Sweetheart Cruise 2012 Locator map

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Day 1
Rain & Fire

Day 2
Clear & Cool

Day 3
Straight & Narrow

Day 4
Tower & Taps

Postlude - March 6, 2012
The trip was great fun because of seeing some new places but even more so because of seeing some old friends. Unfortunately one old friend couldn't make it. It's my understanding that the naming of the cruise may have as much to do with honoring sweethearts Kent and Mary Sue Sanderson as with the holiday it is near. In fact, organizer Kip Welborn referred to the event as the "Kent and Mary Sue Sanderson Sweetheart Cruise" when he emailed invitations. That makes it a real pity that persistent neck pain prevented one of the sweethearts, Mary Sue, from attending this year's cruise. Wishing you the best, Mary Sue. We missed you.

March 5, 2012 (day 4)
I looked over a fantastic playground in Columbus then looked over a very nice beer list closer to home. I briefly evaluated my "straight home" attempt with some comments and a map in the day's last panel. The 580 KB map can be accessed here as well.

March 4, 2012 (day 3)
In theory, I could drive directly east from the motel and miss my home by less than a mile. Driving directly east isn't entirely practical but I tried.

March 3, 2012 (day 2)
Cool but clear weather made for a nice Route 66 cruise. We started with eight cars, only got lost a time or two, and finished with nine. Now that's the way to run a cruise. Kudos to Kip and his helpers.

March 2, 2012 (day 1)
I did see some nasty weather but not nearly as nasty as of some folks in areas I left behind. I got inside the National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia and saw a dragon and a moon light up -- all for the first time.

Prelude - February 23, 2012
As I wrote in 2008, a group of St Louis area roadies have made a habit of taking a cruise on a weekend near Valentines Day and calling the outing the Sweetheart Cruise. The reason I wrote that in 2008 is that is the only time I've participated. The cruise continued in 2009 but I missed it. Then it took a two year hiatus. It's back this year with plans to cover a bit of Historic Route 66 in Illinois and I intend to be there.

Plans call for Saturday breakfast at the Hen House near Mitchell, Illinois, then a drive up the older Route 66 alignment to Springfield. Neither Kip nor I have been inside Bill Shea's place so we're hoping to work that in before heading south to Carlinville on the newer Route 66 alignment for our overnight. I anticipate driving at least a little bit of the National Road on the way out and spending Friday night in Vandalia after visiting the National Road Interpretive Center there. It's a place that, like Shea's, I've seen from the outside but not yet inside. There are currently no group plans for Sunday and I imagine everyone will head out on their own path home.

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