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Event information. Dining recommendations and travel tips. Recommendations for tour companies and motels. Information about museums and news about travel trends. The weekly newsltter from Jim Hinckley’s America is a free service made possible through support of our crowdfunding initiative and promotional partners including the City of Cuba and Grand Canyon Caverns.  

 March 3, 2020


Route 66 Road Ahead to Meet in Springfield, MO in March 

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership will hold its 2020 Annual Board Meeting in the birthplace of Route 66: Springfield, Missouri. The meeting will be conducted at the Hotel Vandivort (305 E. Walnut St.) on Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, 2020. 

Friday sessions will focus on reports from the various Working Groups, Advisory Groups and Task Forces. On Saturday morning, an outside consulting firm will conduct a strategic review and assessment of the Road Ahead organization. 

“The goal,” explained Road Ahead Chairman Bill Thomas, “is to step back and review the mission and outcomes of our organization after the efforts put forth in the last three years.” 

The Road Ahead’s Annual Route 66 Stakeholder’s Reception and Update will follow the Board Meeting on Saturday afternoon. Light refreshments will be served from 2 to 3:30

p.m. in the Cornerstone Room at the Vandivort. Members of the Board will provide updates on the work conducted by the Road Ahead during 2019 and plans for 2020. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. 

The Annual Board meeting is open to the public, which is invited to make comments during the meeting’s designated Public Comment Time. 

Established in 2015, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments’ Fund, The Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, as well as economic development. 



Bill Thomas, Chair-Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership


Travel Style Feature

A Short Interview

Short bio: Before turning to writing and work as a tourism marketing consultant and tourism development consultant, I earned a living in some rather colorful occupations. I worked as a cowboy along the Mexican border and in Arizona, was a rodeo rider as well as a truck driver, mechanic, repossession agent, finance manager and loan officer, truck leasing agent, used car salesman, carpenter, dredge operator, and underground miner. My writing career includes a stint as associate editor for Cars & Parts, and the publication of feature articles as well as 18 books on an array of diverse topics including Route 66 history and travel, ghost towns in the southwest and along Route 66, restoration of Chevrolet truck electrical systems, the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, back roads of Arizona, and the history of the American auto industry from 1885 to 1945. How often do you fly? Once or twice per year. How many countries have you been to? Counting Louisiana, six. How many continents have you been to? Two. Earliest travel memory: 1963, a trip from Michigan to Kentucky. As a side note my parents insist I was potty trained along the highway. Favorite American city: Los Angeles, California.

Read more at: 

Featured Author

Meet Rhys Martin

Rhys Martin is an author and photographer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. His love of travel was born in 2009 when he sold all of his possessions and left the country. For ten months, he lived out of a backpack and explored southeast Asia and Europe.

After returning home, Rhys looked at his home state with fresh eyes. He started visiting the back roads of Oklahoma and quickly understood the significance of historic Route 66 to the greater American story. He has traveled all 2,448 miles of the Mother Road and continues to explore the quiet Main Streets of the Midwest.

Rhys’s travel writing and photography has been featured in several publications including TulsaPeople Magazine, This Land Press, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. His most recent work is a book from Arcadia Publishing called Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. The book features the stories of nearly 50 iconic eating establishments in the city, starting in the 1930s and working up through the 1980s.

Rhys is the President of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, serves on the Tulsa Route 66 Commission, and is an adviser for the Route 66 Alliance. He loves to connect with people and share his experiences.

Jim’s Picks

Downtown Needles, CA: Great evening about Route 66 in the Southwest with author Jim Hinckley and touring the old El Garces Harvey House. 


New Presentation Series By Author Jim Hinckley Opens To Rave Reviews 

In the summer of 1915, Edsel Ford and his college buddies followed the National Old Trails Road west to California. In his travel journal Ford noted that in Needles, “The heat was very oppressive. Slept on porch at hotel.” The year prior Louis Chevrolet and Barney Oldfield made a pit stop in Needles during the last of the Desert Classic auto races that coursed along the National Old Trails Road from Los Angles to Ash Fork, Arizona. A journey along the National Old Trails Road was chronicled by Emily Post in By Motor to The Golden Gate.

In the presentation made on February 7 at the historic El Garces Hotel in Needles, California internationally acclaimed author Jim Hinckley wove fascinating stories from more than 150 years of travel in the southwest into a rich and colorful tapestry. It is the story of Native American traders and Spanish explorers, of colorful adventurers and camel caravans, and of pioneering motorists. It is also the story of the most famous highway in America, Route 66.

Hinckley is the author of nineteen books including Murder and Mayhem on The Main Street of America: Tales from Bloody 66, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Travel Route 66, Ghost Towns of Route 66 and The Route 66 Encyclopedia. His published work also includes feature articles for True West, Classic Auto Restorer, American Road, Route 66 and Cars & Parts. He is also the creator of the Jim Hinckley’s America travel network as well as a consultant specializing in the creation of tourism related marketing and promotional initiatives for companies as well as communities. He has made presentations on Route 66, the infancy of the American auto industry and southwest travel at a tourism convention in the Netherlands, at the European Route 66 Festivals in Germany and the Czech Republic, at the Missouri History Museum, the Miles of Possibility Conference and at museum fundraisers throughout the United States.

The presentation hosted by the Needles Regional Museum, and Fenders River Road Resort, the only motel located on the National Old Trails Road, Route 66 and the Colorado River, drew an audience of more than 130 people. Some attendees traveled from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.