The Running Hare, a sculpture by Donald Gialanella now graces the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue in Kingman.
Route 66 is far more than a mere highway. It does more than simply link Chicago with Santa Monica. It is a magic portal where the past and present blend together seamlessly and where barriers of language and culture melt away over pie and coffee. It is America’s biggest small town where everyone knows your name.
I have been a bit delinquent with blog posting this past week, my wife and I have been traveling the world without leaving home. This is a relatively common phenomena for folks who reside along Route 66.
There was also the addition of a grandson last Thursday, a festival that provided a few opportunities for sharing dinner with good friends, preparation of several reports, negotiations with the publisher for a new project, cover design tweaks for the long overdue guide book to the Kingman area, a meeting with the marketing manager at Ramada Kingman, travel arrangements for our pending road trip to the Miles of Possibilities Conference in Edwardsville, and planning sessions for the Celebrate 90 initiative. To say the very least, my dearest friend and I have been a bit on the busy side.
City Council member Carol Young, Mayor Richard Anderson, and Dora Manley present author Jim Hinckley with the King of the Mother Road Award at the first annual Best of the West on 66 Festival. Judy Hinckley
The first annual Best of the West on 66 Festival is now history. As it was built on the foundation of the Andy Devine Days events, which were built on the historic Digg’n Doggie Days festival, organizers were able to avoid a few of the pitfalls that plague most first year events.
This is not to say there weren’t frustrations, snags, issues, or problems. However, overall these were relatively minor and I am rather confident that with the exception of the record heat, these problems will be resolved in time for next years festival, especially as plans .
The annual parade featured more than 125 diverse entries, a new record, and visitors from Europe and China, as well as from Phoenix and Las Vegas, got a taste of classic small town America that was worthy of Norman Rockwell as concerts provided a bit of musical entertainment. Native Americans shared traditional dances, State Senator Kelli Ward was presented with an honorary membership into the Route 66 Association of Kingman, and a new slate of inductees was officially added to the Route 66 Walk of Fame. The Saturday evening rodeo sponsored by the Kingsman, a separate event at Mohave County Fairgrounds, had record attendance, and to celebrate the transformation of the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue, a sculpture by Donald Gialanella was introduced. Perhaps the most glaring problem was one that is a common issue at many of these events – signage for the exhibitions hall and this event was no exception.
State Senator Kelli Ward accepts an honorary membership into the Route 66 Association of Kingman presented by Jim Hinckley at the Best of the West on 66 Festival.
Still, there were a lot of smiling faces and at the end of the day, friends gathered at Ramada Kingman for dinner, a few cold drinks, and some hearty laughter. Like the road itself, it is the people that make an event memorable as well as special.
It is also the people that made our week special. First, there was the arrival of our latest grandson last Thursday.
Author Akio Takeuchi accepts an honorary membership in the Route 66 Association of Kingman presented by Jim Hinckley. Judy Hinckley
Then there was the dinner with friends on Saturday evening, a breakfast with our son and friends at Rutherford’s Route 66 Family Diner on Sunday morning, and on Tuesday we kicked off the day with a visit from our friends Akio Takeuchi, a Japanese author and Route 66 enthusiast as well as a member of the Japanese Route 66 Association, and his family.
Even though he does better with English than my wife or I do with Japanese, we were quite grateful for Google translate. After coffee at Mr. D’z, as per request I facilitated a meeting with James Gross at TNT Engineering as Akio wanted to present the owner with a copy of his book that contained a photograph of Bob Waldmire painting the mural on the facilities machine shop wall.
Bob Waldmire used this facility a great deal to keep his legendary bus on the road, especially while living in Hackberry, and once in exchange for services he added the sweeping mural. The owners of TNT have preserved the artistry and added a small gallery of Waldmire’s world famous work, some of which was created specifically as a gift.
Author Akio Takeuchi presents James Gross with a copy his book at TNT Engineering.
Shortly after bidding adios to Akio and his family, I received a call from Jan Kuperus, a friend from the Netherlands who is a co-owner of U.S. Bikers. This was a most pleasant surprise as we haven’t had an opportunity to visit since sharing a cabin and working at the holiday fair in Utrecht Netherlands this past January.
