Saturday, August 15, 2009
There is a Vietnamese expression "Di Mot Ngay Dang, Hoc Mot San Khon" - With each journey in life, you gain a valuable lesson. (I believe Qaptain Qwerty would appreciate that I manage to incorporate a Vietnamese popular saying into this post about my American experience riding along on the historic Route 66.) I wish to praise the people who are responsible for the placement of all the historic Route 66 signs in Illinois. The signs are excellent, providing exact turn-by-turn directions and placed in the most well-planned system along the route. In fact, the signs with the arrows of turning right, left or proceed straight ahead, were so good that we stopped using the book EZ 66 Guide for Route 66 Travelers (2nd Edition) by Jerry McClanahan. (Mr. McClanahan, we don't wish to offend you. Your book is very helpful and I would highly recommend it. However, with direction signs like these in Illinois, we did not depend on your book as much as we would in Missouri.)
The signs are wonderful, assisting travelers to navigate thru towns and junctions with ease, also not only how to follow the historic route but also having the option of following the old route (1940-1977) or the new route after the realignment.
I also appreciate the sign (below) of the state road (South Illinois 157) above the historic Route 66 sign because we find these signs when putting together very helpful and assurance, especially when we need to make a quick jump back to the highway. In Missouri, most of the time we only saw the brown historic Route 66 signs and they are placed so far in between that we would drive for miles not really sure if we were traveling in the right route and time wasted when we had to turn around because a wrong turn was made at the intersections.
These signs are placed along the route in additional to the historic Route 66 signs, guiding travelers to major attractions in town, making it so easy to know how to get to downtown and to Route 66 Museum (photo above) or to historic gas station (photo below). It was almost as if we were provided a personal tour guide. In my humble opinion, compared to Missouri, Illinois got my vote for doing a much better job at promoting historic Route 66 with brochures that provide good details and well-written descriptions of the towns and major attractions, providing much friendlier and well-planned directions and definitely more inviting for future returning visits.