If the title for this morning post, “Goats, Ponies, Greeks, Sex, and a Roadside Classic” didn’t get your attention I am not sure what will. In addition to the weekly book reviews, travel tips and restaurant recommendations, that is a day late, I have some other items to share that might be of interest.
|Snow Cap, Seligman|
It has been said that the road to Hell is paved with good intention. I am not sure if that old adage holds true but in my world good intentions are often derailed by such things as unseasonably warm weather, a schedule that seems to be subject to change at a moments notice, and some very interesting detours.
As noted last week, the plan was to spend the weekend working on the first photo file for the Route 66 encyclopedia. So, Friday evening I began compiling photos with every intention of diligently working on the editing process after work on Saturday.
Of course that was before a particularly stress filled morning at the office, a wrecked rental car, unseasonably warm weather, and thoughts of what I could add to this photo file with the new camera. Take a look at the photo above and guess what happened to the well crafted plans.
My co conspirator in the plan to abandon responsibility in the name of important research on the road was my dearest friend who had sandwiches prepared and the camera equipment loaded by the time I got home. So, after a quick stop at the gas station, $2.89 per gallon, we rolled east on Route 66
As we have an extensive photo file on Hackberry, Valentine, and Peach Springs, we decided to start with Truxton, then Grand Canyon Caverns, the old siding at Pica on the National Old Trails Highway in the Aubrey Valley, Hyde Park, and Seligman. Even though it has been dry for more than a week there was a surprising amount of snow on the ground east of Peach Springs and the back roads, such as the one to Pica were muddy tracks across the desert plains. Praise the Lord for the stalwart Jeep!
We rolled into Seligman around 4:30 and had the place to ourselves as the streets were quiet. Still, the atmosphere has changed dramatically in the past twenty years here.
Even on a quiet winter afternoon there is a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation of a busy tourism season that stands in marked contrast to the one of despair and abandonment that was as thick as fog in 1990.
|Jessica’s Restaurant, Williams|
We missed Angel but had a pleasant visit with his wife’s sister. Then we continued our photographic safari until an increasing awareness of hunger, and cold as the sun began sinking in the west, turned our attention to a search for food. Most places were closed with the exception of West Side Lilo’s and the Road Kill Cafe, both good places to eat.
One of the problems with a drive on Route 66 is that you never want the adventure to end. With that thought and hunger as our guide, my dearest friend suggested we add another forty miles or so to the adventure with a drive to Williams for dinner at one of our favorite places, Jessica’s Family Restaurant.
We usually stop here for breakfast as the food is excellent and unique with prices that are just north of average. Dinner is a bit steep in regards to price but not quite in the realm of ridiculous.
There are a couple of places in Williams we can honestly recommend. The Pine Country Restaurant, Rod’s Steak House, a Route 66 classic, and Twisters, are all favorites.
Jessica’s is a bit worn around the edges but it is always clean and the service excellent. As an added bonus, on Saturday night we had the entire place to ourselves until just before we finished our meal. So, I could stare into my lovely wife’s eyes, savor the food, and laugh with her about our crazy adventure that took us from an unseasonably warm day to the high country where it was very much winter.
After photographing the neon in Williams until the face was numb, I topped of the tank and began the drive home. Even though the hour was late, I refused to succumb to the promise of a speedy trip home and instead we chose Route 66 with stops to photograph some neon in Truxton as well as some snow under the desert sky.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760319650&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThere was definite weariness in the bones by the time we arrived home as my day had started at 4:00 in the morning and it was now 10:00 in the evening. There was also that sense of peace and refreshment that only comes from an unplanned adventure on Route 66 or the road less traveled in the accompaniment of my dearest friend.
Only one task remained, check the email to evaluate what was in store for Sunday. As often happens in my world, this led to a wide array of detours, most notably the request from Jay Leno for stills from The Big Book of Car Culture, the subject of the second interview recorded in November that is scheduled for posting on his website, Jay Lenos Garage, on Wednesday.
So, Sunday it was church, a short hike into the Cerbat Mountains at Fort Beal, editing the first 100 of the 200 requested photos, writing three book reviews, a visit with my son and his family, scanning the images for Jay Leno, a quick trip to photograph my shadow box counter top that is filled with many items used in The Big Book of Car Culture for illustrations, and then a leisurely conversation with my father. It was a very full weekend to say the least.
Now, lets talk books. This weeks offerings are all hormone filled works suitable for any coffee table or automotive library.
Item one is the ultimate book for the fan of the “Goat”, the legendary GTOhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760339856&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. This massive 335 page, hardback volume is an absolute bargain. The stunning photographic artistry of David Newhardt, the masterful text written by Darwin Holmstrom coupled with a wide array of factory photos and period advertisements chronicle the entire history of the GTO.
To say this book is an automotive masterpiece would be akin to saying the Grand Canyon is a very, very big hole. This is fine art intertwined with mechanical poetry and a thundering heart.
The publisher, Motorbooks International, can count this among the crown jewels of the many automotive titles recently published. But in that realm GTO is not alone.
Next on our list is another massive 348 page hardback volume chronicling another perennial favorite, the Chevy SS. In this book the artist, in both word and photography is Robert Genat, with 25 titles to his credit and a number of award winning hot rods to reflect his automotive passions.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760329796&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIn this volume, Chevy SS: 50 Years of Super Sport, the entire history of this legendary marquis is traced, from the 1957 Corvette show car through the 1961 Impala Super Sport package and the, Monte Carlo, and Cobalt variations.
If your a fan of the Bow Tie with an attitude made manifest in the SS models this book is a must. If you just like to drool over beautiful muscle cars this work leave your mouth quite dry. And if you just want to add some class to the coffee table or automotive library, this book is a real bargain that should not be overlooked.
Last but not least is another wonderful work by Darwin Holmstrom and David Newhardt published by Motorbooks. This time the duo turns their attentions toward chronicling the history of America’s favorite pony car from General Motors, Camaro.
This is another massive volume with 348 pages sandwiched between http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760328161&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhardcovers. A wide array of factory photos, vintage advertisement, and 280 museum quality color illustrations, coupled to the concise, well written, well researched text we have come to expect from Darwin Holstrom ensure this book, Camaro Forty Years, sets a very high standard for other automotive journalists to strive for.
As a testimony to this books value to the fan of the legendary Chevrolet Camaro consider this, Ed Welburn, General Motors Vice President of Global Design, wrote the forward.
The last item in today’s title is sex. Well, it has been said sex sells so I thought this should be put to the test and see if the use of the word could possibly result in increased readership.
Or I could explain usage with a lengthy discourse on the sex appeal of the great American muscle cars such as GTO, SS, and Camaro. Perhaps it would be best if we used that explanation.
On a final note I received a thank you note from Ramona at the historic Munger Moss Motel, a Route 66 classic, that the print accompanying my request for information and note of appreciation for their preservation efforts with be framed and hung in the Arizona room. Now that is an honor!