Okay, the title of this mornings post is a bit misleading. In the physical, and to the best of my knowledge historical, sense there is no connection between iconic Route 66 and the city of brotherly love.
However, in my world where the strangest things become linked there is a connection of sorts. It started with research into the Biddle, a tend setting automobile of the mid teens, for an installment of The Independent Thinker that I write for Cars & Parts magazine. At some point in the research I became side tracked and attempted to satisfy my curiosity about the type of vehicle utilized by Emily Post in her cross country adventure chronicled in By Motor to the Golden Gate. In turn this led to examining the route she followed which brought me back to the National Old Trails Highway. Without realizing it I was back to looking for information about ghost towns of Route 66. Apparently that project is dominating my thoughts more than I realized.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch … Counted among the travelers who stopped by my unofficial visitor center/automotive advertisement museum were a couple from Gravois Mill, Missouri. They were enjoying the first stages of retirement with an adventure along Route 66 in their bright red Corvette.
I engaged my gift for telling folks where to go by helping them plan the best route for getting to Phoenix and then back to Route 66. My suggestion was Route 66 to the Crookton Road exit on I40, I40 east to Ashfork, south on 89A through Prescott and down Yarnell Hill.
For the return leg I suggested I17 north, then back to Prescott Valley, and to Flagstaff over Mingus Mountain, through Jerome, and up Oak Creek Canyon through Sedona. The only down side of this was missing Williams. That, however, was but a short back track of thirty miles from Flagstaff.
If they had been driving a truck my direction would have been a bit different. I would have suggested taking Williamson Valley Road from Seligman to Prescott. I would have also suggested bypassing Sedona with the Perkinsville Road from Jerome to Williams. Ground clearance is the primary requirement to enjoy either road.
Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon are gorgeous. However, they have been so yuppieized that even the awe inspiring landscapes are tainted will a pall of false spirituality folded into crass commercialism.
My hope is that I can begin writing Ghost Towns of Route 66 in January and finish the first draft by the first of March. As Ghost Towns of the Southwest is scheduled for release that month I would like to devote all energies towards its promotion.
With that in mind the pressure is on in regards to research for this project. I am still woefully short of material and the search is madenning. It was easier finidng information about obscure mining communities such as Swansea in Arizona or old Hachita in New Mexico than documenting the history of Endee along old Route 66.
Next up this morning is a bit of research into the history of Louis Chevrolet. From him to Route 66 should be an easy stretch. After all he raced along the national Old Trails Highway and followed what would become Route 66 during the Desert Classic Cactus Derby of 1914.