We started our evening visit with the always pleasant drive into the Hualapai Mountains even though the Hualapai Mountain Resort is closed on Tuesday. We always enjoy introducing visitors to this pine shaded oasis in the desert that is a mere twelve miles from Kingman.
The pine scented breezes, the clean mountain air, the delightful conversation, and a visit from a herd of elk made for a most pleasant evening that stimulated the appetite. Our visit was topped off with a delicious dinner at Redneck’s Southern Pit Barbecue.
Jan Kuperus at Hualapai Mountain Park. Judy Hinckley
Our international week continued this morning when we met Zdnek Jurasek and his wife Eva of the Czech Route 66 Association, and their tour group for breakfast at Mr. D’z. As Zdnek and his wife were inductees into the walk of fame this year, Mayor Richard Anderson, Police Chief Robert DeVries, and Dora Manley turned out for a special presentation followed by walk to see the brick placed in their honor along Andy Devine Avenue, Route 66. It is celebrations such as this that are the highlight of our Route 66 adventures.
The busy schedule continued after breakfast, first with some much needed Jeep service, and then a meeting with the marketing manager at Ramada Kingman. Plans to make this Kingman’s only Route 66 resort are moving forward. From area tour packages to special events the historic full service facility can enhance any Route 66 adventure that includes a stop in Kingman.
To wrap this hope, I would like to share a letter of thanks that was submitted to the Kingman Daily Miner.
1308 Stockton Hill Road
Suite A, PMB 228
Kingman, AZ 86401-5190
A letter of thanks:
I was quite honored to be selected the 2015 King of the Mother Road at the 1stannual Best of the West on 66 Festival. This as well as my inclusion in the Route 66 Walk of Fame during the 2014 Route 66 International Festival were bestowed in recognition of my contributions to the promotion and preservation of Route 66, America’s most famous highway and its longest attraction.
My accomplishments, however, are resultant of a partnership that has spanned more than three decades. To my dearest friend, thank you for the support, the encouragement, the insightful wisdom, and the patience. They are also attributed to some very special people in Kingman that make it easy for me to promote the city.
Ron Giesbrecht, thank you for serving as my chauffer during the Andy Devine Parade, and your work to ensure we have an event like Chillin’ on Beale. I also need to express my thanks to you and everyone who provided transportation for our Dutch visitors, to everyone who contributed to the refurbishment of the truck for Ashley Walker, the people who turned out for the presentation, and those who organized the event, thank you.
Ralph Bowman, and all who contributed of their time and labor, as well as the materials for the refurbishment of “Jingles”, our historic police car, thank you. I would also like to thank the Route 66 Cruizers, Kingman Area Tourism, Arizona Route 66 Association, and Route 66 Association of Kingman for hosting the reception for the 2nd Annual National Route 66 Motor Tour on October 16.
To Police Chief Robert DeVries, the Kingman Police Department, Mayor Richard Anderson, and City Manager John Dougherty, your leadership and tireless work to ensure Kingman is a city with a bright and prosperous future is greatly appreciated.
To Dora Manley, Julie Lowe, and all involved with the recent Best of the West on 66 event, congratulations on a job well done.
Scott Dunton, reorganization of the Route 66 Association of Kingman, the Celebrate 90 initiative, the cleanup and transformation of the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue, and the renovation of neon signage, has me looking 2016 with eager anticipation.
The owners and management of Ramada Kingman also deserve special mention. From the transformation of the property to the hosting of the reception for our Dutch visitors, thank you for helping make Kingman more than a stop on the way to somewhere else.
Sam and Monica of the El Trovatore Motel, Dennis and Herberta at the Hill Top Motel, and the countless dozens of people who work behind the scenes, you make it a pleasure to promote Kingman, and a joy to tell folks during my travels that I call Kingman home.
Nine amazing decades, 1926 to 2016. Nine decades in which a highway evolved into an icon; the Main Street of America, legendary Route 66, the Mother Road turns ninety next year and celebratory events are being discussed or planned in communities all along the Route 66 corridor. There is even going to be a European Route 66 festival in Germany next July, the first of its kind.
Of course, the big event, the culmination of a year long series of celebrations, will be the one in November 2016 at the original western terminus of the highway in downtown Los Angeles. With development of the event spearheaded by Scott Piotrowski, the leading spokesman for the Route 66 corridor in that cities metropolitan area, it promises to be an historic extravaganza.
