Even though the weekend was largely consumed with work at the homestead and on vehicles, there was ample time for some Route 66 adventures of a delightful nature, and a movie night with my dearest friend. In short, it was a most productive and enjoyable weekend.    
It included adding a few basic greetings in Japanese to the ever growing vocabulary that consists of similar phrases in Dutch, German, French, Chinese, and a few whole sentences in Spanish. Now, if could just learn a bit of Australian, but that might prove to be a real challenge.
On Friday afternoon, I met with a delightful group from New Zealand traveling Route 66. As always it was delight to be able to answer questions, and to provide a bit of history to enhance their adventure.
I dedicated Saturday morning to playing tour guide for Toshiyuki (Toshi) Goto, a fascinating and passionate young man who, with assistance from equally passionate friends, plans to launch a Japanese Route 66 association.
We kicked off our morning of exploration under a clear blue Arizona sky with breakfast at Rutherford’s Route 66 Family Diner. The business itself is a recent addition to the Route 66 landscape but the building dates to the 1960’s when it opened as a Denny’s. 
Good food, friendly service, and fascinating conversation always ensure a great start for a day. Afterwards I provided a running commentary on Kingman and area Route 66 history, and a tour of the Powerhouse Visitor Center.
Toshi’s passion for, and curiosity about Route 66 leave little doubt that a Route 66 association in Japan will have far reaching ramifications for the entire international community of enthusiasts. I wonder if this association will have representation at the 2016 European Route 66 Festival? 
Insightful conversations with Toshi, and lengthy discussions with Mazel Zimmerman, owner of Waterhole #2 in Texola, and Rosie Ramos of Fenders Resort in Needles this weekend helped flesh out my developing report on the state of the Route 66 community in 2015. In short, it is becoming quite obvious that on Route 66 it is the best of times and the worst of times.
I will commence the writing of the report in the next week and hope to have it finished in thirty days, somewhere around May 1. The hope is that it will inspire a few grassroots initiatives, provide community leaders with ideas on how to harness the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development as well as redevelopment, and that it will foster the development of some productive cooperative partnerships.
I know these are rather lofty goals but what else can you expect from a man possessed of a rather well developed Don Quixote complex? 



Life lived on Route 66 isn’t always a grand adventure. It just seems that way.
Yesterday Martin Swanty Chrysler in Kingman hosted a lunch for muscle car enthusiasts headed for Mopars on the Strip in Las Vegas. This is an annual stop but it never ceases to amaze. 
Seldom will you find such a display of rare high performance cars, and a few even rarer luxury cars from the late 1950′ to the modern era in one location. It is even rarer to see such a collection in their native habitat – the streets of America. Needless to say, more than a bit of rubber was left on Route 66 yesterday.
A gallery of photos from the gathering of Mopar muscle will be posted on the official Jim Hinckley Facebook page. Here is a link for that page
Today should be quite full. I will meet with a tour from New Zealand and speak about Route 66, and the have a delightful visit with the tax accountant.
In the morning I kick off what promises to be a very full weekend with an eagerly anticipated breakfast meeting with Toshiyuki Goto. Toshi is traveling Route 66 this week and is working to establish the Japanese Route 66 Association. 

Long term planning is not something that Americans are known for. I am no exception. Still, the 2016 calendar has a very big red ring around the weekend of July 16. That is the scheduled date for the very first European Route 66 Festival. You can bet the bottom dollar we will lend support wherever possible and make every effort to attend.
While we are on the subject of support, if your a Route business owner or director of a Route 66 museum or association, there is still time to put in your two cents worth. The value of the report on the state of the road from the perspective of folks with a heavily vested interest in its future is directly related to the number of contributors. 
To date, through phone calls or email I have had an impressive response. Several state and international Route 66 associations have provided their views. The Route 66 business community has been even more responsive. 
From Mannie Medelson on Santa Monica Pier to Connie Echols at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Bill Thomas in Atlanta, Illinois and Kaisa Barthuli with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program the response received should allow me to craft a fairly accurate portrayal of perceived challenges facing the Route 66 community, as well as provide some serious optimism about the future. 
Your input would be greatly appreciated. In addition to business owners, I would also like to hear from enthusiasts. 
The self publishing endeavor is moving forward albeit slowly. Having the ability to take the helm and make course corrections with no consultation aside from that of my dearest friend is proving to be a blessing as well as a curse.
As a primary reason for this venture was test the self publishing waters, and as our season is about to get quite busy, the decision has to keep this book smaller than originally envisioned. It will also have a more focused content.
In a nutshell it will be a guidebook to the sites and the history of the Kingman area based on my personal half century association. It will include a detailed walking tour of Kingman itself. Does this sound as though it might be of interest?
Well, here is to an interesting, productive, and adventuresome weekend. Adios for now.  



