Over the years, as a result of the people and places I have been, the philosophical bricks that constitute my world view have been gathered from a wide array of sources. Some of my favorites are – 
Hard work is a sure death but a slower one than starvation. 
Always be prepared to meet your maker because check out time is always a surprise. 
Never base your happiness on the comparison between your wife and another man’s. After all, thanks to modern science his wife may have started this life as a man.  
Navigating the road of life by focusing on the review mirror will never end well. 
Now, you may ask, what does all of this have to do with Route 66, the primary topic of this blog, or adventures on the road less traveled? Well, simply put these little snippets, and a few thousand others that decorate my office and litter my mind ensure a proper focus on the life of a writer, which is in itself an adventure on the road less traveled.
They also ensure I never take myself, or life, to seriously. In addition, I find they add a bit of perspective for the grand adventure that is my quest to fulfill a childhood dream. 
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have lived a rather “interesting” life. However, with the exception of being a husband to my dearest friend for three decades, a father, and a grandfather, they all pale in comparison to the one embarked upon in 1990. 
That was the year my dearest friend gently nudged me to take the plunge and chase the dream. That was the year I took the first step in my journey as a writer.
Fast forward about twenty years. The portfolio of published material includes hundreds upon hundreds of feature articles on a wide array of topics for dozens of publications that range from the local paper to prestigious magazines. 
With the release of my latest books late this year and early next spring, the count will rise to ten. Another is the works. 
Still, it is not the body of work, or the accolades that make this adventure so rewarding. Nor is it the pay (trust me on this one). 
No, it is in the people met as a result. It is in the road trips I have encouraged and the forgotten history unveiled, and in the resultant thank you notes from readers.
And it is that, even more than the current projects, that have me looking toward the next few weeks with eager anticipation. It begins this weekend with the now legendary fun run.
Last year Mark and Jo from England surprised me with a visit. Will they be back again this year? Who else will surprise me? 
On Saturday evening it is dinner with Mike and Sharon Ward from Mesa, Arizona. Sunday morning it is another opportunity to share a bit of the history from my corner of Route 66 with a tour group from the land down under courtesy of Dale Butel, and his charming wife, Kristi-Anne. 
Wednesday evening it is dinner and interview for the German magazine, Spotlight. Next Saturday it is another visit with a group from the land of Oz and on the morning of the 14th, breakfast at Dora’s Beale Street Deli with Zdnek Jurasek and his group of Route 66 enthusiasts from the Czech enthusiasts. 
What old friends will we encounter on our New Mexico odyssey in June? Will our summer adventures on the double six this year cross paths with Croc Lile, Tom Dion, Kevin and Nancy Mueller, or Michael Wallis? 
The adventure of writing becomes the adventure of life. The adventure of life becomes the story. With each, the excitement and eager anticipation of what comes next keeps me turning the pages.     



As my dreams often center on road trips, adventures on the road less traveled, friends from far away, and vintage cars, the schedule for the next couple of weeks looks like a dream come true. 
Next weekend is the annual Route 66 Fun Run. This event that blends the American love affair with the automobile and the road trip into a delightful celebration of America’s most famous highway, Route 66, has been enhanced in recent years with an international touch.
The event has always attracted visitors from foreign shores. Still, in recent years it was added as a part of the spring tour package offered by Route 66 Tours of Australia so a very noticeable accent is often heard in shops,restaurants, and bars during the weekend.
For us the event provides a most delightful opportunity to meet with old friends, make new acquaintances, and to share a bit of my hometowns colorful history as I have been asked to address the tour group from the land down under. As a bonus the schedule includes dinner with Mike and Sharon Ward, a visit from John and Judy Springs, and a few pints savored with lively conversation with friends from the land down under.
Of course surprises always enhance this grand celebration. Last year they took the form of a visit from Mark and Jo, friends from England.
On the 8th of May, I am scheduled for a dinner interview with German journalists with Spotlight. The morning of the 11th is another meeting with a tour group from Australia.
We are eagerly awaiting the breakfast meeting with Zdnek Jurasek and his group from the Czech Republic on the 14th. We had such an enjoyable visit last year at Dora’s, Zdnek requested another breakfast at one of Kingman’s often overlooked treasures.
Meanwhile work continues on the Route 66 historic atlas, and plans for the promotional trip in June. As most trips in the past couple of years have been dominated by a whirlwind of scheduled appointments, I am hoping this one will be a bit more leisurely.
It will kick off with an interview on AM Arizona in Prescott on the morning of June 3. It ends on Friday evening with a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque.
