Telling people where to go since 1990 – Jim Hinckley’s America/Route 66 Chronicles ®

Jim Hinckley

Shared Adventures & Road trip Inspiration 

Jim Hinckley has earned the moniker of America's storyteller with presentations made in the United States and Europe, the publication of hundreds of feature articles and twenty books, and with tours.

Jim Hinckley's schedule - 

Coffee With Jim, an interactive, fun filled, informative road trip inspiring audio podcast on the Podbean platform. Join America's storyteller author Jim Hinckley and share the adventure. 

Coffee With Jim

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Lessons Learned

A three or four day project is now in month six and I am about three or four days away from completion. The latest set back is the ignition switch. It is brand new. I purchased it on Friday. Yesterday morning I installed it. It worked - twice. And now I can't turn off...

Times Change

Counted among the many lessons that can be learned from history is that times change. Life on Route 66 in 1930 was different from life on Route 66 in 1950. And life on Route 66 in 2022 is dramatically different from life on that storied highway in 1950, 1970 or even...

Tales Of Inspiration & Independent Thinking

An accident as a child left Charles blind, yet he became a prolific inventor best remembered as the creator of cruise control. At age four Mary's family moved deep into the north woods of Minnesota and built a log cabin by hand. She was a musical prodigy that wrote...

A New Era on Route 66

If a community is to become a destination for people looking for a place to raise a family, to retire, and to open a business it must be first transformed into a destination for travelers and tourists. That transformation includes appealing streetscapes, a diverse...

National Day Calendar Presents Jim Hinckley for National Tell A Story Day

Books By Jim Hinckley

Here We Are . . . on Route 66 explores and celebrates iconic landmarks, cultural touchstones and the history of towns along America’s most famous highway. 

Spanning nearly 2,500 miles and eight states—Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California—America’s Main Street has given rise to a colorful assortment of roadhousesmotelsgreasy spoonsroadside amusements, and breathtaking natural scenery. Acclaimed Route 66 historian Jim Hinckley is your guide to a carefully curated selection of these sites, ranging from the iconic to the revelatory.

  • Towns and Cities
  • Natural Wonders
  • Roadside Attractions
  • Eateries
  • Motels and Hotels
  • Music, Film, and TV

This collection offers you the stories behind towns that led Route 66 to be named the Main Street of America. At nearly a century old, Route 66 remains the embodiment of the classic American highway.

Hinckley is perhaps the most internationally recognized authority on the subject of America’s Main Street. Wonderfully illustrated, and presented in a manner that allows you to dip in and out, Here We Are . . . on Route 66 is a must-have for your Route 66 bookshelf.

It was billed as the Main Street of America and the Mother Road.
It was a highway of commerce, both legal and illicit.
It was traveled by vacationing families and serial killers, truck drivers and celebrities, vagabonds and gangsters, the weary and the wicked.
It was the hunting grounds of criminals and the battlegrounds of racial violence and gangland strife.
This was Bloody 66.

Seeing this panoply of signs splashed across the pages in Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements is almost as good as taking a road trip!

You can get your kicks--and pretty much anything else--on Route 66, provided you see the sign that s advertising it! Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements showcases the colorful history of commercial signage along the Mother Road. From kitschy to classy, this book includes photos of early vintage signs as well as modern signs.

The vivid photos are organized according to type of establishment the signs are for, such as roadside attractions, motels, restaurants, businesses of ill repute (bars, strip clubs, etc.), and more. While Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements places emphasis on high-quality visuals, it also includes anecdotes and history about the signs that sprang up along the sides of Route 66.

The most famous Route 66 signs get center-stage treatment in the book, with two-page spreads accompanied by detailed text. Such signs include icons like the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico, the Munger Moss in Lebanon, Missouri, the U-Drop Inn at Shamrock, Texas, and the El Vado in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Additional information is included, such as background about buzzing neon lights--how these signs are actually made and how they get restored. Each image from this famous American roadway could be a postcard, so allow yourself to be rubbernecked by Route 66 Signs and Advertisements.

An encyclopedia with a twist, The Route 66 Encyclopedia presents alphabetical entries on Route 66 history, landmarks, personalities, and culture, from Bobby Troup’s anthem “Route 66” to The Grapes of Wrath to the Wigwam Motel, illustrated with over 1,000 old and new, color and black-and-white photos and memorabilia.
You'll learn about Jack Rittenhouse and Will Rogers as well as the contributions of lesser-known figures like Arthur Nelson and Angel Delgadillo. With references to the old (including the history of the U Drop Inn Café in Texas) and new (including a section about the recent Cars movie), The Route 66 Encyclopedia provides a sweeping look at a highway that has become more than just a road.

