It hasn’t been a bad day. On the other hand it hasn’t been a particularly good day. It was simply one of those days where it seemed difficult, and on occasion impossible, to accomplish anything. Self diagnosis can be a fools errand but in this case I would prescribe a road trip with relaxation to clear the weariness induced cobwebs.
The Black Mountains under winter skies.
I am not talking a busman’s holiday with scheduled appearances and book signings even though this is something that provides an immense sense of satisfaction. I am talking a couple of days with no schedule or deadlines, sleeping in until 6:00 or even 6:30 in the morning, and just basking in the company of my dearest friend. In reviewing my schedule for the past five months I was a bit shocked to find that with the exception of a weekend getaway to Prescott and a stay at the Hassayampa Inn for my dearest friends birthday in March, and a hike to Johnson Canyon and its historic railroad tunnel in April, I have not taken a full day off from work in one form or another since December. That just might explain that sense of having a head filled with cobwebs. That also might explain my dearest friends thinly veiled concerns. Even though my extra curricular work is of the type I enjoy there comes a need for some very serious rest and relaxation. So, I evaluated the calendar and discovered that it would be possible to squeeze a few empty days in between Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari in June and the return trip. That should be just about perfect. A warm up for the vacation with a cruise along Route 66 to set the mood, meeting with friends and acquaintances in Tucumcari, recharging the batteries by immersing myself in the unbridled enthusiasm and excitement of an event that centers around legendary Route 66, and then a couple of days with my dearest friend.
Las Vegas, New Mexico
A lot of folks in our position with a few days to spare would most likely select Santa Fe for their vacation stop on the way home. Now, I have nothing against that ancient city but as we prefer someplace a bit quieter the sights are set on Las Vegas, the one in New Mexico, with its historic Plaza Hotel, delightful little book store, Tome on the Range, and a wide array of shops including a farm and ranch store managed by the same family for more than a half century. Meanwhile I will need to clear the head and focus on the business at hand. That includes meeting with community and business leaders next week to speak on Route 66, the resurgent interest in that highway, how places like Cuba and Pontiac are capitalizing on that interest, and how to apply that success to Kingman. I will post the promotional flyer for this event on Tuesday. If you are able to attend please RSVP as seating is limited.
What a delightful weekend! The weather was perfect, and Kingman was a veritable beehive of activities with the KABAM festival in one park, a wine and food festival in another, a craft fair in yet another, and a display of Big Boys Toys downtown capped off by an evening of Chillin’ on Beale Street.
Author Jim Turner and Jim Hinckley at the KABAM festival in Kingman, Arizona.
Counted among the many highlights was sharing my table in the authors tent with Jim Turner, historian and author of the stunning new book with a simplistic title, Arizona. A history book that reads like a novel accentuated with dozens of original color photographs, and a number of historic images, many never before published, make this a welcome addition to our library. The KABAM festival continues to grow in scope and popularity placing it as the centerpiece of the spring arts scene in Kingman. In addition to the authors, poets, and musicians that gather in Metcalf Park for the main event on Saturday, other activities include several evenings with artist and photographer exhibitions at local galleries. This years event was particularly note worthy from a personal standpoint. I was quite honored to be included as one of the featured authors this year, and to have our photographic work displayed at Beale Street Brews and Gallery. Today was framed by two delightful excursions, the first with my dearest friend and the second with two of the most wonderful ladies, my dearest friend and my granddaughter. The first outing was among the towering pines in the Hualapai Mountains and the second was around the block to look at flowers in the expansive gardens at the care center.
Miles of shade dappled hiking trails twist and turn through the Hualapai Mountains near Kingman, Arizona.
The Hualapai Mountains with its miles of hiking trails, a beautiful park, rustic cabins, lodge, and stunning views is a true desert oasis. As it is less than 20 miles south of Route 66 and Kingman, it is a perfect summer detours for travelers on the double six looking for a little relief from the desert heat. We love long morning walks but during the months of summer it is tough to beat the heat, and avoid snakes, even with an early start. So, we retreat to the oasis of the Hualapai Mountains. As is often the case, I have a very full week ahead. First there is the day job that supports the writing/photography/travel/eating habit. Next will be new assignments from Auction America. Then there is the prep for a meeting scheduled for May 30th in which I will address a wide array of community and business leaders to discuss how communities are using the resurgent interest in Route 66 to add vigor, vitality, and charm. Next, is focus on developing Jim Hinckley Studio, our on line photo gallery for the display and sale of photos. The goal is one hundred carefully selected images in two galleries (Route 66 and Arizona) by the first of the month. With the addition of today’s selections we brought the total to a very appropriate 66. In my spare time there is the ongoing quest to interest the publisher in the next book as well as promotional work on the currently available titles that now number six. After the adventure to Tucumcari in June, a great deal of attention will be devoted to development of promotion for the Route 66 Encyclopedia scheduled for a debut at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri.
Jim Hinckley in the Hualapai Mountains.
All of this leaves me with the occasional cause for reflection on the people and places I have been. In my wildest dreams it would have been impossible to imagination living this life thirty-five years ago when my pay was earned by polishing saddles with the seat of my pants, or when it was earned by polishing shovel handles or grinding gears.