As you may have noticed from recent postings, my dearest friend and I had an absolutely delightful adventure on the old double six even though we spent a great deal of every day, as well as some nights, behind the wheel resultant of a very tight schedule. The trip further convinced me that the worst day on Route 66 is better than the best day anywhere else. It also confirmed my suspicion that it is quite difficult to not enjoy an outing on legendary Route 66.
|My dearest friend and I at Harley and Annabelle’s.|
Counted among the many highlights of the recent excursion was a visit with Harley and Annabelle in Erick, Oklahoma. In spite of a rather serious illness Annabelle still does her part to ensure every visitor leaves with a smile and pocket full of memories. Even though I have some very important updates and a few tidbits to share today it seemed important to mention this first. Please keep these wonderful people in your prayers as they are facing more than a few challenges. Now, the tidbits, the news, and a mystery photo. Yesterday I was privileged by an opportunity to talk with Dale Butel’s tour group from the land down under about the history of Sitgreaves Pass and then share dinner with Steve Brewer, Dale Butel, his charming wife, Kristi-Anne, Daniel Azzopardi, and a few other folks. I am always a bit saddened when the season begins to draw to a close as we greatly enjoy the opportunity to spend time with visitors and old friends from the four corners of the globe. It is one of the highlights of our association with old Route 66. From that perspective this has been a most exciting year on the double six. We met with Zdnek Jurasek of the Czech Republic, and Roger Fox and the Ride for the Relay group as well as travelers from England, Austria, Sweden, Russia, China, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, and a few other countries. By next spring we are hoping to be in a position to offer visitors a bit more when they stop by. Suffice to say we are working out details that will culminate with a place on Route 66 where we can meet with tour groups of any size, offer a few unique souvenirs such as signed copies of our books as well as books by other noted Route 66 authors such as Jim Ross and Joe Sonderman, and display a bit of our photography. It won’t be Harley and Annabelle’s but the old road isn’t big enough for two places like that!As many of you are aware the owner of the recently refurbished El Trovatore Motel in Kingman, Sam Frisher, recently launched a service offering day tours to Seligman. When the schedule allows I will be serving as the tour guide. Even when I am not on board my services as tour guide will still be available, sort of, as a copy of one of my books is included in the tour price.
I am always pleasantly surprised and honored when people ask me to speak to their group, when someone asks me to speak with their family when they pass through Kingman, or someone stops by the office and asks I autograph a book purchased in Munich, or London, or New York. I hope this doesn’t seem vain but it just seems a bit odd, a bit surprising as in my minds eye I am just plain and simple Jim Hinckley of Kingman, Arizona, that dusty old town made famous in an ode to a highway. With that thought in mind imagine the surprise derived from people asking if I have ever considered serving as a guide for tours on the whole of Route 66, or in the desert southwest. As much as I enjoy visiting with people, and sharing the history as well as hidden places found in short detours along the way, questions such as these unleash my imagination.
And that takes us to the next bit of news. Over a pleasant breakfast at Shelly’s in Cuba shared with my dearest friend, Rich Henry of Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, and David and Kathy Alexander of Legends of America, I agreed to write feature columns on travel as well as automotive history for the Alexander’s website. As I have been a fan of this site for some time, this is a rather exciting opportunity that has my imagination running in high gear. Details on this development will be posted soon. In an unrelated note, after numerous delays I am now able to accept orders for signed copies of The Route 66 Encyclopedia through the blog utilizing Paypal. The order segment for this and other titles is found at the top of the blog post. Please note, at this time I am only offering domestic shipping. For international orders please drop me a note so we can discuss shipping options.The next item is unrelated to Route 66. Still, as fans of that highway love old motels, hotels, diners, cafes, and roadside time capsules, I felt this would be a place of interest.We deviated a bit from our Route 66 focus and made a detour on the last trip to visit with my dad in Jackson, Michigan. As I wanted to surprise my dearest friend with something special a search was launched several months ago.
That something special was Marshall, Michigan, just to the west of Jackson, and the National House Inn, the oldest operating inn in Michigan that dates to the 1830s. What an absolute treasure! I will have more to say about this delightful place, Marshall, and the inn keeper in future posts but now it is time to get to work.