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Route 66 Bike Trail, St. Louis to Chicago

Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis

Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis

Between August 29 and September 3 there will be a bike tour to promote the development of a Illinois Route 66 bike trail between Chicago and St. Louis. For those of you in St. Louis, it will start at the Chain of Rocks Bridge across the Mississippi, the old bridge that has been converted to a biking/hiking bridge. The ride will end at the beginning of Route 66 on Jackson Avenue near the Art Institute in Chicago. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is developing the trail with the help of the League of Illinois Bicyclists.

The Bloomington Pantagraph has an extensive article on the section in McLean County, Illinois, which includes abandoned sections of the old route at Chenoa, Lexington, and Towanda.

For more information go to http://www.bikelib.org/route66/2009ride/ for information about food, lodging, and route. This last comes in a 14 page users’ guide.

For a great read-aloud guide to Route 66, check out my book Along Route 66 and my history of Route 66, Route 66: The highway and it people, with Susan Croce Kelly.

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Route 66 and the Landscape It Crosses–Chicago, Part I

Route 66 begins on the edge of Lake Michigan at the foot of Jackson Avenue

Route 66 begins on the edge of Lake Michigan at the foot of Jackson Avenue

I have conducted oral history interviews with the people who invented Route 66 and published the first book, Route 66: the Highway and its People, on the old highway in 1988.

I have documented the architecture along the roadside, conducted more interviews, and published a book on the architecture generated by the old road, Along Route 66: the Architecture of America’s Highway. The University of Oklahoma Press published both books.

Now, I am thinking about the landscape the road crosses between Chicago and L.A and how it was formed.

So in the next few weeks I will dig through my files and find images of the Route 66 landscape, some in color some in black and white and publish a little information about it.