Day 4: October 21, 2017

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I began the conference's second day listening to Cheryl Eichar Jett share a few stories about The Women of Route 66. Then Walldogs Bill & Jane Diaz talked about several of their group's projects. The Walldogs are a collection of volunteer artists who paint murals on the sides of buildings. They have a museum in Pontiac, Illinois. A screening of KC Keefer's California Promise finished up the morning sessions. The photo is of KC and on screen host Nick Gerlich.

Today lunch was at the recently opened MyGrain Brewing in Joliet's Union Station. Bot beer and food were good, and the staff wasn't overwhelmed; I walked there alone.

I attended afternoon sessions hosted by Jerry McClanahan, Geoff Ladd, and John Weiss. Jerry shared photos of Route 66 structures that have been lost, some that could be, and some that almost were. Geoff told of how one of those almost lost structures, The Mill in Lincoln, was restored and now operates as a museum. John recounted some of the many preservation he has been involved in and just generally offered encouragement and hope to anyone with a piece of history they want to save.

As the conference comes to an end, Debyjo passes the official Miles of Possibility mop (You know, Miles Of Possibility.) to Ron and Deb Young who will be organizing next year's conference in Carlinville. Looking on are Terri Ryburn and Cheryl Eichar Jett who organized MOPCon II (Terri) and MOPCon I (Cheryl).

I headed out of Joliet on a road that was not Historic Route 66 but carried a few other promising designations. I stayed with US-30/Lincoln Highway into Indiana where I grabbed another blurry drive-by picture of the Ideal Section Monument. I can't seem to keep from pressing the shutter release while telling myself it's a waste of time.

During my time in Joliet, I'd decided that taking US-35 to somewhere near home was a good idea. I left town planning to follow US-30 to their intersection near Hamlet, Indiana. But, as I drove, I realized that the northern end of US-35 was less than thirty miles away. Why settle for an intersection when you can have a terminus? I left the Lincoln Highway at Merrillville and headed to Michigan City on expressways.

Before committing to Michigan City, I did just enough research to determine that there were some reasonably priced motels in the area, and selected one to check out first. Michigan City is about thirty miles from South Bend and I now learned that area rooms aren't quite as reasonable when USC is in town to play Notre Dame as they are otherwise. Even so, I liked the place and, realizing that acceptable rooms were probably in short supply, settled into room 108 for the night.

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