It has been a rather interesting week to say the very least. As is often the case it has also been a week tinged with frustration and a barely restrained excitement about the weeks to come.
In perusing Facebook this morning I found this picture from a holiday fair posted by Australian based Route 66 Tours. There is still an almost surreal feel to finding my books in a shop in Amsterdam, having people from France or Germany stop me on the street and ask that I sign their copy, or to see them on display in an international setting such as this.
Over the years it has often been said that I seem to have a gift for telling folks where to go. That was a catalyst for the penning of travel books and feature articles in addition to my original work that focused on the chronicling of the evolution of the American auto industry.
Now, it seems, I am encouraging an international audience to discover the adventure that is exploration of American two lane highways and dusty back roads. Judging by notes received, and comments made, they seem to be enjoying those adventures and that makes me quite happy indeed.
For my dearest friend and I, a highlight of every year is the meeting with the legions of Route 66 enthusiasts and friends from throughout the world as they pass through Kingman, answering their questions, sharing memories from more than a half century of life lived on that storied highway, and learning a bit about the world in the process.Usually we while away the months of winter eagerly counting down the days until spring when the season for travel commences in earnest. This year, however, was different as we were privileged with the opportunity to meet with fans of Route 66 in the Netherlands. Kicking off a new year with an a Route 66 related adventure of this magnitude was a real game changer. Needless to say, for a good old boy from a dusty Arizona backwater this is all rather amazing. Last year we met with a New Zealand tour group at the Hackberry General Store where I often stopped to gas up my ’46 GMC on the way into town from the ranch more years ago than I care to count. We often have lunch with friends and tours from Australia at the cafe where I ate Christmas dinner on my return to Kingman in 1976.When my dearest friend and I were courting, the Kingman Drug with Jan’s Soda Fountain was our hang out after a movie. Now its a Mexican restaurant where we shared a delightful dinner with Jeroen and Maggie, friends from the Netherlands.Angel in Seligman is an international celebrity, not just the small town barber that trimmed my hair when I came into town from Paulden and Drake. Ed’s Camp is a dusty, forlorn empty ruin that is a photographers destination, not the place where I bought tomatoes, or where I helped old man Edgerton run water lines. Times do change. Meanwhile, as we await the dawn of a new season, and plan new adventures, attentions are turned toward more immediate tasks; the adventure in self publishing, taxes, addressing a few of the ailments plaguing Barney the Wonder truck, home repairs, …To close this out today, I have a special offer to announce. Beginning on March 1, a limited edition souvenir from the 2014 Route 66 International Festival will be included with a book order (see ordering information at the top of the page). There is, however, a slight catch. This offer is limited to the first fifty orders received.