Walkabouts, Aussies, Kiwis, An SOS From Rhys Martin, and Assorted Adventures

As you may guess from the title for today’s post, it has been a

very, very interesting week. It has also been a somber week, an inspiring week, a fun filled week, a busy week, an exhausting week, a frustrating week, a laughter filled week, and an exciting week. In short, it was situation normal in my world. These are a few of the high, and low points.

Flooding in Missouri and parts of Illinois devastated lives as well as communities. Along the Route 66 corridor Devils Elbow, a revered destination for legions of enthusiasts was particularly hard hit. Jax Welborn did a fantastic job of providing regular updates about the flooding through Facebook but her photos of the devastation were heartbreaking. The inspiration came from the response, offers of assistance, and the generosity of the international Route 66 community, including donations made by the Dutch and German Route 66 associations.

The Devils Elbow Inn, a revered landmark, before the devastating flood of 2017.

Meanwhile, here in Arizona, on Wednesday evening my dearest friend and I had the privilege of enjoying fresh made ginger ale at Black Bridge Brewery (a highly recommended stop for the Route 66 traveler), and lively conversation with George and Bonnie Game of the Canadian Route 66 Association. We joined them again for a “roadie” dinner on Saturday at Calico’s, and then on Monday, it was a lunch at Rutherford’s Route 66 Diner with George, Bonnie, and Penny Black, another friend who is in the process of moving from California to Illinois. 

Thursday was consumed with a number of meetings to finalize details on a variety of exciting projects. As an example, for quite some time I have offered walking tours in the Kingman historic district and along the Route 66 corridor. Utilizing historic photos provided by the Mohave Museum of History & Arts, I am able to provide a sense of time travel. The tours have proven to be surprisingly popular.

Author Jim Hinckley guiding an illustrated historic district walking tour in Kingman, Arizona.

An additional service that I offer is specialized presentations on Route 66, Kingman, the southwest, and the American auto industry for tours, special events, or corporate functions. Now, the tours as well as the presentations can be booked directly through Promote Kingman, and a regular schedule for tours is posted on this organizations website and Facebook page, as well as mine, in the calendar of events.

Another exciting development was finalization of production and marketing details for the first video in the Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek Along Route 66 series. In episode one, the focus is on the rich history, exciting events, and special places in Kingman, Arizona. The DVD is now available for pre-order on the Promote Kingman website. Work is well under way on the second and third video in the series, thanks to the acquisition of initial sponsors.

I was quite honored by two of the initial reviews for the video. One was from KC Keefer, producer of the Unoccupied Route 66 series. “Unscripted or “off-the-cuff”. Difficult indeed. Well done Jim Hinckley.” The second was from Ron Warnick of Route 66 News. “The 26-minute video crams in information about the early 20th-century Cactus Derby car race, Beale Street, Hotel Beale, Hotel Brunswick, actor Andy Devine, Old Trails Garage, Grand Canyon West, Powerhouse Museum, electric cars, author and artist Bob Boze Bell and more. … but I found him to be a good host who knows a lot and speaks off-the-cuff well. The latter isn’t easy to do — especially as traffic and trains rush by as you’re talking.”

This past weekend the 3rd annual Route 66 Fun Run transformed the communities along this highway in western Arizona, and the communities, into a living time capsule. Parking lots were full, diners were full, and there was actual traffic congestion in Seligman and Peach Springs, and in the Kingman historic district as more than 800 vintage and classic cars took to the road in celebration of Route 66 and the great American road trip. With the exception of near gale force winds, it was a delightful event.

On Friday evening I gave a neon nights walking tour. On Saturday, Steve and I set out for Seligman as the event provided an ideal backdrop for the shooting of footage for the next video. The wind, however, proved daunting and by the time we made Hackberry the project was aborted for the day. However, our adventure also included a stop at Grand Canyon Caverns, and a lunch of delicious Hualapai stew at Diamond Creek Restaurant in Peach Springs, both of which ensured that the trip was enjoyed. As a bonus, I was also privileged with an opportunity to visit with Angel in Seligman.

Author Jim Hinckley makes a presentation for a New Zealand based tour at Canyon 66.

That afternoon, as the winds howled, and classic vehicles filled the streets, I gathered with friends at Beale Street Brews Coffee Shop. The day ended with a delightful dinner shared with friends, and another round of ginger ale, and wonderful conversation, with Mike Ward. Sunday was another day of adventure. First there was a presentation made for Sam Murray’s Gilligan’s Route 66 Tours of New Zealand, followed by another walking tour. The adventure filled weekend wrapped up on Tuesday when I served as a guide at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, and enjoyed a lunch at Mr. D’z, with a group enjoying a Route 66 odyssey led by Dale Butel of Route 66 Tours, a Brisbane, Australia based company. My world is anything but boring!

Before I wrap this up, Rhys Martin needs a hand. Rhys of Cloudless Lens Photography is in the research stage of a new book and could use a bit of assistance. This is a note I received from Rhys this morning. “I am currently researching information for a book about Tulsa’s Lost Restaurants. Although I can’t capture them all, my goal is to put something together that shows the history of the city through the diners & favorite hangouts that have come and gone. These places come alive with the stories, memories, and photographs that are lost to time. I have a list of restaurants I already know I’d like to feature at this survey link:

If someone has a photograph, they can e-mail me at losttulsarestaurants@cloudlesslens.com with them and any additional information that will help others step back in time. The photos can be interior or exterior, just as long as it’s theirs.  If there is a restaurant that isn’t already in the list and someone wants to send that information along, please do!  I’ll include as many as I can with the information I have available. Thank you SO MUCH! I can’t wait to get this together and share this slice of Tulsa’s history with the world.”
*photos Jim & Judy Hinckley
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