TOURS, TOURISTS, AND TOURING

After more than a full year filled with frustrations, false starts, bad luck, problems, and disasters of a near epic nature, tenacious Sam Murray of Gilligan’s Wild West Tours, and the irrepressible “Croc” Lile, are on the road with the companies first successful Route 66 tour. Judging by Laurel Kane’s blog post from Afton Station, everyone is having a great time.
The one and only Bob Lile at his gallery on the often
overlooked Sixth Avenue alignment of Route 66
in Amarillo.
On Saturday, I spoke with Craig Parish and answered a few of his questions pertaining to traveling Route 66 in Arizona. His National Route 66 Motor Tour that kicks off in just over a week looks as though it will be a major event.
On his heels will be Dale Butel’s fall tour. Dale and Kristi-Anne of Australian based Route 66 Tours have transformed adventures on Route 66 into an art form through their intimate, personal relationship with the Route 66 community.
Author Jim Hinckley signing books for a Dale
Butel led Route 66 tour.
There was a time not so long ago when the big season on the double six commenced sometime around mid May and wound down in late September. Indicative of the growing popularity of Route 66 is the fact that major tours are still on the road into late October and even early November. This year we were meeting with travelers in January!
Soon we will take our turn at playing tourist with an adventure on Route 66, and a detour into Kansas on U.S. 54. Even though we had a chance to visit with friends and our Route 66 “family” during the Route 66 International Festival, there is just something special about visiting with them in their native habitat.
I have a tendency to prepare for every trip as though it is a safari deep into the outback of Australia. On our adventure to Crown King last spring I had enough gear and food to survive most any conceivable disaster for several days.

Route 66 east of Seligman, reason
number 72 to be prepared when
traveling.

Over the years I have honed this to an art form. This includes the acquisition of a variety of military surplus, aluminum and steel watertight containers of various sizes that stack within the confines of the Jeep.

No only does this allow us to meet any contingency ranging from the need for a cork screw, taking an unplanned detour on a whim that ends in camping, following an interesting dirt road that results in digging the Jeep out of the sand, or having an impromptu picnic that includes something warm like a cup of tea with honey to wash down a sandwich, it also allows us to cut the travel budget rather dramatically. After this years adventure I will provide a break down on expenses incurred.
To a degree traveling in this manner is a throwback to childhood adventures and epic coast to coast odysseys on U.S. 66, U.S. 6, U.S. 127, U.S. 40 and countless other two lane highways. In those halcyon days a lot of families ate and slept along the road, something my dad developed into a crude art form.
Seldom did we travel without a box of corn flakes, jar of sugar, spoons, and tin cups that doubled as bowls. A simple stop at a roadside store for a quart of milk, and muffins or fruit, and we had breakfast.
A homemade wire basket for the manifold guaranteed a warm can of beans for lunch with canned fruit cocktail for desert. A tarp transformed a picnic table into a tent.
Resultant of a lifetime spent planning adventures as though they were epic safaris is a difficult habit to overcome. So, a trip to the Netherlands that will prohibit carrying a pocket knife as I have done most every day for more than forty years should present a few challenges.
In preparation of our forthcoming road trip to Cuba Fest, I spent some time yesterday setting the GPS, checking gear, and making a check list for us as well as the master of the castle in our absence, our son. So, come zero four hundred hours on the day of departure, I should be able to have all gear on board within 15 minutes. 
Now, the countdown begins –      
   
 
  
    
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