As you have noticed this mornings post is a bit late. The delay began yesterday afternoon with receipt of an email from Brad Bowling, editor at Cars & Parts magazine.
He was in need of six book reviews with a deadline of this afternoon! Compounding the time constraints were plans had been made to visit with a friend visiting from Utah, I was slammed at the office and did not get off on time, and after work I had a meeting scheduled with the photography shop regarding some new prints.
So, last evening I ate and talked with my wife, gathered notes and materials for the reviews, picked up Bill from the Holiday Inn Express, visited for two hours, watched the last of the Jay Leno show, and read for a bit. This morning at 4:30, the usual time this old farm boy rolls from the sack, I got the coffee going, took time to thank the good Lord for the day, and sat down to work.
By 6:45 I had the reviews finished (900 words), breakfast down, email correspondence answered, and was on the way to the showers. The plan was to savor the delightful weather with high temperatures hovering in the mid 70s by riding my bicycle to the office but time restrictions and a small herd of errands to run this evening led me to taking Barney instead.
So, there was no time for posting until lunch this afternoon and there were some interesting things I wanted to share.
A Route 66 related note pertains to the Silver Spoon Restaurant. After more than 15 years this venerable Kingman institution closed its doors on Monday. This building was originally Denny’s some thirty plus years ago and as a result the architecture is rather unique.
On more than one occasion I have posted pictures and lauded the wonders of old Chloride, one of our favorite stomping grounds. In fact it was a scene in Chloride that sparked the idea of launching the limited edition prints featuring ghost towns.
This photo by Kerrick James is of the other Chloride, the one in New Mexico. It too is a favorite destination even though we don’t get there very often.
This particular photo is from the next book, scheduled for release in February, Ghost Towns of the Southwest. Having Kerrick’s assistance, again, has really added some class to this work as he is truly a master photographer with credits that include work for Arizona Highways, Sunset, and other prestigious publications. This next photo, also from the new book, is of Cerbat. Kerrick captured how completely some of these towns have vanished with this one shot.
This old town was once the county seat and one of the most promising towns in the northwest corner of the Territory of Arizona. Thirty years ago I often camped among the extensive ruins, loved to watch the sunsets perched high in the canyons above town, and was mesmerized by the wide array of wild life that now called this once bustling community home.
Today, with the exception of mine tailing’s, it takes a discerning eye to find traces of the town site and only the solitude and wildlife remain as I remember it. I suppose there is a lesson here – don’t take yourself or the monuments you build to seriously.



Monday was a semi day off as it was the first solo flight for my assistant at the office. This coupled with a tsunami of problems and unexpected business resulted in a number of phone calls and at least four hours at work.
A few months ago an odd trend where customers called to inquire about renting a truck for later that afternoon or first thing in the morning began to surface. This has now become situation normal.
What prompts someone to call at 8:00 in the morning to inquire about a renting a truck at noon for a move to Duluth? Why would anyone move to Duluth at the end of September? This scenario is now so common it constitutes a large percentage of business. It also makes logistics and planning an absolute nightmare.Last winter we had two very nice snows that gave rise to hope we were breaking out of this drought cycle. After a very anemic monsoon season it is quite apparent that this is not the case and things are very dry.
How dry is it? Well, there are some areas where the cactus are dying. If it gets much dryer we will be hunting jerky instead of deer.
Surprisingly the huge aquifers under the Hualapai and Sacramento valleys do not seem to be suffering. This as well as the planned extensive usage of recycled wast water, the need for jobs, the increasing need for electricity and countless other reasons has me really baffled about the outcry against a proposed solar powered generating plant north of Kingman. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=33644&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1
The next book is becoming a very exciting project. I have enlisted the aid of legendary Route 66 artist and historian Jerry McClanahan to ensure accuracy in Ghost Towns of Route 66. Kerrick James is on the road as we speak to capture some of these ghosts framed by fall foliage and, if all goes according to plan, we will add to this illustrative material with a trip east in late October.
If the trip is again postponed then we will most likely have to wait for next spring. I am quite familiar with surprise snow storms on the plains and am not eager to experience another even with a vehicle as sturdy and capable as the Jeep.
Fall is in the air, at least in the early morning and evenings, which has encouraged me to make a few home repairs in anticipation of a cold winter and higher utility bills. Weatherstripping, insulation, and furnace preparation are job one. Job two will be to winterize the vehicles.
As a final note the latest installment in my monthly feature for the Kingman Daily Miner that provides insight into the auto industry is now available. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=33804&SectionID=74&SubSectionID=114&S=1


