The keys have been passed to the caretaker (our son) and the cat is aware of our impending departure and is not pleased (as evidenced by various devious cat tricks and manipulations). A recent check up gave the Jeep a clean bill of health, at least for a vehicle that now hovers just under 130,000 miles, and it has a full tank of fuel as well as a spare tire with air.
Next, the loading of gear that to the average person would seem just a bit nutty, especially for a five day trip of just over 1,500 miles. Still, I am well aware of the fate of the crew and passengers on the S.S. Minnow. Besides, my dearest friend and I have a tendency to detour onto a dirt road or track simply because its there, or search for old alignment of Route 66 because someone mentioned it on Facebook, or just because we were curious.
So, into the Jeep goes a small floor jack, basic tool kit (socket set, screw drivers, Allen wrenches, and an assortment of open end wrenches), four-way lug wrench, a case of bottled water, tow straps, short handle shovel, binoculars,first aid kit, electric lantern with spare battery, an atlas, the EZ 66 Guide (thank you Mr. McClanahan), the Route 66 Dining Guide (thank you Mr. Knudsen and all who contribute to this guide), the note book with schedule and addresses, portable camp chairs, briefcase with assorted items need for book signings and speaking engagements, and our miniature road kit. The latter consists of tin cups, bowls, and plates, forks, spoons, whole grain crackers, canned herring, a variety of tea, honey, instant oatmeal, a jar of dried fruit and nuts, a variety of bird seed sticks (flax seed, almonds, whole oats, etc.), and paper products that may be needed resultant of eating said bird seed sticks.
In the morning we toss the rest of the goods on board – suitcases, cameras, camera equipment, and a couple of cases of books (Ghost Towns of Route 66, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads, and The Route 66 Encyclopedia). Hopefully this answers questions about why I don’t travel in something a bit more fuel efficient. It might also provide an indication as to why I am looking toward Chrysler or Jeep dealers to sponsor the multi-faceted endeavor that is Jim Hinckley’s America.
Unlike most of our recent marathon excursions (nine days to Chicago and back again) the pace for this adventuresome will be a bit more leisurely in nature. In fact, even though it will be a working holiday we have but two scheduled stops, Monday morning in Prescott for a television interview with Tonya Mock, and a book signing at Bookworks in Albuquerque at 7:00 PM on June 7, and then the radio show on Friday morning.
The rest of the adventure will be dedicated to leisurely adventure and exploration, gathering photos for the current book project and a forthcoming photo exhibition, a little anniversary celebration with my dearest friend, and opportunities for visiting with friends. One of the highlights of the adventure is bound to be an evening at the Enchanted Trails Trading Post & Rv Park on Friday.
We have been wanting to try out one of the vintage trailers transformed into motel rooms for quite some time. As a bonus, Friday evening the trading post is the centerpiece of activities for the New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour.
Reports from the road may be a bit spotty as I have a tendency to get lost in the adventure and forget about email, the lap top, and similar trappings of the modern era. On occasion I still send post cards!
However, when we return there will be lots of photos, new stories to tell, and recommendation for great food as well as lodging.