The area where we live is known for two things, Abraham Lincoln and Route 66. This coming June 16-18 of 2017, we will be involved with a tractor drive that is part of the Land of Lincoln Expo, a fun tractor show. The tractor drive will be on parts of historic Route 66. The show will be held at the Macoupin County Fair Grounds north of Carlinville, Illinois. The drive will begin at the fairgrounds on June 17th and we will depart around 8:00 am. and then proceed to travel parts of the two-lane historic Route 66 between Carlinville and Girard, Illinois. In anticipation, of the event, Keith and I and Lynn Huyear who is from rural Carlinville, had a photo- shoot to create a tractor drive flier. It was great fun going out to Curt Hayes farm where he allowed us to park our trailer and unload our 1938 Graham Bradley Standard.
Curt was in the midst of cutting silage and it was fun to see him working in the fields. He even had a silage bagger coming to place the harvested silage in. We appreciated Curt allowing us to park our trailer at his farm. He has had quite a bit of experience with gawkers like us coming to check out Route 66. He told a story of one Asian visitor that was taking a picture standing on the nearby stone bridge. The man slipped and fell and cut his head. Curt and his wife patched him up and let him rest a bit before he and his son went to see more of the iconic Route 66 that is famous all over the world.
Curt shared some Route 66 stories. He told us that the piece of the Mother Road near his farm was called “Wash Board Hill”. He said it was called that because when they poured the cement back in the early 20’s the mix kept sliding down the hill. They tried to smooth it out, but it kept running and dried in a washboard motion that will add a bit of fun for the adventurous tractor drivers that come out for the ride. Curt said he had heard also that the farmer that lived near this area had some pretty young daughters that were sunning and that the men making the cement pour were a bit distracted.
We had a great time posing our Graham Bradley on the Route and taking pictures from the bed of Lynn’s truck. Lynn and I both posed on the Graham and Lynn had the idea of also using Curt’s Massey and having two “farmers” meet on the road. Curt was game and we used both tractors. Keith and Lynn had come up with the idea of having a Route 66 sign so the road would be recognizable and Lynn supplied our “Route 66 prop”.
Several cars passed us by probably wondering just what the three of us were doing. I even drove Lynn’s big truck shocking Keith when I drove up following Lynn on Curt’s cool Massey. The drive is going to include some fun places. We plan on driving past the turkey tracks that were embedded in the concrete when turkeys passed over the wet concrete on the then “new” Route 66.
We plan to travel from the show grounds north on parts of Route 66 to Girard, Illinois and then back on a slightly different route returning to the fairgrounds. The entire drive will be 15 miles each way or about 30 miles round trip. There are numerous Route 66 stops in this area that tractor drivers can enjoy during their visit. They can create a photo-shoot of their own along Route 66.
There are also some amazing stops with Lincoln history in Carlinville. There is also a Lincoln statue in Bunker Hill that I learned about and plan in the near future to check out myself. Carlinville is also home to a large number of Sears Houses.
The end result were some pretty good pictures of Route 66 that we hope will make tractor lovers and those that love Route 66 come to the drive. We were like a low budget film crew. Keith and Lynn acted as the director, we all posed at some time, Keith and Lynn took pictures and I basically was a grip! It was enthralling and now I am ready to get MY TRACTOR FIX ON ROUTE 66!
Several tractor collectors are already planning to come to the event. Log onto Facebook at Land of Lincoln Expo for more information.