ENDING THE YEAR ON A ROLLER COASTER

How do you describe a month that includes incredible highs such as recording an interview with Jay Leno and extreme depths such as the loss of a mother and a sister within a period of less than two weeks? Accurate words or descriptors for the wide range of emotions are an impossibility and plagiarizing the line it was the best of times, it was the worst of times seems the best I can manage.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076033885X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe first months of the year were filled with exciting and breathtaking twists and turns. The last month has added incredible climbs and stomach turning drops that blur the vision, make it hard to breathe, and leave you dizzy.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760332215&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe month of January was relatively calm, especially on the writing front. I had finished the introductions for the book Greetings from Route 66 in December so the only work was the monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for Cars & Parts magazine, initial planning for promotion of Ghost Towns of the Southwest that was scheduled for a March 1 release, and pitching a few new book ideas as continuation of the quest to find an agent.
Our only road trip was a “Sunday drive” of several hundred miles into the Mojave Desert in exploration of Route 66. We hit all of the high spots – Goffs, Essex, Chambless, Danby, and Bagdad with a light lunch in Ludlow.

Route 66 in the California desert.

On February 1 things took a sharp turn. I arrived home late that evening, checked the phone for messages, and discovered Jay Leno had called and would be calling me back after his return from New York!
As it later turned out he was calling to discuss the possibility of taping an interview for the book club section of his website, Jay Leno’s Garage. The book that had garnered his attention was The Big Book of Car Culture, a title written with Jon Robinson in 2005 that http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760319650&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhad gone nowhere in spite of excellent reviews from prestigious publications and the receipt of the bronze medal at the International Automotive Media Awards in 2006.
Well, as it turns out the publisher had decided to suspend any plans for a second printing of this title. This decision had been made at the end of January!
One of the first stops in the promotion of Ghost Towns of the Southwest was Prescott, Arizona, which provided an excuse for my dearest friend and I to escape to one of our favorite destinations, the lovely and historic Hassayampa Inn. Work related activity included a formal signing at Barnes & Noble in Prescott as well as an interview with Tonya Mock on AM Arizona.

Historic Hassayampa Inn, Prescott, Arizona

The trip provided us with an unexpected bonus, the opportunity to see how well the Jeep performed in snow. Unfortunately the sleet, snow, and rain led us to consider discretion the better part of valor so we abandoned the plan to make the pleasant drive home on the Williamson Valley Road, thirty plus miles of scenic gravel and dirt road across several stream beds.
March and early April were rather low key with the day job that supports the writing habit and a book signing for the new book in Kingman as well as Lake Havasus City. Then came notification of a pleasant but stunning surprise, The first printing of Ghost Towns of the Southwest was almost sold out!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760338434&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThis left me facing a new dilemma, a full month of interviews and signings scheduled through May, including the KABAM literary festival in Kingman and another signing in Burbank, with no books. So, I signed post cards featuring the cover of the book and talked with potential owners of the new book.
The end of May and June were spent enjoying my favorite pastime, a long, adventuresome road trip with my dearest friend. The catalyst for this adventure, postponed from the previous fall, was research and photography for Ghost Towns of Route 66, scheduled for release in June of 2011, and the current project, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas.

For this grand adventure we set the clock back to 1960, made no http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0970995164&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrreservations with the exception of the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook and the Route 66 Rail Haven in Springfield in Missouri and depended on a 1929 Rand McNally atlas and Jerry McClanahan (his excellent guide book, Route 66: EZ Guide for Travelers – 2nd Edition) for guidance, and the stalwart Jeep for transportation. What a delightful odyssey!
We met Laurel Kane at Afton Station, Ron Jones, the legendary tattoo man, and Melba at 4 Women on the Route in Kansas. We explored the hauntingly beautiful ruins of the Painted Desert Trading Post, savored the contemplative serenity of Endee, sampled the goods at the Midpoint Cafe, and walked the empty streets of Texola. Best of all, we basked in each others company while enjoying the wonders of America’s most famous highway.

