If I wasn’t so used to eating everyday, and obsessed with making sure my dearest friend had electricity, running water, and gas for the Jeep, chances are I would quit the day job, and spend my days writing, taking pictures, and meeting the people from all over the world that are drawn to Route 66. What an amazing adventure that would be!

Emma Jean’s in Victorville.

In the last two weeks I have been privileged to serve as a tour guide for Dean Kennedy, a friend we made during last years fall tour, visit with Denny Gibson (an occasional travel journalist from Ohio), and be a part of the worlds largest family reunion (aka the International Route 66 Festival) in Victorville, California. Of course no trip on Route 66 to Victorville can be considered complete without breakfast at Emma Jean’s, a true gem in business since 1947 and managed by the same family for the better part of a half century.

Yesterday the charming and innovative Carolyn Hasenfratz of John’s Modern Cabin News and Sell 66 Stuff stopped by on her way back home to Missouri. Today I was surprised by Geri Linda Metterle, a gifted photographer from Bavaria, and her husband, Harald Jungbauer, vice mayor of Waldkraiburg. I was taken aback and honored to learn they had purchased a copy of my book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, in Germany and had been carrying it with them on their travels as a guide and to have it autographed.
On Thursday, at lunch time, I have been asked to address a group from Shanghai, China that is touring Route 66. It is almost as though I am traveling around the world without leaving home!
As I become more involved in the Route 66 community, and as my adopted hometown is rolling out the red carpet to visitors, I am quite confident this ability to travel internationally without the need of an airline ticket will continue. As an example, the community gift basket created for the The Big Palooza Contest (thank you Carol Young, Kristi Turman, Josh Noble and the City of Kingman) sponsored by 66 The Mother Road garnered coverage by the Kingman Daily Miner. In turn, the article was picked up by a wide array of news sources.

When I was riding my old bicycle along the faded lines on an empty section of Route 66 in the shadow of the Black Mountains in the summer of 1967, such a grand adventure could never have been imagined any more than finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It most definitely gives me a sense of eager anticipation for the next forty years.

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