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Posted in ROUTE 66
March 10, 2010

YESTERDAY WAS WINTER, TODAY IT IS EARLY SPRING

The title says it all. Yesterday it was snowing and raining with an occasional ray of sunshine and some sleet mixed in. Today, there was a bit of chill but not enough to deter me from riding the bicycle to work. There has been a cool breeze for most of the day but in the last hour it has started to come from the north and a heavy bank of black clouds dominate the horizon out toward Red Lake and heavy shadows darken the Hualapai Valley floor and crown the Cerbat Mountains. In short, we seem to be running through the seasons again. Early spring, fall, winter, and now, more winter. Time, or should I say the lack thereof, is becoming rather frustrating. The initial plan for the day was a steady morning at the office to tie up some loose ends, a nice lunch to update the website with as many links and photos as possible, and then an afternoon getting ready for the rush on Thursday. The links and photos to be added to the website continue to pile up, I am cutting lunch short, and the day has been an endless stream of work. Again, no complaints as I am grateful for the job. Still, it would be nice to have a lunch hour on occasion. Life is truly a grand adventure. I started the morning off with some time for reflection and thanksgiving, had a delightful breakfast with my dearest friend, an invigorating ride to work, and … WHAM! Three reservation adjustments in the first half hour, notification the district manager was on his way up from Phoenix with the material needed to add tractor rentals to this location, the owner requesting a complete rental inventory with mileage, two broken units, flat tires, customer resolution issues, and, as frosting on the cake, notification that once again we owe taxes. Yep, life is truly a grand adventure. Last evening was spent trying to resolve issues with the scanner so I could submit the latest installment of The Independent Thinker for Cars & Parts magazine. After a few frustrating hours I decided to throw myself on the mercy of the editor, submit the text, and look for another photo source or scanner. Twist the stress knob up another notch as the great adventure continues.In this installment I touched on the fine line between eccentricity and visionary thinking as manifested during the infancy of the automobile industry. As examples of both, I touched on the heated steering wheel in the 1917 McFarlan and the eight wheeled oddity that was the Octauto. The illustration was to be a vintage photo of the friction drive 1911 Cartercar.With the exception of the Oklahoma and Kansas section, the rough draft of text for Ghost Towns of Route 66 is finished. Now, with six weeks to go I have to finish this, write the captions and locate some historic photos. In my spare time I have a book signing in Lake Havasu City on Saturday after work and then on the way home the plan is to get some good photos of Yucca for the ghost town book. Yucca is one of those places that is overlooked by most everyone.Route 66 fans head for Oatman on the pre 1953 alignment, not that I blame them, and those traveling on I-40 zip past without a notice. Even though the town has a history that predates statehood it is often overlooked by state historians.The good news about being this busy is that there is never enough time to meditate on how crazy it is, and has been, to hold a full time job and work towards developing a career as a writer. If I were to pin the reasons behind the epidemic of depression, disatisfaction, and frustration that is sweeping this country on anything it would be false expectations, to much free time, and to many distractions.Okay, enough of the soap box. Lets get back to some happy talk and more discussions about the grand adventure that is life.

This photo was taken during the fun run in 2008 at the Hackberry General store. It exemplifies the rich automotive diversity that makes this event so fascinating. That brings us to May.
I knew the Beale Street Brew & Gallery was hosting a Route 66 exhibit during the month of May but did not know the plan is to make it a Bob Waldmire commemorative showing. Bob Waldmire’s art, the fun run, a Czech tour group, and our planned Route 66 safari, is fueling the excitement about May.
My dearest friend and I have been on a number of adventures on both coasts and in between over the years but she has never been on a road trip east of Albuquerque. So, I have been chomping at the bit to share a grand adventure on Route 66.
My list of sites to see and share include the pre 1937 alignment in New Mexico, the dirt track from San Jon to Glenrio, a piece of pie at the Midpoint Cafe, the Sunset Gallery in Amarillo, and Palo Duro Canyon just south of that fair city. As we will have only seven days I don’t think we can make it further east than Joplin or Springfield but still that allows for stops in Afton, Galena, and a few other places of interest in Oklahoma.
I am thinking that a return trip though the south side of Kansas and down US 54 or US 56 might be in order. That could tie in to the urge to travel the pre 1937 alignment in New Mexico. I know this is a crazy question but what am I missing?
I promise to make a dilligent effort to update the website that includes adding a link to “The Landrunners” fascinating site and the addition of an entire page devoted to Route 66 this weekend. Would there be any interest in a page just dedicated to ghost towns?
As always, thanks for the input, ideas, and support. These are what make the site and blog possible and a labor of love. Being able to share adventures is the frosting on the cake for a life well lived, a life lived as a grand adventure.
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