In between the road trips, the job, the writing, the photography, and general activities of life, we enjoyed warm summer evenings at events such as Chillin on Beale Street in Kingman. Enhancing the fun was the addition of themes such as Topless Fun on Route 66, a salute to convertibles, and dinner with friends such as Dries Bessel of Holland and Dale Butel of Australia.
Late summer and fall were the seasons of deep valleys and breathtaking summits. Mother fell and had to be placed in a retirement home, my sister became ill, Greetings from Route 66 made its debut, for the first time one of our photographic prints was sold through the Lile Fine Art Gallery in Amarillo to an international collector, and plans were finalized for the interview with Jay Leno. The wild fluctuations in high and low continued with the birth of our grandson and a biopsy that revealed I had skin cancer.
December has been, well, interesting. I am not sure how this month will be viewed in the years to come but it is with complete, naked honesty that I say it will never be forgotten. Still, in some odd, surreal way it seems almost a fitting end to the wild roller coaster ride that was 2010.

OLD BUSINESS, NEW BUSINESS, AND NEWS

Lets start with some new business. As noted yesterday arrangement was made with the Lile Art Gallery in Amarillo to sell our prints. Today a tab was added at the top of the blog with contact information for prints ranging from nice office wall liners to museum quality, limited edition, numbered, matted, and signed series prints.
The limited edition prints in two series, Icons of Route 66 and Ghost Towns of the Southwest are almost sold out. A new series, Ghost Towns of Route 66, is being developed to coincide with the release of a new book by the same title late next spring.
Photos available in the regular print series include these favorites:
#1001 – Route 66 on the eastern slope of the Black Mountains with the snow covered peaks of the Hualapai Mountains in the background.
#1003 – Route 66 in Daggett – b/w (this appears at the top of the blog)

1004 – Painted Desert Trading Post

#1004 – Painted Desert Trading Post – sepia

#1005 – This would be the same view of the Painted Desert Trading Post but in color.
Please inquire if you have are looking for a print of a specific location.
This tab also has the information pertaining to other photographic services offered. These include limited license stock photography for print or media as well as site specific assignment work.
Also in the “New Business” category is the news that we have completed arrangement for a line of unique gifts that capture the essence of Route 66 and travel on the road less traveled utilizing the photographs of Jim Hinckley just in time for the holiday season. A tab for this with link has also been added to the top of the blog.
The next item on the list is updates on some old business. The final edit for Ghost Towns of Route 66 will be in the hands of the publisher on Monday. The scheduled date for release has been adjusted to coincide with the big Route 66 event next June in Amarillo.
If you are interested in ghost towns I suggest you listen to the series on this topic that runs this week on KNAU radio in Flagstaff. Here is the link to listen on line and tonight there will be a one hour call in program beginning at 6:00 PM with yours truly fielding questions.
While we are on the subject of ghost towns, it would seem Las Vegas is desperately working to avoid becoming one. I have sad news for the folks that floated this idea. Yes, ideas such as this have kept towns like Jerome or Bisbee in Arizona from blowing away but they are still ghost towns.
On a final note for the day there is a very interesting motorcycle rally trolling through Kingman tomorrow as the riders make their way to the Santa Monica Pier. These intrepid riders left North Carolina about ten days ago on their pre 1916 motorcycles!
I am in the take it or leave category when it comes to motorcycles but this is something to see. Not surprisingly, their stop in Kingman will be for lunch at the local Harley Davidson dealership. Here is a link with more information and the schedule of stops.

THE LURE OF THE GHOST TOWN

Fans of this blog may have seen a few of these pictures before. However, as the date for publication of Ghost Towns of Route 66 draws closer and as Ghost Towns of the Southwest http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760332215&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrcontinues its advancement towards sell out of the second printing, I thought you might find a few shots from our favorite ghost towns of interest.
These first photos were taken during the research stage of Ghost Towns of the Southwest. They exemplify the broad definition of the word “ghost town” and clearly illustrate the lure these places have for the adventuresome traveler.

