The countdown has begun. The year 2009 is about to be relegated to the history books. The end of the world spawned by Y2K is but a distant memory as we eagerly await the end of the world in 2012.
On a serious note I am suffering from the unshakeable sense that time is very short. This is manifesting in a number of ways including a realization of how many loose strings I need to tie up, a sharpened focus on my work, and an overwhelming sense of urgency in most all that I do.
Hence the frustration with tweaking the website in an effort to create the one stop travel site envisioned. Ditto with the push to ensure the current book project to chronicle the history of the ghost towns of Route 66 is my best work yet.
I am quite aware much of this is simply the result of a personal perception based on the fact that fifty is fast vanishing from view in the rear view mirror and sixty is looming at the top of the hill. I suppose the challenge at this juncture is learning how to harness this urgency and to worry less about the things that are out of my control.
This becomes a bit difficult sometimes, especially when I realize how many things are out of my control, such as receipt of notice that my health insurance will be increasing from $600 per quarter to $985 after the first of the year.
Before I digress to deeply into the challenges, the frustrations, and irritants in my life lets get to some Route 66 related items. First, day three of Route 66 trivia.
Motorists traveling Route 66 before 1937 faced two extremely difficult sections with extreme grades and curves that were almost a series of “Z’s”. The first of these was on La Bajada Hill, never paved, southwest of Santa Fe in New Mexico. The second was in the Black Mountains of western Arizona.
With the bypass of 1937 that eliminated the long loop from Santa Rosa to Las Vegas and Santa Fe before dropping to Albuquerque only the Black Mountain grades remained. Until the bypass of 1952 this section featured the sharpest paved curves and steepest grades.
One more item pertains to a couple of very interesting books on the subject of Route 66, Route 66 – Images of America’s Main Street This book is well researched, heavily illustrated, and quite fascinating. Perhaps the only fault found was in the price.
The flip side is Legendary Route 66, a real bargain, especially in light of the extensive research that went into chronicling the pre history of Route 66, the stunning array of rare photographs, and the depth of material covered.