It has been a week of assorted adventures, time spent with friends, adventure planning, planning adventures with friends and the frustration of dealing with shadow ranchers. Let me start by giving an explanation of shadow rancher for those not familiar with the term. This is someone who walks like a rancher and talks like a rancher in an attempt to fool people into believing that they are a rancher. In reality the herds are shadows, a fiction. I am not usually snookered by the shadow rancher but it does appear that this is exactly what has happened. There isn’t any need to provide details. I will keep my end of the bargain and ride it out as long as they don’t try and pay me with a sack of three legged buffaloes, and to the best of my ability smile. Suffice to say a lesson has been learned.
Aside from this little problem it has been a pretty good week. My dearest friend and I enjoyed a great breakfast with Zdenek Jurasek, an old friend from the Czech Republic, and his tour group at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner. Aside from catching up and talking about tours, Route 66 and torus on Route 66, we talked about the 2020 International Route 66 Festival that Jurasek is organizing in Zlin, Czech Republic. Judging by the festival in Zlin last year, and his skills when it comes to event planning and organization I am confident that this will be quite the festival. It represents an incredible promotional opportunity for Route 66 communities and businesses, and for the Route 66 enthusiast, a fun filled weekend with fans of the double six from throughout the world.
We also had an opportunity to enjoy a lunch with friends from the Netherlands, Karel and Hanneke. Aside from reminiscing about last years shared adventure that included numerous mechanical mishaps with a Fiat in Poland and Germany, we pitched big dreams for future odysseys. And then there was another opportunity to explore the unique architectural attributes of the historic Bonnelli house.
Other highlights of the week included the honor of riding in the Andy Devine Parade with Vice Mayor Travis Lingenfelter, and a few mechanical mishaps that are humorous with the luxury of hindsight. And there was a great Route 66 Association of Kingman “meet & greet” with some folks from Australia as guests courtesy New Zealand based Gilligan’s Route 66 Tours that retains my services to meet with clients that avail themselves of the self drive tour option. The Kingman association is a big part of the grassroots initiatives and networks that are transforming the city into a destination, and that make up for the shortcomings of the city’s tourism office.
With our son in charge of the homestead, next week my dearest friend and I take to the road. It will be a promotional tour for the new book, and as is our custom, a Jim Hinckley’s America research trip that ensures my work as a tourism development consultant is relevant as well as effective. It will also provide fodder for future podcasts, blog posts, travel planning updates and reviews of motels as well as restaurants on the website as well as social media network, and, perhaps material for the next book, number 20. This will also enhance the community education classes on tourism that I developed for Mohave Community College.
Look for us on the road. Perhaps we can hoist a pint or a cup of coffee, and talk Route 66 adventures. And I will have books on hand, or can sign your copy, and we have stocked up on the popular Jim Hinckley’s America pins. Check out our Facebook page for schedule updates. As it stands now, we will make a made dash for Jackson, Michigan on the first leg of the trip. We will be making a pit stop in Moriarty, New Mexico and then Tulsa to meet with Rhys Martin to catch up and to talk about the festival in Zlin, Route 66 centennial projects, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Association. Then we pick up promotional materials for the Miles of Possibility Conference in Cuba, and push on to Terre Haute.
The next stop is Jackson; a reception and presentation at the Hackett Auto Museum and a bit of research that MAY lead to a new book. Stay tuned.
And while in town we will be paying a visit to my pa, and to my nephew and his wife. Then it’s the Miles of Possibility Conference, an economic development and tourism conference in Cuba, Missouri, and on the 22nd, a fun filled evening to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Connie Echols proprietorship of the historic Wagon Wheel Motel. She has a lot of festivities planned and I will be signing books. From there it’s a relatively leisurely drive home along Route 66.
I am unsure if blog posting will fit into a tight schedule so it might be best to follow our Facebook page for a bit. And to wrap this up I need to give a shout out to the sponsors of the fall tour. First, our major sponsors – the City of Cuba, Route 66 Association of Kingman and Grand Canyon Caverns. Then there are advertising sponsors and supporters of our crowdfunding initiative on the Patreon platform. Listed among these sponsors are the Roadrunner Lodge in Tucumcari, Dale Butel’s Route 66 Tours, Uranus Fudge Company, Wagon Wheel Motel, Jenny Joy’s Soap, Calico’s restaurant and Diana’s Cellar Door.
See you on the road.