Lets begin by dispelling a few rumors. Yes, problems associated with the development of the 2014 Route 66 International Festival have been many. Yes, a few still plague organizers.
With that said, this is going to be an exciting weekend filled with endless opportunities to enjoy some good food, time spent with old friends, and lots of good music. Add in special events in Holbrook the weekend before that includes a rare guided tour along Route 66 through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest to the Painted Desert Trading Post courtesy of the National Park Service, special events in Oatman, Seligman, and at Grand Canyon Caverns, and you have everything needed for a week of adventure on Route 66 in Arizona.
This event will be more than just fun and friends. It will also be historic.
The exhibition hall at the Powerhouse visitor center, home of an award winning Route 66 museum, will be showcasing an unprecedented display of historically significant electric vehicles courtesy of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation. The embryonic Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future conference featuring a wide array of speakers including Scott Piotrowski, Michael Wallis, Ron Hart, Jim Ross, and key people in the electric vehicle community will provide needed information to create cooperative partnerships and will serve as foundation for the creation of a Route 66 convention in 2015.
Tourism director Josh Noble with Jerry Asher’s electric Sprit of Arizona at the Powerhouse Visitor Center.
The Route 66 Walk of Fame is another historic milestone that will debut during the festival. As envisioned, this memorial to the individuals that played a role in transforming Kingman into a Route 66 destination, and the people who transformed Route 66 into an icon will eventually extend the length of the Route 66 corridor in Kingman with a new inductee added each year.
There are still a few days left to submit a nomination and sponsor a brick for inclusion in the opening ceremony. The contact is Julie at TNT Automotive, (928)753-1477.
The list of initial inductees nominated for inclusion are David and Mary Lou Knudson, John and Lenore Weiss, Angel Delgadillo, Bob Boze Bell, Andy Devine, Michael Wallis, Bob Waldmire, Lt. Edward F. Beale, and Chief Leve Leve.
Okay, now lets continue our adventure down Memory Lane. This morning we begin with a photo of a true Route 66 time capsule. However, the lovingly cared for roadside gem with its refurbished neon isn’t the real treasure.
No, the priceless jewels here are Bob and Ramona Lehman who have served as hosts, proprietors and stewards of this historic property for more than forty years.
This next haven for the night dates to the 1930s. It received a new lease on life with its acquisition and refurbishment by Connie Echols.
Today, the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is more than a place to lay the head at the end of a long day. It is a revered treasure, a time capsule, a destination in itself, and one of our favorite places on the road. Judging by the response received from the posting of stories over the year, we are not the only ones to have discovered its charms.
Photos of neon nights posted on this blog have always sparked a number of comments. However, the hands down favorite has always been those posted of a quaint little motel in Tucumcari with a blue swallow on the sign.
An adventure on Route 66 is also a gastronomical odyssey. Over the years a number of stories have been posted about the various restaurants encountered on our adventures.
The Cave Restaurant in Richland, Missouri.
Topping the list for popularity was the tale of a little detour to the Cave Restaurant north of Lebanon, Missouri. A trip to the restaurant, and even the dining experience, added a whole new meaning to the term adventure in dining.
If you enjoy adventure, I can’t think of a better way to enhance a Route 66 journey. As a bonus, the food was pretty good as well.
One more? Okay, to close out this mornings blast from the past, here is a photo from an often overlooked gem located just a few miles off Route 66 in Oklahoma.