If at first you don’t succeed and all of that stuff. This morning I rolled out of the sack at 4:30 for another shot at capturing the trains in Kingman Canyon. If I do say so I think this mornings work does a better job of capturing the majesty of the canyon as a backdrop for the trains.
This view is looking west towards the Sacramento Valley. It also presents a more detailed portrait of why train enthusiasts come from and wide to view trains here.
This shot has a Route 66 connection of note. The trestle in the background has stood for more than eighty years. On page 82 of Legendary Route 66, Michael Witzel has a photo of this bridge and a car below it on the National Old Trails Highway from about 1916.
The road between the west bound train and the trestle is the National Old Trails Highway. This was also Route 66 until 1938.
A corporate client asked for photos of trains in Kingman Canyon, a quintessential western landscape where two alignments of Route 66 run, one from 1939 and the other that is the orignal alignment and the route for the National Old Trails Highway. There are also two rail lines, and a sewage treatment facility that compete to detract from the stunning scenery.
To enhance the challenge to my fledgling skills they specifically requested a sunrise time for these photos. The results shown here are not my best work. In particular the sky has a dirty white sock quality to it that I do not feel is appealing.
So, tomorrow morning, at 4:30, we will try it from another angle. Perhaps we can have some clouds to accentuate the dawn.
Another client has requested photos of vintage buildings. As I was driving home this house, one of the oldest in Kingman, came to mind. I love this old place and wonder often why it hasn’t been resurrected and if it ever will be.
Trains seem to be the theme for this weekend. On Friday my pa rolled in from Michigan on Amtrak.
So, Friday night we caught up with him at my sisters house. Saturday after work, largely as a way to beat the heat of our first one hundred degree day, we went to the theater and watched The Proposal, a chick flick that was a rather refreshing change from the crude special effects laden films that seem to dominate the film industry today.
Saturday evening my son stopped by after work and we had our first Hinckley family dinner in more than five years. I should add food to the weekend theme as on Sunday morning, after my photography safari, we headed into the pine forested Hualapai Mountains for a brunch at Haulapai Mountain Lodge, a delightful little eatery a dozen miles south of Kingman and Route 66.
I am taking the next week off from the office for a vacation of sorts. The list of things that need to be accomplished are rather lengthy and include a final outline for Ghosts of the Sauk Trail, a complete layout for Ghost Towns of Route 66, the final edit for Ghost Towns of the Southwest, and arrangement with a gallery to handle the sale our prints.
Then if I get bored there are press releases and their distribution for the Route 66 Association of Kingman that include promotion for Chillin’ on Beale Street, the Street Drags, and the solicitation of monies as the organization has received a matching funds grant for the restoration of a vintage Packard sign. Another priority is extensive organizational efforts to rectify several years of being disorganized so I can start new projects which will in turn result in large piles that are disorganized. I also have two meetings scheduled, one with the editor of the local paper and another with a real estate developer looking to build a promotional website. Additional website issues to be addressed are the writing of text for the Route 66 Association of Kingman site and try to figure our why my site, www.route66infocenter.com, has so little traffic.
All of these items, however, pale pale in importance to finding ways to savor time with my dearest friend. The heat will make that a challenge as it is not conducive to long walks in the desert, one of our favorite past times.
I suppose all of this helps me look forward to the return to the office for rest!
We have been receiving requests for copies of photos that appear here on the blog, on the website (www.route66infocenter.com), in our books, and that accompany some our feature articles for quite some time. These requests as well as the positive response received at a fund raising exhibit at a local gallery prompted us to initiate a series of prints.
The first step was finding a professional photography shop that specialized in museum quality reproductions. This search led us to Tom Alexander photography in Flagstaff just a few blocks south of Route 66 on San Francisco Street. This in turn gave us an excuse for another adventure along the old double six.
This image of the Hilltop Motel, in Kingman, Arizona, was captured at sunrise the morning after a very rare snow. After careful consideration we selected it as the first for our “Icons of Route 66” series that will include other landmarks such as the Hackberry General Store, Cool Springs, Roy’s in Amboy, and Funk’s Grove.
This photo of an old cabin with Shep’s water tower in the background was taken in Chloride, Arizona. This will be the first in our “Ghost Town” series.
This series is very dear to us for a number of reasons. Tangible links to the past are fast vanishing in our ghost towns and these prints will help preserve that legacy.
The prints are 11″ x 14″ but are matted to 16″ x 20″. This is a bit of shameless self promotion but in all honesty I feel these prints would make excellent gifts, really add something to an office or den, and as they are the first in a series might even be seen as an investment.
The prints will tie in with the release of our next two books, Ghost Towns of the Southwest and Ghost Towns of Route 66. However, the ghost town series of prints will not be limited to preserving the legacy of towns in Arizona and New Mexico.
We have already captured a number of images in Rhyolite, Nevada. Plans are also under way to capture the ghosts of the old Sauk Trail.
So, if you would like more information about the prints please drop us a note. As additional service we are also now offering specialized shots for website or promotional needs.
Okay, on to new business. The Chillin’ on Beale Street event last week was so well received there will be another, larger Chillin’ on Beale Street for July. I will keep you posted on details and post photos this weekend.