Pull up a chair and sit awhile. We are going to be here for a bit but I think it will be worth your time. 
The past couple of days have been filled with an almost endless series of exciting announcements and developments. 
On our 2016 calendar we have the weekend of July 16 circled in red. Between now and then we will be marking days from the calendar with eager anticipation.
Announcement was made with the launch of a Facebook page that the European Route 66 associations will be working together to develop a Route 66 festival in Germany next year and we fully intend to be there for the festivities. Cyrus Avery and his band of cohorts were visionaries but I bet they never imagined that the Main Street of America would become this famous or popular. 
Dreamers and fans of the double six at de Prael in

Meanwhile, the unleashing of the Don Quixote complex has developed into a most fascinating endeavor. My request for honest input from Route 66 associations, business owners, museum directors, and an international cast of individuals with a vested interest in the old double six has opened my eyes, confirmed long held suspicions, and convinced me that the spirit and essence of Route 66 is alive and well. 
All of this has left me quite eager to compile the responses into a comprehensive report and get it into circulation. From a collegiate or academic standpoint I doubt that it would pass muster but still, I am rather confident that the apathy made manifest in the lack of a response from some organizations and the heartfelt passion of grassroots activists and business owners, the very foundation of the Route 66 renaissance, will result in a fairly accurate picture of the Route 66 community and the challenges we face. 
My hope is that it will foster honest and open discussion, and lend itself to the development of productive partnerships. No one can ever accuse me of not dreaming big.      
While we are on the subject of big dreamers, here is a little inspiration for those working, sweating, and suffering through what seems like insurmountable frustration in an effort to utilize the resurgent interest in Route 66 as a catalyst for community transformation. This was submitted by Jane Reed in Cuba, Missouri. 

Cuba, MO—Route 66 Mural City—population 3400
The latest Route 66 revival of Route 66 kicked-off with the non-profit Viva Cuba’s outdoor mural project along the Route 66 Corridor in 2001. Viva Cuba adopted the goal of 12 outdoor murals by 2007, Cuba’s sesquicentennial. This project brought about many other projects to fruition, including a Tourism Tax to help promote Cuba and establish a Visitor’s Center. The following events and attractions have drawn many to Cuba’s “Six Miles on Route 66.”
*Creating the Viva Cuba murals, business murals and small pocket projects along 66
*Providing Viva Cuba step-on-guides for the large tour coaches that visit Cuba’s Route 66 attractions
*Restoration of the 1930s Phillips 66 Cottage Style Station–now a restaurant
*Rehabilitation of a 1930 gas station as Spirals Art Gallery
*Re-landscaping of the Viva Cuba Garden at the intersection of Route 66 and Hwy 19, which involved plantings, seating, and building a brick wall and replica of a historic Cuba train
*Painting historic scenes on the Traffic Control Boxes adjacent to the VC Garden
*Restoration of the 1930s Wagon Wheel Motel starting in 2009
*Erection in 2008 of the World’s Largest Route 66 Rocking Chair at the Outpost US66 Store
*Adopt-A-Street/Adopt-A-Highway Program along the Route 66 Corridor
*Opening the Route 66 Room at the Crawford County Museum in Cuba
*Route 66 Cuba Fest the 3rd Weekend of October/Narrated Trolley Tours of the Mural District
*Cuba, MO Route 66 Products-Print/Post Cards, Mural City Candy Bar, Route 66 Mural City Patch, Cruisin’ Route 66 Mural T-Shirts, Mural Art cards & Mural City Brochure
*Route 66 Shields Applied to the Streets/ Lions Club Route 66 Car Show/Cruise-in in September
* Branding, promotion, and social media bring media attention and visitors. Cuba MO Murals & More Facebook, websites, Cuba, Missouri Pinterest, Viva Cuba Twitter
*Revitalization of the Historic Business District with Grants for lighting, new sidewalks, planters, benches, and adoption of a color palette for the buildings.
*Route 66 Race to the Rocker, a 4-mile race on Route 66 from Historic Cuba to the World’s Largest Rocking Chair  The race has raised tens of thousands for kid’s health & fitness projects. From 800 to 1200 a year have taken part during the last seven years
* Bob’s Gasoline Alley is a private collection of nostalgic/neon memorabilia. The owners give tours by appointment. It is one of the largest private collections in the Midwest.
*Viva Cuba involves Cuba’s young people-4th graders study the Route 66/Mural Curriculum and then receive a spring narrated Mural Tour of Route 66 and the Mural District/8th Graders take a narrated walking tour of the Route 66 historic district and then visit the History Museum
*Stable Businesses along the Route 66 Corridor provide dining, retail, and specialty shops that appeal to tourists
* A 30-60’ sculpture of Osage Native Americans traversing the area on the grounds of the Cuba Visitor Center is its initial stages. Approval is being sought from the Osage leaders.
*A welcoming, friendly small town attitude from our citizens who encounter Route 66 travelers
Cuba, MO embraces the designations Route 66 Mural City, A Town Where Art Meets History, and a Small Town with Big Ideas. Local citizens, organizations, businesses, and the local press have all supported this Route 66 Revitalization. Cuba has many members in the Missouri Route 66 Association to help promote our legacy.

