The Road Trip: Route 66



I haven’t had a vacation…a REAL vacation…in over 10 years. That vacation was a trip to Toronto with my best friend (from pre-school!) Brian. Fast forward to RIGHT NOW: I am on vacation. With that same best friend. We are doing a road trip from Detroit to California (and back) in my 2011 Mustang GT. We are taking the Mother Road, Route 66, on our road to adventure.

The first day found us driving out to Chicago, IL, to pick up the beginning (or the end, depending on your starting point) of Route 66. We encountered a bit of construction in downtown Chicago and actually had to detour a bit from our planned starting point on Route 66. Using my handy iPhone and some $1.00 GPS app, we were able to navigate our way back on track. I ran the gas tank down until I saw the warning “25 miles to empty” posted on my dashboard, so we stopped at some gas station in west Chicago to fill up. Averaging 21 or so MPG, I think we managed just over 320 miles on that tank. Yes, the MPG could be better, but the car has a V8 with over 400 HP, and the trunk is full of…junk...camera gear, mostly, and a couple of duffel bags for clothes.

Lunch occurred rather late, around 4pm Chicago time, as we landed at the Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket. Brian and I split an “appetizer” of some Mac n’ Cheese (it was amazing!) followed by a split basket of chicken (4 pieces total). Of course Brian took the largest piece. ;)

Along the way to our first hotel we passed a few of the wonderful roadside attractions that draw people to Route 66. For example, the Gemini Giant, was one of several very large figures originally outfitted as Paul Bunyan with an axe in their hands. They were later re-purposed as various characters to lure people into local establishments. Some carried mufflers. Some carried hot dogs. The Gemini Giant, he had a space helmet and carried a rocket!

We stopped at a few old, somewhat restored gas stations and parked the Mustang for it’s photo op. It was early evening and they were closed so we couldn’t go inside to see the old decor. Our resting place for the night was at the Route 66 Hotel and Convention Center. I rather liked this place, although the exterior wasn’t anything spectacular to look at. The amenities were decent and the bottom of the pool had a huge “Route 66” sign plastered on it.

My plan for this trip is to take thousands of photos along with some video from my GoPro HERO2 and Canon 7D cameras. Throw in the obligatory iPhone 4 photo for quick uploads to Facebook, along with photo editing and blogging and well, you can imagine that this “vacation” can quickly turn into “work.” And that’s not my idea of fun. So to those of you who are anticipating my photography, I will say this: I hope to update this blog with a few select photos of the day, and give you feedback of the adventure as it unfolds. Upon my return home I promise to lock myself in my studio and edit everything into awesomeness and post it into a special gallery on my website dedicated to this journey of mine.

Thanks for your support! Stay tuned and watch as the adventure unfolds!

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Thom BriggsComment