It is no mere highway. It hasn’t been since the U.S. Highway 66 Association was established in the early spring of 1927. And now, in the era of renaissance, this storied old highway has transcended its original purpose. It has been been transformed into the modern incarnation of the Statue of Liberty for legions of passionate international enthusiasts.
It is often viewed as the American experience made manifest. An infectious enthusiasm is palpable. Opportunity seems more evident. A sense of freedom is magnified with each passing mile.
It is viewed as the quintessential American road trip and promoted as the Main Street of America. And it is a destination as well as America’s longest small town.
It is Route 66.
Welcome To Jim Hinckley’s America
Route 66 is no mere highway. And Jim Hinckley’s America is more than just a job.
I am one of the fortunate few. Since abandoning the crushing restrictions of the standard 9 to 5 job, I have had the opportunity to make a living by doing what is enjoyed. Even better, I am meeting some of the most interesting and inspirational people. But the greatest reward is in the friendships made, and in knowing that a service is being provided by helping people discover the real America while enjoying a memorable adventure.
Adventure on The Double Six
Over the course of the past few weeks I have provided assistance to a Japanese flm crew. And that was my first introduction to the legacy of traditional Chin-don Girls as presented by BENTENYA, from Aichi, Japan.
And I also had an opportunity to present the Arizona chapter of America’s story to a tour group from Chicago. Telling the story of a Native American trade route that evolved into iconic Route 66 with a bit of help from Spanish explorers, an adventuresome American military oficer with a camel caravan, railroad survey engineers, visionaries like Thomas Devine, and pioneering automobilists like Edsel Ford and Emily Post always leads to an interesting Q & A session.
This week perfectly illustrates the international nature of Route 66 in the modern era. Last night I led a walking tour through the historic heart of Kingman, Arizona that included inquisitive folks from Australia and New Zealand. This morning I shared the story of the origins of the U.S. highway system and the dawning of the Americn auto industry to another group. Did you know that Buick and Chevrolet were originally imports?
Tomorrow I will be talking with a group from the east coast, and visit with a good friend, Toshi Goto, president of the Japanese Route 66 Association. The following day I meet with another friend and business associate, Marian Pavel of Touch Media. Pavel based in Bratislava, Slovakia is the developer of the innovative Route 66 Navigation app. Aside from simply visiting with an old friend, we will be talking about exciting Route 66 centennial projects.
No Mere Highway
And that will be followed by our fall tour, always an exciting adventure. If all goes as planned (that would be different) we will be providing a bit of road trip inspiration during the adventure with daily postings in the Decade With Jim series on our Instagram account. And we have a few episodes of Coffee With Jim, our interactive podcast on Podbean planned as well. All of these programs will help explain why Route 66 is no mere highway.
And a Route 66 centennial project was just given the green light. So, that means we will also be creating a new photo portfolio, and doing a bit of research, as well as visiting with old friends on this odyssey.
Since 2015, the annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference is the central point for the fall tour. This year I am a keynote speaker at the event, and fittingly, I will be making a presentation about the dawning of the great American road trip.
This will not be just a mere road trip. After all I will, Route 66 is no mere highway.