Bisbee, Arizona – a true time capsule from the late territorial period.

Bisbee, located a few miles south of Tombstone is a true gem. Most of the historic section of town appears as an untouched time capsule. This is especially evident during the early morning hours when the streets are empty.

Ruins of a mill high in the mountains above Cerbat, Arizona.
This photo is available as a print.

No visit to Bisbee can be considered as complete without a stay at the historic Copper Queen Hotel. With but the faintest nod to the modern era this stately old hotel embraces visitors with a charm and elegance that instantly soothes and comforts the weary traveler.
The next town on our list is Cerbat, Arizona. Nestled deep into a rugged canyon in the Cerbat Mountains, the town of Cerbat was once a community with a very promising future. For a short period of time it served as the Mohave County seat.
The boom times lasted for less than twenty years, roughly 1875 to 1895.  Mines operated in the area from around 1860 until well into the 20th century.
Little remains of the town itself with the exception of faint foundations buried in thickets of mesquite. However, vestiges of the rich mining history abound. As a result it is imperative the visitor be alert to open shafts and collapsed stopes.

Endee, New Mexico – population zero

I will continue the ghost town theme with the next posting. To whet your appetite here is a little comic relief from Endee, New Mexico, a ghost town located about five miles west of Glenrio, Texas on a section of Route 66 bypassed in about 1952.

THE ADVENTURES OF A STARVING ARTIST ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED CONTINUES

Two weeks ago at this time we were counting the miles in anticipation of dinner at the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams, Arizona. That marked the closing chapter for our grand adventure in search of ghosts on Route 66. It was also the opening chapter for even more spectacular journeys and another round of the grandest adventure of all, life.
The day before leaving for our trip there was a family crisis that threatened our thrice postponed trip and I learned that a contract agreement for the most exciting and ambitious project to date was approved save for a couple of very minor details. In my world such extremes of up and down is just business as usual.
With confidence the final issues would be quickly resolved, I jumped the gun and began initial research for the next book, a Route 66 encyclopedia and atlas, the day after our return. This included a flurry of emails, compilation of contacts, a listing of resources on hand, and another list of materials that would need to be purchased.

Then on Memorial Day, I evaluated the next step in the evolution of my office and composed a budget. With each book I have used a portion of the initial royalty to develop an office that streamlines the writing process.
I buried the dining room table, filled the dining room with books and notebooks, and used a small Gateway computer at the kitchen counter with the first book. With the second I bought a used desk, some used bookshelves, bought a new Dell computer, an took over a large portion of the family room.
The third, fourth and fifth book funded some larger changes. I removed the old carpet in the family room, installed a new wooden floor, and purchased a small work station. Now, with the funding from book number six, the encyclopedia, the goal is a larger, wall mounted monitor, a full “L” shaped desk, and more book shelves.
I rounded out Memorial Day with a few hours at the office, the place where I earn the money to write, to get things ready for Tuesday morning. From that point until the time I closed the office today it has been a maelstrom of activity at work and in the real world.
I was asked to handle services in Peach Springs on Sunday, June 5, but a sore throat and a voice that faded in and out forced me to pass the torch to another. I was really disappointed about this as I enjoy serving the people at this church and the opportunity to spend time with old friends. As an added bonus this always means a drive of forty five miles each way on Route 66.
With the release of the second printing of Ghost Towns of the Southwest, http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760332215&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrpromotion again kicked into high gear. On Monday, June 14, I will be speaking at the Mohave County Library. Then for KNAU in Flagstaff, there was some consultation/promotion in regards to a program about ghost towns. Oddly enough, at the same time a similar project for BBC America that was initiated in May moved to the next step.
A book signing was scheduled for June 26 (details are found in the “Jim Hinckley schedule” tab above) in Chloride. This will be in conjunction with the Chloride Old Miners Day
Chloride, home of Yesterday’s Restaurant, is a favorite of ours for a quick, relaxing get away or a pleasant lunch. For years the town has been suspended somewhere between ghost town, out of the way retirement community, and tourist destination.

