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 Fun Run.
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.
On Thursday, I had a first look at the galley proofs for the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlaswith a request to have the final edit complete by no later than Monday afternoon. Accompanying this note was a letter of introduction as for the fourth time in ten years, I was working with a new editor in mid project resultant of corporate restructuring.
As the weekend plans included a bit of travel on Saturday, a noticeable sense of being under the gun crept into my thoughts. However, over the years I have learned that to survive each day it must begin with a deep breath, reflection and contemplation on the blessings in life, and preparation for a few jolts to the system as well as a couple of unexpected changes in direction with little or no warning.
This weekend was a prime example. At the last minute on Friday the travel plans changed and as a result, I had the entire weekend to focus on the atlas.
So, with completion of this post and breakfast, I will turn off the phones, cinch my backside to the chair, and focus on the task at hand.
Hard work is a sure death but a slower one than starvation. Still a life filled with only work is life lived in the worst kind of poverty, another lesson learned long ago.
So, we closed out Saturday with an evening at Chillin’ on Beale that included dinner and hours of conversation shared with friends as the crowds ebbed and flowed along the sidewalks, and vintage cars cruised back and forth. Today my dearest friend and I will most likely end the day by sitting on the back porch as the sun sinks in the west and the buffalo burgers sizzle on the grill.
Early indications are that the week ahead will once again be filled with an array of Route 66 related adventures, most of which will center on the fast approaching Route 66 International Festival. The organizers still have a great deal of work to do but overall it seems to be shaping up quite nicely.
That, however, won’t be our only Route 66 related endeavor next week. In the process of renovating and transforming the former JC Penny building in the Kingman historic district into Beale Celebrations, an event center that will serve as the venue for the exhibition of authors, artist, collectors, and Route 66 association displays during the festival, Werner Fleischmann, the owner, has restored the original street facing display windows.
He has graciously offered us one of these to display a Route 66 themed exhibit that will showcase our work. So, the game plan is to create a virtual tour of Route 66 utilizing prints available through the Jim Hinckley Gallery at Legends of America, as a backdrop for a display of our books.
As I see it this would obviously promote our work but it would also provide a wonderful venue for advertising the amazing Legends of America website, and through the display of photographs, subtly advertise a few of the businesses along Route 66. Needless to say, I am quite eager to begin creating this display.
The inquiries from chambers of commerce and similar organizations pertaining to my availability to speak on Route 66 as a catalyst for development is on the increase. This has fueled the idea of honing these presentations, promoting the service, getting other speakers involved, and perhaps, utilizing it as a means to foster a unified sense of purpose and direction within the Route 66 community. This too is a Route 66 adventure of another kind.
With that opening as an introduction, I should note that the schedule for the October tour that will commence with the introduction of the Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri is currently being developed through my publicist. If you would like to schedule a book signing, or discuss my appearance as a speaker and the costs associated with this, contact Steve Roth., or drop me a personal note.
I am a living terror for those who hate mornings and can’t even think about starting a day before having several cups of coffee and a shower. In our homestead the alarm is never set, my feet hit the floor around zero five hundred hours, and the first cup of coffee is savored about three hours later.
This morning was a rare exception. I awoke at the usual time but without the energy.
In my head I am still twenty but mornings such as this serve as a reminder that this is an illusion. The long week of early morning meetings, evening meetings, a radio interview, meeting with Harry Smith, breakfasts shared with friends on the road, a grueling five days at the office, a previous weekend spent with home repair, and the pressure of looming deadlines has left me worn a bit thin.
The lines of a few country songs came to mind as I limped down the hall to meet the day. The limp was another reminder that my 20th birthday was quite some time ago and that between then and now were a lot of miles. This, however, is a story for another day.
I brewed up a cup of Navajo tea, a little something we always pick up at the trading posts under the cliffs on the New Mexico state line, made some toast and set to work on project number one. The illustrated gatefold maps that will be a key component for the forthcoming Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlasand the final edit requires that I evaluate photo placement is correct – by Monday morning.