Then there are the annual street drags which have been expanded into a full scale block party with a wide array of activities. This event has exploded in popularity and for the first time will be covered by ESPN this year. I will supply contact information and details for this event in upcoming posts.
The office/museum/unofficial visitor center seems to be growing in popularity. So, if your in Kingman stop by, we would enjoy meeting you and hearing of your adventure on Route 66. If you have an event, a shop, or museum on Route 66 send us the information and we will post it or make sure it is distributed.
If time allows drop us a note. We want this blog as well as our website to be informative, fun, and reader directed.
Well, from what I could tell on Monday it would seem Williams, Arizona, fared well. The Rumble on Route 66 motorcycle event left many merchants with a smile and the town is still intact.
Now its Oklahoma City’s turn. This upcoming weekend is the scheduled date for the national H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) event. If the number of motorcycles I have seen heading eastward is any indication this will be a major happening on Route 66.
While we are on the subject of Harley Davidson I should add the recent issue of Cars & Parts had a feature that noted vintage motorcycles are fast becoming accepted participants at some of the most prestigious automotive events. I would say its about time.
I am not a big motorcycle enthusiast but Harley Davidson, Indian, and some of the less well know manufacturers played a very key role in the development of the evolution of the American car crazed culture. I remember how fondly my step father talked of riding his ’29 Harley to California from Iowa in 1938.
I have often noted how much enjoyment is derived from visitors to my office/museum as they travel Route 66. This iconic highway is not the only source for my visitors.
Kingman has a reputation for being a place where folks break down. As the Chrysler dealer is the parent company for our rental agency I meet a lot of great folks through unfortunate circumstances.
This morning I was privileged to meet a well read gentleman with a fascinating perspective on the state of the nation, the fascination with Route 66, and life in general. He came from Cuba to the United States during the mid sixties as a teenager.
His is not a rags to riches story as he is still working on the riches. Still, he has managed to rise from lowly bell boy that could afford to eat but once every other day to owner of his own small transport company.
I am afraid that as a whole we are quite spoiled here in this wonderful nation. Tragically this often leads to a myopic condition where we allow self motivated individuals to sell us on the idea that the problems we face are best addressed by mailing them money or casting our vote for them.
The second tragedy associated with seeing the blessings bestowed upon us as something we are owed and as something that we can have without responsibility is that we tend to see the glass as half full. In short we often have a tendency to whine allot, are unhappy, and allow minor setbacks or irritants to become our scapegoat for (fill in the blanks).
Seeing the nation through his eyes was most inspirational and encouraging.
Enough of the soap box. Its summer. Lets get out there and enjoy what we have. Lets get to know our neighbors with a little lemonade and porch time, lets take to the highway and rediscover what a great nation this is. Lets take just a moment from our day to be thankful for what we do have and not lament about what we don’t have.
First, new business. Arrangements are complete and the printing and matting is underway.
Our ghost town series of limited edition, numbered, matted, and signed 11X14 inch prints will be officially launched on July 1. The first in the series will be this old miners cabin in Chloride, Arizona.
The tangible links to the past in our ghost towns is fast vanishing. In visiting some of these places I was amazed by how many buildings had collapsed in just a couple of years. These prints will forever preserve these scarce remnants as well as enhance a den or office.
It may seem a bit vain but I also feel they will be an investment. As the series progress through the ghost towns of Route 66 the earlier prints are sure to increase in value. Since these will be limited in number to 100 it might be best to order now as well as place your name on our list for notification when the next print in the series will be released. Please contact us for further details. The prints were the reason for our latest Route 66 adventure, a cruise east to Flagstaff. After careful research and evaluation of references we decided to entrust the production of the prints to Tom Alexander Photography in Flagstaff. I am not a big Flagstaff fan. The traffic is the primary deterrent. So, on the majority of our visits we seek out a different restaurant for a fresh dining experience, hit Bookman’s to restock the library, and cruise through.
This trip was a bit different. Mr. Alexander’s photography studios is in old Flagstaff so we got to experience Route 66 as it was during the glory days with traffic thick and heavy.
Parking in the old part of Flagstaff is always a challenge but on this trip it was even more so with a great deal of street repair underway. We were quite fortunate to find at the circa 1926 railroad station that was dead center to our two primary stops, the photography studio and Brix’s, a restaurant my wife discovered on line. The photography shop was four blocks south and the restaurant was four blocks north. As the weather was near perfect, about 80 degrees, this made for a delightful opportunity to explore the architectural jewel box that is the Flagstaff historic district.
As I am heavily involved in relighting vintage signs in Kingman the staggering number that remain in Flagstaff really grabbed my attention. The next time your cruising Route 66 in Flagstaff I strongly suggest parking, at the visitor center/train station if possible, and walk four blocks south on San Francisco Street and then four blocks north on the same street.
The wide array of vintage architecture, fascinating shops and galleries, and numerous side walk cafes will reward your efforts. As to Brix’s, I give it a high recommendation.
The prices are are at the upper end of the mid range but the food is superb and dining on the outdoor patio is so relaxing. The restaurant is located in the four hundred block of North San Francisco Street.