It never ceases to amaze me just how fast things change. In the blink of eye the well laid plans of mice and men become little more than a fart in the wind, pardon my French.
In late August, 2009, a year of planning for a trip east on Route 66 that included research and photography for Ghost Towns of the Southwest, book signings, speaking at a couple of high schools and meeting folks that I have come to know through internet correspondence, such as Laurel Kane at Afton Station, was mere weeks away from becoming a reality. Then a key employee informed me that they were leaving the company in early October which resulted in a mad rush to reschedule appointments and hotels from late October to mid September.
The week before we were to leave this employee simply failed to come to work. I was at home working on the Dodge, aka Barney the Wonder truck, that Monday when notification was received that there were people waiting at the office but no one had opened that morning.
In an instant, a mere blink of the eye, a year of planning evaporated like snow in Amboy on a July afternoon. Cancellations, apologies, and deposits were dealt with.
This also endangered my participation as a speaker, with a book signing to follow, at the Adventure in Travel Expo in Chicago scheduled for January. That worry was resolved in late October with notification that due to the current economic conditions the expo was being postponed until late March.
Great! Even though this was not my ideal choice for travel, I now had the opportunity to coordinate the expo with the trip on Route 66 originally planned for September rather than fly as first planned.
As of yesterday morning everything was meshing quite well. The push was on to finish the rough draft for Ghost Towns of Route 66 and that only left lodging as an issue.
In the blink of an eye … I received notification late yesterday afternoon that the expo was again being restructured and that only a portion of expenses would be paid for my participation. So, plans for March were scrapped.
Rolling with the punches is an important part of life. Even more important is developing the talent for seeing blessings in all circumstances.
Now, I have more time for Ghost Towns of Route 66. Now, I have more time to really plan a vacation that is not as structured as a railroad time table.
So, here is what we  have now. I have requested the last week in May off. I have a rough outline for the trip that includes driving east to at least Joplin and returning through Silver City, New Mexico, and Bisbee.
So, lets try this again. Is there anything I may do with my books, blog, or website on this trip to assist in the promotion of your shop, store, cafe, museum, or gift shop? I am not really a celebrity but would press releases about my visit to your business help?
A rough idea I have is this. If you carry books I have written please let me know and I will post links to your site and/or address on the blog ( and the website, ( If you would like to have signed copies to sell please let me know and we can work out details for me to stop by.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions please let me know. In the mean time, stay tuned for details and keep smiling. It could be worse, you could be trapped in a Twilight Zone type experience of eternal trip planning.

If you enjoy Jim Hinckley\'s America, take a second to support jimhinckleysamerica on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!