Next, on the list, running the gauntlet better known as shopping for food and other staples such as hard apple cider (it is going to be long weekend). This afternoon I tackle the final edit for the text itself, a project that will most likely continue in the morning. Of course this will leave little time for completing the first chapter for the new book that just happens to be due by July 1. No complaints, these are the dues to be paid if the childhood dream of being a writer when I grow up is to be fulfilled. My dearest friend saved the day with the installation of fixtures and the medicine cabinet. To be honest putting the bathroom back together AND completing the final edit may have required more a mere weekend. I joke a great deal about the pursuit of a childhood dream. The fact of the matter is that I am quite blessed in that this pursuit has been richly rewarding. Through my writings we have been able to encourage folks to do a bit of exploration, provide assistance as they plan adventures, and to make friends from most every corner of the globe.
I can think of few things more rewarding in life than an evening spent with friends and folks wearing an ear to ear grin after a fun filled day of Route 66 adventures. This photo (courtesy of Dries Bessels of the Dutch Route 66 Association) was taken during a dinner shared with a tour group from the Netherlands. Okay, I promised a few festival updates and notes from the road. Lets start with the festival. Yesterday, I confirmed that Wolfgang Werz of the German Route 66 Association has been added to the roster of speakers for the Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future conference, and that Akio Takeuchi of Japan will be introducing a new book at the exhibition of Route 66 authors and artists. The organizers of the festival are working to confirm speakers before posting a detailed schedule that will allow attendees to pick and choose topics of interest. The tentative list includes Dries Bessels of the Dutch Route 66 Association, Ron Hart of the Route 66 Chamber of Commerce, Ed Klein of Route 66 World, Jerry Asher to discuss the Plug Share website, Michael Wallis, and representatives from most state and international Route 66 associations. Meanwhile, the event in Holbrook that is the other book end for a tremendous week of adventures on Route 66 is shaping up quite nicely. Of course the big event there will be the guided tours along a seldom seen section of Route 66 through the Painted Desert National Park. Here is a link from the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce where you can get more information. I should have confirmation this week but it looks as though there are activities being planned for Seligman and the Grand Canyon Caverns as well. So, mark your calendars and put in for vacation time. As a final note, let me address concerns about the weather. Today the temperature in Kingman is 90 degrees and the humidity is less that 25%. Last Fourth of July the high temperature was 79 degrees. Yes, temperatures in Kingman have on rare occasion topped 110 degrees. However, just thirty miles to the west, you can add ten, fifteen, and on occasion, twenty degrees to that. Summer evenings in Kingman are about as perfect as you can get. Eighty degrees, light humidity, and a gentle breeze are the order of the day. August, however, is also our monsoon season. So, there is a chance of rain, and as a result, higher humidity. When a summer storm does blow through it is often quick with an almost immediate drop in temperature. The bottom line, don’t let concerns over summer heat keep you away from one of years premiere events on Route 66. Now, its back to work. Then, this evening, its dinner with friends and a relaxing evening at Chillin’ on Beale.
As noted yesterday in posting number 1,500, things have been rather interesting this week, even by my standards. Still, in all honesty, would I have it any other way?
The galley proofs for The Illustrated Route 66 Historical Atlas is now in my hands and I have until Monday morning to make final corrections and adjustments. This will be tight but not as tight as the printing schedule which calls for the books release during the first weeks of October, and its introduction at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri on the third Saturday of the month.
