In my corner of Route 66 it is a cold, wet day with snow dusting the mountains and hillsides. Still, in the past six hours or so there have been so many exciting developments it is almost as though bright rays of sunshine are piercing the winter gloom.
I do not have details as of yet but Josh Noble, the area tourism director, has informed me that work is now underway on the El Trovatore Motel, a Route 66 landmark since 1939. Apparently this restoration will include the towering neon sign on the bluff behind the motel. Details will be provided as soon as they become available.
Mr. Noble is also spearheading an exciting geocache program along Route 66 from the New Mexico border to the Colorado River. This will be part of a series of Arizona centennial projects.
For several weeks I have alluded to a photography assignment for a tourism center. This morning the project received final approval and as a result, I can now provide a bit more detail.
The Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman will be transforming much of the second floor mezzanine into an interactive photo exhibit that will serve as a virtual tour of Route 66 in Mohave County. I am both humbled and honored to announce that my dearest friend and I have been selected as the photographers for the project.
The scheduled date for completion has not been established but a tentative time frame would be early summer. In the mean time, the exhibit will be displayed in stages as it progresses with much of it being in place by the time of the annual Route 66 Fun Run.
Not all news received this morning was good. One little item matched the weather perfectly, the announcement that a pending book deal is on hold until the end of the month or the first of the year. So, that leaves me with two writing assignments this month, one for Old Cars Weekly and one for 66 The Mother Road, the new online magazine.
At some point in the not to distant future I will be working my way through the final edit for the Route 66 encyclopedia and writing the captions for something close to 1,000 images. I am quite sure that will keep me busy for a bit.
Plans for this books initial release are still in the works. As a result little can be said with certainty but work is moving toward having the debut for the book at the annual Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. As they become available details will be shared.
Attendance at two other major events, one in Tucumcari in June and the international Route 66 festival in Victorville, is also in the works. These would be to promote Ghost Towns of Route 66, Route 66 Backroads, and Ghost Towns of the Southwest. As is my custom the promotion of the books would also serve to promote the event, the road, and the people who make it such a special treasure. Details for these events will be posted as soon as they become available.
One more Kingman related note of interest. I have it from a reliable source that the 2012 season of Chillin on Beale Street, an event held on the third Saturday evening of each month from March until October, will be the most exciting yet. Again, stay tuned for details.