In between are plans to gather photographs for the current project at a relaxed pace. At this juncture the rough game plan is to follow the pre 1937 alignment through Santa Fe, explore the area around Romeroville, and, of course, a stay at the historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas.
Well, as they say, stay tuned for details. See you at the fun run?


Age and time are funny things, especially for those individuals with a fascination for history. Even though the dawning of Route 66 predates me by about three decades that period of time seems like recent history resultant of the hours spent in unraveling its story for books, lectures, and feature articles.
As a result I am often astounded by how little is actually known about the highways early history. Of course I also am amazed by how little is known of its history during the 1950’s.
In short, the time spent in researching the history of Route 66 magnifies the awareness of just how little I really know about it. So it should come as no surprise to learn that I am always fascinated by new discoveries, and the stories of those who take the time to unravel mysteries. Case in point, the most intriguing adventures of Nick Gerlich.  
Adding depth and context to the Route 66 experience through the sharing of its history in books, articles, and now video, is the primary reason I strap myself to the office chair for long hours at a time. Simply put, I derive a great deal of satisfaction from   being able to provide fans of the double six with a bit of a voyeuristic look at the highways history with all of its spots and blemishes. 
The current video project, the first installment in the Jim Hinckley’s America series takes this a new level. In this episode I will introduce fans of the double six to an almost always overlooked but pristine segment of the pre 1920 alignment of the National Old Trails Highway, the course for the 1914 Desert Classic starring Barney Oldfield and Louis Chevrolet.
As this episode focuses on Kingman and Route 66 between Hackberry and Oatman, I will have an opportunity to share little gems from the areas rich history that should really encourage travelers to slow down and take a second look. Lets see, we have the tong assassination and the resultant gun battle along the National Old Trails Highway, the Kingman Army Airfield, the history of Ed’s Camp tinged with personal recollections, and the story of Cool Springs, to name but a few of the featured stories. 
Next, a schedule update. I will be in attendance at the annual Route 66 Fun Run in Kingman, and the special edition of Chillin’ on Beale that Saturday evening.
On June 7, we are off for a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque. Initial plans also call for a visit with friends in Tucumcari, a little R & R in Las Vegas (the other Las Vegas, the peaceful quiet one east of Santa Fe), maybe a detour to the Midpoint Cafe for some pie and coffee, and a little exploration of forgotten Route 66 in eastern Arizona. 


In 1926, Route 66 was just one of many newly minted U.S. highways. As with so many of those other highways, it was also knit together from auto trails, historic roads, and even old cow trails. 
Even though Route 66 wove the 20th century National Old Trails Highway and Trail to Sunset, and historic roads including the Santa Fe Trail, the Wire Road, Pontiac Trail, Mormon Road, Mojave Road, and Spanish Trail into one linear highway, initially there was nothing to set it apart from the other roads in the U.S. highway system. 
In February of 1927, all of that changed. Cyrus Avery grabbed the reigns of the newly formed U.S. Highway 66 Association and charged into the creation of an advertising campaign that centered on proclaiming the highway signed with two sixes was “The Main Street of America.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward almost a century. Technically Route 66 no longer exists, at least officially. Yet it lives on in the imagination, in the very fiber of American society, and in the dreams of countless people throughout the world who equate the old road with rock and roll, tail fins, and the freedom of the open road. 
Manifestations of the roads allure, its mystery, and its magic are found most everywhere.  Those familiar with its charms know that this old highway that connects the shining sea of Lake Michigan with the shining sea of the Pacific Ocean is a linear community unlike anything in the world.
Those unfamiliar with iconic Route 66 are baffled by this fascination and struggle to understand why people would spend their hard earned money to spend a holiday on a broken, truncated highway lined with broken vestiges of better times, refurbished time capsules where colorful neon casts a haunting glow, and in towns with ghostly empty streets.
Yesterday, I granted an interview to Sarah Bergeron-Ouellet, a travel writer for Canoe. I can no longer count the times effort have been made to explaining the magic of Route 66. As with the majesty of the Grand Canyon, mere words or photographs are inadequate descriptors. Both must be experienced.
I am quite confident my words and photography were the portal to Sarah’s voyage of discovery. However, as she was on the road to Williams, with planned stops in Hackberry, Peach Springs, and in Seligman to visit with Angel, that is where the awakening will occur. 
If you have been puzzled by the allure of this storied old road, or are a veteran traveler eager to know more, I have initiated a service to assist. It includes various tours of the Kingman area that run the gamut from day trips to an evening of relaxed conversation, as well as assistance in planning a Route 66 adventure tailor made to your special interests, or that of your tour group.
