April 30, 2012

On the road with Pipes and Sticks On Route 66

April 8th – Day 1: Chicago to St. Louis

Up early to get out of the hotel and pack everything for the road. Hmmm . . . slight problem as we realize it will take some major thought to get all our gear into the van. With a bit of input from everyone, we get there, with hardly an inch to spare. Like a big jigsaw puzzle. Add to that the fact that the cashier at the hotel can’t count very well, leaves us a bit later than expected.

Easter Sunday and all the small towns on the route are pretty quiet. Odell, Illinois, has an old preserved gas station (a “petrol” station to the Scots!). Photo op.


Although on Route 66 there are many places where the original road runs alongside, but is in a state of disrepair, some of it blocked off completely. Haven’t really found any ghost towns yet . . .

We stop off in Pontiac, Illinois, a wonderful small town on the original Route 66, with some great murals painted by Bob Waldmire who bought an old school bus and toured Route 66. Cool town and many photos taken.

We arrive in St. Louis at sunset and have great views of the Gateway Arch. Impressive and we feel certain we want to visit it, but the schedule might not permit.

The Scottish Arms pub is our first stop. There’s quite a large crowd there to welcome us and hear us play so there’s an outdoor area out the back, open air, a really beautiful night with a big fire going. Great atmosphere for playing, so Stuart, Willie, Angus, Jim and then the band play a few tunes.

Alistair Nisbet the owner of the pub, from Aberdeen, is very welcoming. Great night! We meet Kelly at the pub who asks us if we are going to be visiting the Arch while in St. Louis. Kelly works there and says she can get us in there right on opening time and up to the top in minutes. Decision made, we’re going before we hit the road for Tulsa . . .

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for the next instalment from the Pipes & Sticks on Route 66 travel log.




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