Sunday seems to be the day I take a deep breath and sort out the previous week in an effort to formulate a game plan for the coming week. At this office this past week it was rather depressing as it seems more every day I am at center stage for the unfolding of the Great Depression part II.
Parents paid for trucks so their kids could move their families home after loosing jobs and facing foreclosures. Kids paid for trucks so their parents could move in with them after facing the prospect of starting over at fifty plus years of age. Companies rented trucks to move remaining inventory to auctions or other locations in an effort to consolidate.

On the personal front it was a mixed bag. Last Sunday, I confirmed with a pastor in Peach Springs, Harlan Dennis, that filling in for him on the 15TH would not be a problem.
This is always a mixed blessings. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from such endeavors as it provides an opportunity to see old friends in Peach Springs, to help meet the needs of that community, and it gives us an excuse to cruise forty plus miles of Route 66 through some first rate Arizona landscapes.
The down side is life on the reservation is very hard and the community is rife with suicide, crime, drugs, violence, and alcoholism. The last time I filled in for Harlan the opportunity presented itself to add “preacher/bouncer” to my resume as I was the only male in the church under seventy years of age.
On Monday, for the first time, I had a face to face meeting with the editor of Cars & Parts magazine, Brad Bowling. We discussed i depth the future of the publishing industry as a whole and of Cars & Parts specifically.
I write the monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for that publication. This has proven to be one of the more enjoyable writing endeavors as it provides an opportunity to uncover dusty corners of the auto industries history as well as introduce readers them.
Among the men profiled in previous columns were Abner Doble, manufacturer of of the most advanced steam powered automobiles in history, Ralph Teetor, the blind inventor of cruise control, and Edsel Ford, a tragic figure of stunning genius. The next installment, detailing the many contributions of the Blood brothers, will be penned this afternoon.
Progress in regards to research for the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, is maddeningly slow. Still, I was able to solicit assistance from two legends in regards to Route 66 historians, Jerry Ross and Jerry McClanahan which is a great relief as this will ensure accuracy of the material.
The game plan is to begin writing in January and finish by March, a couple of months early. That would enable me to devote energies and resources to promote Ghost Towns of the Southwest scheduled for release around the first of that month.
To that end I provide an in depth interview last week. I also received a thumbs up from Bob Bell of True West magazine and promise of a favorable review in that publication.
We ended the week with another lost highway adventure. This time it was more than a century of lost highways – the Hardy toll road, the Mohave Prescott toll road, and an old highway of the modern era.
The week ahead promises to be another busy one. If the new hire seems to have a better grasp of operations I will initiate plans to be in Springfield, Illinois for Bob Wadlmire’s last art show. If not then we will go to plan “B” and see if we can get work in a weekend in either Prescott or Bisbee before Christmas.
Topping the list of to do projects is more research on the old road near Goldroad that appears to be a link between the Beale Wagon Road and Route 66, a transitional highway in use from 1905 to about 1915. Next will be consolidating material on hand pertaining to ghost towns of Route 66. Then there is preparation for Sunday in Peach Springs and follow up to a related request to come to Supai, the most remote community in the lower forty eight.
Its never boring here on Route 66.


Living for the weekend is the mantra of the American worker, at least those fortunate enough to have a job in the Great Depression part two. I am no exception and all week have been dreaming of more exploration along the mystery road near Goldroad.
Then a few days ago I learned a number of motorcycle groups were planning on converging on Kingman. As Oatman and Route 66 through the Black Mountains is almost a Mecca for motorcyclists the vision of a quiet hike in the Black Mountains near Goldroad melted like ice cream on a sidewalk in Yuma on the 4Th of July when I heard the news.So, I closed up shop today at noon with no plan at all, just thoughts of the many projects that required my attention and an incredible urge to savor the delightful afternoon under desert skies. Again, my dearest friend saved the day by having lunch ready when I got home and a suggestion for an adventure in the Cerbat Mountains .
We hadn’t pulled from the driveway when our simple “walk about” had morphed into an afternoon adventure seeking another lost highway, the Hardyville toll road that linked the river port of Hardyville on the Colorado River with the territorial capital of Prescott during the 1860s. As added incentive we decided to also seek a CCC camp in the same area near the summit of Union Pass.

We rolled out of Kingman over Coyote Pass and into Golden Valley. When I first moved into this valley in the 1960s you could count the lights at night on one hand. Now, sprawl, like a tide of suburbia is sweeping from the flanks of the Cerbat Mountains, across the Sacramento Valley, towards the Black Mountains on the western horizon erasing all vestiges of the areas historic heritage.
Highway 68 through Golden Valley, the community, and across the Sacramento Valley has morphed into a four lane super slab in recent years but in the foothills of the Black Mountains, if you know where to look, you can still find vestiges of the earlier highway. This old highway seems as a buffer separating the world of the modern era and all that entails from the desert wilderness that is unchanged since the expedition of Farther Garces through these mountains in 1776.

It would have been nice to find the Hardy road, or the CCC camp, but the primary goal was to unwind among some of God’s finest handiwork. With the stunning desert landscapes that make my back yard such a wonderful place, near perfect temperatures, breathtakingly blue skies, and the company of my dearest friend it was an unequivocal success.
We started our back country adventure on the broken pavement of the old highway. Then we headed deeper into the mountains on an old rocky trace that wound through the foothills, around the boulders, across dry arroyos, and over brush choked ridges that offered awe inspiring views of quintessential western landscapes.
After an hour or so of trailing a dusty wake behind the Jeep we pulled into a clearing and savored the desert silence that refreshes like a cool shower after a long day of setting fence posts on a hot summer day. Then we began our “walkabout”.
I want to experience Alaska and on occasion we give serious thought to trying Juneau for a year or two. To be honest I don’t really know if that would be possible as the desert and the stunning landscapes of the southwest has a grip on our hearts.
Only the generic sprawl of suburbia and the death of the western spirit leads us, from frustration and despair, to lament and give free reign to thoughts of leaving our first love.