In retrospect it would seem the lessons to be learned from January and February of his year were three fold. One, don’t take yourself or life to seriously. Two is summed up with the adage about the well laid plans of mice and men. The third is accept disappointments as a part of life that offers opportunities to grow and learn.
March was another story. The primary lesson was not so much one learned as much as one reinforced – if life is to be enjoyed rather than endured always take time to smell the flowers.
On the 2ND, it was another whirlwind of activity. There was an appointment with the accountant to see how much of my income was going to be confiscated to ensure the members of Congress have a secure retirement, work on the website, postings on the blog, the writing of another ghost town snippet for True West magazine, acquisition of a mail box to avoid overloading the one at home, followup with Jay Leno on an automotive related item, and a negotiated settlement with the hospital for my December visit.
On the evening of the fourth there was a meeting of the Kingman Route 66 Association to hammer out details pertaining to involvement in the annual Route 66 Fun Run. The following morning was a meeting with the tourism office on a similar topic as well as to discuss grant applications processes for the historic sign renovation endeavor.
Sunday and Monday of the following week were largely spent on church related endeavors. We attended church in Peach Springs, which allowed for a relaxing ninety mile drive along old Route 66, on Sunday and then on Monday, I returned to Peach Springs with Tommy Thomas of the River Valley Baptist Association.
The goal was to bring the churches on the reservation together in unity for an upcoming event. In such endeavors I am often the intermediary.
My dearest friend is a product of the desert southwest but she immensely enjoys visits to the shore with long walks on the beach. So, as a surprise I made arrangements to spend the weekend of the 14Th in Carlsbad, California, where could enjoy the ocean as well as their stunning flower fields.
It was a delightful weekend. We made a leisurely drive of it following Route 66 and I40 west to Barstow before turning south. Our arrival could not not have been planned more perfectly as we arrived on a bluff over looking the ocean just in time for a stunning sunset.
The following morning we drove south towards San Diego with numerous stops for walking the beach, savoring the sounds of the sea, and breathing deep the ocean scented breezes. It was so enjoyable even the paralyzing traffic was unable to dampen the mood.
From San Diego we turned east and within a few miles were again in our beloved desert. However, here, in the valley that cradles El Centro and Brawley, the harsh, almost lunar landscapes are interspersed with vast farms and fields that stretch to the horizons.
As this was a vacation of sorts we decided to add a bit of exploration to the trip. We rolled north along the Salton Sea, skirted Joshua Tree National Park, and by sunset were deep into the desert on state highway 62.
Amongst the forlorn ruins of Rice we stopped to bask in the silence under a stunning star lit sky, the kind that can only be found in the deserts. After an hour or so, with reluctance we saddled up and headed home via Needles, California, and the modern era on I40.
The 16TH was a somewhat leisurely day. It started with minor repair on our amazing Olds, the car that never seems to quit. This $350 wonder provided dependable primary transportation for the family for more than five years. Then came twelve years of use as a stand by or auxiliary vehicle.
In the afternoon I photographed an amazing barn find car, a 1929 De Soto sedan. The car was in need of a full restoration but it was complete and even ran well enough for it to have been driven into Kingman, a journey of twenty miles over a steep mountain pass.
Thursday was bittersweet. I had received permission from the contractor to photograph the City Cafe and the Texaco station that had cast shadows on to Route 66 since 1947 before their demolition the following day.
The remainder of the month was exciting in regards to the possibilities that were unfolding. I received approval for the Ghost Towns of Route 66 book, finalized arrangement for a showing of our work at the Beale Street Brews & Gallery, and made final arrangements for a book signing at the annual fun run.
As it turns out the excitement on most of the months projects was short lived.

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