Noting that shared adventures are the best adventures has
become a trademark of sorts. When it comes to Jim Hinckley’s America those shared adventures range from road trips to Facebook live programs, navigating the often confusing world of apps and software programs, research projects and even driving lessons in a 1923 double T Ford truck. In my world every day dawns with an opportunity for new adventures.
As I haven’t posted in awhile you may have guessed that an adventure was unfolding and that this adventure would be shared. Actually there were a number of adventures unfolding and as a result, the schedule was quite full from daylight to well past dark. Did you miss me?
Let’s see if I can keep this brief, but interesting and informative. Last week Jan Kuperus of Netherlands based U.S. Bikers contacted me. His spring Route 66 tour was on the road but resultant of a medical situation, a visa snafu, and a couple of other unforeseen problems he was short on guides. So, at just after 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, for the low cost of a $75 ticket, I boarded the east bound Southwest Chief at the Kingman railroad depot and headed out for Albuquerque.
Amtrak is, shall we say, a different way of traveling. It is a throwback to an earlier time. First, the train was due to leave at 1:30 so it was safe to assume that adhering to a rigid schedule was not something the company worried over. The seats were clean and reclined to a horizontal position, and there was ample leg room, but still it was cramped enough to make sleeping almost an impossibility. For the uninitiated the rocking of the train can take some getting used to.
After sunrise passengers packed the observation car to watch the landscapes roll by, grabbed a sandwich, coffee or snack down below, and had breakfast in the dining car. I chose a simple breakfast sandwich and the observation car, a rather relaxing way to while away the miles and a bit of time. Surprisingly I arrived in Albuquerque on time 11:30 a.m. and found Amanda Brenner of the Roadrunner Lodge in Tucumcari, New Mexico waiting for me. I will post a more detailed report on Amtrak travel on Patreon, our subscription service site, shortly.
During a quick lunch at Loyola’s restaurant, we were joined by Melissa Beasley, president of the New Mexico Route 66 Association. After some great food, lively conversation, and a bit of strategy planning, I set out to meet with the tour group. Needless to say, I slept hard after hitting the sack that night!
I have worked with numerous international tour groups over the years in various capacities. This, however, was my first attempt (I don’t think it will be my last) at serving as an actual guide that was involved directly in daily planning sessions, resolving issues that arose, and developing alternative plans on the fly all while working with people who speak English as a second language and that were not familiar with America. It was a most interesting and educational experience that I found quite enjoyable even if it was a bit exhausting.
In the second part of this story I will talk about the reception for the first European Route 66 Tour in Kingman, Arizona, plans being developed for the 2019 tour, discussions with the organizer of the European Route 66 Festival that is scheduled for August, and provide a few updates from the road (avoid the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook), and some travel tips.
Stay tuned –