4 In Liz Travels: Route 66

The Illinois Roadside Experience: Making Rubbings

Neither Wind, Nor Rain, Nor 90-degree Temperatures…

One of the most delightful things we did in Illinois as we traversed Route 66 was to seek out the Wayside Markers and the Experience Hubs. They provide a lot of information about a particular spot on the Route–such as a long time business, like Henry’s Rabbit Ranch–or a particular town, such as Lincoln or Joliet. Finding them is like being on a scavenger hunt. But it’s a bonus when the maker or hub have a plate inset in them especially for visitors to make their own rubbings.

I knew about these in advance, so I came prepared with sheets of paper and a graphite crayon. I developed a technique that almost embossed the design on the paper, so that the rubbing came out pretty clearly. They were fun to find and fun to do.

It rained. I got out and did the rubbing. The wind kicked up. I got out and did the rubbing. The temperature soared. And yessiree Bob, I got out and did the rubbing. Altogether, I think I did ten or eleven. I only include a sample here. They will be some of the most treasured souvenirs I take home from the Route.


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  • Reply
    June 16, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Reminds me of graveyard rubbings but mostly how I collected train station stamps while in Japan as we used trains from place to place. Still a treasured memory.

    • Reply
      Sharon Thompson
      June 16, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      I didn’t know about the train stamps! I collected stamps at the temples and shrines in accordion fold books, and still love them. Thanks for reminding me! Love, Liz

  • Reply
    June 16, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Love the rubbings. I used to do rubbings with my students. I look forward to reading your daily updates.

  • Reply
    Linda Zorich
    June 16, 2022 at 9:52 am

    Wonderful photos and rubbings. Hurray for having at a Muffler WOMAN! Love your writing and following along with your journey. Looking forward to more.

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