Sit back and enjoy a Journey Joe travel adventure. Is Journey Joe a real person? Well, not really. But he’s as real as any nickname, any stage personality, any thought or collection of travel experiences that any roadie might have. The real “Joe” is Joe Razumich, a lover of cars and the open road ever since his childhood, growing up around the corner from a hot rod shop, a busy Broadway, and a railroad track. But really all Real Joe does is drive. And put gas in the tank. And put Mr. Suitcase, Mr. Duffle Bag, Ms. Cooler, Mr. Road Atlas, etc., collectively known as the “Inanimate Objects,” in the trunk or behind the passenger seat. Or, to put it another way, Joe loves to drive. Journey Joe loves to write about it – and take you, Dear Reader, along for the ride.
Oh, and the car has a name too. The one we’ll be riding along with on this particular trip, is Angel the Corvette. She’s blue like the sky and she believes she can fly.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Day 2.
The room at the Braidwood Motel was quiet and comfy. The last bullet train came through around 10:00 and after that there were none of those noises or disturbances commonly associated with older vintage motels. With the weather being in a cool dry spell, I was able to turn off the air conditioner that had a tendency to talk a little loud. The much more peaceful hum of the refrigerator was my night music.
Morning arrived with the way way early (before 5 am) light peeking around the dark curtains. I awoke to a mild sinus headache, courtesy of some long ago cigarette break in this motel room. For now, I’ll avoid the temptation to the pre-emptive strike of the extra strength aspirin.
Today’s agenda looks like this: “Wander.” That’s easy enough, but with a ride-along passenger, this exceedingly familiar day plan becomes a whole new, untested endeavor. I’m not worried about it, but not fully comfortable either. I’ll learn as we go along.
I rolled over for one final catnap before getting out of bed.
We got on the road in good time, about 8 am. And wander we did; Lulu and I were on the same page with the Wander thing. I can’t remember all the places we stopped at, nor can I recall very much detail of the thousand stories Lulu told me about her life and times of being a Roadie. It’s a colorful life, I’ll say that much. We put about 180 miles on the odometer today, through all of the small towns that form the jewels of the necklace that is Illinois Route 66. For the first time ever, after countless attempts, I finally figured out how to enter Springfield, Illinois on old Route 66 without having to use the interstate. We’ve stayed completely off the superhighway up to this point.
One fascinating thing I saw today, a helicopter trimming trees. The copter hovers over the tops of the trees that are near the power lines, suspending in the air a vertical stack of rotating buzzsaws. Then he moves along, parallel to the power lines, while those giant saws do their work. Never saw that before.
The peculiar “line thing” is following faithfully. I probably shouldn’t mention it, for fear of damaging my good karma. But it goes like this … we walk into a business, order or purchase what we came for, and sit down. Five minutes later, there’s a line out the door. I suppose there’s nothing really uncommon about lines forming in waves, just like heavy traffic moves in rubber bands. But it is amusing to watch.
For lodging tonight, we’ve settled on another historic motor court, the Carlin VillaMotel in (where else) Carlinville. Always a pleasant experience here, in the only motor court I’ve ever seen that has a genuine lobby. At the end of a long-feeling day in the sun and on the road, I turned in early. Gotta save some energy for the next day.
Follow along with Journey Joe’s travels! Click to read the following entries in this series as they’re published.