The thrice cancelled adventure eastward on Route 66 is now less than three weeks away and the anticipation is building. Likewise, the list of issues to be resolved before departure and the typical last minute schedule conflictions is also growing.
The original game plan was to make this trip in April of 2009 to develop a hands on, first person foundation for the new book, Ghost Towns of Route 66. Well, the real job, the one that keeps beans on the table and gas in the Jeep, takes precedence and so that trip was canceled as was the one planned for August and the one planned for late September.
Rather than cry over spilled milk, we turned westward and burned up a few weekends exploring Route 66 in the Mojave Desert. Two delightful discoveries were made on these explorations, Goffs and Daggett.
The former, on an alignment of Route 66 bypassed in 1931, is often overlooked even by fans of the double six. I may be sticking my neck out on a limb but the museum complex there rates in my top ten list and is something that should be included in any trip tot he Golden State.
The latter has a long and fascinating history. What is most amazing about Daggett is the number of surviving structures that predate Route 66 by decades.
So, I relied on research, my past adventures on the double six, the telephone, email, snail, and the eyes of Kerrick James, the primary photographer for this book as well as several previous titles we have worked on together including Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Backroads of Arizona, and Route 66 Backroads. Even though the book is completed and submitted to the publisher, this trip will provide material that will be utilized in the final edit to add some additional depth and photographs to the final product.
On a personal note the most exciting aspects of this trip will be to share fondly remembered places along Route 66 with my dearest friend who has never driven east of Albuquerque on this storied highway and as we will have the Jeep, to seek out the forgotten places such as the Painted Desert Trading Post. Also, as with every road trip, I eagerly anticipate meeting new people as well as those never met even though we have corresponded for a number of years.
The trip has been truncated from the original plan as we will have but seven days. So, rather than frustrate ourselves with a structured schedule that transforms the adventure into a job, we chose to make Springfield, Missouri, the eastern terminus for the trip. rough game plan is to leave on a Saturday afternoon as the office closes at noon and follow Route 66 to at least Seligman. This would allow for an early dinner at the Pine Country restaurant in Williams, and an informal signing of books at Barnes & Noble in Flagstaff. The open question is in regards to lodging that evening. The La Posada in Winslow or a Route 66 icon in Holbrook?
Sunday the target destination will be Santa Rosa in New Mexico. In between will be some exploration around the Painted Desert Trading Post, Chambers, Sanders, Lupton, Houck, and as much of Route 66 as we can find in between the state line and Albuquerque.
Monday we will chase ghosts in the old towns of Cuervo, Newkirk and Montoya as well as San Jon, Endee, Bard, and Glenrio. The final destination for the day is scheduled to be Amarillo. As we wish to have pie at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, check out Vega, meet with Bob Lile at his gallery (the outlet for our signed, limited edition prints), as well as talk with Becky Ransom at the Big Texan, chances are that Amarillo will be the end of the for the day. Besides we have much to see in the east half of the Panhandle.
Tuesday we set our sites on Tulsa with a few detours such as the Jericho Gap. Also topping our list of must see sites are Alanreed, McLean, Shamrock, Texola, the museum in Clinton, Bridgeport, Foss, and Warwick.
Wednesday we will shoot for Springfield. I am eagerly anticipating a stop at Afton Station and meeting with Laurel Kane, the proprietress, and exploring the ghost town trail in Missouri that includes Spencer and Paris Springs Junction. We will drive through Galena, Riverton, and Baxter Springs in Kansas but save exploration for the return leg.
On the return leg I plan on breaking with Route 66 a bit to rediscover, and introduce my dearest friend to, the singular wonders of the Oklahoma Panhandle. So, we will explore Route 66 in Kansas and overnight somewhere around Enid. 
Then, the next day we will cut across the vast, lonely, and beautiful landscapes of the Panhandle on U.S. 412, catch U.S. 56 at Boise City. We will follow this highway through the Rita Blanca National Grasslands into New Mexico, and then catch I-25/the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66 into Santa Fe.
In rough numbers, I am guessing 2,700 miles and eight or nine days , one week vacation plus Memorial Day. To say the very least, this will truly be a grand adventure!