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Home Chicago – journeys end after 2,500 miles
Twelve days and more than 2,500 miles ago we left Santa Monica, California, bound for Chicago along old Route 66. That journey ended today as weve arrived at our destination.
We just had lunch with our boss (Midwest Bureau Chief Peter Bohan, upper right) at Lou Mitchells, the last of our trip.
This famous diner almost right at the eastern end of Americas Main Street and is renowned as a starting point for taking Route 66 westward almost everyone else goes west.
Linda Carnes, one of the waitresses here, said to say hello. She said the last time they put me in the paper, I got hate mail.
Sheri Wasberg, one of the longest serving waitresses here, also sends her love.
Anyway, back to Route 66
We expected to see and experience many things and to meet some interesting people, as there is a lot of America in between the West Coast and the Windy City.
Our expectations have been exceeded. Weve spent time on American Indian reservations, talked to firemen in Flagstaff, police officers in Albuquerque, cowboys on vast feedlots in Texas, Christians in Oklahoma and a sinking town in Kansas.
Weve seen Route 66 monuments and museums to last a lifetime. There have been towns on the way that still make somewhat of a living from old Route 66 and others Tucumcari, New Mexico, or McLean, Texas, stand out as prime examples that have seen their businesses curl up and die after Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985.
And all throughout weve met people who were friendly and willing to talk or help us on our way, have their picture taken and answer inane questions from two foreign journalists wending their way across country in a tiny vintage car.
Without them, few of the stories on our blog would have been possible.
We return to Chicago with mixed feelings. Its good to be home and it will be even better not to live out of a small bag or sleep in motels. The bad news is how much we’ll miss roaming around the country.
Route 66 is Americas ultimate road trip, with a broad cross-section of scenery, people and issues across a large chunk of the country. Its been an amazing ride, hope you enjoyed it too.