ROUTE 66, ICY ROADS, ADVENTURE AND FLU – SO BEGINS A NEW YEAR

It is day four of a new year. If the past few days are indicative of what 2013 will be like I am looking forward to it with a blending of apprehension, anxiety, frustration, and eager anticipation.
The story begins last Friday with the unmistakable sense that a cold was fast approaching. Just as a person can feel the approach of a summer storm in the desert long before it arrives, I started Saturday feeling okay but tired knowing full well what was on the horizon.
So, I kicked off the morning with a glass of warm water with raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey, opened the office as it is a short day, and then came home to work on the new book. As I was unsure how long the energy level would hold out, or how severe I would be hit, the goal was to get as much done as possible, sort of like battening down the hatches before the big blow.
By Saturday night it was obvious that this would be a real booger, my first hard cold in about a year. Sunday, I awoke to a raw throat and some body aches.  Still, I managed to get a dozen pages cranked out for the new book before winding down for the day as it is almost impossible for me to sit idle or sleep during the day.
Years ago, when I was working in the mines, the worst shift was midnight to noon (we worked 12 hour shifts, four days on with four days off). Every day just before sunrise exhaustion would grab me hard, but once the sun cleared the horizon I was ready to go. Sleep would evade me until about 8:00 that evening.
Monday, the day started with heavy congestion and no voice. As I had an interview on AM Arizona scheduled for Thursday morning, and as this had required scheduling a day off over a month ago, this did not bode well.
As there was no replacement for the office, I sucked it up and soldiered on. Monday night wasn’t pretty, which put a damper on the plans for our New Years Eve celebration – a quiet dinner with my dearest friend, wine, and a movie.
So, we skipped the wine, enjoyed our dinner, and watched a surprisingly good film – Lawless. There was a bit of gratuitous nudity for the assurance of an “R” rating but the acting and overall quality of the film was quite good.
New Years day, was a low point but I was still able to work on the new project, thanks to the attentive nursing skills of my dearest friend. As the day progressed I toyed with the idea of canceling the interview but by Wednesday morning there were dramatic signs of improvement even though the voice was still akin to a young man in the midst of puberty who was an advanced smoker.
A day at work left me tired but no worse for wear. So, I decided to keep the appointment with destiny, which in this case was made manifest in an interview on AM Arizona.
As the show is scheduled for 10:00 AM, and as they request we be an hour early, we set off into the morning darkness at 6:00 AM. As time was not in our favor we took I-40 rather than the preferred Route 66.
Patchy snow along the road and hillsides made their appearance before we made Seligman and temperature was just below 20 degrees. Ice on the road in patches appeared about the same time and so I decided to slow the pace.
At 8:00, I made an attempt to call the office as the replacement is quite green (it is her first real job) and even though she is sharp and quick to learn, there is a timidity that requires gentle encouragement. No service.
We made the studio by 8:30, later than planned but still in time, or at least it would have have been if the program was on the same schedule as when we were here for previous interviews. As it turns out they changed time slots and no one informed us. In fact the shows website still shows as a 10:00.
Frustrated but undaunted we skipped to part “B” of the excursion, meeting with Norm Fisk, the producer of the award winning Route 66 in Arizona video. He is currently working on a promotional film for Kingman area tourism and has requested my assistance with the script to ensure historical accuracy.
After the rather productive meeting, and as we had some extra time, and as our plans for New Years day had been scrubbed, we decided a slight detour and lunch at the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams was in order. Even though faint vestiges of the cold were still with me, and my energy level was still far from the normal, we also made time for a quick exploration of a very old highway bridge south of Ash Fork.
Lunch, as always at the Pine Country Restaurant, especially when shared with my dearest friend (my suggestion from this trip, Shepherds Pie) was excellent. The front row seat to winter was a treat for desert folks such as us.
Even though there was an urge to get in some winter photography along Route 66 in the high country, as I was running out of steam we made the decision to head home in a leisurely manner along the old highway through Ash Fork, Seligman, Peach Springs, and Hackberry. And so ended the first adventure of the new year.
Now, its time for another day at the office, to shake the last of this cold, and set the sites on a new year filled with the promise of adventure, triumph, tragedy, frustration, and detours.


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