Springfield Illinois Route 66 Festival

2006 Illinois 66 Festival Locator map

Day 1
No Going Back

Day 2
Cars, Cars, Cars.

Day 3
Forward Thinking

September 24, 2006
I managed to avoid any deadends on the way home although I did find myself driving in circles now and then. It was kind of wet in the morning and cool all day but the weather was generally agreeable. I encountered a whole bunch of Model Ts and checked up on the bridge in Bridgeton.

September 23, 2006
The weather was again cooperative while I took in the new museum and the old capitol, visited Lincoln's only house, and strolled by cars of just about every age. Met some new friends and re-met some old ones and just generally had a good time.

September 22, 2006
The weather forecasts were indicating that my second crossing of the Chain of Rocks Bridge might be just as wet as the first one but it was actually dry and sunny. I met a few old friends on the Missouri shore and really enjoyed the crossing. Then, at the first stop in Illinois, I discovered that my reverse gear had gone missing. But I still enjoyed the day and know that things could be worse. Backing all the way to Cincinnati would be a bitch.

In September 2003, I was part of a caravan that crossed the Mississippi River on the Chain of Rocks Bridge then continued north to Springfield, IL. The roads we traveled, like the bridge, had once been part of US-66. Even though I had, for the second time, driven the length of the historic road just three months previous, this was my first involvement in any organized Route 66 activity. Each year a national Route 66 conference aligns itself with one of several festivals and in 2003 that festival was the one in Springfield. That made Springfield's 2003 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival rather high profile but, even so, it was an opportunity to cross the bridge, not the festival, that drew me.

In spite of some rain, crossing the old bridge was wonderful. Equally wonderful was the fact that I was traveling with fellow roadies and loving it. Roadies like Ollie, Dee & Wes who I met at the bridge. At the festival, I spoke with people I knew of but had never met; Michael, Jerry, Ken, Drew, Jim. I had learned of the bridge opening from a Route 66 e-group I had recently joined on Yahoo and, at the last possible moment, I signed on to a breakfast meeting the group had planned. There I met more enthusiastic and friendly roadies; David, Jim, Mike, Laurel, Kip.

This year I'm going back and, once again, getting to drive over the Chain of Rocks is a big attraction. But I'm also going back for the people. In fact, it was learning of Wes & Dee's plans to attend that got me working on my own. I've attended two of the three national events held since the one in Springfield and have met most of the folks I've mentioned at least another time or two. The national event was in Albuquerque this year (That's the one I missed.frown) so not all those people will be in Springfield this time. But some will and there'll be some new folks, too.

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