On occasion in recent weeks I felt as though my compass needle was spinning wildly or the Garmin never stops telling me to spin in circles to calibrate. I am not exactly starting a new chapter in life but at this late date the recent transitions are fraught with a swirling mix of anxieties, episodic moments of dark humor, misdirection, occasional confusion, numerous opportunities for a laugh, frustrations, excitement, enthusiasm, and eager anticipation. In my world every day is either an adventure or an adventure waiting to happen but the recent turn of events has been, to say the very least, quite interesting.
As it has been almost a week since I last posted updates from my corner of the world on the road less traveled, let me bring you up to speed.
The first step was to move from a set schedule to a schedule of my own creation. Being raised in a home where most every day started by preparing me for boot camp (“It is zero five hundred, lets go, everybody up.”) that wasn’t overly difficult. Still, a week was consumed with developing a schedule that fit my early morning habits and yet allowed for me to dovetail this with the real world where the day seldom begins before 8:00.
So, as an example, this morning commenced at 4:30, or zero four-thirty. After answering a few emails, there was a shower, shave and breakfast.
I usually have a number of phone calls to make first thing in the morning. So, I start with those on the east coast.
Courtesy Historic Vehicle Association.
At 6:30, I finalized details with the Historic Vehicle Association pertaining to the acquisition of materials to complete a couple of feature articles, one for Old Cars Weekly and the other for Hemmings Classic Car. These are about the associations recent cross country trip in a 1915 Ford to foster discussion about the nations rich automotive history and to celebrate a century of road trips.
Next, completion of an outline for Route 66 centered marketing for Ramada Kingman, an historic property that the owners are in the process of transforming into a Route 66 resort.
This was followed by coffee at Mr. D’z and a meeting with Gary Cron of Baby Boomer Radio, and Sam Frisher, owner of the El Trovatore Motel. The primary topics of discussion were two fold; the ongoing need for development of coordinated tourism related promotion in Kingman, and the pending podcast (Gary is providing editing and technical assistance).
Afterwards I stopped by the Ramada, and picked up the mail. The rest of the day will be consumed with completion of the two feature articles, and ongoing work on the self published guide to Kingman. A meeting with Robert Bravo of Grand Canyon Western Ranch is pending for later this afternoon.
Yesterday was rather interesting. After filing the sales tax report for the month, and breakfast with our son, I simply cleaned up the email and created a photo album highlighting adventures on the road less traveled, and the people that makes those adventures memorable.
That afternoon I had a meeting scheduled out near Hackberry. However, that meeting was rescheduled, but not before I was half way there.
So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for a road trip and a little photography. However, the monsoon clouds that add dramatic effect to photographs of the desert had transformed the area around Hackberry in a rather dramatic manner; a power pole was lying across the west bound lane of Route 66, the road into the town of Hackberry was a small river, the dirt roads, including the National Old Trails Highway that is also an early alignment of Route 66 was part quagmire, part rutted goat trail strewn with rocks of varying sizes and cow pies.
Rather than deal with the backed up traffic on Route 66, I decided to take the scenic route by following the old road through Hackberry. After fording a stream or two, picking my way through rocks washed into the road, carefully charting my way across stream crossings where the road had been carved into sheer drops, and covering the Jeep with mud as well as cow dung, I came to an abrupt halt at an impromptu road closure just east of the historic school; a lariat strung across a cattle guard.
Local ranchers had cleared a mountain of sand and mud from the road but fences were down, hence the home made gate. After passing this point there were two options; crossing under the tracks and back to Route 66 or following the National Old Trails Highway several miles west where it connected with the double six near Antares Point. I chose the latter.
With the exception of a half mile of thick deep mud, and a couple of small washouts, the road was in good shape. The century old culverts still perform as intended.
Tuesday last week, through Saturday, were simply consumed with writing. In addition to the feature articles, I finished the work for a revised edition of Backroads of Arizona, and focused on re working the self published guide to Kingman.
I have long held the belief that every day is another opportunity for adventure. That is now more true than ever.