In Kingman, the cities Route 66 association has been a bit slow in developing a website or social media presence but this is not indicative of it being just another well meaning organization with lofty goals and dreams. For such a small organization they are casting a fairly large shadow.
The most ambitious project to date is development of the Celebrate 90 initiative that is a limited partnership with JuST Marketing of Kingman. The latest press release about the 15-month initiative will be added at the bottom of this mornings post.
Wolfgang Werz of the German Route 66 Association and author Jim Hinckley. Judy Hinckley
Aside from my involvement and Route 66 itself, the link between the festival in Germany and the Celebrate 90 events currently under development in Kingman are the Route 66 Association of Kingman’s ongoing endeavors to create a sense of community internationally. This initiative includes honorary memberships bestowed upon Route 66 associations, and plans for developing cooperative partnerships with these groups as well as neighboring communities and select organizations. On October 16, in addition to the wide array of other activities being planned for that weekend, the association will bestow membership on the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation. In addition to the establishment of the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, this organization has facilitated the contribution of electric vehicle charging stations for the Powerhouse Visitor Center (a project still under development), and works with groups such as the Route 66 Electric Car Club to foster development of Route 66 as an electric vehicle friendly highway.
To date the Kingman association has extended this symbolic gesture of solidarity to the German, Japanese, and Dutch Route 66 Associations. Next week they will add the Czech Route 66 Association when Zdnek Jurasek stops in Kingman with his tour group.
As there isn’t a Route 66 association in Australia, the honorary membership was presented to Dale and Kristi-Anne Butel of Route 66 Tours as they are strong supporters of the Route 66 community, and exemplary spokespersons for the most famous highway in America.
As the historic Dunton Motors facility, a property that was also an Edsel dealership, which dates to 1946 serves as the official headquarters for the association, the owners are making tremendous strides in making the facility a destination. Last week they unveiled the restored OK Used Car sign that graced the facility in about 1960.
Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum at the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman.
The Route 66 Association of Kingman is also partnering with Kingman Area Tourism and the Arizona Route 66 Association to host a reception and open house at the Powerhouse Visitor Center for the National Route 66 Motor Tour on October 16. In addition to the static display of vehicles, that event will include special hours for the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, a joint initiative between the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation and Kingman Area Tourism that was recently profiled in an automotive magazine published in Madrid, Spain. It looks as though 2016 will be a most exciting year, and a wonderful way to kick off the countdown to the highways centennial. In Kingman, Celebrate 90 promises to provide locals and visitors alike with a string of fun filed weekends.
Contact: Scott Dunton
Route 66 Association of Kingman
119 E. Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66)
Kingman, AZ 86401
Route 66 Association of Kingman
The Main Street of America turns 90
Route 66 Association of Kingman launches anniversary initiative
Kingman, AZ, September 21, 2015:
In 2016, Route 66, the Main Street of America turns 90. To celebrate this milestone the Route 66 Association of Kingman, a 501c3 organization is spearheading a series of initiatives to build cooperative partnerships along the Route 66 corridor and to build on the theme of the 2014 Route 66 International Festival – Kingman: Crossroads of the Past & Future.
The owners of the Dunton Motors Dream Machines complex built in 1946, which also serves as the office for the association has initiated numerous renovation projects for the historic dealership including the restoration and installation of a circa 1960 neon OK Used Car sign as part of the kick off for this 14 month program.
Projects launched and currently under development include:
·Establishment of a Celebrate 90 committee in conjunction with JuST Marketing, LLC
·Retaining internationally acclaimed author and speaker Jim Hinckley as a voluntary developmental consultant
·Partnering with Kingman Area Tourism and Arizona Route 66 Association to host a reception for the National Route 66 Motor Tour at the Powerhouse Visitor Center that includes a showing of exhibits at the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum
·Partnering with the organizers of Chillin’ on Beale for the development of seven special themed events in 2016 including an orphan car show
· Assisting in the development of special receptions for Route 66 association tours and Route 66 tour companies
·Assisting in the development of cooperative marketing and promotional campaigns with Route 66 communities
·Establishment of a Kingman area promotional website
·Establishment of a Route 66 information center
·Initiating renovation and beautification projects in the city’s historic district as well as along the Route 66 corridor
For details pertaining to the Celebrate 90 initiative, membership information, event information, information about the associations’ monthly open house reception, or to make donations, please contact the Route 66 Association of Kingman.
