It rained for most of the evening and indications are it will continue off and on for the rest of the day. So, this means our weekly walk into the Cerbat Mountains is canceled. So, this means I have more time to devote to the book, Ghost Towns of Route 66. So, this means spring will be wonderful with stunning displays of wild flowers in the desert. That, my friend, encapsulates life in general. Plans are subject to change and it is imperative that you learn to roll with the punches or a great deal of time will be spent in frustration, upset, and bitterness. So, lesson two is the world continues to turn with little regard for our plans. Unfortunately, I need a refresher on this every once and awhile as it is something that is occasionally forgotten. For that reason alone I can rejoice in the rainy day.The third lesson is that with patience there will be reward. We have been suffering from extreme drought here in the Kingman area for years. It has been so bad the cacti were dying and I was starting to wonder if we would be hunting jerky rather than deer. Spring is a wonderful time here in the desert but the dry conditions of the past few years have not been favorable for vivid displays of wild flowers. This year promises to be truly spectacular and is something we are eagerly anticipating. Nearly thirty years ago when my wife and I were dating we had an extremely wet winter. I was living out near Cane Springs Ranch and that spring the broad Hualapai Valley that is usually a stark and sterile place was as colorful as a garish casino carpet.
My dearest friend and I so enjoyed the long walks among the flowers that spring. So, with eager anticipation we are counting the days even though large swaths of the valley are now housing tracks. Now, an explanation for part two of today’s post title. The popularity of Route 66 shows little sign of waning and it would seem the folks along the Lincoln Highway are working to emulate this success to breathe new life into forgotten communities.
Lets face it, Route 66 may not be the most scenic, the most historic, or even the most interesting highway. However, it has had the best press and as a result has joined the ranks of other American cultural icons such as Tombstone, Harley Davidson, and the ’57 Chevy. That makes transforming the Lincoln Highway, U.S. 6, or U.S. 50 into iconic destinations a particularly daunting task for those who make the effort. The first obstacle will be on the individual community level as even on Route 66 there are a myopic few who just can’t seem to see the financial advantages for a community to have Harley Davidson themed murals on an empty building or a place such as Afton Station that encourages people to stop, to linger, and to talk with friends about. The last part of the title refers to reviews. On that front I am quite pleased about the initial reviews being received by Ghost Towns of the Southwesthttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760332215&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. Last but but not least, here is to Marcia Pannell, the winner of a free copy. The book was shipped last week and I hope it sparks a hunger for adventure on the road less traveled be it Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the Senator Highway, or a dirt track across the plains.