A RAY OF SUNSHINE

Yesterday morning was consumed with the various tasks, trials, and tribulations associated with the management of a truck leasing office. Then it was the weekly trip to Walmart where we battled our way through a sea of bargain hunters and folks looking for a place to beat the heat just to restock the pantry.

Nancy and Kevin Mueller at the Hilltop Motel in Kingman.

Counted among the many rewards derived from our various writing and photographic endeavors is the people we meet, the opportunity to share the wonders of my adopted hometown, and learning that our work served as a catalyst for someones grand adventure on Route 66 and the road less traveled. Last evening, after a long and frustrating week, the reward was made manifest in a visit with Kevin and Nancy Mueller, the proprietors of the iconic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico who were on a westward vacation/fact finding tour.
We met them last fall during our whirlwind trip along Route 66, and enjoyed their hospitality at the Blue Swallow Motel during the Wheels on 66 event in June. We were quite pleased to reciprocate and honored to serve as their tour guide to the overlooked treasures in Kingman.

Right to left, Kevin Mueller, Nancy Mueller, and author Jim
Hinckley at Redneck’s in Kingman, Arizona.

Counted among those often overlooked gems is Redneck’s Southern Pit BBQ, one of several excellent restaurants on Beale Street (one block north of Route 66) and in the historic district. We always enjoy sharing this place with guests from out of town but last evening we had the added bonus of watching the cars cruise by during the month installment of Chillin’ on Beale.
We were fortunate to have a summer storm blow through. These storms with their fierce clouds add unbelievable depth and contrast to the awe inspiring landscapes that cradle Kingman.
One of the best places for enjoying these storms is near Fort Beale where the vast network of Cerbat foothills trails begin. This is just off of US 93 at the edge of the city limits.
Here there is a sense of wilderness even though the traffic flowing between Las Vegas and Kingman is hidden behind a low ridge and the historic district of Kingman is almost within spitting distance. During the months of fall, spring, and winter my dearest friend retreat to these trails often when we need some time to simply restore the mind with a bit of solitude and stunning desert landscapes.
All to quickly the time came to bid adios and so a delightful evening drew to a close with the promise we would see the Muellers in October as we motor east to debut the Route 66 encyclopedia at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri.
Next week the reward will be made manifest in meeting with Dale Butel and his tour group from Australia. Then it is off to Victorville for the International Route 66 Festival.

Does it get much better than this?

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