The one and only Rodger Fox during his historic last stop in KIngman Judy Hinckley
What an incredible week! In looking back over the course of the past few days it seems as though the week was at least a month long.
We were privileged, once again, to play a part in the Ride for the Relay led by legendary Rodger Fox. It was, however, a more emotional experience than usual as it was Rodger’s last run with the tour on Route 66. This was truly the end of an era.
With more than 75 riders, this was the largest ride yet. So, we were quite fortunate for the traffic control assistance provided by Police Chief Robert DeVries and the City of Kingman Police Department when it came time for the group to leave the hotel to continue their westward journey.
Chillin on Beale, held on the third Saturday evening of every month, April through October, is always a delightful event. Now that the Route 66 Association of Kingman has added Cinema under the Stars it is even more enjoyable.
The Saturday evening event was almost beyond description. A special dedication manifested the best of the city and our country.
The presentation ceremony in memory of Sergeant Brian L. Walker.
This press release provides the details.
In Memory of SGT. Brian L. Walker
SGT Brian Lloyd Walker was born March 3, 1987. After graduating high school from Lucerne Valley, CA, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2007. SGT Walker completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as a Military Policeman. After graduating from Basic Airborne Course he was assigned to the 118th Military Police Company at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he completed his first tour to Afghanistan from May 2009 to May 2010. SGT Walker was then assigned to HHC, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team Airborne, 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. SGT Walker was attached to HHC, 1-501st Infantry Battalion Airborne in August 2011, where he served as the team leader. SGT Walker was deployed with his company to Afghanistan in December 2011, where he was killed by an IED during a combat mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, May 13, 2012 near Bowri Tana, Afghanistan. He was the vehicle commander in the lead vehicle when it was struck by the IED, when he and his driver PFC Richard L. McNulty III were killed. His military education includes the U.S. Army Military Police School, Basic Airborne Course, Combat Life Saver Course, Warrior Leaders Course, and he was inducted into the SGT Audie Murphy Club.
His awards and decorations include the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart. SGT Walker is survived by his wife Ashley Walker.
The Walkers first met each other while stationed at Fort Bragg, NC where they both were assigned to the 16th Military Police Brigade they had a strong bond and connection, which culminated in love and marriage in December 11, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ashley used her tools of motivation after the loss of her husband to win the gold medal for the 2012 All-Army Women’s Softball Team September 20th. “It’s for him, everything is for him,” Ashley said of Brian. Ashley Walker was honorably discharged from the U. S. Army in 2012 and came home to Kingman, AZ, where she then began to start training at Crossfit, ultimately becoming a Trainer. She then studied hard and graduated police academy in Lake Havasu City, AZ on June 2014 and now works for the Kingman Police Department.
Brian and Ashley purchased this 1958 Chevy Pickup while on leave in Escondido, California a few days prior to his death, he was heard to be boasting about his new truck and how nice it was going to when it was completed. With the financial support of Ashely and three years later it is complete, this is the first time that Ashely has seen the truck since it looked like the picture on the hood.
As the presentation was made, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. This link is for a story published in the Kingman Daily Miner.
The presentations and ceremony continued when Ralph Bowman and a team of hard working volunteers debuted the recently refurbished police car, Jingles, named in reference to the towns favorite son, Andy Devine. The historic police car has served as a ceremonial center piece at events for years in Kingman but it was beginning to show its age. The volunteer effort to refurbish the vehicle seems rather symbolic as the entire city seems to been on the cusp of exciting change.
Last week JuST Marketing issued a press release announcing a cooperative partnership with the Route 66 Association of Kingman as that organization launches its ambitious Celebrate 90 initiative. The core of the initial announcement was a solicitation for letters of endorsement and sponsors.
This morning the association released a more detailed press release about the initiative. I will share this in the next posting.
As a kick off for the project, the owners of the historic Dunton Motors dealership, now Dunton Motors Dream Machines, location for the associations office, installed a restored circa 1960 neon OK Used Car sign last Friday.
As the facility once served as an Edsel dealership, there are also plans for the restoration and installation of neon Edsel sign. As these are a bit hard to come by a request for an estimate was sent to Joel Rayburn of Glass Boy Studios, a leading manufacturer of reproduction neon signage that recently completed a sign for the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari.
