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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Reacher Man

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About Reacher Man

  • Birthday 05/04/1971

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    Elk Grove Village, IL (near Chicago)

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Day Tripper

Day Tripper (1/6)



  1. I've bought a couple old maps from swap meet vendors at large car shows and similar events. Keep an eye out for large national car shows, racing events, and the like, and very often there will be swap meets included among the events. Now, I've never seen anything quite that old, but you never know. FWIW I've found a nice IL map from 1972 and a "Central United States" map from 1963. Fascinating! HTH, and good hunting.
  2. Thanks for the welcome. How far west we go depends on what we hear from helpful travelers like yourself! We're leaving Chicago on a Sat. morning, arrivign St. Louis that afternoon/evening. We'll prob. spend a couple days there, so say we hit Rt. 66 W of the city on Tues. morning. I'll have to be back home near Chicago on Sunday, and we'll prob. take the insterstates on the way back home so we'll have more time to take it easy on the way west on 66. So, I'd say we'll prob. be on 66 westbound for 3 days, maybe 4. Wherever we can get in that time is fair game! Thx again.
  3. We own a 2001 Pontiac Aztek. Now, some of you may think it's ugly, but I'll tell you- it's the most amazing vehicle I've ever owned (even tho it's my wife's). It's a regular Swiss Army Knife on wheels (but without the corkscrew). Our favorite feature, and the one relevant to our discussion, is the add-on tent. You open the tailgate, pop the hatch, and drape the tent right over the back half of the car. Room for two adults plus a small child if you pull the rear seats out (usually you would simoply fold them forward to sleep 2). A tiny "gear tent" holds those rear seats plus our other stuff outside during our stay. Setup and teardown is a bit of a drawback, taking about 20-30 minutes, depending on whether or not our daughter is sitting quietly or being chased around by one of us. You can't drive with it on, so for your daily activities it's gotta come down. But sleeping off the ground in a relatively well-sheltered space is a big big plus for us. Last year we went on 3 camping trips, one of them a long 3-night stay. We usually like to grill simple camping food (dogs, burgers, etc.) when we camp, if there are facilites. I submit that one has not lived until one has eaten Beenie Weenie heated in the can over the fire on the end of a stick! I have a picture! Happy camping!
  4. Hi all, My wife and I are planning a Route 66 trip from Chicago thru MO this May, with our toddler daughter. I would like to hear your thoughts on fun things to see and do west of St. Louis. We have seen all of Rt 66 in IL, so we're not going to spend too much time in our home state. We will be doing some fun things in St. Looie, like the zoo, a children's museum, and of course the Arch. Then we'll get back on 66 and head west, and that's where I'd like to hear from some of you veteran Mother Road travelers. We will be traveling with our 2-year-old daughter, so family friendly activities/attractions are a must, as well as lodging- we'll prob. be camping at least 2 or 3 nights in a row, depending on the weather and what campsites we can find. Otherwise we'll be moteling, so your thoughts on clean, safe motels and campgrounds will be much appreciated. As a thanks-in-advance, I offer you the attached pic, taken by yours truly in WI. Thx!
  5. Hello all, my name is Gus. I am going on 36, married, with a 2-y.o. daughter. I’ve lived in Chicago or the near suburbs all my life. Here’s the part of that life maybe some of you might want to read about… I first learned the joys of traveling on the road at a young age. Some of my very earliest memories are of riding in my parents’ 1965 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (now there’s a road trip car, big enough to land an airplane on the roof and seat 7- for dinner!), with no real place to go. Just meandering around Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, or Iowa. Now, my parents emigrated to the U.S. in 1971 from Colombia, South America, and I was the first of my family born here. I don’t know if they did much pleasure travel in Colombia, but they must have picked it up somewhere, because that’s what we did almost every weekend for many years during my childhood. Hence my deep wanderlust. Once I got my license in 1987 at age 16, I was lucky enough to get a little car of my own, and I immediately set out to explore the suburbs around Chicago. My biggest early thrill back then was having wandered "all the way" out to Elgin, IL- a whopping 30 miles from home! And then, when I graduated college in 1995, I bought a new Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, which turned out to have very long legs indeed, to the tune of 250,000 miles worth of unforgettable road adventures to date- 3 days after I bought the car, I drove to the Badlands of South Dakota, mostly just because they were there, almost 2000 miles round-trip. I hope to share some of those travels here, and pics as well. I’ve seen 27 states in this car, including a 7-day marathon drive to San Francisco and back to Chicago in 1997, Michigan’s upper Peninsula, civil war battlefields in Mississippi, noodly backroads in Tenessee and Kentucky, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, and all points in between. The 2-lane roads, of course, are my favorite way to see all these places, but the interstates have been good to me, letting me reach far-off places in short order- hence my name, “Reacher Man”. I was lucky enough to meet a woman in 1998 who shares my passion for road tripping, and we were married in 2001. While we were still dating, she lived in central Illinois, and I had the pleasure of driving down Route 66 every weekend to see her. Now we try to see the country with our little daughter Sofia- 7 days after she was born we drove with her to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to buy a car. If she doesn’t end up a wanderer like us I’ll have to wonder about the whole concept of heredity! Sorry for going on so long, but it’s nice to have an audience like this. Looking forward to sharing my stories and pics, and yours as well. We’re planning a Route 66 trip this Spring thru IL, MO, and maybe AR, so I’ll def. be seeking your advice on that! Joy, peace, and axle grease...
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