Showing posts from 2017

MOPCon III - a fantastic weekend in Joliet

MOP Con III--that's the third annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference for the uninitiated--is now one for the history books. A memorable weekend in Joliet, Illinois, drew attendees from numerous states plus Canada. I salute Debyjo Ericksen, conference organizer, for a fun and informative weekend! As in the first two MOP Cons (Edwardsville 2015 and Bloomington-Normal 2016), the weekend featured historical tours, a variety of presentations, entertainment, and social/dinner get-togethers. On Thursday, October 19, well-known preservationist/author John Weiss led a bus tour from Joliet to Dwight and back. And on Thursday evening, our group met up for hard-hitting rock 'n roll at The Forge in downtown Joliet. The opening band got extra stage time due to the tardiness of the featured band. The Blooze Brothers finally arrived. Although some of the Boomers left to seek out a quieter venue, most stayed for perennial favorites like "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"

June 2017 Route 66 events and adventures with the new van

With the 2017 Route 66 event season in full swing, my pertussis quarantine over, and an itch to go places in the new van, June proved to be a busy month. Between St. Louis and Chicago, I gave a program, attended a program, went to the Route 66 exhibit at Missouri History Museum twice, drove across the Chain of Rocks Bridge, sold and signed books, and, with my BCC colleagues, produced the third annual Blue Carpet Corridor festival weekend. Here's a brief rundown of my June: June 1 - At Jubelt's  in Litchfield, I met up with Bill Kelly, Executive Director of Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, and Dave Tucker, Vice-President of Blue Carpet Corridor, for hand-off of materials for Blue Carpet Corridor weekend. Lunch was terrific as always at this long-standing cafe-bakery. June 4 - I drove to Greenville to record a podcast for Creekside with Don and Jan at Owl Creek  with the lively and fun Don and Jan Stover. We talked Route 66, the upcoming Blue Carpet Corridor event, and my ne

#AliceMyVan Camper Van Dreaming

Dreaming of road trips in the van was mostly all I was able to do in May. Hours of work for Blue Carpet Corridor , writing deadlines, and a several-week bout of pertussis (yup, whooping cough), drastically slowed my van conversion progress. One result of all that prescribed rest was a Pinterest board chock full of clever and cute van camper ideas. You can peruse those should you wish at my  Van Camper Ideas . Meanwhile, Alice waited patiently for me to get to work. With all those ideas, I started measuring, planning, ordering, and, when I was finally non-contagious and could leave the house, shopping. I soon amassed a pile of stuff on my dining room table, including some treasured things from my mom's kitchen, thrift shop finds, and goodies from Ikea and Target. We'll see how much of it actually fits in the van. The photo just shows the cute stuff (no piles of bungees, tools, first-aid kit, carbon monoxide detector, rain poncho, and other necessary but non-glamorous items).

Blue Carpet Corridor Saturday, June 10, invitation

Hoping that many of you can join us on Saturday, June 10, from Virden to Collinsville for the third annual Blue Carpet Corridor festival celebration! Here's our press release: Blue Carpet Corridor will hold third annual Route 66 event on Saturday, June 10 The Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor will be celebrating its third annual festival event on Saturday, June 10. From Virden down to Collinsville on several historic alignments of Route 66, twelve communities will be offering car shows, festivals, museum and attraction open hours, children's activities, food, photo ops, and fun. Souvenir Blue Carpet Corridor 2017 passports will be available for free in all the participating communities, and visitors can get a unique stamp in each town. The complete list of passport stops is available at . Passport Stop open hours will be from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and many events and attractions will also follow that schedule. Also available on t

The Mill in Lincoln opens as a Route 66 museum

On Saturday, despite all-day rain, several hundred people came out to celebrate the grand reopening of The Mill as a Route 66 museum. Local officials, Illinois state representatives, Route 66 Association of Illinois officers, staff and board members of Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, officers and members of the Mill's restoration and preservation group, media, Route 66 enthusiasts, and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner packed the building for the ribbon-cutting and brief speeches. An exterior shot of The Mill shows off its restoration and its four-sail windmill on a rainy Illinois day. The festivities began with a parade of about a dozen vehicles beginning at Kickapoo and Pekin Streets in downtown Lincoln and following an old alignment of Route 66 to the Mill. Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway project manager, former Logan County Tourism Director, and Mill supporter Geoff Ladd led the parade in his vehicle. I drove up to Lincoln from Edwardsville, stopped briefly at the Mill, and

#AliceMyVan has minor surgery

You may recall that my new (to me) van, Alice, had a previous incarnation as a State Farm mobile office. She came home with me from DeSoto, Missouri, still equipped with a very large ladder rack on the roof and a heavy desk and attached office chair wedged crosswise in the cargo area. So that I could get to work cleaning, measuring, and planning the interior, (and also so that my neighbors could quit wondering about my new hobby of buying white vans with ladder racks), I was anxious to get the equipment off and out of the van. Alice looks spiffier after the rack removal and a trip to the car wash. Steve Rensberry and his son Ben to the rescue! Last week they arrived one evening armed with a step ladder and tool boxes. After ascertaining that the ladder rack was bolted to the rack rails and so could be removed leaving the rails intact (and not needing to plug holes in the roof), father and son went to work. Steve removed the bolts and together on ladders they were able to slide t