The owner of the dealership has recently acquired two historic neon signs, and they are being renovated at this time. One is from the Hotel Beale cocktail lounge, and the second from the Brandin’ Iron Motel.
The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation also issued a press release about their forthcoming plans. In addition, it provides a bit of information about the festivities scheduled for the weekend of October 16.
This should be quite a fun filled weekend. In addition to the reception for the National Route 66 Motor Tour that includes the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum displays, a Route 66 cruise to Grand Canyon Caverns, a bluegrass festival at Stetson Winery, a mountain bike event, Cinema under the Stars, and the last Chillin on Beale for 2015.
Ramada Kingman continues to be a major supporter of events in the city. For this exciting weekend they have developed a special package that will add real value for visitors.
To close this out today, here is the press release from the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
World’s Fastest Electric Car in Kingman
With the fairly recent development of cars such as the Tesla model S and the model P90D and the ground shattering developments during the 1990s of electric vehicle racing organizations such as the National Electric Drag Racing Association, www.nedra.com, there is no longer a perception of electric vehicles being dull and boring. Quite to the contrary. However there are many who still do not realize the full potential of this very new and very old technology. With the recent inclusion of the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 electric streamliner, the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum in the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, AZ now covers over 100 years of electric vehicle history and development.
The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 was built and first raced in 2009 by students at Ohio State University. It set two international F.I.A. (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) records in 2010. It set the kilometer record of 307.905 mph (495.526 km/hr) and the mile record of 307.666 mph (495.140 km/hr) making it the current fastest electric car in the world under international regulations. On the record run of 307.666 mph average the car reached a top speed that exceeded 321 mph. The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 is currently on loan from the Wally Parks National Hot Rod Association Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA with permission of the owners, Ohio State University.
In addition to the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 there have been many new additions to the museum in the last several months pushing it up near capacity. There is Willie Nelson’s classic Rolls Royce style electric golf cart with a wet bar as well as “Gone Postal” an all wheel drive drag racing postal van from the Discovery Channel pilot tilted “Sucking Amps”. There has also been several additions to the electric micro car collection.
We are now turning our attention to creating a richer experience for our guests. In the upcoming months we will be doing a major fund raiser to enhance the exhibits with large period photos for our massive wall space. We also intend to hire a full time person to explain the exhibits and add a more personal touch to the experience. In addition we will be upgrading the theater and including pertinent videos to go along with the exhibits. We want our guests from around the world to leave wishing to return to see what is new and exciting on their next visit.
Next month on October 16th the The Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum will be held open in the evening to accommodate the reception for The 2nd Annual National Route 66 Motor Tour which is being hosted by Kingman Area Tourism, Route 66 Association of Kingman, and The Arizona Route 66 Association.
A 10,000 original mile 1949 Mack fire truck, the newest addition at Dream Machines next to Mr. D’z.
There are so many exciting things to share this morning that I am not really sure where to begin. Perhaps the best bet would be to start with the explanations for this post title.
Let’s start with a bit of fun, and then I will provide details about discounts. That will be followed with information about pending detours and a couple of adventures.
If your cruising Route 66 in western Arizona this weekend, or are on the way to Las Vegas, we have a lot of fun filled activities scheduled in Kingman.
The Mohave County Fair at the Mohave County Fairgrounds will run through Sunday evening. On Saturday we have Chillin’ on Beale, a free and fun filled evening that includes cruising, cars, and Cinema Under the Stars hosted by the Route 66 Association of Kingman.
The event kicks off around 6:00 PM, and the movie on the corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue starts at 8:00. Bring your chairs and enjoy a showing of Roadhouse 66. Add dinner at the Garlic Clove, Sirens, El Palacio, Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, or Redneck’s Southern Pit Barbecue, and something cold to drink at the Wine Cellar, House of Hops, or Black Bridge Brewery and it should be a perfect night to hang out in the cities historic district.
You might also want to check out Dream Machines located in the former Dunton Motors dealership building next to Mr. D’z. They will be relighting the restored circa 1960 OK Used Car neon sign on Saturday evening.
Next weekend is the Best of the West Festival. This will blend the cities rich western heritage, including the 45th annual Andy Devine Days Parade and a celebration of its 89 year association with Route 66 into what promises to be a delightful event.
