People have a tendency to form mental pictures of people or places based on perceptions derived from snippets obtained in conversations or movies. So, when people motor west on Route 66 for the first time and discover that the road winds through towering stands of pine trees near Flagstaff there is always a sense of surprise as this is Arizona, land of sun, sand, cacti, and sun scorched rocks.
When I discuss the forthcoming 2014 Route 66 International Festival in Kingman, in August, some folks respond with an almost panic stricken look. I can tell that they are envisioning a weekend spent enduring temperatures that are but a few degrees cooler than the surface of the sun.
Then I have to explain to them that Kingman is not Needles. Then I have to explain to them that the Kingman area, in general, has rather moderate temperatures all year. Then I have to also explain that the weather here is not something that can easily be predicted based on previous patterns.
I have witnessed a dusting of snow on the Route 66 Fun weekend at the beginning of May. My dearest friend and I were wading in the Colorado River in January one year, and once we were enjoying ice cream on the front porch, in our shirt sleeves, on Christmas day.
Even though temperatures above 105 degrees are rare and extreme here, I have endured days when the mercury in the thermometer indicated that we were nearing a point where burns obtained by touching your car steering wheel was a very real possibility.
Even the ongoing drought of the past decade that left cactus gasping for water and me wondering if we would be hunting jerky instead of deer is subject to change. Case in point is the past few days that were dominated by a foggy, steady drizzle that is transforming the desert into a temporary swamp and holding high temperatures in the low to mid 70s.
So, if I were to foolishly predict the weather for the festival next year, my advice would be to bring sun screen and an umbrella, as well as a light jacket or sweater. I would also suggest you make sure the air conditioner and heater are in working order and that the windshield wipers do not need to be replaced.
Still, even though it was to wet to go out to play, I found things to do. A few were productive, a few were educational, one was frustrating, and a few left little doubt as to what activities would fill my Labor Day weekend.
I started the day in the wee hours of the morning with a hearty breakfast and finalizing plans for an anniversary surprise for my dearest friend. Even though I feel sainthood is warranted after enduring thirty years of my schemes and adventures, that is beyond my control.
Next on the list was a few hours of work on the Route 66 historic atlas. If I am to kick the book off at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri next year, it will need to be in the publishers hand by December 1 instead of December 31.
Then I tackled a new project – dryer repair. The attempt was unsuccessful but highly educational as dismantling, and putting it back together again so that it worked, was a new endeavor.
At least I know now that some repairs such as replacement of the drive belt are not difficult. Bearing replacement, however, is another matter but since it wouldn’t be economically feasible we will endure the screeching until the dryer no longer functions.
Then there was another discussion with Sam Murray, the champion rally car driver from New Zealand. Life in a Route 66 centered world is never boring.
After supper my dearest friend and I settled in to watch Classic Restos: Route 66 Spring Tour 2012. The DVD set was a gift from Mark Fletcher, the star and producer of this award winning Australian program.
Even though I work with a number of international fans of the double six, I found it interesting to get an in depth perspective of how they view the road as well as America. I will chalk up the time spent watching the program as educational fun.
Resultant of the recent rains, our yard is being transformed into a literal jungle. My dearest friend does an admirable job of keeping it all under control but in the past week the rate of grass and weed growth is nothing short of astounding. So, as we sat on the porch and watched it rain, and the weeds grow, I knew what would top the list of plans for the Labor Day weekend.
That list also includes work on the atlas, development of the Route 66 International festival, resolution of a few delinquent projects for Dave and Kathy Alexander at Legends of America, and a much anticipated buffalo burger barbecue using some Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce picked u at Fran’s Sunshine Station gift shop in Adrian, Texas on the last trip.