Last night I sat down with a legal pad and began making a list of what we need to pack, and what I need to finish before setting out on another epic Route 66 adventure. The writing of the check list itself wasn’t exhausting but by the end of the third page it was rather obvious that by this time next week …

In 1925, Buster Keaton made the Hotel Beale in Kingman his home while filming the movie Go West. The pending adventure could be entitled Go East. 
For our Route 66 odyssey this time we will make use of planes, trains, and automobiles as the destination is a few miles east of the highways original terminus, or staring point, in Chicago. To be more precise, we are heading to Ofterdingen Germany by way of Las Vegas, Frankfurt, Mainz, Bensheim, and Dittelsheim for the first European Route 66 Festival, an historic event that illustrates the popularity of a road that officially ceased to exist thirty years go.
Counted among the many items requiring immediate attention is completion and polish for the PowerPoint presentations, one for the festival itself and another for a school in Bensheim. Both represent exciting opportunities to share a bit of the roads history, and perhaps encourage an adventure or two, but it is the presentation in Bensheim that seems to be dominating my thoughts as with comes great responsibility. 
I will not only be introducing students to the panoramic history of Route 66 and its dynamic culture, but I will also be introducing them to a century of American societal evolution with all of its spots and wrinkles. As a bonus, speaking at this school represents an unprecedented opportunity for me to learn as well. What myths and misconceptions do they have about America? What do they know about the history of America? What are their interests in regards to America and travel? What are their thoughts about this country? 

The Historic Vehicle
Association “Road Trip
of the Century” during
a stop in Kingman. 

As enjoyable as the German odyssey will be, for the most part it is a working holiday with a very full schedule. In addition to the festival and the school presentation, I will also be attending an historic conference of European Route 66 Associations on behalf of the Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative to discuss the possible creation of an international advisory group.
This is not say that there won’t be ample opportunity for a bit of exploration (thank you Sylvia and Bernhard). Moreover, since this is a Route 66 centered adventure you can be assured that there will be a great deal of laughter and fun as these things quickly become a sort of family reunion.
However, between departure and today, there are a innumerable details to be resolved and addressed; assistance in the distribution of a press release for Grand Canyon Caverns, a marketing meeting at Ramada Kingman, scheduling the July meet and greet for the Route 66 Association of Kingman, a tour of Kingman for Efron Lopez, a planning meeting for the pending Best of the West Festival.   

Preparing the homestead and stocking the pantry for the caretaker (aka our son) is also on the “to do” list. With the recent rains I can add “repair a leak in the porch roof” to this category.

I will get in one or two more postings before hitting the road. I will also try for at least short posts from the festival and during travels in Germany. You might also want to follow along on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page where quick snippets will be shared. 
A special thanks to the sponsors and supporters who have made this venture possible; the City of Kingman, Grand Canyon West, Greenwood Village, Grand Canyon Caverns, Ramada Kingman, T-Mobile, and the Route 66 Association of Kingman. Of course, I would be quite remiss if a hearty thank you wasn’t given to Wolfgang and Anja, and the hardworking members of the German Route 66 Festival that have transformed an idea into a festival.  


If you enjoy Jim Hinckley\'s America, take a second to support jimhinckleysamerica on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!