Seven days, that is 168 hours. That plus one day is all it took to turn my corner of the world from left to right, and upside down. 

In that brief span of time we savored a wonderful spring like day in February with a picnic along the Mesa Trail near Cool Springs on Route 66 to celebrate completion of the Route 66 encyclopedia, learned that the celebration was premature, celebrated the arrival of the newest addition to the family, a granddaughter, and had a slumber party with a very precocious and delightful four year old, our other granddaughter. In addition I witnessed a complete reversal of moving trends that has created incredible logistical issues at the office, and initiated a couple of very exciting projects. Then in the days that followed I surprised my dearest friend with the plans to celebrate her birthday in style, had the computer utilized for all online work, and the microwave, give up the ghost, was confronted with more issues pertaining to settlement of my mother’s estate, rushed to meet the deadline for the changes made to the encyclopedia, and made arrangements to run the gauntlet of tax preparation in a couple of weeks.
Suffice to say, it has been a bit crazy in my corner of the world lately. That should explain the short posts as well as the days without any at all. 
With that lengthy preamble out of the way, I would like to share a few items that should be of interest for Route 66 enthusiasts. Lets start with the encyclopedia. 
The last minute changes made by the publisher were frustrating, maddening, and dramatic, at least in regard to the schedule changes they necessitated. However, even though I am quite excited as these changes will result in an even more three dimensional product, there is a concern about the size of the completed work and the size of the illustrations. 
I should have a better feel for this in a few weeks when the galley proof is complete. Of course, updates will be provided as the Route 66 community has been my partner in this project from its inception. 
The official debut for the book will be at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. Details for this event as well as the promotional tour will be provided as they become available.

Now, in a somewhat unrelated note, I would like to share a little something about a gem often overlooked by visitors to the Kingman area. This would be the extensive and diverse system of hiking and bicycle trails in the mountains that surround the city. There are numerous reasons for this but the primary one is time constraints. 
The trails range from simple and short to long and arduous, from rocky desert to alpine meadows. So there is a little something for everyone in every season. 
Regardless of time constraints my dearest friend and I enjoy short walks when we travel. It helps clear the mind, prevents saddle sores, and gives us a deeper understanding of an area. 
Route 66 is lined with awesome opportunities for outings such as these; Amboy Crater, Memory Lane in Lexington, Illinois, Arroyo Seco, the Chain of Rocks Bridge on the Mississippi River. In the Kingman area, for summer visitors, there are the trails among the towering pines in the Hualapai Mountains just a dozen miles south of Route 66 that can be followed with a wonderful dinner at Hualapai Mountain Lodge.  
For spring, fall or winter visitors (always watch for snakes) there is the White Cliffs wagon road, a short 1/4 mile hike, the extensive trail system in the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains near Beale Springs at the north edge of the city limits, and, our current favorite, the Mesa Trail at Cool Springs. 
As a round trip the Mesa Trail is about one mile in length. With the exception of the last 100 yards that is almost vertical, the trail is relatively easy. 

However, it is not one I would recommend in the months of summer. The heat would be but one concern. The second would be snakes as this is a rocky trail which is prime habitat for them as they seek respite from the heat. 
In any season another issue to be aware of would be cacti, specifically the cholla or “jumping cactus.” At the summit overlooking Cool Springs and the Sacramento Valley these are quite thick and the cactus balls filled with thorns are everywhere. 
So, wear heavy shoes and check them often. I suggest carrying a comb as this works quite well for getting them out of shoes as well as pant legs. 
The next time you motor west, or east, on the old double six, even if the schedule is tight, take a few minutes to stretch the legs and enjoy the view. And if you have the time, perhaps a day or two exploring the richly diverse landscapes around Kingman might just inspire a view ideas as you plan the next vacation adventure. 

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