Another week, another series of adventures on Route 66. First there was the day job. It often resembles a circus but this week it was as though a circus had been combined with a carnival and the resultant festival was being hosted in an asylum where they were reenacting the sinking of the Titanic.
Suffice to say it was an adventure. The only thing I can add to that is it was not the type of adventure where you look forward to a repeat performance. Locking the door Saturday at noon was the highlight of the work week.
I am like a little kid watching fireworks on the 4Th of July when it comes to days where the skies are filled with towering clouds. In watching their shadows transform the colors of the desert landscapes I am reminded of kaleidoscopes from my childhood.
So, when I awoke Friday morning to beautiful black thunderheads and some much needed rain it was quite difficult to think about work. The stressful week, the cooler temperatures, the frustration associated with such tight time constraints I was unable to attend a wedding, and the stunning cloud formations made it even harder on Saturday morning.
As a result, when I turned the key in the lock at noon on Saturday the only thought in mind was rushing home, grabbing a quick lunch, and heading for the hills with my dearest friend. The lengthy “to do” list of priority projects, including those at the office that required attention, would just have to wait an hour. I could even justify this by calling it a lunch hour.
For this “walk about” we chose the trails above Fort Beale in the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains. In the company of my dearest friend the stress of the week seemed to melt away like a stick of butter on a parking lot in Amboy in mid July before we had walked a mile.
We kept it short and simple but I returned renewed and refreshed, ready to face an afternoon of work that included, reservation confirmations, truck tracking, research on Ghost Towns of Route 66 and laying the groundwork for another possible project, Ghosts of the Purple Sage.
These projects coupled to the response received by our first public photo exhibit have spawned another endeavor, a numbered series of professionally framed and matted, limited edition prints. The initial question is in regards to topic.
My first line of thought was a series on the icons of Route 66, places like Cool Springs, the Hackberry General Store, the Cozy Dog, and the Big Texan Steak House in Amarillo. Then I began to think about a series on the ghost towns of Route 66. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
To end the day we watched Valkyrie, the story of the unsuccessful plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944. The men involved in this plot have long fascinated and inspired me for they help me to remember that for evil to succeed all it takes is for good men to do nothing.
The movie was good. The acting excellent. Overall, however, the story fell short. Somehow it failed to stir the anxiety and instead came across as a documentary.
Sunday morning was even nicer than Saturday so we saddled up early and returned for another round of exploration in the Hualapai Mountains. As noted in a previous post these mountains and Hualapai Mountain Park just ten miles south of Route 66 have to rate in the top ten list of overlooked side trips for the traveler on that legendary highway.
There is nothing like some completed projects, the thrill of new ones on the horizon, and time spent with my dearest friend among some of God’s finest handiwork to give me the strength to face another week at the zoo.

Written by jimhinckleysamerica

Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.

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