Hop into the car with WJOL morning radio host Scott Slocum for a 10-day road trip across America, via the legendary Route 66. Starting Monday, April 24, Slocum will embark on a two-week trip traveling the entirety of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California - brought to you by The First Hundred Miles, Heritage Corridor Destinations, D’Arcy Buick-GMC and Enjoy Illinois.
Over the course of ten days, we’ll be unlocking new content on this page. Route 66 fans will want to check back each day for exclusive interviews, broadcast audio, photos and video from some of the top destinations found along The Great American Road Trip.
The trip will begin with a live broadcast from the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois. Following Pontiac, Slocum will broadcast from Collinsville, Illinois (home of the world’s largest ketchup bottle), where he’ll recap the rest of his Illinois Route 66 journey – including highlights from Bloomington, Lincoln and Springfield. In the following days, Slocum will greet the airwaves from Joplin, Missouri; Oklahoma City; Amarillo, Texas; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Sedona, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Victorville, California; and Santa Monica, California, where this 10-day odyssey will conclude.
The Great American Road Trip is fueled by The First Hundred Miles, Heritage Corridor Destinations, D’Arcy Buick-GMC and Enjoy Illinois.
The Great American Road Trip is sponsored in part by Bishops Hill Winery, City of Wilmington, First Secure Community Bank of Joliet, Harrah’s Joliet Hotel and Casino, Kevin Malloy State Farm and Posh Hospitality.
Scott Slocum’s Great American Road Trip is officially underway! The trip began with a live broadcast from the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois, recapping The First Hundred Miles of the legendary Mother Road - but not before making some stops in Chicago and Dwight.
There is no better way to kick off your road trip than by snagging a photo with the official Route 66 starting sign in downtown Chicago. You will know you’ve found the right place when you spot the iconic brown ‘Route 66′ signpost, featuring an additional sign below it that simply states ‘BEGIN’. This marker is conveniently located across the street from The Art Institute of Chicago, and just a short walk from Millennium Park. This essential photo opportunity is a must-visit attraction for anyone beginning their cross-country journey in downtown Chicago.
Next on the docket, Slocum paid a visit to one of Dwight’s most famous Route 66 sites, Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station. Built in 1933, and named for its long-time owner, Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station is widely regarded by Route 66 enthusiasts as one of the best restored service stations along the Mother Road. At this Route 66 gem you can learn about this beautiful rural stretch of The First Hundred Miles and snap some beautiful throwback photos.
While there, they took some time to highlight one of the most themed restaurants along the Mother Road: Old Route 66 Family Restaurant. Learn about this popular roadside dining destination over on WJOL’s website.
The historic city of Pontiac is home to many delectable restaurants, beautiful public parks and plenty of boutique shopping opportunities, but the picturesque community also hosts The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum – one of the best museums preserving the history of the Mother Road.
The museum, where Slocum interviewed guests from attractions along the first stretch of the route, holds an expansive archive of 66 artifacts and ephemera, along with a vast collection of historical photos. Fans of history and Americana will get to hear about the museum’s vast repository of thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia from the glory days of the Mother Road and contemporary art pieces – including vintage license plates, a VW bus with a connection to Disney’s hit film “Cars,” and a spectacular, two-story-tall mural of a Route 66 shield, perfect for photo-ops.
While in Pontiac, Slocum spoke with local Route 66 experts, such as Bob Navarro from Heritage Corridor Destinations, Pontiac Tourism Director Liz Vincent and Greg Peerbolte from the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Old Joliet Prison. After the broadcast, Slocum was given a tour of the legendary Bob Waldmire bus, the rolling home and studio of a famed artist and Route 66 personality.
Day two of the Great American Road Trip saw Scott Slocum broadcasting from Collinsville, IL - home of the world’s largest ketchup bottle! During his live broadcast he recapped some of the top attractions you’ll find between Pontiac and the end of Illinois’ stretch of Route 66. Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Farm, Cozy Dog Drive In, Pink Elephant Antique Mall and Motorheads Bar and Grill, Museum and Entertainment Complex were all featured during the show. Take a look at some of the day’s video highlights below.
On Day three of the Great American Road Trip, Scott Slocum broadcast live from Joplin, Mo - a thriving Route 66 town full of history and attractions. Along the way, they visited some of Missouri’s other top mother road attractions, including Cuba, Mo’s Route 66 Outpost and the legendary Uranus Fudge Factory. Click hear to listen to a clip of today’s Great American Road Trip broadcast.
