Nissan Canada’s Altimate Rogue Trip along the historic US Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica rolled out of the very chilly Windy City early Sunday.
It’s a seven-day, 4,000-km plus driving adventure undertaken by more than a dozen Canadian journalists, all driving new 2015 Nissan Altima sedans and 2015 Nissan Rogue crossover vehicles.
In the coming days, check back for a pictorial account of each day’s journey. Later in November, a more detailed account will appear in the newspaper edition Driveway and a large gallery here online.
The first day saw us travel 550 kms to Cuba, Missouri, switching between the older roads that made up the route and the modern freeways that now cover some of the original stretches.
Alongside some of the later routings of the road lie narrow parallel roads often overgrown. Technically, there is no longer a Route 66 but it’s a historic highway wound up in myth, legend, and magic. And its supporters in the states it traverses are determined to make it more of a living memory than one that fades with time.
Bizarre oversized roadside attractions and more subtle monuments are constant reminders of its glorious past the major link between Illinois and California. The strange examples, of course, the ones that stick in your mind.
The car from the Blues Brothers movie sits high above ground near Joliet, a town made famous by that Hollywood romp. The Gemini Giant in Wilmington is one of many outsized examples of vivid imaginations.
The citizens of Odell restored a Standard Oil Station that had virtually collapsed before they saved it. There are many similar examples of civic pride dotted along the route that winds between quiet towns.
Closing on our final destination of the day, we crossed of Chain of Rocks Bridge that spans the Mississippi River, near St Louis. A treat indeed as this high bridge no longer operates as a highway link and it was opened today purely for our benefit.
Follow Keith on Twitter at @ChangeGears