For my wife another dimension to the attraction to Chloride is the long association her family has with this old mining town. Her grandfather worked in the mines here during the 1930s. Her uncle moved to Chloride when he retired, and many relatives chose the cemetery there for their final resting place.
On our companion website, Route 66 Info Center, we have posted a number of photos of Chloride as well as a Google map. Some of these photos are available as limited edition prints through the Lile Fine Art Gallery at Sunset Galleries in Amarillo, Texas.
This past weekend I wrote the next installment of my monthly column, The Independent Thinker, for Cars & Parts magazine. For this feature, after reading a book my wife purchased for my birthday in Burbank, Crosleyhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1578603226&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, I chose to profile the amazing Powel Crosley, his brother Lewis, and their incredibly diverse business empire that transformed the world.
This book is more than an inspirational story. It is a morality play and time capsule chronicling the evolution of America between 1900 and 1950 that reads like a novel.
Another item to occupy an already over loaded schedule looms on the horizon. This would be the final edit for Ghost Towns of Route 66.
If, by chance, I find myself bored or with some extra time and want to further expand my repertoire as a writer, initial development for promotion of another book is underway.
I have yet to see the completed work as my involvement was solely in the writing of the introductions for each section that profiles each state through which Route 66 passes. Still, the wide array of talents that went into this compilation ensures Greetings from Route 66http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=076033885X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr will be an excellent addition to the library for every fan of Route 66.
Much of the remaining “spare time” has been spent with meetings and related activity in an attempt to kick the Kingman Route 66 Association into high gear. The goal is to move this town from stop on Route 66 to vacation destination on Route 66.
Perhaps at some point we can be at the center of something as amazing as the forthcoming tri state Route 66 festival. I had hoped to be a part of this exciting event that will transform Route 66 between Springfield, Missouri, and Afton, Oklahoma, into a living time capsule from the glory days of the most famous highway in America but my schedule prevented it. In the mean time we will continue to expand on events such as Chillin’ on Beale Street (scheduled for the evening of June 19), the now famous Route 66 Fun Run, and similarly themed weekend activities.
At this rate, I may still fulfill the childhood dram of becoming a writer! In closing, did you notice the changes to Route 66 Chronicles? How do you like it?

ROUTE 66 ADVENTURE – DAY TWO

Our time capsule for the night, wigwam number eight at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, with its zany amenities such as the shaving mirror mounted on the angled wall that provided a better view of the top of your head than the face, provided us with a restful nights sleep. The winds that had subsided only marginally from the gale that had closed I-40 the previous afternoon were hardly noticeable and throughout the night the sound of trains that rolled by close enough to gently shake the bed was muffled to little more than the sound of surf on a sandy beach.

Waking up to the sound of a screeching mocking bird in an odd shaped time capsule surrounded by vintage furniture illuminated by rays of early morning light left little doubt that we were no longer in Kingman. As it turned out this was most definitely an ideal way to begin the first full day of our long anticipated Route 66 odyssey.
With Safeway, a western grocery chain, just across the street we saw no reason to tap into our travel supplies for breakfast. So, we set out through the early morning chill for muffins, juice, and coffee.
Loading the Jeep was interrupted time and again by questions from fellow travelers on the most storied road in America and requests from others who wanted their picture in front of a “wigwam” for a souvenir. We had driven less than three hundred miles, much of it on I-40, but in that short distance Route 66, a highway we interact with on a daily basis, had magically transformed us into tourists sharing a grand adventure with an international cast.
By the time we had driven through well worn, historic Holbrook the winds were again nearing a steady twenty five miles per hour with gusts easily exceeding thirty. This dampened the enthusiasm for extensive exploration but not our sense of anticipation about the adventures awaiting us as we drove toward the rising sun.

