Physically I am at the office savoring some split pea soup. Mentally I am out on Route 66 or one of the thousands of lost highways that fill my memories.
Part of this wistful day dreaming of road trips stems from thoughts of the fall foliage that would be so dominate about now in the Ozarks and the fact that our plans were to be there to enjoy it. Alas, work and the desire to continue eating on a regular basis have again taken precedence over the wants.
There is another aspect of this aborted adventure that sparks these thoughts and that weighs heavily on the mind. It was to be a key component in the research for the current book project, Ghost Towns of Route 66.
As it stands bow this trip will now need to be rescheduled for early spring. This puts us very close to the May 1 deadline and as we will be seeking some older alignments spring rains equal mud which in turn equals possible trouble even with the Jeep.
Even though I want to get the feel and absorb the atmosphere of the old alignments as well as the forgotten islands of civilization that once lined them, my plans do not include pretending its 1928 as I dig the truck from the gumbo at Jericho Gap in Texas. Nor do I have interest in experiencing an early spring blizzard some where between Endee and San Jon in New Mexico or fording normally dry creek beds turned to rivers.
Adding to the amplified sound of the clocks ticking are the response, or lack of response, received from the various museums and Route 66 Associations petitioned for assistance. Granted it has only been two weeks since these requests were sent but out of thirty letters I had hoped to have more than three answers.
I intend to begin writing the text New Years weekend. Here is to hoping I have the lions share of the research material by that time.


With the exception of the Route 66 corridor in the desert southwest the road trip season on this legendary highway for 2009 is about to end. Still, its never to late to plan for next year or even some great weekend getaways.
  • One of the “must see” sites on Route is Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma. The proprietor, Laurel Kane, exemplifies the new era on Route 66 and her passion for Packard manufactured automobiles serves as a wonderful backdrop.
  • The grand old Harvey House in Barstow, California is now home to two fine museums, one commemorating the role played in the development of Barstow by Route 66 and the railroad.
  • A few short but heavily trafficked miles short of the storied end of Route 66 in Santa Monica is the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo. This unique museum allows the visitor to experience vintage and historical automobiles in a time capsule manner as a passenger for short cruises through the neighborhood. Their promotional tag line is rather appropriate – “The only museum that takes you for a ride.”
  • If you happen to be motoring on Route 66’s forgotten cousin, US 6, and find yourself in Nebraska don’t miss the Pioneer Village. This eclectic collection is in my book one of the most fascinating and mot overlooked museums in the country.
  • What weekend getaway would be complete without fascinating and memorable lodging ?In Winslow, Arizona you have the historic La Posada.
  • A visit to Bisbee, Arizona is a near perfect way to while away a weekend. Here the numero uno lodging choice is without a doubt the legendary Copper Queen.
  • Prescott, Arizona is another great weekend getaway destination. My recommendation in this wonderful community is the Hassayampa Inn, an historic hotel dating to the 1920s.
  • Remember, the worst day on a road trip is better than the best day at work!


As noted yesterday the schedule is rather tight at this time. So, instead of a detailed post, quick road notes are the order of the day.

  • Hualapai Mountain Park is located less than twenty miles south of Kingman, Arizona and Route 66. This forested oasis is a short detour often overlooked by Route 66 adventurers.
  • For the truly adventuresome the magical land of the Havasuapi people is another unique Route 66 detour. The charming village of Supai nestled deep within towering canyon walls, thundering waterfalls, and breathtaking scenes of majestic wonder make this a world class destination.
  • Another great destination to add to the “must see” list when visiting the Kingman area is Grand Canyon West with the engineering marvel that is the sky walk. This one of a kind opportunity to experience the majesty of the canyon with an eagle’s eye view is but one of many surprises awaiting discovery. As a footnote the sky walk is not the only engineering marvel found at this location. During the early 1950s a mining company constructed a cable car system across the chasm high above the Colorado River.
  • Ghost towns abound in the Kingman area. Some are recreations with historic facades, others have an association with the Territorial period as well as with Route 66, but all are tangible links to a long and colorful history. A new guide book, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, is ideal for the arm chair explorer, the avid off roader, or fans of the legendary double six.
  • Chloride, Arizona is the lone survivor among the historic mining camps and towns of the Cerbat Mountains north of Kingman. Dating to the 1860s this charming village is a photographers paradise with its weathered train depot, miners homes, and the time capsule that is Yesterday’s Restaurant.
  • Kingman, Arizona may be one of the great overlooked vacation destinations in America!

