Lets see, ten days ago the microwave died in a blaze of glory that kicked the circuit breaker. This unit lasted just over four years, far short of the one it replaced which had been a wedding present more than twenty years previously. 
Last week I noted the near death experience of the computer utilized for internet activity. Well, after careful study and evaluation, and a few tips from readers, we ordered a new Dell, an all in one unit with 23 inch screen. The price was less than half of what we paid for a unit eight years ago, that was a plus. 
We carefully pulled it from the box, stared in wonder at the technological marvel much as a head hunter in the forest of New Guinea would look upon a lighter, set it up and with eager anticipation of seeing the new edition of 66 The Mother Road and our blog in dazzling color, turned it on. The depth and clarity of the black screen with white letters reading “disc error” were stunning. 
After a two and one half hour conversation with a pleasant young man in India that included a home study course in computer diagnostics it was determined that the hard drive was deceased. So, now we await a replacement or repairman with new hard drive.
Meanwhile I was pleased, excited, and disappointed to learn that the third printing of Ghost Towns of Route 66 had arrived at the publisher, that as a result of pending back orders there were only 500 copies remaining, and that another printing may not be available for 45 days.  It appears that my curiosity about what would be the result of combining the allure of Route 66 with the fascination about ghost towns in one title has been alleviated. 
While we are on that subject I should note that copies are available at a number of locations along Route 66 including the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri, the Powerhouse Visitor Center gift shop in Kingman, Arizona, and the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. If you are interested in adding this or other titles I have written (Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Backroads of Arizona, or Route 66 Backroads) to your inventory, please let me know. 
I am quite ready for a relaxing weekend and as it tuns out, the weather (temperatures hovering around seventy degrees) will be ideal tomorrow afternoon for our annual commemoration of a momentous event that occurred in 1959, an event that would eventually transform my life. This year my dearest friend has decided the event will be celebrated with a leisurely drive along Route 66, and an evening in Prescott, Arizona followed by another delightful drive along the Williamson Valley Road that will be accompanied by a picnic lunch. All of this means my son and his family will be entrusted with the temporary care of the homestead that includes a cat. 
It took me a few years but I have come to the realization that for a celebration such as this to be successful the guest of honor should have a say in its planning and execution. In fact I have decided to entrust the whole affair to that special someone. 
This is not to say previous commemorations weren’t enjoyed. Suffice to say a whirlwind trip to Death Valley as a surprise just wasn’t the best way to celebrate a milestone. 
In an unrelated note, Route 66 News announced that a brush fire near Rolla, Missouri has destroyed the ruins of the old Beacon Motel. Exploring those forlorn hilltop ruins with Rich Dinkella, Joe Sonderman, and Dean Kennedy this past fall were one of the highlights during our expedition to Chicago.
I would have loved to have salvaged the beautiful paneling from the motel for my office. Of course I would also have had liked the opportunity for a more in depth exploration this fall when we make the trip to Cuba for Cuba Fest and the debut of the Route 66 encyclopedia. 
One more item. After careful evaluation of numerous requests, I have decided to offer, on a very limited basis as a result of my schedule, my services as a location guide for those wanting unique photo opportunities in the Kingman area.
Last but not least, don’t forget our contest. Please share your first Route 66 experience and don’t forget to provide permission for it to be shared on the blog. 

If you enjoy Jim Hinckley\'s America, take a second to support jimhinckleysamerica on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!