With but two months left in the year (and one of those months heavily scheduled) reflection on what was, and what is to come fills my thoughts when I sit down with a bottle of hard cider to unwind. To say the very least, it has been an amazing year.
Dinners and breakfasts shared with friends new and old from the Czech Republic and Holland, Germany and New Zealand, Australia and Missouri, England and Japan, and just about everyplace in between, were among the many highlights.
Road trips, as usual, were an important part of our year. There was a late winter exploration of the Mojave Desert that included a visit to Kelso and a grand adventure with my dearest friend on Route 66 in New Mexico. Close to the top of the list of the years adventures would be the trip to Joplin for the 2013 Route 66 International Festival. As always, the event was two parts family reunion and one part a celebration of America’s most famous highway. The top of the 2013 memorable adventure list is dominated by the September trip to Carlsbad, California. It included many of my favorite things – road trips, road trips in the desert, the discovery of new places and new restaurants, good food, and a smile on my dearest friends face over a candlelit dinner. Even better, it was an opportunity to express my gratitude to a very dear friend for thirty wonderful years. In a class by itself was the recent whirlwind trip from Chicago to Kingman via Route 66. It was a real treat to share the road with a few novices and watch their expressions as they saw the courthouse in Carthage, tasted the hospitality and good food at Missouri Hick in Cuba, and experienced the El Rancho for the first time.Another high point of the year was the multitude of opportunities made available to me for presenting the history and wonder of Route 66, and adventures on the road less traveled. Next week I will be speaking before members of Westerners International in Prescott, an excellent close out for the year. The last major commitment of the year is attendance of the Route 66 summit meeting in California hosted by the World Monument Fund. I was surprised and honored to receive an invitation, as well to be asked to represent Kingman at the event.Moving closer toward the childhood goal of becoming a writer when I grow up was another high point of the year. Manifestations of the steps taken toward achievement of that goal include the release of Route 66 Treasures, completion of Travel Route 66 (due for release next spring), and if all goes as planned, completion of the Route 66 Historic Atlas by the December 1 deadline.With that thought in mind it is not to late to share stories of mayhem and disaster, or celebrities on Route 66. I still have some room for inclusion of more stories in the atlas. That takes me to 2014. On the calendar for the new year is the release of the next book, plans to attend Cuba Fest in Cuba where the atlas will debut, the Route 66 Fun Run, and, of course, the 2014 Route 66 International Festival in Kingman.Still, what really has me looking toward the new year with eager anticipation is the opportunity to again meet with friends new and old.