My world is never a boring one and this weekend was no exception. Sunday was a day of rest (sleeping in until 6:00) and relaxation (reading, visiting with my son and his family, and writing my monthly column for Cars & Parts magazine).
It was also a day of unusual celebration as we have decided to eighty six the television and this was day one. A few months ago we began discussing this but the catalyst for action was an obvious disregard of our years as a loyal customer by Direct TV.
The writing of the Independent Thinker for the December issue was a particularly enjoyable venture. I wrote a profile of Harry Miller, a pioneer in the development of front wheel drive automobiles whose amazing career included the building of the first outboard motor, a partnership with Preston Tucker, designing the transmission for the first generation Cord, and some work on the prototype that became the iconic Jeep.

Downtown McLean, Texas

The adventure that began this morning provided the title for today’s post. After the usual morning routine I answered correspondence pertaining to the request for information needed to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the next book, a Route 66 encyclopedia. I followed this up with the fielding of questions to Jim Ross about the Ozark Trails system, to Jerry McClanahan about the future of Depew, Oklahoma, other inquires pertaining to McLean, Texas, and research about the National Old Trails Highway.

Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma

Then I had a delightful phone conversation with Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma. If there is one business on the route that encapsulates the future of the highway this is it.
The last activity of the morning was discussions with the publisher. Initially, Ghost Towns of Route 66 was scheduled for a mid June, 2011 release. However, after presenting the case for an earlier release that would allow for a presentation at the 2011 Route 66 event in Amarillo the date was moved back to May 15.
We also discussed the release of Greetings from Route 66, an exciting compilation for which I wrote the chapter introductions. This book is due for release in mid October but the official debut, including a prerelease signed copy to be sold as a fund raiser for the Kingman Route 66 Association, will be at the September 18th edition of Chillin on Beale Street in Kingman.
All of of this was good news to say the very least. As it turned out the bad news was not nearly as bad as anticipated and the weather in Bullhead City was unexpectedly about 15 degrees cooler than normal (105 instead of 120), another indication that I am a rather blessed man and another reason to be thankful.
An injury this spring revealed more severe issues, some of which are more than twenty years in the making. Some of the problem was rectified by four trips to the local dentist but the next steps required evaluation by a periodontist in Bullhead City.
The good news is I will most likely be able to forgo bone grafts to the jaw, a possibility that the dentist warned me was the most likely scenario. The bad news is oral surgery is still needed.
After the examination it was time for a celebration of sorts and that provided the needed excuse to fill a very hungry stomach. For our dinner fare we selected the Black Bear Diner, a mostly western chain that manages to capture the essence and atmosphere of the local diner circa 1960 without being kitchy. As a added plus I have always found the food to be first rate even though service can be slow as a result of a preparation and cooking at time of order policy.

Pre 1952 Route 66 in the Black Mountains above Goldroad, Arizona

The next order of business was the drive home. As the contingent of micro cars making a Route 66 run from Los Angeles to Chicago was due in Kingman late this afternoon we decided to see if we could find them along the road between Oatman and Kingman.
The Black Bear Diner is just a few blocks west of Silver Creek Road, a modern thoroughfare that gives way to 15 plus miles of graded, dusty road that ends between Oatman and Goldroad. I do not recommend this road to anyone in a hurry but who in their right mind chooses old Route 66 through Oatman if their in a hurry. I would also avoid it after a rain. Otherwise it can be driven by passenger car with just a modicom of caution.
It is a rather pleasant drive. The views are also exceptional and there are ample opportunities for pulling of the road and savoring the desert beauty.
We never saw the micro cars. However, we did encounter a rather large herd of Mini Coopers.
So, I will just have to catch the micro car contingent at Martin Swanty Chrysler in Kingman around noon. If at all possible I will have photos of this unusual convoy to share on Wednesday.
And so ends another weekend in the life of a starving artist here on Route 66. And so ends another opportunity to reflect on just how grand life can be.

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