Last year the Kingman Route 66 Association, in conjunction with the Kingman Downtown Merchants, hatched a simple idea to shine the spotlight on the Kingman historic district once a month, on the third Saturday night of the month, from April until September. Step one, invite area car clubs and enthusiasts to attend. Step two, get merchants to stay open. Step three, invite vendors or groups to attend. Step four, add music. Step five, promote, promote, promote. Now, for July, a new twist has been added. The theme of “anything with wheels” continues but beginning with the July 17TH event vehicles representing a particular manufacturer or group will be the celebrities of the evening.
For July it will be the orphans. So, the first two hundred owners of vehicles, regardless of condition, manufactured by Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Mercury, as well as Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, De Soto, Nash, Edsel, or one of the more than three thousand automobile manufacturers that have fallen by the wayside, will be awarded a special prize. There is no charge for entry of a vehicle or for spectators. The association funds the event through sponsorship designed advertising packages and the sale of vendor spaces. The event is much more than cars. There is a poker walk with a variety of prizes, games for the kids, and other activities that with past events have included belly dancers, bands, and a western gunfighter reenactment group. Evening temperatures in Kingman are often quite pleasant – 75 to eighty degrees – so this is a great way for residents of Lake Havasu City or Bullhead City to beat the heat. It is also a treat for those motoring west, or east, on legendary Route 66.
Organizers are not resting on their laurels. For August plans include a gala celebration of Mopar, cars and trucks, and special exhibits, as well as hours at the Powerhouse Visitor Center and Route 66 Museum. In September, the hint was dropped that the event may include a “Salute to Route 66 and the road trip in film” film festival. Stay tuned for details.
This blog started as curiosity about what a blog is, how they work, the possibility of having a way to share my love for things discovered on the road less traveled with an international audience, and to promote books written. Well, that was more than a year ago and here we are with post number 613. A conclusion derived from reviewing the last 612 posts is that the title chosen on a whim was rather appropriate. After all, more than 90 % of these postings have at least a passing reference to Route 66. The subtitle is also a suitable descriptor. In recent years quantum leaps have been made in regards to transforming writing and photography into an actual job that pays the bills rather than a hobby. Still success proves to be rather elusive even though things are not as bad as hinted with the line, “…a starving artist on Route 66.” We do reside on Route 66. Most of our adventures on the road less traveled seem to center on Route 66 or at least start there. We are not starving because I am blessed to have a day job. These posts have helped develop a deeper appreciation of just how fortunate we are to live on the most amazing highway in the country. For starters, we have a front row seat to a never ending parade.
In September a daring (?) group will be rolling west from North Carolina on pre 1916 motorcycles. In early August we have a group piloting vintage micro cars (BMW Isseta, etc.) headed east, with a scheduled stop in Kingman, to Chicago. In between these two events will be another edition of Chillin’ on Beale Street, with a salute to Mopar theme, and a visit from an Australian and Dutch tour group. Second, I have been privileged to meet a wide array of fascinating and interesting people from throughout the world and never leave my “home town.” More than a few of these associations have developed into friendships and for this I am quite grateful. These meetings often inspired new adventures. In turn these led to new associations, new friendships, and renewed inspiration.
In retrospect, the Route 66 dominance of posts is not surprising when one considers how much of my life centers on this old road. Illustrating this are the majority of photos that have appeared on this blog, such as this shot of Sitgreaves Pass at sunset, have a Route 66 connection. This particular photo was taken after a book signing in Lake Havasu City. For the return trip we made a detour to Topock and followed Route 66 home with a few stops at Oatman, Goldroad, and Sitgreaves Pass to catch the sunset. My long association with the old double six has also opened a wide array of doors in regards to writing. My third assignment for a major publication was for Route 66 magazine. Of the five books written and published, one was a Route 66 related title, Backroads of Route 66http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076032817X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, and another was filled with Route 66 related material. The sixth book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, will be released this fall and the latest project is a Route 66 encyclopedia. For another title scheduled for release this fall, Greetings from Route 66http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076033885X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, I was a contributor. In sharing my fascination, my passion, and almost a half century of life tied to the double six, I have and am contributing to the river of ink that has flowed in a vain attempt to extol the mystique and charm of iconic Route 66. Still, the best I can hope for with the words I write is to record some of its history for future generations, to inspire travelers to discover its charms, and to temporarily sedate the wanderlust of the armchair traveler.
Route 66 is something that must be experienced. I may be a gifted wordsmith but words can not adequately express the pleasure of fresh baked pie, coffee, and friendly conversation shared with passionate locals and equally passionate travelers from the four corners of the earth at the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas. I will be the first to admit that the focus bordering on obsession that fuels the fascination with Route 66 often prohibits the discovery and exploration of other amazing lost highways such as US 6. I will also be the first to admit that Route 66 is no longer a mere historic highway, it is the stuff of dreams. From that perspective, I hope you continue to find this blog, a chronicle of our journeys and adventures on the road less traveled a source of inspiration. Moreover, I hope these posts will lead you to discover the simple pleasures only found on the road less traveled, and the alluring, enigmatic, and entrancing wonders only found on legendary Route 66.