Several weeks ago I wrote about developments at Tap Duncan’s historic Diamond Bar Ranch located sixty miles north of Kingman via Stockton Hill Road. Today the property is home to Grand Canyon Western Ranch, a delightful resort complex that provides the visitor with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a western heritage experience.
Well, in support of my ongoing endeavors to promote Kingman as a vacation destination for Route 66 enthusiasts under the 160 Miles of Smiles promotional campaign Robert Bravo, the marketing manager for the ranch is offering a special on packages that ranges from a simple wagon ride to the ridge line at sunset (where the buffalo roam) to helicopter rides into the western end of the Grand Canyon. Simply use promo code “Hinckley” when booking to receive a 10% discount.
In addition to offering the visitor a unique and memorable experience, the ranch has a wonderfully rustic full menu restaurant, and a variety of lodging options that will enhance a visit. The bonus is the fact that the drive from Kingman is through stunning and diverse western landscapes.
I have two more Kingman area specials for you. Catch me along the road during our trip in October, or the Miles of Possibilities events in Edwardsville, Illinois in October, and I will provide you with a card for a special $59.95 room rate at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn.
Next, make plans for a very full weekend in Kingman that kicks off on Friday evening, October 16 with a reception for the National Route 66 Motor Tour at the Powerhouse Visitor Center. That will include a special anniversary celebration of the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum.
Also scheduled for this exciting weekend is a bluegrass festival at Stetson Winery, and a second annual mountain biking event along the challenging Cerbat foothills trails near the site of historic Fort Beale just a short distance north of Kingman. The last Chillin on Beale for 2015, and the Route 66 Association of Kingman sponsored Cinema under the Stars takes place on Saturday night. Ramada Kingman, the renovated 1965 Holiday Inn, is offering a special package that includes lodging and breakfast, as well as an evening with artist Len Nordmann.
The next topic for discussion, adventures. Recently, I was quite privileged with an opportunity to assist in the organization of a reception and ceremony for Dries and Marion Bessels, 2015 inductees into the Route 66 Walk of Fame. This video of the event was prepared by the quite talented Frank Kocevar.
Arrangements are being finalized for our adventure to the events in Ewardsville, which usually provides ample opportunity for interesting detours. I hope to see you on the road, or at the festival.
Between then and now, there is a presentation pertaining to tourism to be made before the city council of Kingman. There is also an opportunity to visit with Zdnek Jurasek and his wife Eva, also inductees into the walk of fame, and their tour, Jan Kuperus of U.S. Bikers, and Akio Takeuchi, an acclaimed Japanese author and passionate Route 66 enthusiast.
To close this up, I will share a press release from the Route 66 Association of Kingman who is partnering with Just Marketing to develop a series of Celebrate 90 events, a reference to the 90th anniversary of Route 66 certification. Here is the first press release –
Press Release Contact: Jamie S. Taylor; JuST Marketing; 928/530-2056
Route 66 Association of Kingman Partners with “66 Celebrates 90!”
September 18, 2015 (Kingman, AZ) The Route 66 Association of Kingman is proud to announce that it has partnered with 66 Celebrates 90 to promote events and programs to help celebrate the 90th anniversary of Route 66! The numerical designation “66” was assigned to the Chicago/Los Angeles route on April 30, 1926 and was officially established on November 11th, of that same year.
Starting in April 2016, the 66 Celebrates 90 committee will promote events the third Saturday of each month in conjunction with Chillin’ on Beale St. in Kingman. These events will help bring attention to the important role that Route 66 has played in the history and the future of Kingman, AZ. They will also be a driving force in bringing more visitors to Kingman.
In coming weeks the Route 66 Association of Kingman directors will issue a goals statement & Calendar of Events for 2016 and an outline for bringing them to fruition. A key component to moving some of these projects forward will be letters of endorsement for 66 Celebrates 90from business owners, Route 66 Associations, and elected officials.
Following is a list of some of the upcoming Route 66 events planned in the immediate future:
·The morning of September 30 Zdnek Jurasek, President of the Route 66 Association of the Czech Republic and an inductee into the walk of fame, will be in Kingman with his tour from the Czech Republic and a ceremony will be held at Mr. D’z at 8:00 am.
·On the evening of October 24th, Adventure Caravans will be in Kingman for two days. Arrangements have been made for special activities at the Powerhouse Visitor Center. The company’s second fall tour will stop in Kingman on the 31st.
