In spite of the dark economic cloud that currently hangs over the section of Route 66 that connects Flagstaff with Needles in California, it would seem there is a very bright future on the horizon. Perhaps it would be better to phrase that as, there are dreams that hold the promise for a bright future on the horizon.
To most folks Red Lake is the quintesential desert waste land. To my dear friend and I it is a delightful little get away where silence and uncluttered vistas reign supreme. To the fine folks at Mohave Sun Power LLC it is the future.
Plans are progressing toward transforming this empty desert basin into the largest solar power plant on the planet. We love our pristine places but also have an understanding that if we are to break our dependence on oil and still sustain our addiction to electronic gadgetry there must be compromise. So, that is two votes in favor of Hualapai Valley Solar.
Another item that hints of a possibility for a brighter economic future here in Kingman is the announced reopening of the Nucor steel mill to the west of Kingman off of I-40 and Route 66 at McConnico. Again, I would prefer open space and unobstructed views but as we are used to eating every day, we vote for the steel mill.
Large swaths of desert along I-40 and post 1953 Route 66 in this part of the desert are designated an industrial corridor. Stay tuned for further developments.
The proposed hotel complex at Grand Canyon West, about sixty five miles north of Route 66, is a bit tougher to make a decision on. Before Grand Canyon West developed this area it was a wonderful place to camp and enjoy the canyon in a near pristine state. Of course before Grand Canyon West, during the 1950s, this was the site of the north rim mining operation and cross canyon cable car system so it was not all that pristine.
The folks at Grand Canyon West have done a rather admirable job of balancing the need for keeping the canyon open and uncluttered while providing badly needed tourism dollars for the Hualapai tribe. Still, the merits of a hotel complex nestled in the canyon wall, even if it is constructed in a manner that makes it appear as an ancient Anasazi cliff dwelling, are questionable.
Another idea that I have reservations about is the reopening of the area near the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Ask the folks around Grants and Gallup in New Mexico how well that went in the past.
An update on the Bob Waldmire memorial exhibit at the Beale Street Brews & Gallery during the fun run is it is still pending but all indications are is it will be a go. As soon as information becomes available it will be posted.
The next item pertains to photographs. Does anyone out there have good quality vintage photos of Spencer, Missouri, Texola, Oklahoma, Gelnrio, Texas, Romeroville, New Mexico, Endee, New Mexico, Narcissa, Oklahoma, or Lawndale, Illinois? If so please drop me a note as I am in need of some photos for the ghost towns of Route 66 book.
Trust me, your assistance would be greatly appreciated. As a token of that appreciation there will be a signed copy given to each contributor of publisher approved photos.
Saturday afternoon we will be in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, at the Hastings Books, Music, and Video store to sign books and talk ghost towns. If you are in the area please stop by and say hello.