Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

It was a time of transition. Highways like U.S. 66 were being replaced

IMG_0130by the interstate, the gas station with its clanging bell was being replaced by the self serve mini-mart, and a tsunami of generic chain motels and restaurants were transforming the roadside landscape. The demise of venerable automobile manufactures Packard, Hudson, Studebaker, and Nash was a recent event and cars that had rolled from those companies factories still shared the highways with Fords and Dodges.  (more…)

Walking Shoes, Neon Nights & A Few Updates

Walking Shoes, Neon Nights & A Few Updates

He followed the Oregon Trail west years before the

Kingman, Arizona

The National Old Trails Highway at the dawning of Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona

American Civil War. Forty years after that conflict ended, he traveled from Oregon to Washington D.C. by ox cart. A few years later he made a similar trip and then in 1914, he toured the country by automobile. In 1919, he was lending a hand to his son that was building Camp Cajon in the Cajon Pass along the National Old Trails Road (Route 66 after 1926).

In regards to longevity and a very active and productive life, I would not mind emulating Ezra Meeker. However, even though I have long been a fan of the extended walkabout and often give thought to traveling Route 66 in a Model T, Model A, or Hudson Super Six, coast to coast adventures of an epic nature like the ones that Meeker made are not on my to do list.  (more…)

David Buick, Chris LeDoux & Lessons Learned

David Buick, Chris LeDoux & Lessons Learned

He was thin enough to hide behind a flagpole and had piercing grey-

Where I Call Home

My neighborhood is the big empty where the wind carries a hint of sage and grease wood.

blue eyes shaded by a battered, sweat stained, misshapen old Stetson. His sandy brown hair was thinning and going gray but as he was never without a hat, no one knew unless they were around when he wiped his brow with the bright red bandanna. His hands and face were tanned leather brown and reflected years of hard work under a desert sun. He stood well over six foot tall, but his bowed legs lent themselves to the appearance that he was shorter. Age was hard to determine but a guess of between 60 and 100 was a good bet.  (more…)

Nothing New Under The Sun

Nothing New Under The Sun

The fellows name was Bliss. As with most people who become an historic milestone, Mr. Henry Bliss never knew

The embryonic electric vehicle museum is the first and only museum dedicated to this style of vehicle. Credit Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation

that unexpected death would bestow a dubious form of immortality. He simply stepped from the New York City streetcar that September afternoon in 1899, and became the nations first pedestrian struck and killed by an automobile. Today’s editorial in the Kingman Daily Miner about the world’s first museum dedicated exclusively to the electric vehicle led me to reflect on Bliss, his demise, and how there is little new under the sun.

The electric vehicle museum in Kingman, Arizona was born of a limited partnership between the city and the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation during the Route 66 International Festival in 2014, an event that was aptly themed Kingman: Crossroads of the Past & Future. For reasons not understood the museum has never progressed beyond the initial stage even though it garners international media attention and the collection continues to grow. The prestigious Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles recently donated 15 historically significant vehicles. (more…)

Lost Highways, Forgotten Railroads & Assorted Adventures

Lost Highways, Forgotten Railroads & Assorted Adventures

The Arizona & Utah Railroad, a territorial era rail line

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In search of railroad history in northwest Arizona.

in northwest Arizona is less than an historic footnote. It is a dusty and forgotten chapter from the closing years of the frontier era that is providing fodder for a couple of new Jim Hinckley’s America adventures.

The mining camps in the Cerbat Mountains date to the 1860’s, and purportedly, Chloride is the oldest continuously mining town in Arizona. By the late 19th century many of the mines had closed, and the towns that they had supported were ghost towns. Chloride, and nearby White Hills, were, however, booming as the mines went deep. The Tennessee Schulyhill is one of the deepest mines in the state. The high cost of shipping, however, cut deep into profits.  (more…)