ONWARD TO EDWARDSVILLE, NOTES FROM THE ROAD, AND AN HISTORIC EVENT, PART THREE OF OUR ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE

Okay, before continuing the story of our recent Route 66 adventure, and a few more restaurant recommendations it seemed a good idea to provide a few updates that might be of interest. 
I will be working on publication of the ebook version this week but the print copy of Jim Hinckley’s America, volume one, is now available for order on Amazon.com. The book is a walking guide to the Kingman historic district with three suggested short but interesting detours, as well as an historic overview of Route 66 between Seligman and Topock. 
As envisioned this will become a series of small, narrow focused guide books. It represents the next step in making Jim Hinckley’s America your one stop shop for Route 66 and southwest travel information or tours. 
To date we have the books, presentations, blog, and customized speaking engagements. Through Ramada Kingman, customized tours of the local area are also available. In conjunction with Open Road Productions, the company developing a Mother Road Memories Rally from Chicago to the 90th anniversary celebration at the highways original western terminus in Los Angeles next year, customized tours on Route 66 and in the southwest are available. 
Pumpkin cider!
Now, through Vayable, I can offer two special tour options in Kingman that will ensure a memorable visit. For those who are in need of vicarious adventures to give the office or den a bit of vibrancy, there is the photo print series at Jim Hinckley’s America Gallery at the Legends of America website
The podcast is simmering on the back burner, negotiations are underway to resurrect the long dormant video project, and today I start moving a few things into my office at Dunton Motors Dream Machines next to Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner where I can meet with media or tour groups, and perhaps, sell a few classic cars. As a side note, this is also the location of the offices for the Route 66 Association of Kingman. 
It looks as though I will be staving off boredom, and possible starvation, for another winter. Did I mention that another book contract has been finalized? 
Missouri Hick in Cuba
Okay, now let’s continue with the story about the recent road trip. There is something truly special about Cuba, Missouri. Every time we stop for a visit our thoughts seem to drift toward life lived among the trees rather than the stone spires, desert plains, and deep canyons. For a couple of desert dwellers these are rather surprising thoughts. 
On this trip we arrived shortly before sunrise, engaged in a bit of photography, checked into the roadside oasis that is the Wagon Wheel Motel, visited with Connie Echols for a bit, and then set out for another dinner at Missouri Hick. We have yet to find cause for disappointment with the motel or restaurant and in fact find it difficult to imagine a Route 66 adventure without a stop at either one.
Meramec Caverns
This time I tried the smoked turkey dinner. The word superb is the best I can find to describe it. Enhancing the meal was a cold bottle of pumpkin cider. As a fan of hard apple cider, I was most impressed.
As another favorite stop of ours was closed (the Belmont Winery in nearby Leasburg) I had ordered a bottle of their wonderful pink dogwood wine as a surprise for my dearest friend. 
As it turned out we had to save that bottle for later. Upon our return to the motel, we found that Connie had arranged for an impromptu reception. So we enjoyed refreshments and some lively, laughter punctuated conversation late into the evening with Connie, her sister Riva, and Jane Reed.
As is our tradition when in Cuba, we started the next day off shortly before sunrise with a hearty breakfast at Shelly’s, another highly recommended stop. It was there that we met with Dr. Alan Berman and his wife, they had checked into the Wagon Wheel Motel during the reception but did not have the opportunity to talk. 
Over breakfast we learned that he will be providing service in Supai soon. As I have a few contacts in that village an offer was made to assist upon our return to Arizona, and then he followed us back to the motel where he purchased books that I signed. 
Before I forget, signed copies of my books are again available at a couple of locations along Route 66. These include the Ariston Cafe, the National Route 66 Museum, the Wagon Wheel Motel, Enchanted Trails Trading Post, Jack Rabbit Trading Post, La Posada, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.     
After exploring Cuba and its colorful murals, we stopped at the Hayes Shoe Store as I was in need of a new pair of boots. What a treat to shop in a store that has served the local community since 1953. As a bonus they had an interesting historic display, the shoes belonging to Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man. 
As the days destination of Edwardsville was but a short drive, we planned to explore a bit of St. Louis, specifically the often overlooked Forest Park section of early Route 66. Like so many aspects of our trip, that didn’t happen. 
Instead, on a whim we decided that a tour of Meramec Caverns was in order. This was my dearest friend’s first visit to this Route 66 classic attraction (my last visit was something like 50 years ago). 
Even if you don’t take the tour, I suggest making the drive. The detour drive is beautiful and there are several places that are “picture perfect” picnic spots. 
Instead of a picnic, however, we set our sights on the Lewis Cafe in St. Clair, another recommendation for lunch, breakfast, or dinner. Frustrating and maddening road construction necessitated detours couldn’t deter us from the quest. 
This wonderful little restaurant has been in business since 1938. The claim to fame, aside from excellent food and friendly service from a staff that includes waitresses on the job for more than 20 years, and timeless ambiance, is locally raised beef. It really does make a difference. 
In the next installment, the wonders of Edwardsville and the delights of the Miles of Possibilities conference.    
    
  
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