I saw the exit for Pontiac on my way back from visiting my family in Peoria. I see the exit every time I make the journey, but I have a mission, a time-line, a schedule. I always think of my home state, Michigan and the city of Pontiac, not too very far from where I grew up. This time was no different, except for two things: I had about an hour to spare before my grandson’s flute recital, and I saw the sign for the Historic Route 66 Museum. I had no idea that short detour would give me such a kick.
Okay, I’m fascinated with Route 66. It started in my pre-teen years with the TV show and those two hotties George Maharis and Martin Milner made me weak in the knees and the theme song compelled me to get up and dance.
I added traveling Route 66 to my Bucket List after I saw an article in a National Geographic called “Romancing the Road”, in 1997.
Still, I had no idea Route 66 was an international phenomena. I met some folks from New Zealand who are spending four weeks traveling the Mother Highway from Chicago to Los Angeles. These folks will travel Historic Route 66 through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California before ending at the Pacific Ocean, near Los Angeles. What a trip. As for me, I added New Zealand to my Bucket List. My new friends told me to allow at least four weeks, and to be sure to have some “flat white”, which is a coffee drink with milk and kiwi, sort of like cappuccino, but not quite.
Pontiac, is a lot closer than New Zealand, just about a 2 hours interstate trip from Chicago; it’s a reasonable day trip. Still, Mayor Robert T. Russell said there’s so much to do: swinging bridges built in the 1800s, a mural tour, The Jones house, and The Looking for Lincoln Story Trail. He suggested I bring the grand-kids back and spend at least a day.
The Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum opened July 23, 2011. I trust Museum is chock full of nostalgia for this Michigan native.
If you want to know more about Route 66 and the Museum in Pontiac, visit http://www.ILRT66ASSOC.org or E-mail Jim Jones, the Livingston County Director at email@example.com.
Here’s a picture he helped me take of the two of us.
A great respite from the beaten track, a stop at the Pontiac Dairy Queen for my favorite summertime treat, and I still made it to the flute recital, with five minutes to spare. What a great way to end the day.