With a great deal of child like pouting, I accepted the fact that the need to complete the captions for The Route 66 Historic Atlas had to take precedence over our New Years Day tradition of adventure. Compounding the frustration was the delightful weather.
Monolith Gardens
I was, however, able to devise a compromise with my self that was easy to live with and pleasing to my dearest friend. After all, all work and no play (a Stephen King reference).
The work day started at 5:00 in the morning which meant a well deserved break was needed by 11:00. While I worked, my dearest friend packed a delightful lunch (peanut butter and sliced apple sandwiches, garlic hummus sandwiches with onion and tomato, brown rice crackers, and dark mocha almond granola bars)and then at break time we set out for Monolith Gardens. 
This delightful area is part of the extensive Cerbat foothills trail system, a warren of excellent adventure opportunities for hikers or mountain bike enthusiasts that includes the site of Fort Beale. The bonus is that it is only about a mile from Kingman with a trailhead right on the highway for easy access.
So, we walked for a half hour or so, found us a nice rock for a picnic table, and simply savored the scenery, the solitude, and reflections of the past year and the year to come. It definitely improved the attitude for the second half of the work day.
I know August will be a bit warm but still, my hope is that visitors to the Route 66 International Festival will have an opportunity to at least visit this delightful area. It is truly a rare gem in what is essentially an urban park system.  
To round out the day we ended it by initiating our immersion into the world of Walter White and the twisted morality play that is Breaking Bad. Nick Gerlich’s praise for the program piqued my curiosity and my dearest friend gave me season one through three for Christmas.
Extremely well written and well executed but very dark and tragic, that is my concise review at this early stage. As fans have noted, there is also a bit of entertainment in looking for Route 66 related sites as the program centers on Albuquerque.
The remainder of the week involved work, a concerted effort to obtain answers to the questions about the Route 66 International Festival received in recent weeks, writing a proposal for a book about the violent wars for dominance of the taxi industry in the 1920s and 1930s for History Press, and streamlining my appointment calendar. 
This weekend I will finish the captions, and prepare my presentation for the Arizona Explorers luncheon on Monday. As the weather is still rather pleasant, I am also quite confident we can find time for a walk about that just might include a picnic. 
There will be a cloud over anything we do this weekend as Dave Duricy, a former associate from Cars and Parts and master of the De Soto land website informed me that Bob Stevens passed away on January 1. Bob was a true gentlemen, a mentor for young writers, a vintage car enthusiast that drove his cars rather than put them on a pedestal (more on that in a minute), and an all around great guy. 
Bob would often buy a vintage car in California and stop by for breakfast or lunch to show it to me as he was driving home to Ohio. Several years ago he had purchased a Studebaker Hawk and happened to hit a snow storm that stretched from Kingman into New Mexico. 
His photos and the story published about that odyssey were epic. At one point near Gallup the car looked as though it was a toy left in the freezer for the summer.
I will miss his visits, his stories, and his smile.           
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