As it turns out, I also need to have the first chapter for the new book finished by June 30. Resultant of the bathroom remodel and a litany of other issues, this project only exists as a pile of notes and print outs. Needless to say, I am cutting this a bit closer than I am comfortable with and so the tension level rises. Completion of the bathroom project is still a few months away resultant of budgetary and time constraints but at least it is back to a usable state with the tub and shower section finished, and the walls painted. With the exception of the vanity and flooring that will be replaced soon, all that remained for this stage of the endeavor was installation of the medicine cabinet, vents, light fixture, and switch. As the weeks evening schedule was rather full, these items were on the “to do” list for the weekend. However, yesterday I arrived home to a most delightful surprise; my dearest friend had completed all of the installations! On Tuesday evening we were to meet with Kumar Patel of the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, and Harry Smith of NBC News in New York, and his film crew, at Redneck’s Southern Barbecue in Kingman for dinner. However, resultant of scheduling delays, my dearest friend and I found ourselves with a relaxing date night instead. As always the food at Redneck’s was superb. Still, food is always enhanced when it is shared with a friend. Of course this necessitated a few adjustments to other aspects of the weeks planned agenda. So, the next morning I met with Kumar, the news crew, and Sam Frisher, owner of the El Trovatore Motel, at Mr. D’z. It was a quick visit as the news crew was pushing to stick to a tight schedule. I could see that Kumar was facing a daunting task. If people see Route 66 as merely another assignment, how do you impart your passion and how do you ignite a fire of excitement as well as enthusiasm? In either case, this represented a major marketing coup for the Route 66 community. Thank you Kumar, and thank you Mr. Harry Smith. As my dearest friend has removed the bathroom items from the list I can focus attentions toward a few other items (aside from the books) in the next ten days. This includes the distribution of press releases pertaining to the Route 66 International festival, preparation of a presentation on Route 66 as a catalyst for development and redevelopment to be presented before an area chamber of commerce meeting, and an exciting event or two being developed for 2015. Details on these items will be made available soon. Meanwhile, to close out today’s post, here is a link for an item that ran today in Route 66 News. I think you will find it of interest.
Well, here we are at post number 1,500. That is a rather surprising milestone. After all, this project began as an experiment based on simple curiosity.
I wanted to know what a blog was and how they were built. In turn this led to how they were promoted and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the past few weeks a great deal of thought was given to how best celebrate this milestone. After a bit of contemplation it came to me. As the blog is a means of sharing the adventures on Route 66 and the road less traveled, it seemed the best commemoration would be in dedicating this blog post to the people who made those adventures memorable and enjoyable.
Author Jim Hinckley, Kristi-Anne Butel (right), and a tour group from the land down under.
Then I encountered a string of issues that necessitated a delay in the penning of the milestone post. In turn, as some of these items pertain to important updates, there was a need to include these as well. So, this will be a rather lengthy entry. Perhaps that will make up for the delay. Grab a cold one, get comfortable, and lets begin.
It would be an impossibility to include everyone who contributed to making our blog shared adventures on the road, as well as the adventure we call life so exciting, enjoyable, and memorable. So, to those not noted here today, thank you.
I have to begin the dedication by saying thank you to my dearest friend. The years of support, encouragement, laughter, tears, and adventures (not to mention cherry cobblers baked at 5:30 am) have ensured the best times were even better and the worst of times weren’t that bad. Thank you.
We are richly blessed by the many friendships that have been spawned by this blog, the penning of a few books, and a shared passion for adventures on Route 66. In a few instances it almost seems as though we have long distance neighbors that are also some of our best friends.
Thank you Dries and Marion, Karel and Hanneke, Jeroen and Maggie, our Netherlands neighbors. Your visits are always a highly anticipated part of our year. Our friends from the Netherlands have inspired us to broaden our horizons and make a valiant effort to learn a bit of Dutch. My dearest friend seems to be doing better than me in this regard. There there are the German neighbors, also our friends, Wolfgang and Anja, that endured an afternoon of karaoke in Chloride.
Left to right, Jeroen Boersma, Jim Hinckley, and Maggie Boersma.