These pages cover the history of Route 66 and the people who played a role in its transformation from highway to icon between 1926 and the present, but like the highway itself, this work does not fit within the traditional confines of generalities or terminology. Yes, this is an encyclopedia, a reference book for all things Route 66. However, it is also a time capsule, a travel guide, a history book, a memorial, a testimonial, and a chronicle of almost a century of societal evolution.

While countless books have been devoted to single roadside-culture and car-related subjects, none have addressed in one volume American pop culture's love affair with the automobile. But what is that love affair, if not an expanse of fond memories and compelling kitsch as vast as the nation itself? This smorgasbord offers discriminating readers a tasty A-Z assortment of entries and accompanying images touching upon all the old chestnuts (Route 66, drive-in restaurants, filling stations, et al) as well as some edgier topics to appeal to younger generations interested in the seedier and/or more whimsical sides of roadside America (i.e, Earl Scheib, the Chicago entrepreneur who promised to paint any car for $99, or 1950s juvenile-delinquent hot rod films

Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 60 ghost towns along the Mother Road, rich in stories and history!

The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boomtowns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Illustrated with gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James, this book tours dozens of ghost towns in:

  • Illinois (Braidwood, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Bloomington, Funks Grove, Springfield)
  • Missouri (Rolla, Dootlittle, Springfield, Halltown, Paris Springs Junction, Avilla, Carthage, Joplin)
  • Kansas (Galena, Riverton, Baxter Springs)
  • Oklahoma (Narcissa, Afton, Tulsa, Warwick, Bridgeport, Foss, Elk City, Erick, Texola)
  • Texas (Shamrock, McLean, Alanreed, Jericho, Amarillo, Glenrio)
  • New Mexico (San Jon, Tucumari, Montoya, Newkirk, Cuervo, Dilia, Tecolote, Santa Fe, Thoreau, Gallup)
  • Arizona (Lupton, Chambers, Two Guns, Flagstaff, Truxton, Hackberry, Kingman, Goldroad, Oatman)
  • California (Needles, Goffs, Essex, Cadiz, Chambless, Amboy, Ludlow, Newberry Springs, Daggett, Barstow)

This edition also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66, as well as a fold-out map of the Mother Road.

Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway!

Route 66 changed immensely in the six decades between its opening in 1926 and its removal from the U.S. highway system in 1985. Since that time, Route 66 has enjoyed a renaissance, and interest in America's Mother Road as both a historical byway and a travel destination continues to grow. In this unprecedented volume, prolific Route 66 author Jim Hinckley presents an illustrated Route 66 atlas that explores the road's history from its inception into the present day. The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas features sections on eight U.S. states that include points of interest along or near Route 66, divided into six categories: pre-1926 historic sites (such as Lincoln's home and presidential library); noteworthy landmarks; the locations of infamous crimes and disasters; parks of interest; key sites in Route 66's evolution (such as Hooker's Cut, Missouri, an engineering marvel when completed); military-specific sites (including Civil War battlefields and POW and internment camps); historic attractions from the road's midcentury heyday (such as Little Beaver Town and Geronimo's Trading Post); film-related sites; and locations important to Route 66's modern resurgence. Illustrated with photography and memorabilia, The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas is a unique, colorful, and visually dynamic look at 500 of the Mother Road's most significant sites from the past and today.

Ghosts Towns of the West is filled with photographs, maps, history, and detailed directions to find the best ghost towns to linger in the wake of the Old West.

Ghost Towns of the West blazes a trail through the dusty crossroads and mossy cemeteries of the American West, including one-time boomtowns in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The book reveals the little-known stories of long-dead soldiers, indigenous peoples, settlers, farmers, and miners.
Perfect for planning a road trip, each section covers a geographic area and town entries are arranged by location to make this the most user-friendly book on ghost towns west of the Mississippi. Most ghost towns are within a short drive of major cities out West, and they make excellent day trip excursions. If you happen to be in or near Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or El Paso, for example, you ought to veer towards the nearest ghost town. Western ghost towns can also easily be visited during jaunts to national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, Glacier, Yellowstone, and many others throughout the West. Ghost Towns of the West is a comprehensive guide to former boomtowns of the American West, covering ghost towns in eleven states from Washington to New Mexico, and from California to Montana. This book has everything you need to learn about, visit, and explore a modern remnant of how life used to be on the western range.

