A Travel Sign.

While in Chicago recently I was standing at the corner of E. Jackson Blvd. and S. Michigan Ave. taking pictures of the Art Institute of Chicago, which I was waiting for to open, from across the street. Someone came up to me and asked if I knew of U.S. Route 66. Having just added the famous and historical route to my travel bucket list, to drive the length of, they peaked my interest.

They then said you might want to take a picture of that. I turned around to what they were pointing to and this is what I saw…

U.S. Route 66 - Chicago - Eastern terminus U.S. Route 66 - Chicago - Eastern terminus

…the eastern end of the historical U.S. Route 66, also known as the Mother Road. If that’s not a travel sign (literally too of course) I don’t know what is. I was excited to go to the Art Institute and just like that, the traveler in me was saying get in the car and start driving the length of this route.

I didn’t on that day. After taking pictures of the sign I went on to the Art Institute which had opened by now and had an amazing experience. They have a great collection and lots of famous pieces.

Thinking still about U.S. Route 66 later that day, I realized just last year I was at the western end of the route when I was in Santa Monica, California and at the well-known Santa Monica Pier. I wish it would have dawn on me at the time the signage that was there too.

In your travels, what have you run into by accident that changed your travel thoughts right on the spot? Just adding the route to my travel bucket list and then running into this sign, I’m thinking hitting the open road on the historical U.S. Route 66 might just be in the cards. A travel sign indeed.

6 responses to “A Travel Sign.

  1. Great story…You’ll have to add Mile 0 in Key West to your list…

    • Driving to Key West is on my travel bucket list. Will have to make sure to get a pic of the sign if get there! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Follow the signs man! I drove Route 66 from east to west when I moved to Santa Monica, fantastic drive (though touristy with all the souvenir shops) and I definitely recommend it.

    I’ve learned to follow the signs. When I reached New Zealand, I had no clue what to do with myself. I got an email from a couch surfer saying she was headed up North if I wanted to go, but I was nervous about jumping in with no plans. Then, I turn around and see someones shirt as the walk by that said “Just Go” so I laughed, said yes, and took off the next day.

    What followed were some epic adventures in the Northland of New Zealand.

    • That’s great that you got to drive the Route 66 route all the way. It’s funny you mention New Zealand, I love just following the signs, in both senses of the word, when there. It’s lead to some incredible discoveries and times on both the North and South Islands.

  3. My 6-year-old niece is obsessed with Route 66 and I hope she’ll get to visit me in Chicago and see part of the road. πŸ™‚

    To answer the question in your post – often times, something happens by accident and makes me adjust my plans. For example, in Barcelona I unexpectedly found out about a performance that was happening later that day. I didn’t think twice about it, went, and had the best of times. Later I ended up writing about it – if you want to check it out, here’s the link: http://bit.ly/zvU04o

    If (or rather when) you take Route 66, make a stop in Santa Fe, NX – cool town!

    • Thanks for the tip. Will have to check Santa Fe out. πŸ™‚ I might checkout part of the route in Illinois (and maybe Missouri) sooner on a day trip.

      Great post! Freestyle sightseeing leads to some of the best memories, yes indeed.

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