Here is to a year of adventure on the double six. Here is to the allure of the open road.   


I was never one of those folks who at age eighteen charted the course of their life from college to the invitation list for the fortieth wedding anniversary party. Still, dependent on the level of optimism at a particular time, which was based on finances or the crisis of the day, there were goals. 
Some were rather lofty. Others were more focused on simply making  it to Friday. With the passage of years that became decades, the focus on goals narrowed and now there is really but one. What can I do,legally, to avoid spending my seventieth year on this planet as a greeter for Walmart?
In recent years that narrowed line of thought has led to some of the most interesting adventures, and a few memorable detours. It has also led to such an immersion in projects that on occasion there is a sense that I might actually drown. 
To date the childhood dream of becoming a writer when I grow up has been made manifest in the publication of seven books, and the completion of one more that is awaiting publication. Another book is finished with the exception of a final edit and the writing of captions, and one is under construction with a deadline of December 31. Additionally my byline has appeared on several hundred feature articles for a wide array of publications. 
Reaping financial reward from these endeavors on the level of Stephen King or Tom Clancy remains a bit elusive. However, the people met on this quest, as well as the adventures spawned and doors of opportunity opened, are truly priceless.
It has also ensured the curse of boredom and tedium will never shadow my doorstep. As an example, here is a succinct look at my schedule in April and May. 
Filming scenes for the first installment of Jim Hinckley’s America, a new video series currently under development. Here is a teaser, the rough intro for the first video that will highlight 
the wonders of Route 66 between Hackberry and Oatman, Arizona. In addition to stunning scenery the video will feature stories about obscure but fascinating history on this segment of the road – the tong war assassination in 1926, the propane explosion in 1973, the Cactus Derby of 1914.
Friday night, April 5, I met with Melanie Stengele of Germany. She was researching ghost towns of the southwest and was in need of information about Signal and Swansea. 
On the weekend of April 6, we gathered photographs for a new book along the Route 66 corridor in the Los Angeles metropolitan corridor, and signed books at Auto Books – Aero Books in Burbank. On Tuesday, the 9th, I spoke before a group from Switzerland visiting Arizona.
That morning,before work, there was an hour long discussion about ghost towns and the ghost towns of Route 66 for a radio program, Otero Then and Now,in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The interview is on pod cast (follow this link, scroll down to Otero Then and Now, it is the April 9 program). 
Then there were a series of meetings. One was a planning session for a monster multi-event version of Chillin on Beale in August of 2014 that may serve as the platform for the International Route 66 Festival, and another was to develop a press kit for personal promotion.
Three Jim Hinckley tours that had been developed for Vayable received approval. As result there were various meetings to discuss marketing.
This evening I will be photographing Chillin on Beale, the kick off for a new season. As a bonus I will be having dinner with acclaimed author Roger Naylor.
Monday, the 22nd of April, I am scheduled for an interview by Sarah Bergeron-Oullet, a travel journalist from Montreal. On the evening of May 8, I will meet with a journalist from Berlin who is writing a series of articles about Route 66.
The weekend of May 3, is the annual Route 66 Fun Run, an event I cover for several magazines. The following morning I will be signing copies of Ghost Towns of Route 66 and speaking with Dale Butel’s first tour of the year from Australia. On the 11th, I meet with another tour from the land down under.
On the 13th, I meet with Zdnek Jurasek and his group from the Czech Republic. As they are a most enthusiastic tour that is always full of questions, this should be most interesting.  
Before kicking off June, which includes a signing in Albuquerque at Bookworks on June 7, and the New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour, and meeting with a representative from the fledgling Polish Route 66 Association as well as fans of the double six from Holland and Germany, I need to track down owners of restored tractors. The new editor at Antique Power, Brad Bowling, and I worked together during his tenure at Old Cars Weekly and Cars & Parts and now he is asking that I write features for this publication. 
The primary challenge isn’t my limited knowledge of the topic. After all, I have spent a few hours pulling drop plows and harrows behind tractors in my youth.
The biggest issue is that I live in western Arizona. Farm tractors, restored or otherwise, are not something we see on a regular basis. 
So, if you have a restored tractor and would like a few minutes of fame, drop me a note. Any tractor manufactured before 1970 would work.
If I can just stay in the saddle for a bit longer, I am quite sure it will be possible to avoid servitude at Walmart during my golden years, and avoid starvation as well.