Long one of America’s most cherished byways, Route 66 remains a popular tourist attraction and travel route for thousands of travelers every year. While stretches of the once-glorious road have been paved over or bypassed by the interstates, the journey from Chicago to Santa Monica along the path of the “double six” remains chock-full of unique roadside attractions, spectacular natural landscapes, and fascinating historical landmarks. Communities throughout each of the eight states touched by the “Main Street of America”—Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California—have embraced this vital piece of American history and offer a vast array of opportunities to experience the grandeur as well as the lost innocence of the glory days of Route 66.
 
In Travel Route 66, Route 66 expert and enthusiast Jim Hinckley provides detailed descriptions and itineraries that allow travelers of all ages and inclinations to explore the myriad wonders to be found along the highway’s 2,500 miles. In addition to specific recommendations for places to visit, eat, and spend the night, Hinckley presents history for the highway and its attractions and suggests detours and daytrips off the beaten path, all while providing a vivid picture of the road that has long captured the imaginations of travelers from throughout the world. Illustrated with a wealth of color photos and vintage memorabilia, Travel Route 66 is a practical and entertaining guide to the America’s Mother Road.

“100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die” probably will offer a few new excuses for even veteran travelers to take another Mother Road trip. That’s reason enough to get the book.” - Ron Warnick, Route 66 News

“If you’ve got a Summer road trip in mind, author and Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley sorts it out for you with his 100 favorite points to plot on your map. Now that’s a memorable road trip!” - Linda Allen, Ms. Career Girl

“Dedicated historian and author, Jim Hinckley has done the research to make the most of your odyssey along iconic Route 66.” - Gerry Furth-Sides, Local Food Eater

Fascinating blogs written by author Jim Hinckley for clients of MyMarketing Designs

Travel back in time to the dawn of the American auto industry with these fascinating tales from America's storyteller. Did you know that electric taxi cabs were on the streets of New York City BEFORE 1900? Did you know that Chevrolet was an import? Did you know that Henry Ford played a role in the founding of Cadillac? 

Blogs about Bullhead City, Arizona developments, area history, and events

Blogs about Lake Havasu City, Arizona area attractions and history, RV life, and camping

Obsessed with trivia? Look no further than these facinating blogs about air conditioning history. 

Blogs about pest control, desert creatures, swimming pools and desert landscaping

For fans of historic road trips, and road trips with the comfort of home you will these stories about motorized land yachts in 1915, the history of Airstream, and RV innovation to be quite facinating. 

Kite festivals, kite history, and a bit of road trip inspiration. 

On May 27, 2022, at the National Road Trip Day proclamation festivities a statue of Jim Hinckley created by internationally acclaimed sculptress J. Anne Butler. 

Touch Media has announced collaboration with historian and author Jim Hinckley to enhance Route 66 Navigation, the ultimate offline turn by turn app that offers unique functionality and features. Hinckley, author of 19 books including 100 Things to Do on Route 66 Before You Die, Travel Route 66 and The Route 66 Encyclopedia has created descriptions of more than 1,000 points of interest on Route 66 for the app that will be made available over the course of the next two weeks.

 A presentation before an interested crowd at the second European Route 66 Festival. 

 

In 2018 author Jim Hinckley was a featured speaker at the European Route 66 Festival in Zlin, Czech Republic. He also managed an info booth to assist with Route 66 travel planning and to answer questions.

Jim Hinckley is the author of 19 books and several hundred feature articles for a variety of publications. In January 2021 he commenced work on his 20th book.

In 2013 author Jim Hinckley sat with Jay Leno in his famous garage for an interveiw about his books The Big Book of Car Culture and Checker Cab Manufacturing Company: An Illustrated History. 

Nissan Canada has organized a journey along iconic Route 66 for a group of Canadian automotive journalists. This is the second time that the company has provided journalists with an opportunity for an extended test drive in three of the automaker’s newest models on the most famous highway in America. The tour will include stops at historic sites as well as provide an opportunity to meet with key people associated with the highway’s renaissance and interview Nissan technology specialists. To develop the tour author Jim Hinckley, creator of Jim Hinckley’s America travel network, was retained as a consultant.

Expanding on the theme of sharing Needles’ ample Route 66 legacy with the world, the Needles Chamber of Commerce’s June 23 general membership meeting features Jim Hinckley, an internationally noted writer, photographer, tour guide and speaker with hundreds of credits on the subject of the Mother Road.

With support of the Patreon based crowdfunding initiaitve it becomes economically feasible to bring educational and informative presentations to groups such as the Rotary Club in El Paso, Texas, to classrooms in Germany or Illinois, and to small museums in rural communities such as Needles, California. And with your support we can give artists and authors, small business owners and communities a promotional boost during hard times.

AUTHOR - GUIDE - CONSULTANT -SPEAKER

Our series about independent thinking and inspirational people continues with the story of an amazing musical prodigy that has lived a most unusual life. Her professional moniker is Mean Mary. And she has seen her share of ups, downs and tragedy. Don't miss this fun filled, fascinating and inspiring program!

