Brooks on 66
Brooks, one of our four-legged friends, took to Route 66 in Illinois to see a few stops south of Springfield recently.  He donned his official Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway bandanna, and hopped in the car.

As one of our fairly younger travelers (just recently celebrating his first birthday), he had a relatively short attention span and wanted to hit a few stops that were sure to impress. He decided to check out the Mother Road in Girard, Litchfield, and Collinsville.

His first stop on Route 66 was Doc’s Soda Fountain in Girard, Illinois. He was a big fan of the Coca-Cola décor and begged for an old-fashioned Route Beer float—but settled a doggie treat instead. He enjoyed the nice weather outside and sat in their outdoor seating area, dreaming of hopping on barstool inside and taking full advantage of the old-fashioned soda fountain.  He also admired the nice Byway bike rack perched outside the restaurant and asked for a picture there, too.

When he saw an inside patron get a plate of delicious looking food, it was all over—he couldn’t take it anymore. He started to eat his bandanna out of pure frustration, so we snapped a few photos and continued on south.

In Litchfield, Brooks explored the exterior of the Litchfield Route 66 Welcome Center and the commemorative bricks near the entrance. He asked if he could have one with his name on it (and then threatened to mark his territory in another way if his demand wasn’t met. So bossy—don’t be fooled by that sweet face.)

After posing in front of the iconic Vic Schuling sign from Route 66’s heyday, he crossed the street to see Jubelt’s and the Ariston Café, where he was finally able to get that photo with a Route 66 road stamp. He and his owners drooled collectively over the dessert tray (and two of the three swore to come back later when Brooks was at the dogsitter.)

Then it was on the road again—Brooks with his head out the window, enjoying the warm smells of Illinois Route 66 this time of year: earthy corn and sweet, freshly mowed grass.

Brooks made his final stop on Illinois Route 66 at his namesake: The Brooks Catsup Bottle. The looming red bottle appeared on the road in front of us, and Brooks popped his head back in the car to say, “Hey, do you guys see this?!” We made sure he got his photo-ops both from near and far, and he was extremely satisfied sniffing around the base of the giant tower.

After he begged to buy the tower (it’s for sale, you know) he got one final survey of the landmark and hopped into the back seat of the car, collapsing into a deep sleep on the way home. It was a long day, but a good one. A day on Illinois Route 66 produced a happy, snoring pup.

Have you taken your pup on Route 66? We’d love to see photos!

- Kaleigh Moore