|Tudor Melville’s Tesla under stormy skies at Mr. D’z.|
As it turned out, it was a rather apt weekend for applying the old adage about the well laid plans of mice and men. The weekend schedule of activities in Kingman included a bluegrass festival at Stetson Winery, the 2nd annual Rattler Mountain Bike Race, Nifty Fifties Car Show, reception for the 2nd Annual National Route 66 Motor Tour, Chillin’ on Beale, Cinema Under the Stars, a concert in Metcalf Park, and the monthly Route 66 Association of Kingman open house. On Friday morning it got a bit cloudy. Late Friday afternoon it rained, on Saturday it rained, on Sunday morning it rained.
A general rule of thumb is that the folks who complain about rain in Arizona, especially after a long dry spell, are almost always newcomers or recent transplants. The rains did put a big damper (pardon the pun) on the festivities but the show went on, albeit on a smaller scale than intended.
For dearest friend and I, with assistance from Tudor Melville and a few friends, it turned out to be a most interesting weekend. In the last posting I shared my impressions of the P85D version of the Model S Tesla equipped with Insane mode and Autopilot software.
On Saturday we had another interesting experience with the Tesla, time travel and a comparative contrast in the guise of a trip to Cool Springs and the summit of Sitgreaves Pass on the pre 1952 alignment of Route 66.
Earlier this summer, courtesy of the Historic Vehicle Association, I had the opportunity to see the National Old Trails Highway, Route 66 until 1952, in western Arizona just as Edsel Ford did one hundred years ago. This was accomplished with a 1915 Ford the association team was driving from Detroit to San Francisco.
The vehicle and setting provided me with an incredible opportunity to step back a full century. In a sense, it provided an opportunity for a bit of multidimensional time travel.
On Saturday we saw the same road, a road where I learned to drive behind the wheel of trucks manufactured decades before my birth, as though it was several years in the future. This was accomplished courtesy of Tudor Melville’s Tesla, a vehicle that does more than just represent cutting edge automotive technologies. This is the future. To a certain degree our trip provided a peak into the future allowing us to see this iconic highway as Route 66 enthusiasts will experience it during the centennial year.
To say the very least, it was a most fascinating experience. At times as we floated over the old pavement in whisper silence, even with a quick five or six second burst of speed that pinned you to the plush seats, there was an almost surreal feel to the adventure. There was also a great deal of laughter and lively conversation, the highlight of any trip long or short that is shared with friends.
In between our trips into the future under rainy skies, I attended to the business of Route 66. First, there was some work with the marketing director at Ramada Kingman. They are creating a promotional brochure that centers on the developing 160-Miles of Smiles promotional campaign, and the use of my services as an area guide that is a component in the hotel managers plan for the creation of a full service Route 66 resort in Kingman.
Next, there was another attempt to resolve issues associated with the ongoing effort to self publish(I think we have it figured out!). I am forever indebted to David Keppel who has provided patient and invaluable tutelage in the development of this project.
This was followed with a bit more fun in the guise of Chillin’ on Beale, the last of the 2015 season, and the monthly Route 66 Association of Kingman openhouse. The eclectic and diverse display of vehicles that turn out for Chillin’ on Beale never ceases to amaze me.
There were numerous stand outs on Saturday evening. Among these were a rough around the edges but fully original 1948 Chevrolet canopy express series truck, a British taxi cab, a stunning Chrysler 300, Tudor’s Tesla, a beautifully restored 1950 Chevrolet truck, a chromed out low rider Chevrolet Impala convertible, a gorgeous 1968 Olds convertible, a 1960 Cadillac, and a mid 1960’s Alfa Romeo roadster.
The monthly open house at Ramada Kingman was also an informal birthday party for Scott Dunton, the Route 66 Association of Kingman president. As the Dunton family has a 90 year history of business ownership on Route 66 in KIngman as well as Goldroad, it was a most interesting gathering.
The Route 66 Association of Kingman has some very ambitious plans for 2016, including the Celebrate 90 initiative. If you would like more information about the associations agenda, or membership, the email address is Route66kingmanaz@yahoo.com. The phone number is (928)753-1314. A website is under development.
To wrap this up, as promised, here is an eleven minute video of a hands free cruise on Route 66 and I-40, courtesy of Tesla Autopilot, and the acceleration available using Insane mode.