Just one block off Route 66 is this charming little gem filled with an array of delicious, and occasionally healthy goodies.

For those willing to simply see where the road leads, and an ability to develop flexible plans, life can be a grand adventure full of surprises. The fall tour has been just such an adventure, endless opportunity for surprises. It has been maddening, fun, interesting, sad and tragic, educational, almost profitable, informative, enjoyable and a bit of a gastronomical odyssey.

As an example consider yesterday. It started simply enough with a breakfast shared with old friends from Iowa at the Huddle House, a presentation on economic development and tourism for the City of Cuba, and then a drive to Steelville for a late lunch shared with my dearest friend. Now I am sitting in the historic Wagon Wheel Motel, after a wonderful breakfast courtesy the Cuba Bakery & Deli contemplating the possibilities. Over the years I have wore a number of hats but never once has thought been given to serving as an official tourism director.

The gift shop at the Wagon Wheel Motel will be stocked with signed copies of my books, unless they sell out tonight. Already two copies have been sold and the festivities have yet to begin.

The apparent popularity of the new book, Murder and Mayhem on the Main Street of America: Tales From Bloody 66, has been a pleasant surprise. I have almost sold all of the copies brought with me on the fall tour, as well as the Jim Hinckley’s America pins, and this evenings 10th anniversary celebration of Connie Echols stewardship of the iconic Wagon Wheel Motel where I will be signing books is shaping up to be quite the event. I have just learned that Marian Pavel, developer of the Route 66 Navigation app will be in attendance, and Connie has stocked the gift shop so I have lots of books to sign.

When the trip kicked off there had been some very promising discussions about a project of particular interest in Jackson, Michigan. That too was quite a surprise as it turned out to be more smoke and mirrors than substance. As it turned out it was also a valuable lesson, one of the most embarrassing performances to date resultant of venue, and the portal to some incredible opportunities for what may manifest as the 20th book. I also met some very interesting and inspirational people, and bid adios to my pa for the last time. So, the visit to Jackson was one of those bittersweet detours in life.

Now we turn our attentions toward the homeward trip, and perhaps, the dawn of a new era. Meanwhile, development of Jim Hinckley’s America as a multifaceted travel network continues. The weekly audio podcast Ten Minutes With will resume at the end of the month. Likewise the weekly Adventurers Club live programs. And, of course there will lots of website updates as well as blog posts about the fascinating new restaurants discovered on our journey.


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