Submitted by Viva Cuba, Inc http://www.cubamomurals.com and the Cuba, MO Tourism Board 

These folks dream big! Even better, they come together as a community and make those dreams come true. 

Cuba, Missouri during Cuba Fest. 

On more than one occasion, especially when we share the delights of a Cuba Fest weekend with friends, flights of fancy lead to thoughts that, perhaps, the time has come for my dearest friend and I to pull stakes, that perhaps its time to seek greener pastures.
From its inception, Route 66 was the road of dreams and promises. It was a haven for those willing to bet it all on a dream and the visionary. It was ribbon of inspiration.  It still is. 
Look what the folks in Europe are doing with their Route 66 dreams. Stop in at the Roadrunner Lodge, Blue Swallow Motel, or Tee Pee Curios in Tucucmcari, see daring dreams made manifest and breathe deep the life changing inspiration. 
The past few days filled with exciting news and delightful conversations shared with Route 66 dreamers has been nothing short of exhilarating. They were also tempered with sadness at the tragic news of the Germanwings crash in the French Alps and thoughts of the mourning that has embraced the village of Haltern am See in Germany. To all who lost family and friends, I offer sincere condolences. 



Last weekend I started out with good intentions but after hauling one load of material we succumbed to the delightful weather and turned a blind eye to the tasks that required our attention, at least for an hour or two. We packed a picnic lunch and headed for the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains and like a couple of lizards on a rock, basked in the sun letting the warmth melt away the stress of the previous days.
That, my friends, is an excellent way to close out one week and to prepare for the next. 

This weekend the focus was almost entirely on the homestead and once again old Barney the Wonder Truck (our tried and true ’68 Dodge Adventurer) was pressed into service. Now the sun is sinking in the west and a cool breeze that is scented with the fresh cut sage and rosemary is stirring the trees. That and a bit of physical labor as well as an ample helping of chicken enchiladas has left me feeling comfortable and just a bit sleepy.

Between the enchiladas and the picnic was a long frustrating, productive, rewarding, and tiring week. In other words, situation normal.
Counted among the highlights were a delightful conversation with Renee Charles in Galena, Mike Ward in Arizona, Rich Dinkela in Missouri, and Brad Nickson in Oklahoma, and email correspondence with Connie Echols, Laurel Kane and friend scattered along the double six. These conversations were a manifestation of the outpouring of response to the request for information submitted to Route 66 associations, business owners, and folks with a vested interest in the old road.
It looks as though the envisioned report about the state of the road from the perspective of the people who own businesses or fight the battles that keep the gems of the double six from being erased is coming together. The initial anemic response to my request had me a bit concerned.
Even better, only one business owner responded in the negative. Apparently they interpreted my request for a view of the road from their perspective as a business owner as another self serving initiative. In addition they proceeded to tell me why the future of Route 66 is being jeopardized by endeavors such as the development of the Route 66: The Road Ahead initiative. Inadvertently they gave me their view from the road and it wasn’t pretty.    
Meanwhile, it looks as though the big event on the double six this year will be in Edwardsville in spite of the on again off again development. In addition to what is shaping up to be a fun filled weekend the indications are that the Route 66 community will be moving one step closer toward development of an annual convention where folks can focus on the business of Route 66.  
Last Wednesday, I attended a meeting pertaining to Kingman area developments. Resultant of travel and a tight schedule I am a bit out of the loop but indications are that the Best of the West on 66 event scheduled for the weekend of September 25 is on track. 
This annual event which is a tweaking the traditional Andy Devine Days, which in turn morphed from the historic Diggin’ Doggie’ Days noted in the now classic guide to U.S. 66 penned by Jack Rittenhouse, holds great promise for the city, participants, and organizers. The short descriptor of the event is that it will blend a celebration of western heritage (rodeo, dances, etc.) with a celebration of Route 66. 
Meanwhile, an annual event in Tucumcari is rapidly developing into a major attraction. Even better, Rockabilly on the Route is attracting a younger demographic to Route 66. 
Our schedule prohibits attendance. However, we will be attending the 2nd annual Route 66 Festival in Holbrook, Arizona. Yesterday reservations were made for the Globetrotter Lodge and was informed that they were now booked for that weekend. My hope is that this is indicative of how busy the city will be on the weekend of June 13.
With the making of those reservations, I closed out another week. Now the focus turns toward new adventures.       


