Road Trip 2014 – North Riverside IL to Tucumcari New Mexico

June 28/29, 2014

We would take two days to travel the 1,161 miles from Andrew and Henriët’s home to the Safari Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Within a mile or two of their house we crossed Ogden Ave which is the home stretch of Route 66 into Chicago. We paralleled Route 66 for most of the way and stopped in a few Route 66 landmarks.

The first two days of our journey west.

We had motel reservations for the first night in Joplin, MO; 575 miles from Andrew and Henriet’s. Andrew and I stayed here when we moved  him from Tucson to Chicago where he attended DePaul university and earned his Master’s degree in music.

We’ve found Yelp to be very helpful in finding tasty restaurants on our trip so far so fired it up. Litchfield, IL was a logical stopping place for lunch and Yelp promised us the Ariston Cafe which was built in 1924; 90 years ago!

Ariston Cafe – a Route 66 classic, but closed on Sundays

Unfortunately they have limited hours (we were there on a Sunday); but we found Jubelt’s right across the parking lot. The original bakery was built in Mt Olive, IL in 1922; the operation went through many changes through the years and they opened at their current location in 1982, taking over the old Burger Chef building.

Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant in Litchfield, IL

 As I mentioned before, Jeanette is a vegan so we had some trepidation whenever we walked into a restaurant in the Midwest or small towns. Luckily they had some items on the menu for her.

Jeanette enjoying lunch at Jubelt’s in Litchfield, IL

The place was hoppin with locals and travellers. Our waitresses were helpful and the food was very nice.

Across the parking lot from Ariston’s and Jubelt’s was a Route 66 museum. We couldn’t help take a few minutes to walk through.

The docent was very helpful and Jeanette picked up a map so she could track our journey. Unfortunately we needed to hurry on to Arizona to visit relatives and see the Grand Canyon; instead of winding down the Mother Road, we  But our appetites were whetted to drive the entirety of Route 66 in the not too distant future.

We bit off a big chunk of highway for our first night; it took almost 12 hours to reach our hotel. Nevertheless, we were up and on the road on Monday June 29 headed for Tucumcari, New Mexico. Joplin is just a few minutes north east of Oklahoma; we hit many states that day: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, before fetching up in the north east corner of New Mexico.

We found lunch the next day in at Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford Texas. They bill themselves as “Mother of the Mother Road”.

Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford, OK

Wind power is a big business out in the west. The propellers of the large ones are 184 feet and the towers are a little over 200 feet.

Old and new windmills sharing the scenery in the Texas panhandle

We rolled into Tucumcari at 5:00 with the temps over 95˚. Nevertheless we enjoyed the town; but that will be covered in the next post.

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