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. 

Ezra Meeker circa 1921

Photo Oregon Museum of History

That takes us to the promised update on the review of the Hi Tec Block Rock hiking boots. As noted in the review at the time of purchase, these are my first “modern” boots. Leather, rigid soled boots little changed from those worn by lumberjacks and miners in 1935 have been my mainstay for more than five decades. My last pair of boots, Carolina’s, purchased several years ago from Hayes Family Shoe Store in Cuba, Missouri, a family owned business since the early 1950’s, have served me quite well for a number of years and some pretty wild adventures including exploration of Germany, a Mojave Desert walkabout or two, and a few climbs into the Cerbat Mountains of Arizona. They are still serviceable but well worn.

The Hi Tec boots are light and seem to be holding up quite well. For several months I have worn them on the morning one to three mile walks, and on short hikes into the desert. However, I can not recommend wearing these without a gel or cushion insert. This is the first pair of boots owned where an insert is not optional. Also, it is the first pair of boots owned that required trying several different types of insert before finding the right one.


Hi-Tec Black Rock

In all fairness I do need to add a caveat. Leg braces similar to those worn by Forrest Gump were my constant companion until about age six. Resultant of this and a broken ankle, a couple of broken legs during my misspent youth, and more than five decades of walkabouts there is a tendency to wear shoes down in an irregular manner. The Carolina’s were the first owned in quite awhile that survived for several years. They could be worn without inserts but I preferred them on long walks. I will keep you posted as there are extensive walkabouts pending.

Next, let’s discuss a bit of neon. For decades, most of the neon along Route 66 was dark. That, however, has been changing in the era of renaissance, and its popularity is growing exponentially. A top ten list of places to experience neon on the double six has to include the iconic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. As a bonus, Teepee Curious with its beautiful signage is just across the road. An additional reason to include the Blue Swallow Motel, and Tucumcari, to the top of the list is the plethora of vintage lodging options. Here you will also find the Roadrunner Lodge and the Motel Safari.

Kingman, Arizona is fast becoming a destination for fans of colorful neon. The Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is another stop of note. And of course for signage renovated or still dark but impressive it is tough to beat the historic theater district surrounding the original western terminus of Los Angeles at 7th Street and Broadway in Los Angeles.

Last but not least, a few quick updates. We could really use to your assistance. To be more specific, we could use your support of our crowdfunding Patreon site. This is the primary funding mechanism for everything we do, and it subsidizes our community marketing initiatives that allow us to provide promotional services at a nominal fee. In exchange for your support, you will find discounts as well as exclusive content.

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