What happens when you combine a promotional tour for a book, a photographic safari, and the quest to document locations listed in the 1949 edition of the Negro Motorist Green Book? Well, in my world that is simply just another opportunity for an adventure on iconic Route 66.
We have no fear of moss growing under our wheels during the first week in October. As it stands now, we have several hundred locations to photograph, five formal book signings, a handful of informal signings, and, of course, lots of old friends to see along the way during our epic 9.5 day odyssey along the old road signed with a double six.
The fun begins on October 1 after a half day at the office. The destination for that night is Grants and, as much as I hate to say it, we will most likely have to endure the generic sterility of the interstate for this first leg.
Between then and the hell bent ride for leather return that kicks off after the book signing at the Powers Museum in Carthage on the afternoon of the 8th, we will be putting politicians during an election season to shame with the handshaking, embarrass a trucker or two with the distance covered, be praising the Lord we are not burning through rolls of film, and be sucking enough coffee to warrant a Christmas card from the Colombian Coffee Growers Association.
I think the only person who will be able to lay claim to a faster Route 66 adventure is Dale Butel on his east bound jaunts from L.A. to Chicago to meet up with his tour groups. My old adage that the worst day on Route 66 is better than the best day anywhere else is being sorely tested with this trip.
An adventure on the double six is to be savored like a good beer shared with friends, or a slow cooked rack of ribs. That is not an option for this trip but trust me, we will be enjoying every moment.
There is an opportunity to visit with an old friend who lives in Wisconsin that will be driving in to Berwyn for the signing at the Route 66 museum on the afternoon of the 5th and breakfast with my dad. We will be enjoying the fine food at the historic Ariston Cafe with John Springs, Dale Butel, Kumar Patel and a host of others.
I will be fulfilling the nearly life long quest of paying homage to Abraham Lincoln by visiting his home and introducing my dearest friend to he beauty of the Ozarks, and the fine people who call those mountains home, with an evening at the historic Wagon Wheel Motel on the evening of the 7th. That is the time scheduled for Joe Sonderman and I to sign books as well as discuss Route 66 with all interested parties.
This trip is another opportunity to linger over pie and coffee at the Midpoint Cafe, and to see what the fuss about pies is at the Palms Grill. It will also be an opportunity to meet the new owners of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, to sleep in peaceful slumber at the Munger Moss Motel, and to catch up on the latest news at Afton Station  and Melba’s in Galena, Kansas.
I have little doubt that this trip will add a new chapter to my half century of adventures on this storied highway. Posting may be sporadic but there will be much to share upon my return.
In the mean time, I hope to see you on the road. And don’t forget to keep the Monte Carlo man, Cort Stevens, in your prayers. He has been a blessing to many of us on Route 66 and the other great two lane highways of America so it is time we reciprocate.