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January 2015

21st Mother Road Ride Rally

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 (All day)

12 days of the best Route 66 adventure you can have!

This is our 21st motorcycle ride down old Route 66. The ride starts on the 10th June 2015 at La Quinta Inn in Willow Brook, Illinois. The ride will follow Route 66 to Santa Monica, California.

The ride ends June 21st in Santa Monica, Calif. We have an awards dinner in California. The ride will follow a lot of the old Route 66 and will include riding across the Mississippi river on the Chain of Rocks Bridge and the Ozark Trail. Original red brick pavement road, the ghost town of Oatman for breakfast.

All bikes welcome. Registration is required.

web site. The menu on the left side top of page this will answer most questions and give you a look of what the Rally is about.


Midewin Lecture Series - “A Vision of Vibrancy for our National Prairielands”

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 7:00pm

“A Vision of Vibrancy for our National Prairielands”
Louise Phillips, Author and Artist


Midewin Lecture Series - “Storms of the Great Plains”

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

“Storms of the Great Plains”
Danny Neal, Amateur Meteorologist and Storm Chaser

Join Amateur Meteorologist and Storm Chaser Danny Neal as he discusses the ins and outs of Illinois weather, from climatology to extreme events. Danny was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and is a bit of a local celebrity on social media with over 112,000 followers on his Facebook page. Danny will share with you his passion for weather and how he was able to take his immense fear of severe weather as a child (thanks to the historic Plainfield F5 Tornado of 1990) and develop that into a love and appreciation of the beauty and awesomeness of nature. Danny will end with a brief presentation on severe weather preparedness and safety.

Midewin Welcome Center
30239 S. State Route 53


Midewin Lecture Series - “Longhouses on the Prairie: Late Prehistoric Archaeology in the Chicago Region”

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 7:00pm

“Longhouses on the Prairie: Late Prehistoric Archaeology in the Chicago Region”
Madeleine McLeester

The University of Chicago’s Madeleine McLeester explores late prehistoric life on the Eastern Prairies. Focusing on the Chicago Region, she describes her current research on the seasonal settlements of communities and connections with the historical records. Using pollen preserved in sediment for hundreds of years, she will explain how even microscopic artifacts can help archaeologists better understand how late prehistoric people used the prairie in their everyday lives.

Midewin Welcome Center
30239 S. State Route 53
Wilmington, IL 60481

This is part of the Midewin Tallgrass Prairie 2015 lecture series that take place on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM.


Midewin Lecture Series - “On the Brink of Extinction: Efforts to Save the Blanding’s Turtle”

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 7:00pm

“On the Brink of Extinction: Efforts to Save the Blanding’s Turtle”
Dan Thompson, Ecologist

The Blanding’s Turtle is an endangered species in Illinois and is in need of conservation. Join Ecologist Dan Thompson to learn about a local effort spearheaded by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County nearly 20 years ago to try to recover a species on the brink of extinction. By creating a head-start program for Blanding’s Turtle hatchlings in captivity and releasing them as juveniles, scientists are witnessing some positive results. Through continued collaboration with many local partners and further understanding of how habitat loss and human impacts continue to add additional pressure and threats to populations, scientists hope for success in saving a species.

Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, Illinois Honored with “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” Award

Our thanks to Heather Wilkins of the Land of Lincoln Regional Tourism Development Office for providing this press release about Hall of Famer, The Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, IL.

The Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, Illinois Honored with “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” Award

Illinois Office of Tourism celebrates restaurants that are authentically Illinois, attracting visitors and locals to state’s diverse communities.

ATLANTA, IL – The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) and the Logan County Tourism Bureau today announced the Palms Grill Cafe located in Atlanta, is a recipient of an “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award, which honors local food establishments around the state that are beloved destinations for visitors and locals alike. Palms Grill Cafe is among a select group of Illinois establishments to receive the unique designation from the tourism bureau. All award winners will receive a certificate from the state and a window cling to inform diners of the state designation.

Palms Grill Cafe copy_0.jpg

Mount Olive Sesquicentennial Celebration

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (All day) - Sunday, June 21, 2015 (All day)

Mount Olive will be holding a sesquicentennial celebration June 17-21, 2015.

This event will include:

  • Mother Jones monument being 100% renovated
  • A new Mother Jones museum being opened
  • 5 days of activities
  • Live music
  • Historical reenactment

The O'Learys Experience Route 66 Nostalgia

Submitted by Jessica and Chad O’Leary

My husband Chad and I are both 32 years old from Milton, WI. We both have a passion for “back in the day." We've often been told we were born in the wrong era. We love all things 50s. As part of that we had planned our one-week vacations the past three years around Route 66. Route 66 travel all started for us three years ago when we did the Red Carpet Corridor. That two days we decided we HAD to drive Route 66.

So three years ago on our one-week vacation, we drove our daily driver car from home to start in Chicago and we made it to Amarillo TX. Year two we drove from home straight to Amarillo to pick up where we left off and then made it all the way to LA. Those two weeks were by far the best vacations we have ever taken!


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Pontiac Museum Closed Saturday, 1/10/15

UPDATE: As of January 13, 2015, our Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, IL has reopened. Thank you for your understanding as we dealt with weather-related issues at our facility.

Due to severely cold weather, we regret to report that our museum, the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, IL will be closed on Saturday, January 10, 2015. Stay tuned for updates as to when it will re-open.

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Josh and Wendy Friedrich Go to Kingman, Arizona on Route 66

By Josh Friedrich

As each day grew nearer our anticipation nearly overwhelmed our ability to focus on anything else. The day had finally come for us to embark on our greatest hi-way adventure to date. This had been in the works for nearly a year. We unloaded our kids and pets into the capable hands of their grandparents. We were headed to Kingman, Arizona for the International Route 66 Festival. Now let me tell you, this would be the longest road trip (11 days) we have attempted and the longest time away from our young roadies, Charlie & Lizzy. As my license plate states we were ready to "VU 66" and get our kicks! Now during this trip we were forced to take the Interstate for longer periods of time, change plans, take a wrong turn, and not see/stop at must see gems. However, that did not take away from the overall fun, great people, awe inspiring places, and cool things we did do during our journey.
Day 1 August 9th
Our first stop was in Collinsville to test out the new tripod and remote on the camera. We thought what better place than the World's Largest Catsup Bottle to do so, especially since it was for sale and who knows what the future holds for it. This would be the first of many selfies for us during our trip. Next we made our way to the Route 66 State Park and its visitor center/museum. I highly suggest visiting it, plus the gift shop is has a great selection of just about everything a souvenir hunter could want. I picked up a hiking stick medallion for a new found hobby of mine.

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Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.