I have heard that the phrase “may you live in interesting times” was part of a Chinese curse. In my world, dependant on when you ask, it is both a blessing as well as a curse and there can be no doubt these are interesting times.

On maps the Williamson Valley Road is listed as
Yavapai County Road 5

Lets see. My plan for celebrating the 27th anniversary with a 120 mile Jeep trek from Route 66 at Seligman to the old mining town of Crown King via the Williamson Valley Road and the historic territorial era Senator Highway, and a pleasant evening at the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott may need a bit of adjustment.
Prescott has always been one of our favorite places for a weekend escape and as our anniversary falls on a weekend it seemed like the perfect plan. Well, I have been asked to appear on AM Arizona on August 30TH and as a result the plans are shifted from mid September to the end of this month and instead of a weekend getaway it will be a day and a half get away followed by work of my favorite kind – sharing tales about the back roads.

The cour thouse square and historic Whiskey Row
in Prescott, Arizona appear as an untarnished
time capsule from decades past.

Does it get better than that? A weekend with my dearest friend to reflect on and give thanks for 27 wonderful years in one of our favorite places, and doing what we enjoy best!
I am currently in the midst of a most fascinating dilemma. In the past, time devoted to pursuit of a career as a writer was divided between the writing of a monthly column or two for a magazine and the research and writing of the next book. Upon completion of the book time was divided between the columns, trying to land another contract, and promoting the completed book.
Well, the childhood goal of becoming a writer is so close I can touch it with my fingertips but like Jello it just isn’t close enough to grasp. As an interpretation, the work load in regards to writing is increasing exponentially but reaching a point where I can devote full time to this endeavor is still proving elusive. am deep into the massive encyclopedia project (writing as well as research), am working to finalize the edit and cover selection for Ghost Towns of Route 66, am working to promote Ghost Towns of the Southwest as well as previously published titles, am laying the groundwork for the promotion of a new new book due for release in October, Greetings from Route 66, and am trying to coordinate a trip to gather photos for the encyclopedia with the scheduled dates of the international Route 66 festival in Amarillo next June. The drive from Chicago and the festival will also mark the debut for Ghost Towns of Route 66.
The frosting on the cake for this grand adventure will be the chance to renew old acquaintances (Laurel Kane at Afton Station, Melba at 4 Women on the Route, Fran at the Midpoint to name but a few), and to make new ones as well as put a face with the names of folks I have been corresponding with for quite some time. Keeping my eyes on the carrot should keep me content through the winter.

As added incentive it is with eager anticipation that I await the books debut and the opportunity to share lost tales of iconic Route 66 with its fans. Here is the latest proposal of the cover design for Ghost Towns of Route 66. Does anyone care to share ideas or thoughts?
My personal opinion is this is the one. The title and old shield speak volumes. With the image appearing as though it is lost in the mists of time, seeking detail draws you in. As always I hope it is enjoyed and that it encourages exploration of what remains as well as well as respect for the remnants.

Chillin on Beale Street – Saturday evening, August 21, 2010

Meanwhile, between now and the trip to Prescott will be another dental appointment, an election primary that I am hoping will set the stage for putting the train back on the tracks, and another edition of Chillin on Beale Street. The topless theme has fueled my anticipation but not as much as seeing Dale Butel and his intrepid band of Australian travelers.
Between now and next June, …I had best not give that to much thought. After all between now and October is a photo safari to California on Route 66, the debut of Greetings from Route 66, another edition of Chillin on Beale Street, research for the encyclopedia …