I am not sure what happened but the weekend vanished in the blink of an eye. My work schedule prevented taking in the Andy Devine Days Parade or the rodeo but I understand the events were an overwhelming success. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=33807
My weekend was spent in various aspects of work, visiting, and a combination of the two. On Saturday, I was at the office until almost 1:00. In addition to the business of helping folks move there was a printer issue that required installation of a new unit.
Then I stopped to check on a former employer who is very ill and spent a half hour discussing business with an associate from the Route 66 Association of Kingman. Among the topics were the frustration with the myopic and self serving opposition to the proposed solar powered generating facility north of town. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=33644&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1
Other topics were a bit more Route 66 centered. Topping that list were the ideas to create signage that would be placed the entire length of Kingman along Route 66. These would indicate the path of Route 66 as well as the years a particular alignment was in use.
The latest feature in my series profiling the history of the American industry written for the Kingman Daily Miner is up. http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=33804&SectionID=74&SubSectionID=114&S=1
This lead to a Saturday evening responding to correspondence. This in turn led to completion of my mailing to various Route 66 associations requesting assistance with the Ghost Towns of Route 66 book as well as offering to provide signed copies of Route 66 Backroads when we roll east on 66 at some point this fall.
Problems at the office translate into my working most or all of that day. So, that leaves Saturday afternoon and Sunday for personal business and projects.
As a result Sunday was busier than preferred. We started with a sunrise hike into the Cerbat Mountains above Fort Beale. This was followed up with a conversation and prayer with the pastor that I work with in Peach Springs.
Next was some Jeep proctology. The rear end has been leaking but, fortunately, this turned out to be a minor and relatively easy repair.
Project two was preparing the furnace for winter. Extensive cleaning, oiling, and a new filter consumed most of an hour. The calendar indicates fall but the temperatures are hovering near 100. Still, common sense dictates cold weather is lurking just ahead.
In the afternoon my son stopped by and we had a pleasant visit that included a trip to Subway. This is what life is all about.
I ended the day with a compilation of material pertaining to Route 66 for a presentation to Mayor John Salem this morning. This is something that will be squeezed into a day filled with the office, taking care of my mother, and other assorted odds and ends.
And so begins another week on Route 66.


My intent was to post these in the morning but thought it might be nice to share them today. This first photo is of a Route 66 icon. Care to guess which one?
This is Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona. My best guess as to date would bee somewhere between 1940 and 1946 or 1947. This is based on the car, a 1940 Plymouth, and the house in the background.
That house was torn down in late 1946 to make way for the Dunton dealership. That building is now Dream Machines.
The second photo is of the Old Trails Garage which is just west of the Brunswick Hotel. The garage still stands and plans are rapidly moving along for its restoration.
Before becoming a center for the repair of GM manufactured products this was the Packard garage. The restoration plans call for recreating that period as the center piece will be the restored neon Packard sales and service sign that hung over the garage door.
This photo is from the collection of the Mohave Museum of History & Arts. The Kimo photo is from the Dunton family collection.

I recently received a copy of Route 66 – Images of America’s Main Street by William Kaszyniski for review. At this point I am about half way through the book and the dominant thought is wonder at how this book has been overlooked by fans of Route 66.

It is well researched, detailed, and is filled with great photos. It also provides in depth direction to earlier alignments and in detail lists the reasons to seek them out.
I have long been a fan of the unique artistry of Jerry McClanahan. His stunning paintings in post card form are as windows into the era when Route 66 was really the Main Street in a string of towns from Chicago to Santa Monica, the Edsel was the latest automotive styling sensation, and “We Like Ike” buttons were a popular fashion accessory.

Well, now I have another reason for giving Jerry kudos. His book, “EZ 66 Route 66 Guide For Travelers” is nothing short of a masterpiece.
In recent months every explorer met along Route 66 has had a copy of this book. I recently purchased a copy to assist in ensuring accuracy for the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, and to plan our forthcoming adventure of seeking out forgotten places along the old double six.

If your plans are to explore a portion or the entire length of Route 66 don’t leave home without this guide.

Now, a couple of unrelated Route 66 notes that provide an insight into my odd way of thinking. Last evening I was reviewing old photos in an effort to formulate a direction for the next installment of The Independent Thinker written for Cars & Parts magazine.
For reasons unknown my train of thought began to drift into a comparative study. Which of these automobiles best represented the Bush administration? Which would symbolize the Obama administration?

Granted its a bit early to tell but the initial impression is the Octauto best exemplifies the Obama administration. The concept looks good on paper but it is wholly impractical. There are way to many wheels and even worse the Octauto transformed a practical well designed Overland into an impractical, cumbersome, and perhaps dangerous behemoth. I see a number of parallels between the Edsel and the Bush administration. The production model of the Edsel was not the car originally designed. Unforeseen circumstances resulted in its introduction being ham strung. Even though there were a number of futuristic features on the Edsel these were plagued with glitches. Last but not least the car did not meet the expectations fueled by the hype.

Those are my random thoughts for the day. Last evening as my mind began to drift in that direction I decided that it was time to call it a day. Without realizing it I had somehow managed to make Saturday a fourteen hour work day!