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FALL COLORS ON ROUTE 66

Well, another weekend, another adventure on Route 66. This time it was accentuated with a crisp morning breeze and fall colors.
The morning dawned cold, about thirty five degrees, for the first time this fall but the sky was clear with just the slightest wintry haze. As the sky brightened I gave thought to the sermon prepared for this mornings service in Peach Springs, savored my coffee, and basked in the warm smile of my dearest friend. It had the makings for a perfect day.
After a hardy breakfast we gassed up the Jeep and headed east across the Hualapai Valley on Route 66. I never seem to tire of this drive even though it would be almost impossible to count how many times it has been made since 1960.
As we had a schedule to keep I set the cruise control at sixty and rolled across the wide valley, through Truxton Canyon, and on to Peach Springs. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the old “A” frame restaurant at Antares Point is again serving ice cream and soft drinks. The Easter Island head is a bit odd but this is Route 66.
The lodge in Peach Springs was our pit stop and as usual was a bee hive of activity. It is built on the site of an old auto court and though it is an asset to the community it seems out of context amongst a “down town” suspended in time.
Church kicked off with a few glitches. Topping the list was the furnace that was on the fritz which led to going to plan “B”, moving services to the fellowship hall next door.
It is a simple church but I feel at home here. It starts with the stunning views from from the parking lot. The canyons on the far horizon feed into the Grand canyon, about fifty miles to the north.
The return trip allowed for a more leisurely cruise and a variety of opportunities to stand in awe of the delightful western landscapes accentuated by ribbons of fall colors along the stream beds nestled below stony buttes and mesas under blue skies.
It also provided a few opportunities to capture scenes of vanishing Route 66 such as this old motel in Valentine. It now sports a for sale sign but decades of abandonment might make restoration of the unique stone auto court nestled amongst an out of place grove of trees cost prohibitive.

The best examples of fall colors were found in the Truxton Canyon area. I found the old bridge above the Crozier Canyon Ranch particularly haunting.
This section of Route 66 was bypassed as a result of a realignment necessitated by a major flood in the late 1930s. This wall of water dramatically altered the landscapes of the Crozier Canyon ranch yard and effectively ended the need for the old auto court that remains below the current alignment of the highway.
The drive was also a poignant one. As we rolled past the iconic Hackberry General Store it was impossible not to give thought to Bob Waldmire and the visits we shared when he called this well worn old place home.
Now, its back to work on the ghost town of Route 66 project, a visit with my son and planning for the next grand adventure.

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