It has been a most trying week, a whirlwind of good and bad news, hectic schedules, and resultant stress. Somehow these tribulations and trials of life seem to be easier to swallow with a dose of Route 66.
Last Sunday at this time (the day after an exhausting eighteen hour adventure of photography, driving, and a book signing) we were crawling through the congestion of traffic that is a fact of life in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area on the homeward trek. This Sunday is pleasantly lazy and quiet, the type of day made for reflection on blessings and catching up on loose ends.
“Light traffic” on Sunday morningalong Santa Monica Boulveard.
In between are six days that are almost a blur. Hence the realization that a Sunday with time for taking a breather and a bit of relaxation is a true blessing.
We arrived home late on Sunday evening and after unloading the Jeep still had time for about five hours of sleep. Monday at the office was chaotic as usual with trucks parked everywhere and customers lined up.
For reasons unknown this still frustrates me to no end. It is clearly posted on the door that we open at 8:00 but on most Monday mornings customers follow on my heels when I open the door.
Frustration number two is trucks returned over the weekend. We have a large paved return lot at the west end of the property but every Monday there are two or three trucks blocking the driveway or preventing customers from getting their cars off the property.
Tuesday commenced with a flurry of correspondence resolved over breakfast. This was followed with an interview on an Alamogordo radio program (scroll down to Otero Then & Now, it is the April 9 podcast).
The it was off to the office which was followed with a most interesting evening that included dinner and speaking with a group from Switzerland about the wonders of Route 66 and the American southwest. One aspect of this particular adventure that I found most intriguing was the drive.
The host is a property developer and the event was held at an off the grid model home at his Greenwood Village development. This is about forty miles from Kingman, and twenty miles south of Route 66.An interesting aspect of the evening was my ability to surprise the host by talking about a windmill in a canyon to the north of his house. As it turns out I had worked this country about thirty five years ago when my income was derived from polishing saddle leather with the seat of my pants for the X-Bar-One ranch. The remainder of the week, through Friday, was a mix of the daily grind at the office, compiling materials gathered on the weekend trip, and creating a photo file for the Route 66 travel guide. The latter was a mixed blessing.My wife and I love sharing the wonders of Route 66, as well as those found on the road less traveled and the beauty of the desert southwest through photography. Still, these files were necessitated by a trusted associate who had promised assistance and then not followed through. Compounding the frustration and sadness over this was the fact he did not even afford me the common courtesy of a note or phone call, just silence.Saturday was consumed with the shooting of the final segments of what will be the first video in a new series, Jim Hinckley’s America. For this episode we focused on Kingman and Route 66 between Hackberry and Oatman. I am rather excited about this venture for a wide of reasons. In addition to providing a new venue for me to share the wonders of the nations lost highways, it will also allow me to share information and stories in a more personal format. Enhancing our adventure was yesterday was the meeting of Graham O’Reilly and his wife, Sarah, from the UK at the site of Snell’s Summit Station on Sitgreaves Pass. It was their first trip over this segment of America’s most famous highway and their enthusiasm and awe was most invigorating.
I have been traveling this section of old Route 66 for more than thrity-five years and have yet to tire of it. Now, I have an opportunity to share its wonders in a whole new way. With that note, I will close by calling your attention to a little something new, our first tour. Don’t let the price scare you as there is a discount for large groups, and besides, I guarnteee an original adventure.
Jim Hinckley's America is a grand adventure on the back roads and two lane highways. It is an odyssey seasoned with fascinating people, and memory making discoveries. As made evident by the publication of fourteen books on subjects as diverse as diverse as Ghost Towns of the Southwest, The Illustrated History of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, Travel Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia, I enjoy sharing adventures and helping people plan for their own memory making journeys.