Tag Archives: Route 66

Ron’s Pork Shack

I’ll admit that I drove here tonight to get a slice of Mama’s pizza. But, when I walked in the door a friendly lady inquired,

“Are you here for Mama’s or Ron’s?”

The ladies entering ahead of me bee-lined for the pizza. I felt a little guilty dosing out more rejection so I redirected my belly. Usually, we have Mama’s delivered, so, I hadn’t realized the two restaurants share a building. Pretty frugally smart if you ask me.


The food:
Cole slaw – good, looks homemade and if it isn’t then they’ve got a good source for it. I particularly liked the big, crunchy pieces of cabbage.
Pulled pork on a bun, easy on the mild sauce – the meat was juicy, tender, and flavorful. The sauce was very easy but you don’t need sauce on meat like this.
You know how McD and B-K use their buns to cover up the taste of their meat? Ron’s pork doesn’t NEED a bun.

See? It’s all gone.

The Service:
Jimmy Johns has some competition. Since I didn’t order fries it was blindingly fast. I didn’t even finish catching up on my texts.

The Atmosphere:
This is the only downfall. Pizza business in our town is about delivery so it makes sense that this “restaurant” makes a run-down greasy spoon look high class. However , being located at the entrance of South Island Park makes it a great place to pick up something for an impromptu picnic with the best scenery in town.

Final result, I can’t wait to bring the hubs here when we’re looking for a fast meal that doesn’t leave us feeling like we’ve been coated in grease from the inside out. This meal is definitely worth getting it to go.



Filed under Route 66

The Polk-a-Dot

Your driving southbound on Route 66 in your Daddy’s brand new, 1955 cherry red caddy with the top down. Your pony tail, sitting high on your head, and the scarf you tied around it this morning are whipping around under the brilliant sunlight.


It’s almost Christmas and it’s 2011 not 1955. So, instead of being in your daddy’s cherry red caddy with three of your friends, each with a poodle skirt that fills more than half the seat, you are actually driving a 2006 red Honda sedan, wearing stretch jeans and have your two tween boys in the back seat.

Either way, the destination is the same. The Polk-a-Dot, a year round standard 1950’s themed diner on Route 66 on the north side of Braidwood, IL. It claims to be a drive-in but you don’t get served at your car. They enclosed an area around the “ice cream stand” so that you can sit inside. It’s actually better this way because you get to look at walls full of 1950’s celebrities, Betty Boop, a few photo ops with life size celebrities, and it’s open year-round. One of the best things, is a fully functional, 100% legit Wurlitzer stocked full of Christmas songs long forgotten and Elvis singing Blue Christmas from a 45. Well, the rest of the year it’s regular golden oldies.


Forget going to Dairy Queen and stop by Polk-a-Dot instead. DQ in these parts is closed during the winter anyway. K-man has a soft spot for their shakes, Mik likes the root beer floats, the hubs is a banana split man, and I stick with the strawberry sundae. They have it all plus food.


For a quarter, the little kids can “drive” the car with flames.

Shakes, root beer floats, and fries!

I love being just a short drive along Route 66 from this classic. 50 years of Polk-a-Dots can’t be wrong.

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Filed under Route 66, travel

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Way number #33 on how to make your runs more enjoyable:  The Cheers Method

I’ve mentioned before that I have a friend who owns a local (better than $tarbuck$ or McD$) coffee shop. Jaszy’s Java is located one block off Old Route 66 in Wilmington. It’s a cheerful little shop with an owner who cares about what her customers want to drink, especially, if it’s coffee or a smoothy. I recommend the not-so-berry berry smoothies. It’s a Barefoot Roses custom smoothie.

Several of my recent runs went right past Jaszy’s by design to either take a picture or just waved a hello.

You know that scene from Cheers when Norm walks into the bar, says hello and everyone yells back “Norm” in greeting?

OK, maybe Darla is the only one waving and saying Hello to me but still it perks up the run a bit.

So if you can find a running route with a place where everybody knows your name, I recommend it.


Filed under Barefoot, Route 66, running

Gravel Challenge

A short while ago, I was surfing through the barefoot blogosphere. Someone mentioned running short sections of gravel for training. (I’d love to give this someone credit and a link but I found it on one of those days that I was all over the barefoot map. It didn’t occur to me to write about it until a week or two later. If that was you or you or you or you please let me know) Now, back to the gravel… Well, it got me to thinking. I’ve run across every rough road in town. I can run 5 + miles of asphalt no problem. Maybe it was time to take it up a notch.

Our town installed a fantastic foot bridge so that visitors going to the island wouldn’t have to bike or walk the high traffic bridge at the center of town. I was pretty excited about the bridge until….

Departing the foot bridge

As a barefooter, I originally decided the rocks were too much for me so I would stick to the tight turns of the Route 66 bridge. Until, I came across that post by what’s-name and I was looking for a way to shake up my runs a bit. It was time that I answer the challenge. So I did.

Actually, I didn’t.

I took the new bridge but I didn’t run through the rocks. I mean, did you SEE them?!! It’s a long stretch of rocks.  I walk/slightly hopped until I got to where the rocks gave away to a bit of grass. Totally tough spot to go bare on. I think I’ll leave it to the shod and bikes.

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Filed under Barefoot, Lessons learned, running

Something New

For someone who complained terribly all summer long about not getting to go running, I turned into a bored runner too quickly.

I suppose it is time as I have been running the same basic route into town and back for over a year now.  This is partly because I have to cross a bridge to get anywhere in town.  As a result, the first 1/2 mile of any run going into town will always be the same.  The houses never change, the trees haven’t changed yet, and it’s the same ol’ streets.

I give big thanks to the Run Smiley Collective (and my blog) for this morning’s run.  Oh, I would have run anyway but I might not have enjoyed it as well as I did.  I reached back into my collective memory for ways to run smiley.  I thought about really looking at the homes and buildings in town that I so happily bragged about and included pictures in earlier posts.  I was also milling about a topic for my blog.   Not having anything new to say about running can be a bit of a downer.


A new landmark popped into my head.  It is famous (sort of) and I never run past it.  I still had to cover the same 1/2 mile going into town but afterward I would move into untested asphalt.   My goal location would provide me with a unique and historic landmark to appreciate and capture.   

Suddenly, the run became fun again. 

Meet the Gemini Giant along Route 66.  On of the last remaining “Muffler Man” of the 1960’s.  Funny that it took me this long to take a picture and post it since this is the most photographed landmark in the area courtesy of tourists travelling the historic Route 66. 

Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad on Route 66

This is not trick photography.  He is bigger than that house. 


2.5 miles barefoot on very rough asphalt, oops… forgot to do the push ups!

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Filed under Barefoot, running, travel