2014 Great Circle Tour travel blog

Original Route 66 roadway heads into the trees

End of the line for the roadway before it enters Lake Springfield

Memorial to Illinois firefighters lost in the line of duty

9/11 memorial next to Firefighters Memorial

This totem pole is similar to one we saw in 2008 at...

Abe Lincoln on top of the totem pole

Deer made out of car bumpers

Small memorial to where the Lincoln casket arrived in Springfield

Springfield Amtrack train depot where the Lincoln funeral memorial is located

Old State Capitol and Current State Capitol

Maid-Rite sandwiches in Springfield, since 1924

AC heat exchanger covered with cottonwood seed puffs


Thanks to Linda & Rudy for tipping me off about cotton wood seed puffs clogging air conditioner cooling fins. I climbed on the roof yesterday to see it was happening and our brand new AC unit heat exchanger was covered with fuzz. In order to clean the exchanger, I had to remove the shroud; unfortunately, the bolts require a star-shaped bit to remove them. I have Phillips, hex, square and straight bits with me, but no star. This morning I headed out on a scavenger hunt for the star-shaped bits needed to remove the shroud. I found what I needed at an Autozone. Before heading back, I decided to catch a few of the things we missed yesterday. In my travels I found a Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop. I thought the Maid-Rite loose meat sandwiches were a local dish in Iowa. We had them back in 2009 on Vince and Sue’s Excellent Adventure. This Maid-Rite has been in business since 1923 and lists itself as America’s first drive thru restaurant, but it is not listed among the Maid-Rite Corporation’s 43 locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin. For those of you who weren’t following our travels back in 2009, loose meat sandwiches are ground meat that has been cooked (boiled?) and then piled on a hamburger roll. I’ve included a picture of the sandwich as well and the Sandwich Shop.

Other sites located today was the location where Route 66 enters Lake Springfield, the train station where Abraham Lincoln’s body arrived in Springfield, an Illinois Firefighters Memorial, and a deer made out of chrome car bumpers. There was also a totem pole topped with an Abraham Lincoln carving. There’s an interesting story behind this totem pole, but I’m not sure what it is. The one at the Illinois Museum is a replica of one that was carved in 1867(?) in Alaska by the Tlingit Tribe. It’s very similar to one we saw when we were in Ketchikan in 2008 and visited the Saxman Village Totem Park. It reportedly wasn't made to honor Lincoln, but to honor a chief who had seen a white man -- and the only white man reference that the carver could find was a picture of Lincoln he got from the Army. The story of the totem pole in Springfield and the one at Saxman became very confusing the more I read. The last story I read indicated that there were at least 3 totem poles that still exist. The original was placed in a museum in Juneau, a copy was erected in Saxman in 1940 (the one we saw in Alaska), and the third is in the State Museum in Illinois. The one on display outside the museum is a fiberglass reproduction. There is a lot more to the story, but I don’t have the time or the room to put it in today’s blog.

After I got back from my mini-tour of Springfield and hunt for the star-bit, I needed to climb on the roof of Winnie before it rained as the skies were threatening. I managed to get the shroud off and the heat exchanger cleaned. It never did rain. The rest of the day was spent in the laundry room, something you can’t get away from no matter where you are. This is our last day in Springfield before we start heading east. We should be in western Pennsylvania by June 5 or 6 to meet up with the family at Big Spring Farm where Kyle and Annie got married. We’re looking forward to seeing Finn, our grandson, who is just about 6 months old. Stay tuned.

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