Day to Explore Chicago and Begin Route 66 – June 7th
Route 66 Start Sign Oak Plank Road Trail – Frankfort, IL
June 7 – Day 5 Chicago, IL – Joliet, IL. 74 miles – Total Miles – 337
Weather – Partly sunny, 70’s, slight tail wind
Today we started at our Warm Showers home in North Chicago, Rod got us a great breakfast and sent us on our way. The ride to the city of Chicago was about 5 miles down the Lake Front Trail, we purposefully left a little late because Rod said the path is extremely busy in the morning – rush hour. (Can you imagine a bike path being so used it has a rush hour!!)
The path still had many people on it but it was a great ride with amazing views of the city and lake. We really enjoyed it and made it to the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park our Route 66 starting point easily. But this morning we decided to be tourist in Chicago and spend the next couple of hours checking out the city. We headed to Millennium Park to check out the Bean – official name Clued Gate. It is a very cool polished steel structure shaped like a bean. The structure reflects and provides some awesome views of the city in its reflection. We then road over to Michigan Ave and Adam street to find the official starting point for Route 66 sign. We stopped and took a picture and then headed across the street for a treat at Starbucks – yes there is one on every corner in the world!! The Art Center was across the street and looked like a cool place to visit but we did not take the time.
We continued to tour the city and then headed back to Buckingham Fountain. The Fountain is one of the largest in the world and shoots water up to 150 feet in the air. Very pretty and a great place to start our trip. We then took off to our ending point for the day – Joliet, IL. The route continues to follow the Lake Front Trail for another 13 miles. Then through Lansing and Frankfort and the final 10 miles to Joliet. Most of the ride was on trails again – but today was much better only one trail to choose from and well marked. We spent much time on the Thorn Creek Trail and the Old Plank Road Trail. We met a nice young couple bicycling on the trail just outside of Joliet – then were very interested in our trip and the young man’s mouth dropped when we told him how far we were going – it was so funny he was totally amazed and astounded. We would have loved to talk longer but needed to get to town and find a place to stay and it was already close to 7:00pm – I think we spent too much time in Chicago!!
The Old Plank Road Trail started just outside of Lansing and ended in Joliet – 21 miles – it was a great trail with not a lot of crossings and well maintained. Even so our day was long and we did not get in to our hotel until 7:30pm. We stopped in the city to find a hotel and Peter was checking out the bike while Tracy went in to get a room, unfortunately no rooms and by the time Tracy came out Peter had noticed the crack in our rear rim. Bummer we had 3 miles to ride to our hotel for the night. We gingerly got on the bicycle and slowly road to our hotel. Luckily the bike shop is about a mile away. So tomorrow we will head over there to talk about a repair. We will probably get stuck in Joliet for a while – we are sure the new rim will need to be ordered and overnighted to us. Will give you an update on the repair and our progress ASAP. In the mean time enjoy the pictures and video attached.