Friday and Saturday were dominated by the job that supports the writing and travel habit. Still, Route 66 continues to be the thread that ties everything together and this weekend was no exception.
On Friday, I met with Mike Ward and his wife as they passed through Kingman on their way to the big 85th anniversary celebration in Needles. As is always the case when we get together, the fast paced, invigorating, conversation jumped from topic to topic but the central theme was a highway signed with two sixes.
The contributions Mike made to the encyclopedia project are invaluable. Unlimited access to his vast post card collection proved a key component in ensuring this book is a multifaceted time capsule. Additionally, his historic maps will enable the reader to decipher the confusing and twisted course of Route 66 from beginning to end.
Friday evening I worked on the illustrations for the book, and Saturday night watched Cars again with my dearest friend. What started as a hair brained scheme to promote Route 66, the special places found along the way, and the new book, from behind the wheel of a vintage vehicle seem to be moving from pipe dream to possibility.
Initially I though of a Studebaker, Nash, or Hudson from the 1949 to 1953 period. Then I began to entertain thoughts about using a Model A, a vehicle never owned that has fascinated me for years, for reasons unknown.
While watching the movie, my dearest friend gently nudged me toward something a bit more realistic. A short version of the conversation during the movie pertained to the interest in Route 66 we could generate with kids, and fans of the movie, if we drove a 1949 to 1953 Hudson on this adventure. So, …
I guess the only obstacle is the one that plagues most every dream – finances. Well, stay tuned for details.
My obsession with accuracy, and to create a book that provides answers, has hit a few snags along the way but with the deadline fast approaching there is one in particular that is rather frustrating – Adamana, Arizona. The railroad established a siding at a ranch in 1896 for tourists visiting the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Established of a post office occurred in the same year.
Fast forward a bit. The National Old Trails Highway had two distinct incarnations in this part of Arizona – from Soccoro in New Mexico to Springerville, St. Johns, and then to Holbrook, and from Grants and Gallups to Holbrook with a road that hugged the railroad tracks.
In 1914, a New York newspaper had a feature article about travel in Arizona on the National Old Trails Highway. In this article it was noted that available services included a hotel, store, and garage.
Steve Rider, rare post card collector extraordinaire, provided a beautiful post card featuring the Campbell Hotel for the new book. The vehicles parked in front appear to be from the 1915 to 1920 period. So, we can assume the hotel was there for at least ten years.
Here is the rub. There is no evidence Route 66 has an association with this wide spot in the road. In correspondence with Route 66 historian Jim Ross, this was affirmed.
But look at the earliest maps. You have services in Lupton, Allantown, Houk, Sanders, Chambers and Navajo, all places located along the railroad and the course of the later alignment of the National Old Trails Highway.
From Navajo the highway swung north into the Painted Desert and then followed a course well north of the tracks into Holbrook. Is it not reasonable to assume that the earliest alignment would have continued toward Holbrook along the tracks, especially if there were services available in Adamana? Look at the distances between services, without Adamana there is a disproportionate gap.
Still, hunchs and assumptions are not proof. So, what I may have to do is make the case, note available services, and clearly state that current evidence indicates there was no association between Route 66 and Adamana. Maybe the book will spark a new discovery or jog a recollection.
I used Rich Dinkela as a sounding board last evening as we discussed this. It seems this will be the best course to take.
This morning a light drizzle and deep, heavy clouds handing low on the mountain made it almost impossible to think of anything but getting out and immersing ourselves in the raw beauty, and serenity. So, we tossed a few things into the Jeep, found a dirt road, and drove south of Kingman less than a mile to the deep canyons edge and began our walk. What a refreshing morning!
Chances of a Monday post is in question as I have visit to the dentist at 8:00. This will be followed with pursuit of death certificates as I work to finish up my mothers estate. Next will be a meeting and discussion pertaining to a possible Route 66 photo exhibit for 2012. Stay tuned for details.
This will be followed by, hopefully, being able to speak to a centenarian in Prescott that lived in Adamana. It could very well be the last chance for resolving this nagging mystery. Thank you Ron Warnick for calling this to my attention.
And now, the pictures I promised two weeks ago. This is one of our favorite places for a morning walk.
It is a simple five mile drive followed by a two or three mile hike high into the Cerbat Mountains on an old mining road. I am quite sure the Jeep is capable of making the climb but as the walk is the quest, we park near the bottom of the mountain.
We climb to the top and in the shadow of some old mine tailings, and with million dollar views of the valley far below, and the Hualapai
The sense of renewal is palpable. When we return I feel so invigorated that the hours roll by and before I know, it, eight, ten, or even twelve hours have been spent on various projects.