At exit 320 we turned north on Pinta Road, traded places so my wife could take the wheel, and headed north across the vast high desert plain accentuated by red sands and colorful knobs of stone that punctured the bright blue sky. Our goal on this detour was a forgotten alignment of Route 66 and the crumbling ruins of the Painted Desert Trading Post perched on a knoll high above a vintage bridge that spanned the Dead River.
In recent years the old trading post has become a not so secret destination for travelers seeking the very essence of Route 66. Surprisingly, respect has been shown for the fragile ruins and there is little graffiti or vandalism.

Still, it is obvious that time is running out for this haunting landmark and the bridge below. Both are showing the affect of time and the harsh high desert climate.
The winds limited our explorations and shortened our plans to drive the old road to the fence line at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest park boundaries. So, we returned to the modern world made manifest by the never ending flow of traffic on I-40.
Our next stop was another time capsule of sorts, the Cheif Yellowhorse Trading Post nestled against a towering wall of stone at Lupton just west of the Arizona/New Mexico state line. As a kid we seldom stopped at these places as money was often tight or we were on a schedule but now I find them a refreshing and tangible link to the lost world of road trips on the two lane that are remembered with fondness.
As hokey as these places are it is nice to see that a few have survived or been recreated. After all they are as much a part of roadside Americana as Whiting Brothers stations, station wagons, and the road trip itself.
I don’t remember the first time we drove through the stunning landscapes that press in upon Route 66 as it crosses from Arizona into New Mexico but my guess would be it was around 1959. However, the first time I drove into the long shadows cast by the towering rock walls is a distinct memory.
It was in December of 1976 and I had agreed to help my dad move the family back to Kingman from Michigan. Dad, as was his custom, had resurrected a vintage truck (this time it was an old 2 1/2 ton 1960 Ford with two speed axle that had served as a Goodwill truck) for the move. In tow was his tried and true 1953 Chevy p.u. loaded to the the top of the racks that loomed high above the cab.
Even though my dad had done a pretty respectable job of bringing the old Ford back to life it was tired, overloaded, rusty, and slow. So we took the back roads, including old alignments of Route 66, as much as possible.
We took turns at the wheel, drove straight through, and made pretty good time in spite of the trucks limitations and the winter weather that included wind, cold, snow, and ice. Then, somewhere between Grants and Gallup as the snow blew across the road in blinding wisps, the tow bar broke and the old Chevy began to violently whip back and forth.
To this day I am not sure how dad kept that old beast on the road. Still, in spite of his best efforts, when he brought it to a stop on the shoulder the Chevy slammed into the rear of the Ford with a loud crash crushing the left front fender and shattering the headlight.
We climbed down from the cab, surveyed the damage, pried the fender from the wheel with a tire iron, disconnected the remnants of the tow bar, and set out into the fast fading afternoon light as a two truck convoy. It was somewhere near the Chief Yellowhorse Trading Post that I drove the wounded Chevy into the shadows with one light illuminating the old cracked asphalt as the sun was fast sinking into the west, a memory that came rushing back as we crossed the New Mexico line with such clarity I could almost feel the deep chill that enveloped the unheated cab on that cold winters evening so long ago.
In Holbrook, after consultation of Jerry McClanahan’s wonderful EZ 66 Guidehttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0970995164&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr, my wife and I had decided to pick up with Route 66 again in Gallup. So, we parted ways with the interstate at exit 16 and rolled into Gallup, drove past the cornucopia of artifacts spanning a century of history, and found a gas station ($2.62 per gallon) near the historic El Rancho Hotel.
Nestled amongst a sea of roadside flotsam that runs the gamut from well worn vintage motels to the Chamber of Commerce with its colorful, Route 66 themed neon sign designed by Jerry McClanahan, the El Rancho is far more than an interesting roadside artifact. It is a tangible link to that almost magical time when cinematic epics forever enamored the world with stunning southwestern landscapes and larger than life characters pushing the frontier into the Pacific.

Opened in 1937 by film mogul D.W. Griffith’s brother, the luxurious showpiece soon became a haven for the stars of the silver screen filming on location in the Gallup area including John Wayne. This as well as its association with Route 66 and a stunning mix of memorabilia, Native American art, and vintage furnishings framed by delightful southwestern architecture make it a must see stop for travelers on the double six in western New Mexico.

