a long time. I drove and drove south until I was going through a bad neighborhood. So I stopped and checked a different source to try to find the beginning of the route. I reset my navigation and went back in, it basically took me back to the same place that I was before. And I was getting ready to take that same turn I took before, when I saw this disconcerting sign.
By that time, as you can tell here, I was pretty frustrated. Also the humidity seemed a lot higher than it was out in the 'burbs.
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So at this point, I was feeling pretty low, obviously. I set my Nav for the quickest route to St. Louis and even that was no joy. Just getting to the onramp, going through the city was crazy. Much like New York and San Francisco, not a good driving city.

Chicago is a beautiful city and seems like a lot of fun. I've been here in the past, but I never seem to stop and enjoy this city. I tend to get in, do my thing and get out. One of these days I should stay and walk around, or take a train or whatever you do in Chicago.

But on this day, I just wanted out of there. Imagine how fumed I was when the Interstate looked like this.
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I drove in a terrible mood for a while and planned the dismantling of the whole remainder of my trip. I was ready to go crying home with tail between my legs.
And then the traffic cleared and I was moving. And then I saw a sign to take this exit to get on Route 66 and I perked up.  I took that exit.

I took the Joliet Rd exit in Romeotown and got on IL-53 (or something like that) which was also Historic Route 66. So I followed that for a while and it was charming and pastiche and yeah, I turned a lot. And it took me all the way to the town of Joliet where I lost it again.

But in making that "wrong" turn, I happened upon a serene park with grass and lots of shade. It was near some water and there were no people in it at all. It was perfect.
 He wanted to jump in that canal, but it was too far down.

 That is one crazy pup. Cool drawbridge in the background.

Children of Peace Mosaic

We hung out in that park until my attitude adjusted and then I got back in the car.
Plus how can I stay mad with this mug in the back seat?

It was about 5pm by this point, and I had been in the car a long time, not going anywhere, so I just stayed on the highways. At one point along the way, I did see another option to get off and switch to Route 66, but I carried on to St. Louis.

I haven't given up, though. I'll do a bit more research as I'm staying in St. Louis two days and I'll do my best to get back on the the route.


4 comments:

Diane Firtell said...

you're going back to the west coast??

Jason Alan Griffin said...

Yes, that's the plan. Following the famous route as much as I can along the way.
I believe it should take me all the way to Santa Monica, CA.

Diane Firtell said...

then you're coming back...right?

Jason Alan Griffin said...

of course. I have lots of events planned in New England later this summer. Including Pittsfield.
Check out this listing of all my dates:
http://jasonalangriffin.blogspot.com/2016/01/2016-itinerary-work-in-progress.html