Uranus Fudge Factory Video:
Slocum gives us an inside look at one of Route 66′s most talked about modern roadside stops - the punny Uranus Fudge Factory and Gift Shop in Uranus, Mo.
Scott Slocum and the 1340 WJOL crew set up shop in the famed Round Barn of Arcadia for a day of discussing the classic Route 66 sights you’ll find throughout Oklahoma. From the famed Blue Whale swimming hole to a larger than life personality that’s been paid homage by Hollywood, explore some of the exciting nostalgic attractions the Sooner State has to offer.
Elvis Was Here Video:
Sandhill Curiosity Shop Video:
Slocum and the 1340 WJOL crew visited Amarillo, TX - officially reaching the halfway point for their Route 66 road trip. Broadcasting live from the Texas Route 66 Visitors Center, Scott recapped some of the best attractions and destinations you’ll find along The Mother Road Road in Lone Star State.
Route 66 Visitors Center Video:
Here’s a weekend recap of Scott Slocum and crew’s Southwest stops along The Great American Road Trip. On day six, the crew visited the oldest church structure in America - The San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, NM - which dates all the way back to 1610. Afterwards, they soaked in a spectacular Southwest sunset from an observation point overlooking all the art galleries and adobe structures of this spectacular Route 66 Tourist Town.
San Miguel Mission and Santa Fe Video:
Day 7 of WJOL and Heritage Corridor Destination’s Great American Road Trip included a stop in beautiful and historic Albuquerque, NM. This leg of the trip included a drive along the famed “Musical Highway”, a road with rumble strips that plays “America The Beautiful” if you drive across it at just the right speed. Afterwards, Scott Slocum and crew paid a visit to ABQ’s historic downtown shopping district, lined with countless adobe galleries.
Musical Highway & Albuquerque Video:
On day eight of The Great American Road Trip, Slocum and crew broadcast live from Flafstaff, AZ. En route to, and following their broadcast, the team paid a visit to Winslow, Arizona (made famous by The Eagle’s ‘Take It Easy’), The Lowell Observatory, The Petrified Forrest National Park and The Continental Divide.
Flaggstaff, AZ Video:
On day nine of the Great American Road Trip, Slocum and crew traveled from Arizona to Nevada along historic Route 66. Along the way, they paid a visit to Oatman, Kingman and the legendary Grand Canyon! Join us as we take a look at some of the famous sights they visited, on and off the Mother Road.
Grand Canyon Slideshow:
Arizona To Nevada Slideshow:
It’s the final day of The Great American Road Trip with WJOL’s Scott Slocum! The crew concluded their epic ten day cross-country road trip with a live early morning broadcast from the Santa Monica, CA pier - the official end point of Route 66. On air, they were joined live by Heritage Corridor Destination’s Bob Navarro - who joined them to recap all the colorful characters, classic attractions and stunning views they saw on this whirlwind trip.
Santa Monica Slideshow:
Santa Monica Pier Video:
The End of the Road Video:
Thank you to everyone who followed along during this ten day Route 66 Road Trip! We’ll be continuing to update this page with more content from The Great American Road Trip. More Route 66 content, be sure to follow Route 66 - Illinois on Facebook and subscribe to The First Hundred Miles Newsletter. Happy travels!
ABOUT THE FIRST HUNDRED MILES:
Whether you’re looking to chart a cross-country trip from Chicago to Santa Monica, or simply experience a unique getaway that’s close to home, The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 is the best place to start your journey. This famed trek takes you off the highways, and encourages you to explore the communities that line the Mother Road. From the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s awe-inspiring Magnificent Mile to the picturesque farmland of central Illinois, The First Hundred Miles of the original two-lane blacktop is lined with throwback diners, fascinating museums and some of the most popular photo-ops you’ll find along the entire route.
The First Hundred Miles is a comprehensive tourism brand, linking the communities between Chicago and Pontiac. At TheFirstHundredMiles.com, you’ll find feature articles dedicated to noteworthy attractions, lists of fan-favorite restaurants, inspiring photo galleries and comprehensive business listings. You’ll also find convenient maps and pre-built, road-trip itineraries, directing you to popular boutique shops, sprawling nature preserves and delicious dining destinations.
Be sure to tune into LIVE to1340 WJOL each weekday from April 24 to May 5!