Today's programis sponsored in part by the delightful, magical wonderful village of Tucumcari, New Mexico, home of Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum, Route 66 time capsules, and a whole lot of smiling and friendly folk. 

 

 

On this mornings fast paced, fun filled and interactive program America's storyteller talks road trip inspiring books, podcasts, and programs. Join author Jim Hinckley, share the adventure and inspire a road trip or two.

Today's programis sponsored in part by the bespoke road trip specialists at RouteTrip USA. Like Jim Hinckley's America, they test the pillows, taste the enchiladas and ensure a memorable road trip adventure in the US or Canada.

 

At Jim Hinckley’s America we test the pillows, taste the enchiladas, try the shower, walk the neighborhood, sample the beer and make the detour so you can enjoy worry free travel. We discover the places known only to the locals, the special places most travelers miss, the hidden gems that ensure a memorable adventure. And we introduce you to the characters, the colorful and fascinating people that add seasoning to the adventure. 

Since 1990 America's storyteller author Jim Hinckley has been sharing his passion for Route 66, its history and unique culture. In presentations, books, feature articles and live stream programs he weaves a rich tapestry of stories about this iconic old highway, backroad adventures and the great American southwest. 

Books Published

Number of Countries Where Jim Has Told People Where to Go

Facebook Followers

Feature Articles Published

"The Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, blends cool modern design and quirky sophistication to create a truly unique boutique hotel experience. Located in The Loop – one of St. Louis’ most vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment districts – the hotel’s prime location offers guests a wide array of leisure activities.

The Moonrise Hotel is home to the award-winning Eclipse Restaurant, a St. Louis leader in modern American cuisine. Eclipse Restaurant’s talented chefs serve up a menu of fresh, contemporary American dishes made from locally-sourced, seasonal and organic ingredients, and skilled bartenders mix up classic cocktails with a modern twist.

The Moonrise Hotel boldly goes where no St. Louis hotel has gone before with its combination of contemporary design, luxury amenities, beautifully furnished rooms and suites, and ample meeting space. From the ever-changing colors of the iridescent lobby walls and lighted staircase to the evocative art, display cases of lunar toys, jewelry, figurines, rare space memorabilia and spaceships, there’s much to marvel at without ever leaving the hotel.

The result: an unforgettable experience that combines Midwestern hospitality with urban chic and comfy sleek boutique."

The Exhibit Hall at the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum houses a host of replicated and original fossils from tiny footprint casts to the 40′ long skeleton Torvosaurus, a rare carnivore relative of Tyrannosaurus rex which hails from the Jurassic period.

The Museum’s focus is on the Mesozoic period, which is also known as ‘The Age of Dinosaurs.’ The Mesozoic is comprised of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The museum cultivates specimens from exclusive local dig sites. Guests are able to view Paleontology students and the curator preserve specimens through a viewing window located in the exhibit hall. Witness history as it’s uncovered and assembled in the laboratory.

The museum also boasts an impressive collection of minerals from all over the world. These are displayed in the exhibit hall and sold in the gift shop.

Summer Hours

March 15 – Labor Day  (Tuesday – Saturday)
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Closed Sunday and Monday)

Winter Hours

Day After Labor Day – March 14th
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Closed Sunday and Monday)

"This lovingly restored motel on Route 66 features mid-century style with modern comfort and conveniences. Stay with us for a blast from the past experience and create memories to last a lifetime. Roadrunner Lodge Motel welcomes your family with a warm smile and a friendly atmosphere one simply cannot find at the chains on the interstate."

One of the area’s top rated Attractions. 

See how craft spirits are made by taking a tour in the Production and Barrel rooms.  Taste award winning aged rums, aged whiskeys, and vodka, and enjoy cheese plates and capresi salad plates in a century old railroad car.

Enjoy hand crafted cocktails at our historic bar.

4875 Olympic Drive

Kingman, AZ

Great author about Route 66, blogger and historian, your tour guide for the roads less traveled and personally honored to count to his friends.

Geri Linda Metterle

Top notch!!! Great journalism. Love Jim’s work!

Jim Livingston

Jim Livingston Art

Jim has the perspective of a man who loves the Mother Road and enjoys sharing his experiences with everyone. He truly believes in sharing the love

Renee Charles

City of Galena

One of my favorite storytellers, whether talking about Route 66, or sharing a story about what he had for breakfast. Always a pleasure!

Kevin Mueller

I love living in Jim Hinckley's America! It's beautiful here! Come on in!

Joe Loesch

The Road Crew