·Scott Dunton has restored a circa 1960 neon OK Used Cars sign. This will be installed at Dunton Motors Dream Machine soon, and plans call for an official lighting during the September Chillin’ on Beale.
·Jim Hinckley will be addressing the Miles of Possibilities Conference, a part of the Route 66 convention, in Edwardsville, Illinois at the end of October. Details about the trip and his presentation are forthcoming.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities for the Route 66 Association of Kingman or 66 Celebrates 90 call Jim Hinckley at 928/897-7766 or Jamie Selby Taylor of JuST Marketing at 928/530-2056.
I have been making stops at the Grand Canyon Caverns complex for one reason or another since at least 1966. This weekend, however, is the first time that I included an overnight stay. What a delightful little gem!
When my dearest friend and I travel, we strive to see a motel, a restaurant, or an attraction as though it is our first visit. Obviously, that can be a bit difficult, especially if it is a place visited at least one hundred times.
With our stay at the Grand Canyon Caverns Resort this was surprisingly easy as the owners strive daily to breathe new life into the historic roadside attraction while preserving the illusion that time stopped at some point around 1965. As an example, during our visit, new flat screen televisions were being added to several rooms.
Even though the restaurant appears unchanged from 1965, or even 1955, it was recently fully renovated. As a bonus the menu is diverse, and the food quite good. Even better, a variety of delicious fresh baked pies are now available.
The motel and the restaurant are but two manifestations of the owners passion for preserving this little roadside time capsule while transforming it into a destination for a new generation of Route 66 adventurers. Another would be the fully renovated RV park that recently garnered accolades from Good Sam.
As a whole, the complex is a near perfect time capsule of the Route 66 roadside in the years before that highway was eclipsed by the interstate. This too is merely a carefully crafted illusion as the resort mirrors the Route 66 renaissance with all of its vibrancy.
By no means is the resort without flaw or blemish. Regardless of an owners zeal, infectious enthusiasm, vision, and tireless ambition decades of neglect and abandonment are not reversed overnight. It takes years to turn back the hands of time.
Still, I found the resort to be one part living history museum, and one part portal into the future of Route 66. From the quirky miniature golf course, a recent addition, and metal sculptures intermingled among a variety of dinosaurs to the caverns with its stockpile of Civil Defense supplies and the multifaceted activities that range from trail rides to disk golf and a star gazers observatory Grand Canyon Caverns perfectly captures the essence of the Route 66 experience in one neat little package.
For an afternoon, for an evening, or for a weekend, I can honestly suggest that you add Grand Canyon Caverns to your Route 66 travel plans.
Our weekend vacation commenced with a pleasant drive east along Route 66 as storm clouds filled the sky. After arrival and checking in (room number 37) we eagerly headed for the miniature golf course like a couple of kids on holiday.
The nine-hole course is a throwback to an earlier, simpler time, the sort of thing that used to be found all along Route 66. The home made course was laid out around a golf cart grave yard, and a variety of dinosaurs that hinted of the property’s earlier life when it was promoted as Dinosaur Caverns.
A cool rain scented breeze enhanced our laughter filled visitation with youth as we endeavored to negotiate the deceptively challenging course. We will not discuss scores but suffice to say, professionals we are not.
Our golf adventure was followed with a most delightful dinner shared with John McEnulty, the passionate owner of the property who wears a permanent smile, his son Sean, and their family friends, Jim and Kathy. Lively conversation, lots of laughter, a couple of glasses of wine (beer for me), and some very delicious chocolate cream pie rounded out the evening.
As with many vintage motels on Route 66, this one is not for those in search of the Marriott or Hilton. Our room was a true time capsule; simple, clean, and quiet with authentic or period mimicking furnishings. It was exactly what the Route 66 enthusiast searches for, a pleasant and restful time capsule.
The free breakfast that is a part of the room package was simple, basic fare. However, it was quite adequate.
As enjoyable and restful as our little vacation getaway was, the highlight was in the opportunity to watch and interact with visitors. Children bubbling with excitement, teenagers having fun with their families, the sound of laughter, and the smiling faces left me feeling quite confident that in resorts such as Grand Canyon Caverns are the seeds for ensuring that Route 66 remains a destination for a new generation, and for generations to come.