From Gallup we picked up I-40 to exit 47, and then stepped back from the generic era with a return to Route 66. The section of the old road between Thoreau and Mesita at exit 117 is variously masked as state highway 117, 122, and 124 but at every turn there is evidence this was once much more than an asphalt ribbon tying forlorn, dusty, well worn roadside communities together. It is also apparent that in some of these towns the designation of Route 66 in 1926, or even statehood in 1912, is a recent chapter in a very long history.
Settlement in San Fidel dates to establishment of a farm by Baltazar Jaramillo in 1868. The first post office was established in 1910.
The Villa de Cubero Trading Post, once a favorite retreat for celebrities including Ernest Hemmingway and Lucille Ball, dates to 1937. The namesake village just to the north, on the pre 1937 alignment of Route 66, appears on maps as early as 1776. Some places along he old road west of Albuquerque are even older.
The winds continued to howl as we rolled east toward the Rio Grande and the former Spanish outpost turned metropolis of Albuquerque. Plans for a picnic, as well as a few for exploration of older alignments were shelved and instead we stopped at the Route 66 Casino for a pit stop (bathroom break) and to visit with Sandra Ashcraft of the New Mexico Route 66 Association at Enchanted Mesa RV park near the beautiful steel truss bridge on the Rio Puerco River built in 1933. 
In what would become a pattern on this trip we missed Sandra. So, we left a few copies of our new print and note card series as a small thank you gift for her assistance with the book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, jumped on I-40 again and prepared for battle with the traffic in Albuquerque. 
At exit 170 we again joined Route 66 and began the long climb from the valley of the Rio Grande. With our picnic plans abandoned we succumbed to the hunger that had been held at bay with our snacking from the supply box, returned to the genric age, and stopped at Subway in Tijeras for a sandwich.
As it was still relatively early we continued our eastward journey rolling through Edgewood, Barton, and into Moriarity where we again stopped for fuel ( $2.69 per gallon).
Even though the Jeep was performing without a hitch there was a sense of apprehension as we drove past the city limits sign in Moriarty. The last two trips along Route 66 had been punctuated with unintended stops here.
The first breakdown was actually just to the east of Clines Corners late one evening in January as I was returning with a battered Nissan Pathfinder that had been stolen in Kingman and recovered in Oklahoma City. The alternator seized tighter than a drum about five miles out and broke the fan belt. Using only the parking lights and driving the shoulder, again in a snow storm, I made Clines Corners where a towing company in Moriarty was called.
The second unintended stop came shortly after being contracted for my first book. We were on a father and son adventure to Michigan via Route 66 in our 1988 Ford station wagon when the rear transmission seal blew out. We limped into town and spent the next day strolling the streets and dining at the Rip Griffin, now a TA, truck stop.

On this trip all was uneventful and we continued our trip having decided to end the day in Santa Rosa, another historic community that hovers between ghost town and modern, generic haven for weary travelers.
As this was a reservation free adventure, upon our arrival we began that timeless road trip game of checking availability, rates, and condition of motels. On our second stop we struck gold even though the rate was a bit more than I am comfortable with ($69.00 plus tax).
Still the room was spacious and clean. We had Internet access in the lobby. There was a nice continental breakfast to offset the cost, and the staff was polite as well as helpful. So, if you find yourself in Santa Rosa and are in need of lodging for the night my suggestion is the Santa Rosa Inn at 2491 Historic Route 66 next door to Denny’s where we succumbed to temptation and hunger after a long day on the road and finding the supermarket had closed. A pleasant dinner was followed with a leisurely stroll back to the motel and an evening of planning the next days grand adventure – exploring lost highways, the ghost towns of Cuervo, Newkirk, Montoya, Endee, Glenrio, and introducing my dearest friend to the wonderful people and the delightful pies only found at the Midpoint Cafe.