GUMBY

Gumby. Now, there is a role model for a life lived with a modicum of calm and serenity. After all, when this old world ties you up in knots a bit of flexibility can be a most valuable attribute.
Flexibility, some excellent ice cream, a very good friend, and, perhaps, a bottle of hard cider, that is the best way to get through crisis, chaos, and the uncertainties of life. Perhaps I should start at the beginning, or at least at the beginning of the recent bout of chaos that started a few weeks ago.
Lets see, there were issues with the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas that required immediate attention, attendance of a meeting in Wickenburg that had been rescheduled resultant of family issues in January, and two organizational meetings pertaining to the Route 66 International Festival. Software issues midway through rectifying issues with the atlas were followed with a bout of stomach flu ( a dear friend, not mine). 
So, as it has been three full weeks without a real day off, we decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and head to the ghost town of Swansea on the edge of the wilderness along the Bill Williams River on Sunday. In short, I would be playing hooky as the appointment with our accountant is looming and there is a need to organize records for tax preparation. 
This was to be resolved last weekend but issues with the atlas, and the meeting in Wickenburg, derailed that plan. So, the decision was to take off for a day of adventure tomorrow as this morning we had a meeting scheduled with Werner Fleischman and Klaus Wenigk, the developers behind renovation of the historic Brunswick Hotel.
Then the weather threw us a curve ball with a revised forecast. For those suffering through a rather bleak winter an unseasonable warm spell may seem like an enviable problem.
However, along the Colorado River and the deserts to the east and west, this warming trend will push temperatures close to or beyond the 100 degree mark. When temperatures exceed the triple digit mark extensive adventures and desert exploration becomes more of a chore than a relaxing outing as there is a need to pack extra water as well as a snake bite kit, and hikes just aren’t as comfortable.
Obviously I can and have made long treks in the desert on days far warmer than that. Still, this is supposed to be a day for unwinding, a quiet picnic, and long walks, not a military training exercise.  
So, we decided to head east instead of west and explore areas of the National Old Trails Highway near Ash Fork recently discussed with Nick Gerlich. Temperatures around the 75 degree mark should be just about right.    
The meeting this morning centered on possible contributions to the Route 66 International Festival by Werner and Klaus, and our store and gallery in the hotel upon completion of refurbishment. As the historic hotel on Route 66 is next to the new ice cream parlor and bakery that officially opened last Thursday, we simply had to make a slight detour after the meeting.
Now, a bottle of cider, then load the Jeep, turn off the phones, have a pleasant dinner with my dearest friend, and eagerly await sunrise. Thank goodness I had Gumby as a role model.          
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