Even though my son and his family have moved into their new home this week the circus continues but, to be honest, am not sure I would have it any other way. In the first week home from our adventure to Tucumcari, I have finalized details for the next book contract (details in a moment), received the galley proofs for the Route 66 encyclopedia (now available for pre-order) with a deadline for completion of final review and edit of Monday morning, written a feature article profiling the history of Albuquerque for 66 The Mother Road, finalized arrangements for attendance to the International Route 66 festival in Victorville, and initiated the organization of photos from the recent trip as well as begun posting a few carefully selected images at Jim Hinckley Studio for sale. Boredom will never rear its ugly head in my home. 
Before delving deeper into a few of these projects let me share a little bit about another discovery made on the last adventure. Among the celebrities associated with Route 66 that attended the Wheels on 66 event in Tucumcari were Chris and Katie of Fading Nostalgia, rising stars in the promotion of Route 66 and its endearing charm through the written word as well as photographic artistry. 
Their enthusiasm and excitement was infectious but it was their unique slant on capturing images of tarnished and weather worn Route 66 that set them apart from the hundreds of photographers currently documenting fast fading vestiges of the highways glory days. Even though they are masters of modern photographic equipment as evidenced by their hallmark night shots, much of their work involves the use of a Polaroid camera. 
Now, lets start with the good news about the Route 66 encyclopedia. Then I will share the bad news. 
The galley proofs are nothing short of stunning. I do not say this because my name is on the cover as the author. Nor is it because Steve Rider, Mike Ward, or Joe Sonderman were so generous with the use of their expansive collections resulting in a wide array of never before published images from the highways earliest years. 
At this stage of the game every effort is made to see the book as a customer picking it up for the first time. From that perspective I am quite convinced it will prove to be a valuable and treasured addition to the libraries of Route 66 enthusiasts everywhere as the editorial and layout department have created a masterpiece. 
The bad news is that the publisher has deemed the finished work to be a bit larger than planned for. As a result, I have been given the dubious task of preserving the works integrity and quality while trying to find ways to trim a few pages. To say the very least, it should be a very interesting weekend but there will be two wonderful opportunities for an escape from the office. 
Saturday afternoon I will serve as an impromptu tour guide for Jim Turner, historian and author of Arizona: A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State. Then, on Saturday evening, we will be partaking in the June installment of Chillin on Beale Street in the historic district of down town Kingman. 
How you would like me to serve as your guide to America’s most famous highway? Well, that takes us to the next book project, a travel guide to Route 66. 
I can not compete with the best guide book to this highway available, EZ 66 by Jerry McClanahan. Nor do I intend to emulate Drew Knowles excellent Route 66 Adventure Handbook
My vision for this work is to craft a book that will present the illusion, for the actual traveler as well as the armchair ones, that we are traveling together with me as your guide. I want to share my special places, historic sites often overlooked, and even a bit of Route 66 only available to the bicyclist or 4×4 enthusiast. I also want to share a couple of little gems that can only be found with the shortest of detours such as Hualapai Mountain Park and Lodge less than 15 miles south of the highway or the historic Johnson Canyon railroad tunnel a couple of miles to the north of the pre 1931 alignment near Williams. 
To ensure relevancy, as well as to make a few new discoveries that we can share, the plan is to make our trip to Cuba, Missouri for Cuba Fest in October where we will debut the encyclopedia, the first leg of a an exploratory trip. As plans for the adventure come together updates will be provided and perhaps we can meet along the way. 

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