I do not have official numbers, and I do not have the photos downloaded to offer as evidence, but in my humble opinion the Route 66 Fun Run for 2012, the 25th, was the best yet. Of course my opinion may be just a bit prejudiced as we had an absolutely delightful time with dozens and dozens of vintage cars and trucks in stock configuration on display and cruising the streets, and sharing the event with friends from all over the world.
Our weekend kicked off with First Friday in downtown Kingman that included lots of cars, music, and a gallery showing of our work, as well as that of J.C. Amberlyn and other photographers at Beale Street Brews & Gallery. On Saturday morning, as I was locking the office, Mike and Sharon Ward (the 66 E group)stopped by and we made arrangement to have dinner at Redneck’s that evening.
Mike, an avid post card and vintage map collector, contributed greatly to the development of the Route 66 encyclopedia and always ensures the E-group breakfast at the International Route 66 festivals are a delight. Speaking of the encyclopedia, the publisher now has it available for preorder.
After locking the office, and a quick lunch it was off to the Powerhouse Visitor Center to sign copies of Ghost Towns of Route 66 and Ghost Towns of the Southwest (both titles are available for order through this blog utilizing Paypal). I was quite privileged to be joined by Roger Naylor, prolific travel writer and author of the exciting new book, Arizona Kicks on Route 66, who was also signing books.
During the signing I had one of those delightful coincidences that seems to be a common occurrence on Route 66. This little story began almost ten years ago when I received a special request to meet with a couple at Mr. D’z to sign a book they had purchased
With a little notice I always try to meet with travelers, answer questions, and point them in the direction of sites often overlooked. This visit with Mark and Jo Powell of England was a delightful one as they were a charming couple enthralled with Route 66 who had married in Oatman. Since that brief encounter we have exchanged emails and Christmas cards but our paths have never again crossed.
Saturday afternoon they surprised me at the Powerhouse as the Fun Run was part of their holiday that included introducing the wonders of Route 66 to their son and his fiancee, and a wedding anniversary. After signing books for several hours my dearest friend and I photographed the wide array of automobiles (more on this later) and then met with Mike and Sharon for dinner.
Dinner was topped off with coffee and excellent conversation next door at Beale Street Brews and Gallery as Mike, Sharon, my dearest friend and I, joined Mark and Jo to discuss Route 66 adventures. We followed this with an impromptu tour of the historic district as the sun sank into the west and vintage cars and colorful hot rods flowed along Beale Street and Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66).
To cap the evening, Mark and Joe, and my dearest friend and I, joined Dale Butel of Route 66 Tours of Australia and his crew at the Dambar for a couple pints of Guinness, and some lively Route 66 discussion. It made for a perfect end to a wonderful day.
Now, its off to Oatman, a visit with Ned at Cool Springs, and an evening with Dale’s tour to answer their questions about Route 66 and the great desert southwest. On Monday, we will travel with them as far as Amboy as an unofficial guide to the ghost towns along the way.
Friends, cars, perfect weather, and Route 66. Does it get better than this?