During the past few years many of us in the Route 66 community have been privileged to make the acquaintance of Dale Butel, the wonderful people he leads on tours along the most famous highway in America, and other fans of the double six from down under.
Well, the fine folks of the state of Queensland, and other regions in Australia, are in the midst of an unfolding tragedy of epic proportions. Think of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Now magnify this vision of disaster with the transformation of Nebraska and several neighboring states into an inland sea.
That is a hint of the magnitude of the disaster facing our friends down under. So, if you can pitch in at all, they can really use the help.
Here is an official link for donations. More importantly, please hold these folks up in prayer.



There are quite often a litany of excuses for why things do not get done, why we do things, or why we don’t do things. Excuses seldom translate into justification.
The last weeks of November, and the month of December provided a very full bag of excuses but not justification for a number of oversights, holiday slights, and other little issues that have left me behind the eight ball and with a very heavy sense of needing to make up for lost time. So, to all who did not hear from me this Christmas, or who I forgot to call back, please accept my apology.

For the past couple of weeks it is though I have been driving through a thinning but still vision obscuring fog bank. Most of our Christmas mailings, with the exception of those yet to be mailed, were done the week after the holiday. Postponed appointments are now upon me even though it seems as if the rescheduling was done last week instead of last month.
It was the discovery that the first photo file for the Route 66 encyclopedia had not even been edited, let alone sent, that hit me like a wet sponge on a winter morning. In twenty years, a deadline has never been missed, let alone something this important overlooked.

So, it looks as there will be no surprise adventures this weekend even though a long drive without the constraint of schedules is what I crave. Instead, I will focus on the photos and allow them to be my passport to memories as well as places I would rather be.  
The pictures of Jericho, Texas always make me smile. These were taken on our grand, ghost town adventure along Route 66 this past summer.

The winds were blowing softly through the tall grass and with my eyes closed it was almost as though I could hear the faint voices of those who once called this place home and those that paused here before tackling the muddy gumbo of the infamous Jericho Gap. But the grandest vision that day was not an imaginary one, it was my dearest friend looking so radiant under that blue Texas sky.
Our visit and explorations at the hauntingly beautiful ruins of the Painted Desert Trading Post on the rocky ridge above the Dead River were cut short by near gale force winds. In spite of the buffeting winds and the stinging sand we were awe struck by the raw beauty of this empty land where a broken string of asphalt pointed as an arrow toward the western horizon.
Santa Monica Pier may have never been officially associated with Route 66 but for more than a half century it and Palisades Park on the bluff above have served as the end of the trail for those who motored west along the Mother Road. Dan Rice has kept that tradition alive as well as provided us with wonderful memories.

If we were to wax nostalgic about 2010, we could entitle it as the year of the Wigwam. On our journey east we immersed ourselves in the time capsule that is the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. On our last trip to California we met the legendary Kumar and basked in the splendor of the resurrected Wigwam Motel in Rialto.
But 2010 was far more than grand adventures on the road less traveled and only the imagination can see the greatest discoveries of this past year hidden in the photos; the many wonderful people we met along the way. To name but a few, there is Fran at the legendary Mid Point Cafe in Adrian, Texas. In Afton, Oklahoma, at Afton Station, it was Laurel Kane and Ron Jones, the “Tattoo Man.” In Kansas, at 4 Women on the Route , it was Melba.
And with that, a special thank you to each and everyone who made 2010 one of our best. Thanks for the memories, the prayers, the encouragement, and the fun.