With the exception of being so dry I spit dust, it is another beautiful Arizona morning. For those who plan on attending the Route 66 International Festival in August but are concerned about the heat, I should note that according to the national weather service we won’t have our first 100 degree day until next week.
The on going drought continues to be a source of concern, at least for people who aren’t harvesting tax breaks by having massive tracts of land once promoted as a future suburban paradise rezoned as an agricultural wonderland or myopically transforming their yard into a miniature replica of Central Park.
One of the greatest boondoggles in the west since the era of Manifest Destiny is unfolding north of Kingman and the result is not pretty. In fact it has the potential of becoming Kingman’s version of the historic Owens Valley debacle in California.
In short, the fellow behind Rhodes Development, a property developer from Las Vegas with a lengthy resume of published investigative journalism stories that paint a very ugly picture, has decided that massive tracts of land near Kingman that were purchased for the creation of a suburban utopia are better suited for farming.
Step one, clear the parched desert land near the largest dry lake bed in northern Arizona. Step two, punch deep wells to tap into the aquifer that is a primary source of water for the Kingman area. Step, three negotiate zoning deals with the county and land swaps with the BLM.
That is but one future event that is inspiring a bit of apprehension on this beautiful morning. I awoke this morning with the realization that I have one week to finish the first chapter of a new book, and six months to finish the entire project.
|Left to right, David Hinckley and
Sam Murray at the Frontier Café
in Truxton during the Route 66
Magnifying concerns is the simple fact that to date the project consists of note piles loosely organized by decade. Even worse, I have yet to really formulate a vision for what the book will look like or really initiate a search for illustrative material.
Meanwhile the day that was (AKA Monday) was rather interesting. Aside from the usual Monday morning issues associated with operating a one man railroad, I had a delightful lunch time conversation with River Pilot of River Pilot Tours. In between this and supper was another interesting discussion, this time with Sam Murray of New Zealand, the owner of the historic Frontier Motel and Café in Truxton, and a visit with Allen and Stacy Greer, the charming couple tasked with bringing the Truxton property back to life.
The conversations coupled with the issues at the office that include extension of the vacation postponement period ensured that nagging thoughts about the future, including the fact that I will be sixty years of age before I have time to spit or pay attention, dominated a lot of my thinking last evening. I am quite sure that this played a role in the mornings apprehension.
Meanwhile, between that milestone and this morning, there is work to be done. Speaking engagements and book signings are being scheduled to coincide with the trip to Cuba for Cuba Fest in October where the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas is officially introduced.
Assistance with the development of the Route 66 International Festival will be consuming more of my time in the weeks to come. Then are the plans being developed for a big event in 2015.
Now, however, its time to enjoy this beautiful morning. Breakfast, a visit with my dearest friend, and a beautiful sunrise. That is the way to start a day.