Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Skyline I didn't get to visit Illinois on this visit to America, but I know Chicago well. I would have liked to make it, not least to visit some good friends there. It would also have been cool to connect my journey along Route 66 in Missouri with the start of the road in Chicago. One for another day, or maybe another life.

Grant Park from Sears Tower Route 66 is considered to begin in Grant Park, at the Buckingham Fountain. Illinois was the first state to officially de-commission Route 66 back in 1985, and although it has since recognised it as a historic byway, the beginning of this auspicious road is fairly anonymous. However it does start halfway between the excellent Field Museum and the world class Art Institute of Chicago, which are both worth a visit.

Seurat in Art Institute Chicago

After the Met, and possibly MOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago is my favourite gallery in the USA. It houses some astonishing, iconic items of art, not least American Gothic and Hopper's Nighthawks.

American Gothic Chicago A great place to view the start of Route 66 is what people still mostly know as the Sears Tower but which has been renamed as the Willis Tower. At one time it was the tallest building in the world.

From the public viewing platform at the top you can look down from one side onto the Grant Park, then swing your gaze across to the other side of the building to see the line of streets stretching out into the suburbs and beyond, reaching out West to where dreams can come true... Willis Tower Looking West