I remember my first trip to Chicago last November. Once Kyle and I crossed the Illinois/Missouri state line, we started seeing signs for Route 66. I asked Kyle to pull over so I could drive on it. I had always been a fan of Route 66, and I could not wait to experience it in real life.
I remember texting friends and family to tell them that I was on Route 66. It was a huge moment for me because I was experiencing something that I had dreamed about for years.
I still believe there is just something magical about that road. It is even more magical when you get to drive on the actual road instead of the sections where it is now I-55. When you are on that two-lane divided highway, something happens to your inner core. Your cares go out the window, and you start feeling like a teenager on a joy ride.
During our visit to the Lincoln, Illinois area, we got everywhere via Route 66. It was so much fun. We saw diners, gas stations, and even stores that adorned the Route 66 emblem all over their buildings and signs. It was amazing. I felt like I was in a different era.
However, after seeing the Illinois portions of Route 66, I am wondering if this is a history that is dying. With I-55 taking people around the little towns that 66 passed through, you can see signs of these communities becoming ghost towns. I think it is so sad that people are in such a hurry that they are passing right by these little communities without even realizing it.
I think road trips are a lot more fun if you exit the interstate once in a while and experience little communities like Atlanta and White City in Illinois. The way these communities hang on to the "good ole days" is amazing, and I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying it. Their pace of life is just slower, and you can tell the difference the minute you exit.
One of my dreams is to acquire a huge RV and make the trip from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California via Route 66. I think it would be so magical. It would be interesting to see how the regions change from town to town. Of course, if anyone has the same dream as I do, I am afraid we are going to have to hurry. I am not sure how much longer some of the areas and attractions will still be around.