This photo was taken from an abandoned mine high in the Cerbat Mountains above Chloride, Az. The first photo is of Hualapai Mountain Park.



I am running a tight schedule today so have decided to make today’s post, and possibly the next few days, a series of quick notes. If all goes well we should be back to normal (chaos in the real world) before the end of the week.
  1. The popularity of Route 66 shows absolutely no sign of waning in spite of the current economic climate. A daily stream of international emails received from the Yahoo Route 66 egroup pertaining to trip planning on this legendary highway provides clear indication that next years tourism season may be even larger than this years.
  2. The Dutch Route 66 website is full of notes and photos about Kingman including upcoming car shows.
  3. If you have more than a passing fancy about Route 66 and are curious about changes taking place along its storied route look no further than Route 66 News.
  4. This may be one of the best bargains available in regards to books about Route 66. In Route 66 Lives on the Road, written more than a dozen years ago, Jon Robinson interviews many of the people that intimately knew this highway in the preinterstate era. From stories told by everyone from cafe owners to retired highway patrolmen this book adds real depth to the legend of Route 66 and at less than $5.00 for a new copy on, it is hard to beat.
  5. Then there is this favorite that presents Route 66 as a portal to a wide array of attractions and sites found with small detours from iconic 66. Route 66 Backroads is an excellent companion guide for the traveler who wants a little something extra from their adventure along the “Main Street of America.”
  6. If Route 66 Backroads is the companion this is the definitive guide book. Route 66 EZ Guide by Jerry McClanahan is, as the title implies, easy to use and provides historic information as well as step by step directions for finding secret places along the way as well as earlier alignments.
  7. To see Route 66 from another perspective, and to add a treasure hunt feel to your trip, you can not beat the 1940s classic written by Jack Rittenhouse. “A Guide Book To Highway 66″ is an ideal way to interpret the sites and landmarks found along the way. As an example, this guide notes that Fig Springs Station was abandoned at the time of publication. This photo is of that site today.


Issues at work and the need to pick up donated paints from True Serve for a down town refurbishment project prevented attendance of the Oktoberfest and Power House Centennial celebration until late afternoon. Attendance Saturday evening was prevented as a result of unexpected issues that demanded attention and Sunday morning was also spoken for. So, I missed a large portion of the festivities.

The overall impression and the initial reviews are that the event was a huge success in regards to attracting crowds to the historic district. Looking back to the beginning of the year it is now quite apparent that the team work of the embryonic Kingman Route 66 Association, the Kingman Cruzers, other local car clubs, and the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association is starting to bear some fruit.A special kudos has to be given to Chris Durkin. He is affiliated with both organizations and is one of those fellows who seems to be in two places at once.
The next endeavor is the Halloween Bash. In addition to providing youngsters with a safe place for trick or treating it will combine vintage cars, the historic district, music. and food. Last year the Kingman Cruzers held a smaller version of this event at the What A Burger and drew an estimated crowd in excess of 5,000 people. Details will be posted in the calendar of events section of the Route 66 Info Center site this week.

Additional new business for this weekend includes the penning of a monthly feature for the on line edition of the Kingman Daily Miner. In this addition I provide historical perspective to the automotive industries promotion of niche market vehicles to the inner child.

Specifically, I present a summary of the Mercer Raceabout and the Stutz Bearcat. I will post a link upon publication.

Next is a feature for the Route 66 Pulse on ghost towns of Route 66, the subject of my next book. Hopefully it will illicit offers of assistance from readers.

Then it will be back to working on the website, promotional aspects of Ghost Towns of the Southwest, and planning for the Adventures in Travel Expo in Chicago, trying to figure out how to schedule a Route 66 research trip. The hope is that at some point all of this work will tip the scales and I can make the full time job the part time job and writing as well as photography will be our primary source of income.

In the mean time I suppose we will just have to enjoy the grand adventure that is life here on planet earth. If all else fails I can emulate the website, delete and start fresh. I wonder if I am to old to resume my short lived career as a cowboy or perhaps blacksmithing might be an interesting employment option.