The trip to Chicago via Route 66 is a go, now the planning begins. The fun will begin on either the first or second week of October with the primary goals being photography for the Route 66 encyclopedia that have a touch of fall color and a promo tour for Ghost Towns of Route 66, as well as the photography.
This will cut it a bit close as the deadline is December 1. So, the game plan is to have the historic images for the book in place, the first draft of the text complete, and a list of locations to photograph in hand before we leave.
A primary challenge to adventures such as this is to balance the need for planning with the lack of planning that is the very essence of a Route 66 odyssey. As it is off season we are hoping that a lack of reservations, those pesky necessities that tie you to a schedule, won’t translate into generic lodging at the end of the day. 
Between then and now, there will be a push to finish the text, and to work with Mark Ward and Joe Sonderman for the acquisition of the historic images that are a key component of this project. Then there are several smaller road trips in the wings that will need to be figured into the budget.
Two trips to California are simply awaiting confirmed dates. One, will be the return visit to Jay Leno’s Garage to record the interview about Route 66, its international appeal, and my latest book.
The second was born from conversations with Dan Rice, owner of 66 to Cali on Santa Monica Pier, who sells autographed copies of Ghost Towns of Route 66 at his shop. To celebrate the opening of his new facility we thought a book signing and Route 66 discussion would add some flavor as well as serve as a solid foundation for press coverage. 
Perhaps the most important trip of all is being scheduled for August. This will be a short drive, on Route 66, to Williams with a visit to the Deer Farm as a part of my granddaughters 4th birthday celebration.
The trips to California offer opportunity for us to enjoy a couple of our favorite things; the beach, a quiet evening at the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, another location where autographed copies of our books are available, and a chance to visit our favorite book store, Auto Books – Aero Books in Burbank. Of course, the trips to California come with a price, namely the demolition derby for retired Kamikaze pilots that is the freeway system.
On the last trip, in November of 2010, we roared down the Cajon Pass in a blinding sleet that at times made it difficult to see more than ten feet beyond the push bar. The car ahead of us, as well as beside and behind us, was a ghostly blur even though we were almost close enough to touch. None of this prevented the traffic from flowing downhill in a torrent at seventy plus miles per hour.
Another item that requires attention before I can focus on the October adventure is the next installment of community profiles for John Springs on line magazine, 66 The Mother Road. In the current issue I put the spot light on Kingman but for the next issue the thought is to put it on someplace to the east, perhaps in Missouri or Oklahoma.
To ensure my enthusiasm for the Route 66 adventure doesn’t wane, as if that were possible, I have visits from friends who will be stopping by during the course of their Route 66 journeys in the next few weeks: Dries Bessels, Dale Butel, and a new acquaintance, Wolfgang Werz. I look forward to their visit as well as the opportunity to experience the road trip vicariously, at least until we can take to the road again.