Chile – Day 9 – Calama & Antafagasta

Today we woke up at 7:30am. I was starting to feel a bit better today already because of the decongestant medication. We had the complimentary buffet breakfast and set off towards the coastal town of Antafagasta, about a 2.5 hour drive west from Calama.

Something we both noted on the drive to Antafagasta was the great conditions of the highway and the fast driving speed of 120 kph that was allowed. About 2/3 of the way to Antafagasta we came across a toll that cost 1850 Chilean peso’s ($3.70). This is where they’re getting some of the money for the high quality highway.

On the way to Antafagasta we stopped at the Hand of the Desert, a giant sculpture of a hand emerging from the desert sand. The iron and concrete sculpture was constructed by the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal in 1992. It’s exaggerated size is said to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness. We took some photos and continued on our way to Antafagasta. Upon arriving in Antafagasta we stopped at Don Taco for some lunch. I had spicy chicken taco’s and C had chicken fajita’s. We both agreed that this was some of the best Mexican food that we’ve ever had.

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After eating lunch we drove to the Huanchaca Ruins Museum where we explored the ruins of a refinery that was built in 1888 and closed in 1902. The refinery resembles something of a castle. The refinery would process about 100 tons of mineral per day, out of which almost 20 tons of silver were extracted each month and send to various destinations around the globe.

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After exploring the ruins we walked along the beach and boardwalk before driving back to Calama. On our way back into Calama we stopped at the grocery store and got some tortilla chips, an avocado, a tomato, and Stella beer for dinner. We made guacamole and drank beer while watching the other half of the movie we started the previous night. We ended up going to bed around 11:00pm because we had to get up relatively early for a mid morning flight, and I wanted to give myself ample time to return the rental car because it was such an ordeal to get it a few days prior.

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2018-05-21 – US Route 66 Day 5

Today we drove 328 miles from Miami, Oklahoma to Clinton, Oklahoma. We ended up staying at The Glancy Motel, one of the original motels on Route 66 that is still open. We saw the following sights today:

  • Old Ribbon Road, Afton
  • Afton Station, Afton
  • Will Rogers Archway, Vinita
  • Clantons Café, Vinata
  • Hotel Vinita, Vinita
  • 1940’s Gas Stations, Vinita
  • Phillips Gull Wing, Vinita
  • Totem Pole Park, Foyil
  • Belvidere Mansion, Claremore
  • Dot’s Café, Claremore
  • Blue Whale, Catoosa
  • Circle Cinema, Tulsa
  • Meadow Gold Sign, Tulsa
  • Boston Unite Church, Tulsa
  • Vickery Phillips 66, Tulsa
  • Mid Continent Tower, Tulsa
  • Philtower Building, Tulsa
  • Cyrus Avery Plaza, Tulsa
  • Cities Service, Tulsa
  • Waite Phillips Station, Sapulpa
  • Rock Creek Bridge, Sapulpa
  • Heart of 66 Museum and Giant Gas Pump, Sapulpa
  • Rock Café, Stroud
  • Coca Cola Mural, Stroud
  • Skyliner Motel, Stroud
  • World’s First Natural Gas Sphere, Davenport
  • Murals, Davenport
  • Phillips 66, Chandler
  • Lincoln Motel, Chandler
  • Seaba Station, Warwick
  • Round Barn, Arcadia
  • Pops on 66, Arcadia
  • Tower Theatre, Oklahoma
  • Gold Dome, Oklahoma
  • Milk Bottle, Oklahoma
  • Lake Overholser Bridge, Bethany
  • Flour Mill, Yukon
  • Robert’s Grill, El Reno
  • Jackson Conoco, El Reno
  • El Reno Motel, El Reno

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2018-05-18 – US Route 66 Day 2

Today we drove from Dwight, Illinois to St. Louis Illinois. We drove a total distance of 257 miles today and saw the following items (listed below) before visiting a bottle shop in downtown St. Louis called Saint Louis Hop Shop. I purchased about a dozen IPA’s too consume for the remainder of the trip. We headed back to the hotel for the night.

  • Ambler’s Texaco, Dwight. We met a guy here named Jack who also showed us around town. There was also an old bank designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; one of my favorite architects, as well as an old train station, and the Fox Development Center for the handicapped and mentally ill.
  • Mobil 1 Station, Odell
  • 1932 Standard Oil Gas Station, Odell
  • Meramex Signs and Rustic Barns, Cayuga
  • Old Labin Inn, Pontiac
  • Octane 66, Pontiac
  • Livingston County Court House, Pontiac
  • Oakland Auto Museum, Pontiac
  • Route 66 Museum, Pontiac
  • Old Pharmacy, Chenoa
  • 1931 Sprague Super Service Station, Normal
  • Beer Nut Factory, Bloomington. We purchased some beer nuts from here.
  • Arcadia Video Games, Mclean. This place was closed but we still got a photo of the outside and inside.
  • Downey Building, Atlanta
  • Paul Bunyan Statue, Atlanta
  • Palm Grill Café, Atlanta. We ate here. My dad has the Palm’s Burger with Chips. I had the Spicy & Smoky Burger with Chips.
  • Railsplitter Covered Wagon, Lincoln
  • Postville Courthouse, Lincoln
  • Lincoln City Hall, Lincoln
  • Pig Hip Restaurant Sign, Broadwell
  • Illinois State Capital, Springfield
  •  Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield. We tried one of their “cozy” dogs… It was gross.
  • Arts Restaurant and Motel, Farmersville
  • Belvidere Motel, Litchfield. The motel is no longer open. It went bankrupt back in 2015.
  • Soulsby Service Station, Olive
  • Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, Staunton
  • Pink Elephant Antiques, Livingston

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My Next Trip – US Route 66

It’s been a busy few weeks since my return from France & Spain last month! I celebrated my 31st Birthday and had a job promotion at work to Business Development, which has kept me quite busy.

During the Christmas break my father and I began discussing where we should go for our annual Father & Son trip. We weighed a few different options but both agreed on wanting to drive the US Route 66, originally known as Will Rogers Highway, and also known as Main Street of America or the Mother Road. Let’s take a bit of a look at the history of the highway and why it plays such an important part of the history of the United States of America.

Conceived as a government-funded wagon road back in 1857 and coming into full fruition as a national highway in 1925, Route 66 stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles and was built to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities along its course as most small towns had no prior access to a major national thoroughfare. The numerical designation ’66’ was assigned to the route on April 30th 1926, and was signed into law in 1927 as one of the original US Highways, although it wasn’t actually fully paved until 1938.

There are several very dangerous curves on the highway so it quickly earned the nickname “Bloody 66”, and over the years there has been some re-alignments around the dangerous sections. Over the years much of the highway has been superseded by interstate highways I-40 and I-25 as they were wider, larger, straighter, and faster than the original Route 66 highway.

Route 66 still has some very well preserved buildings and attractions along its entirety, as well as some of America’s best restaurants scattered along its entirety. This is what drives my Father and I to want to drive it.

Our trip is going to commence on May 17th, starting in Chicago at around Noon and then driving over the course of 10 days to Las Vegas. We will be departing Las Vegas on May 27th in the evening.

Make sure to follow us along our journey as I will be keeping a detailed log of the attractions and restaurants that we visit, and the history behind every stretch we drive.

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