In the morning, before the sun clears the Aquarius Mountains we will be rolling east on our way to Tucumcari for the Wheels on 66 event, the kick off for the New Mexico Motor Tour along old Route 66. We will leave the circus that has been our homestead this past few weeks in the capable hands of my son and his wife.
The historic Johnson Canyon railroad tunnel.
The original plan had been to leave a day or two earlier to allow for a more leisurely cruise along America’s most famous highway. In quick succession a wide array of issues resulted in abandonment of plan “A”, plan “B”, and plan “C”. So, yesterday was consumed with a number of tedious tasks that required immediate attention – several hours negotiating the complex maze of paper work associated with establishing a bank account for final resolution of my mom’s estate, preparation for a fiduciary tax return, a little evaporating cooler repair, last minute shopping, etc. Intermixed with this were a number of more enjoyable endeavors that also required attention – arrangements to assist with the promotion of the international Route 66 festival in Victorville this August, the first article in a new series that will profile unique and fascinating short Route 66 detours such as Amboy Crater, Johnson Canyon, and Hualapai Mountain Park for 66 The Mother Road, and negotiations for a new book contract. Today calls for more of the same but in smaller doses. Then around 3:00 we will pick up the rental car and load it for the adventure so we can hit the road at first light. All indications are that this week will serve as the template for the remainder of the month. On the weekend of June 15, I will meet with historian and author Jim Turner to show him a few often overlooked sites of historical significance in Kingman. Then on the 19th we will continue our annual tradition of meeting with Dries Bessels and his group from Holland for dinner at Redneck’s. This year we will be privileged to serve as Mr. Bessels guide to the Kingman area as the group will continue to Las Vegas while he stays in Kingman for an additional day. On our list of sites to present are the former Kingman Army Airfield and museum, the wagon trail at White Cliffs, the site of Fort Beale, and Hualapai Mountain Park and lodge. As you may have noticed our goal of having a selection of 100 images available for ordering at our online gallery site, Jim Hinckley Studio, fell a bit short. In part this was resultant of my obsession over what images were to be included. Still, I am quite confident that the target goal will be met by July 1. Now, its time to get the day rolling. See you next week.
The winds of change are blowing. For Route 66 Chronicles that means a few tweaks and a couple of new additions that I hope will enhance your visit and that will make it easier for your interaction with the international Route 66 community.
In all seasons author Jim Hinckley seeks adventure on the road less traveled.
In the top left corner I have posted the latest blog catalog rating (9 out of 10!). In the top right corner there is now an opportunity for you to initiate discussions withthe world at large. At the top of the center column, just above the daily postings, is a link to Jim Hinckley Studio where you may order prints of images that have appeared on this blog, in our books, and that chronicle a few of our adventures on Route 66 and on the road less traveled. From its inception Route 66 has been a mirror of American societal evolution. Even though the highway no longer officially exists, it continues that tradition in the 21st century as evidenced by this interesting endeavor to make it the nations first electric highway, a corridor suitable for electric vehicles. More information is available at this website. An aspect of the writing and photography that brings me a great deal of pleasure is the opportunity to use the promotion for them as a means to call attention to the people and places that make Route 66 a unique treasure. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to receive a note from Jane Reed that the debut of the forthcoming Route 66 Encyclopediaat Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri this October has warranted mention on the official Missouri tourism website.
Posting for the next week will be a bit spotty at best as we will again be on the road. This time we are off to the Wheels on 66 event in Tucumcari. Rest assured, there will be lots of stories and photos to share upon our return.
The winter and spring have been most unusual this year as we have had all seasons in one week on more than one occasion. Several months ago on our adventure to the historic Johnson Canyon railroad tunnel the temperatures pushed toward ninety in spite of the elevation and the following Saturday it snowed. That trend seems to be continuing. Today, and for the remainder of the weekend, it will be summer even though that season does not officially start for several weeks. That means temperatures well over one hundred degrees in Kingman (for those communities along the Colorado River those temperatures will climb higher than 100 degrees). My primary concern is the already tender dry conditions with no rain in the forecast. The Whitewater Baldy fire in New Mexico has already forced the evacuation of the delightful old ghost town of Mogollon and scorched some of the most beautiful wilderness landscapes in the southwest. We have been experiencing unusually dry weather for several years but we are fast reaching the point of serious. I often quip that we will be hunting jerky instead of deer but this really isn’t a laughing matter. I know it is politically correct, and would be financially lucrative for Mr. Gore if it were possible for me to jump on the global warming for profit crisis and spread the fear but it seems more prudent to view this climate change from an historical and cyclical perspective. It isn’t that I don’t play well with others but more a case of not liking the idea of being stampeded toward a predetermined destination. But the politics of climate change for profit and power are not what we are here to discuss. The topic of the day is Route 66. So, the first order of business is a recent interview with Carol Young on Community Chest, a local cable channel program. The above link is for the video of that interview currently available on Youtube.
Las Vegas, New Mexico near Tucumcari.
The topic of discussion dovetailed nicely with the program I presented to business and community leaders a few nights ago. Plans are afoot for another meeting that will provide more detail about the resurgent interest in Route 66 and practical details for harnessing some of this to transform Kingman. As the old newscasters used to say, stay tuned for details. As noted previously, next week my dearest friend and I will be off on a road trip to Tucucmcari for the Wheels on 66 event that includes a gathering artists and authors. I am quite honored to have been invited as the event, the kick off for the New Mexico Motor Tour, will host Joe Sonderman, Jim Ross, Jerry McClanahan, and Shellee Graham to name but a few. Pictures and details will be provided upon our return. As an additional teaser we plan on making the return trip via Las Vegas, New Mexico and then along the pre 1937 alignment through Santa Fe. The original plan was to take the Jeep and explore some of the more remote remnants of Route 66 in that area. However, for the second time in a month, we are going to resort to a rental car as the decision was made to just rebuild the entire rear differential in the Jeep. As expensive as that may be, in the long run it is cheaper than car payments and the old rig is well worth the investment.
Route 66 in New Mexico
I am quite sure my son and his family, with the exception of grandson Ryan who has developed a habit of sharing oatmeal and the sunrise with me in the mornings, can use a bit of a break from us. After our return they will be moving into their new homestead which will leave a big empty in the our homestead.