Yesterday afternoon I had a most stimulating and interesting conversation with Renee Charles in Galena, Kansas. It looks as though folks in that charming community are looking toward the future with excitement, vision, optimism and a keen awareness of their history as well as heritage. 
An evening of entertainment in Galena. 
Even though a multitude of challenges will need to be addressed there are exciting changes on the horizon in the old mining town. This is but another reason I often use Galena as an example when making presentations about harnessing the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development and redevelopment.
Success stories as well as the challenges faced by the Route 66 community as made manifest in the recent closure of the Gasconade River Bridge in Missouri, as well as a growing interest in how cities and towns can utilize the international interest in Route 66 as a venue for revitalization is the cornerstone for an interesting project. 
Several weeks ago Route 66 associations, new business owners, and organizations such as the Route 66 Alliance and National Historic Route 66 Federation were asked to provide their perspective on the Route 66 renaissance, issues of importance facing the Route 66 community, and examples of how communities are using Route 66 for revitalization. This information will be compiled as a report and then be provided upon request to city managers, media, and other interested parties. 
This past week the scope of the project was enlarged. So, input from any Route 66 business owner, museum director, or tourism director would be appreciated. The deadline for submission is April 1.
Please keep submissions to one page. They can be emailed directly to me. 
Obviously, it would also be interesting to hear from the proverbial man in the street. After all, it is the Route 66 enthusiast that is the lifeblood of the renaissance. 
This report will also be provided to the organizers of the event in Edwardsville in an effort to ensure that the conference and workshops focus on topics of interest and importance to the Route 66 community.
That takes me to this item which inspired the title for this mornings post – 

Tentative Schedule for Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Conference

Here it is – our tentative conference schedule!

Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31, 2015
Wildey Theatre, Edwardsville, IL
Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition
Hosted by the City of Edwardsville

Thursday, October 29
12:00 noon – 6:00 pm Registration, packets/goody bags/info available – Wildey lobby
Afternoon –  Edwardsville Historic Districts tours – by City of Edwardsville Historic Preservation Commission
Wildey Theatre tours – by Joan Evers, Wildey Theatre historian
Evening –  Route 66 Pub Crawl – Stagger Inn, Springer’s Creek Winery, Hi-Way Tavern, a couple newer Main Street establishments
Friday, October 30
8:00 – 10:00 am Registration, pick up packets/goody bags/info – Wildey lobby
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome – Wildey auditorium – Mayor Hal Patton
9:00 am Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo opens – second floor
9:30 – 10:30 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
10:45 – 11:45 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunchtime stroll – downtown restaurants and shops
1:15 – 2:15 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
2:30 – 3:30 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
3:45 – 4:45 pm Conference session – auditorium only while buffet sets up on third floor
4:45 pm – 6:00 pm Shop/visit Author Store/Artist & Collector Expo or Evening Main Street Stroll
6:00 pm Author Store/Artist & Collector Expo closes for the day
6:00 pm Buffet Dinner – third floor
7:30 pm Band concert – auditorium
Saturday, October 31
8:00 am Tentative – E-group Breakfast (hosted by Mike & Sharon Ward, Mesa AZ) – Location TBA
9:00 am Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo opens – second floor
9:30 – 10:30 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
10:45 – 11:45 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunchtime stroll – downtown restaurants and shops
1:15 – 2:15 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
2:30 – 4:00 pm Special Surprise, announcements of future events – auditorium only
5:00 pm Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo closes
5:00 pm End of conference events at the Wildey
4:00 – 6:00 pm Free time – nap, eat, shop, drink, get a spot for the parade
6:00 pm Halloween Parade steps off at Lincoln Middle School but does not arrive downtown until about 6:30 pm. Parade theme “Miners Mobsters and the Mother Road.”
After parade –  Roadie Party (hosted by Dr. Nick Gerlich, Amarillo TX, and Roamin’ Rich Dinkela, St. Louis MO) – Tentatively at host hotel Holiday Inn Express Conference Rooms. Joe Sonderman (Route 66 author/collector and long-time St. Louis radio personality) will DJ.
Sunday, November 1
Blue Carpet Corridor tour for attendees staying through Sunday