Another grand week is about to become history. On the horizon, another week of adventures planned and unplanned. Then, a grand adventure, the road trip to the Route 66 International Festival.
Right to left, Nick and Mark Gerlich, author Jim Hinckley
As a highlight of every week is the opportunity to share the secrets of Route 66, and its predecessors, and the history of Kingman with visitors, or through my work, this past week was a true delight. Route 66 explorer extraordinaire Nick Gerlich, and his brother, Mark, stopped by on their westward journey and I gave them the fifty cent tour.
We started with the scenic site of Fort Beale, moved on to the old wagon road in the shadow of White Cliffs, and then the pre 1920 alignment of the National Old Trails Highway through Slaughter House Canyon. The evening was rounded out with fascinating conversation over dinner at the Dambar.
Left to right, Eric Stronk, author Jim Hinckley,and Oscar Stronk
Sometimes the fun in these adventures has a residual affect months in the making. Quite often these manifest as photos sent weeks or months afterwards, a note of thanks, or a note that ends with “see you next year.”
As an example, Oscar Stronk sent this photo of me, and his brother, Erik, taken during a dinner with a tour group from Holland. The picture brought a smile to my face as this was a most wonderful evening filled with laughter, conversation, friends new and old, and good food.
At this juncture I would be quite remiss if it were not noted that it is truly my pleasure to meet with individuals or tours, to answer questions, or to sign books. However, if you or your group would like something a bit more formal or structured, I also offer a full tour service for the Kingman area, as well as speaking engagements tailored to specific interests. In regard to the latter service, I am not limited to Kingman and with enough notice, can travel to speak at an event or festival.
As I have been tasked with development of the promotion and its multifaceted components for the soon to be announced big event that will take place in Kingman next year, there are boundless opportunities for the most interesting adventures.
Case in point, harnessing endeavors to transform Route 66 into the nations first electric highway as a promotional venue for the event. To that end the organizers are developing Chillin’ on Beale, an obviously enlarged edition, into a display of more than a century of automotive history with an emphasis on alternative energy vehicles of the past, present, and future.
Well, my search for components that will garner extensive media interest, as well as interest in people attending the event is off to a very good start. Don Robertson of the Gold King Mine in Jerome has offered to bring his 1902 Studebaker with serial number 3. Purportedly this is the oldest operational Studebaker in the world, an addition to the event that will be difficult to top.
In my spare time, I share my fascination for the history, the people, the culture, and the magical places on the back roads of America through my writing. The only thing better than knowing I provided a bit of promotion for someplace special like the Blue Swallow Motel or the Wagon Wheel Motel through my work, it to hear from a reader that my books inspired an adventure.
This photo sent by Oscar Stronk provides a bit of a hint about the role one of my books played in his adventure planning. If I were to judge by appearances, my guess is that he found a wide array of reference points in this book.
Speaking of writing, I had best get to work. Today its work on the Route 66 historic atlas, and research that will include perusing another few hundred newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s.