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"Get Your Kicks... On Route 66": Taking the road less travelled in Illinois with Sony A7CII camera and the FE20-70G lens


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For many years, I've had a serious wanderlust.  I love to travel, explore, and see new things.  I'm also a history buff in the date range of 1850-1950 in U.S. History, so when I got to do a short road trip from Chicago to Missouri and back, I jumped at the chance to see how much of the original Route 66 I could find along I-55 coming out of Chicago.  I had a gas for sure!

Could contain: Road, Freeway, Tarmac, Highway, Car, Transportation, Vehicle, Utility Pole, Outdoors, Nature

There are places along the route where the new road was placed right over the old one.  This is such a spot where I-55 runs right next to Old Route 66.  (20mm)

Could contain: Spoke, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Vehicle, Wagon, Wheel, Shoe, Outdoors

While my focus was the road itself, there are many interesting things along the way like Honest Abe reading a book in the largest covered wagon in the world.  It's just in a parking lot along Old Route 66 in Lincoln, Illinois, of course. (23mm)

Could contain: Road, Tarmac, Car, Freeway, Highway, Airport, Outdoors, Nature, Airfield, Alloy Wheel

Sections of the original road (right) run alongside of the modern and much wider version, but the double yellow and white lines can still be seen. (70mm)

Could contain: Rubble, Slate, Rock, Archaeology, Road, Gravel, Soil

The bridges along the Old Route 66 are in bad shape, causing many of them to be closed to vehicle traffic, but you can safely walk or ride a bike along the old original road in hundreds of places. (32mm)

Could contain: Path, Road, Tarmac, City, Street, Urban, Sidewalk, Tree, Outdoors, Vegetation

Route 66 has changed in its history.  There is excellent signage in IL showing you the original road from the 1920's vs. the newer road from the 1940's.  This is a small section of the 1922 Route 66 that is no longer in use but has been preserved as, "Memory Lane." (36mm)

Could contain: Path, Road, Tree, Tarmac, Car, Outdoors, Nature, Trail, Freeway, Utility Pole


Could contain: Path, Railing, Sidewalk, Vegetation, Handrail, Road, Outdoors, Soil, Tarmac, Tree

Much of the original road from both the 1920's and 1940's is now overgrown as sections ceased to have traffic since the 1960's or even earlier. (24mm)

Could contain: Road, Tarmac, Freeway, Handrail, Path, Water, Waterfront

This is an extreme example of an original bridge from 1922 that is literally falling apart, with its concrete in terrible condition and steel rebar exposed.  At the right, you can see the more modern bridge that replaced the original one.  (21mm)

Could contain: Soil, Road, Tarmac, Gravel, Plant

Part of the 1922 road shows how nature always wins if given enough time...  (64mm)

Could contain: Plant, Tree, Tree Trunk, Nature, Outdoors, Weather, Grass, Vegetation, Ice, Bus

A lonely flag pole watches as sentinel over the Route 66 with its rope torn and shredded from too much time and too many winters.  (31mm)

Could contain: Spoke, Wheel, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Train, Vehicle, Motorcycle, Tarmac

From 1922 to 1949, Illinois State Police patrolled Route 66 on WWI Harley Davidson Motorcycles.  Equipped with Motorola radios, it was advanced law enforcement at the time.  These days, they run Ford Explorers and they are everywhere along I-55 as well as Old Route 66. (70mm)

Could contain: Sign, Symbol, Utility Pole, Road, Road Sign


I had a great time out there shooting these images.  it was a grey and overcast day, which always makes it a good time to shoot b&w instead of color.  All these images were originally shot in the .HIF format and then they were processed in LR and exported as jpgs.  I'd like to shoot the rest of Route 66 in the Midwest as I've worn out most of it along I-40 out West.  Good thing I love to travel, right?  I'll get it all eventually...  My Sony A7CII is the perfect travel camera, allowing me the wow factor of it's full-frame sensor but with a body size and weight more similar to competitors' APS-C cameras.  As for the Sony FE20-70mm lens, it's just a great way to go with that massive zoom range.  When you shoot in overcast conditions like this, it's easy to over or underexpose, but with the wide dynamic range of the sensor from the A7IV, it's always an enjoyable experience to work the "stretchy and bendy" files.




Could contain: Road, Tarmac, Path, Water, Sidewalk

Could contain: Road, Water, Waterfront, Freeway, Bridge, Railing, Handrail, Path

Edited by pm-r
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