To Zdnek Jurasek and his charming wife, friends from the Czech Republic, we are counting the days until we can again share a breakfast and tales from the road. Now, we also have some southerly neighbors that we count as friends. However, even though we are getting better at understanding the language, learning to speak Australian may be more of a challenge than mastering Dutch. On a serious note, Dale and Kristi-Anne, Steve, Daniel, Anthony, and Mark Fletcher, thank you for the memories, the good times, the support, and the camaraderie. We hope to see you again soon. Then there is Sam Murray from the land down under and to the left (New Zealand). Our Route 66 adventure added a new dimension to the Route 66 Fun Run. The stateside list of friends and neighbors is rather lengthy. Thank you Joe Sonderman and Mike Ward, Steve Rider and Kumar Patel and Michael Wallis, Bob and Ramona, Laurel and Ron, Kevin and Nancy, John and Judy, Buz and Richard, Ed and Angel, Scott and Ian, Vickie and Allan, Melba and Renee, Gary and Rich, Kathleen and Debra, Rich and your rabbits, and everyone else that makes our adventures so enjoyable, and ensure our blog posts are as lively as the road itself. Here is to each of you and the years of shared adventures. Thank you. Lets hope that we are blessed with many more. Now for a few festival updates. The official t-shirt for the Route 66 International Festival is available. Here is the link for ordering. It is official, the Road Crew will performing at the festival even though the fund raising initiative is still short. The hope is that the goal will be met before the festival. A link for the fund raising endeavor is in the right column. Next, to close out this milestone posting, a couple of important press releases. First, one from the Kingman Chamber of Commerce, and then one from Holbrook.
June 16, 2014
For Immediate Release
Kingman, Arizona, and Route 66 will truly be at the crossroads of the past and future during the Route 66 International Festival scheduled for August 14th through 17th. In addition to an unprecedented exhibition of historically significant electric vehicles developed by the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, and a two day conference featuring speakers representing Route 66 associations as well as the electric vehicle community, a Walk of Fame will be dedicated.
Envisioned as an honorarium for the people who transformed Route 66 from a highway into an icon, and Kingman into a Route 66 destination, the Walk of Fame is a long term project that will in time stretch the length of Andy Devine Avenue. Nominated for inclusion at the Walk of Fame dedication are Andy Devine, Michael Wallis, Angel Delgadillo, Bob Boze Bell, David and Mary Lou Knudson, John and Lenore Weiss, Doctor John Lingenfelter, and Bob Waldmire.
Hualapai Chief Leve Leve and Lt. Edward F. Beale, pioneers that contributed to the establishment of the foundational elements for the creation of Route 66 will also be included in the Walk of Fame dedication at the festival.
For more information about the Walk of Fame, deadline for nominations and funding, or to nominate an individual and fund a brick, please contact Julie Lowe, the project coordinator, at TNT Auto Center, (928)753-1477. For general information about the festival contact the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce at (928)753-6253 or Dora Manley at (928)297-4560. You are cordially invited to attend our first “Route 66 Trading Post Tour” of nine locations within the Petrified Forest / Painted Desert National Park. This V.I.P. Tour is being presented in conjunction with the 1st Annual “Holbrook Route 66 Festival” which will be held on August 8th and 9th in Holbrook, Arizona. Two tours of up to 20 people each are scheduled for Friday morning August 8th before the Festival, and Sunday morning August 10th, the day after the Festival, from 8 AM to about 1 PM. The tours will be conducted by Park Paleontologist Bill Parker and other knowledgeable members of the Park Staff. Both tours will focus upon historical Route 66 trading post sites that reside within the boundaries of the Park, and which in some cases are now mostly inaccessible to the general public.
Stops on the tour will include: • Painted Desert Point Trading Post • Rocky’s Old Stage Station • LA-A Airway Beacon #51 • Petrified Forest National Park Visitors Center • Painted Desert Tower Trading Post (optional, ½ mile hike required) • Painted Desert Inn • Petrified Desert Park (The Lion Farm) • Dead River Bridge • Painted Desert Trading Post (which many consider to be the “Holy Grail” of Route 66 roadside attractions.)
Transportation for the tour will be provided, but those attending are advised to bring bottled water, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen lotion, comfortable walking shoes, cameras and extra batteries, and to be prepared to spend approximately five hours on the tour.
Reservations for this first V.I.P. tour are begin taken on a “first-come-first-served” basis and are limited to a total of 40 people over the two days, though we may open up additional tours later on, should the demand require it.
Additional information will be provided with your reservation confirmation. If you’d like to reserve your place in this historic event, please contact Kathleen Gardner Smith at the Holbrook City Offices at 928-524-6227 or by e-mail at email@example.com .
Community Development Director City of Holbrook 465 First Ave Holbrook, AZ 86025 Office: 928.524.6227 Fax: 928.524.2159