Jim Hinckley’s America in Transition

Telling people where to go since 1990, is more than a catchy tongue in cheek slogan. It is the underlying goal of

Introducing a Dutch tour group to the intricacies of driving a 1923 double T Ford truck. Photo Daniel Kuperus

Jim Hinckley’s America; telling people where to go, showing people where to go, helping them plan the trip, and then working to ensure that the trip is memorable. Jim Hinckley’s America is firmly rooted in the great American road trip and adventures on the road less traveled. It is built on adventures behind the wheel of a 1926 Ford, 1946 GMC or rental car along Route 66. It is stories told as Route 66 chronicles. It is journey’s into the Mojave Desert and the old trails in Arizona. It is rooted in the past.

Jim Hinckley’s America is in a state of transition. Bridges are being built to connect the past with the future. The latest endeavor is a complete revamp of the website and social media network linked with expanded YouTube video projects, a new presentation series, the on again off again podcast, a step on guide service, a travel planning service, a travel book store, and of course, new books and feature articles. There is also going to be an expansion of the Patreon based crowdfunding site linked with additional services offered to business and community sponsors.

As a key component to this transition is further development and expansion of the Adventurers Club live programs on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page, I am working overtime to complete the transition before taking to the road in July. So, most of June has been spent learning a bit about website development, installation of Divi Builder and making valiant attempts to understand some of the lingo. It remains a work in progress but as you can see, the website is being transformed albeit slowly. At this juncture I would like some honest input and a bit of constructive criticism. What would you like to see from Jim Hinckley’s America?  (more…)

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Shared Adventures Are Memorable Adventures

Unraveling the story behind a smoldering body dressed in a

The Haunting Beauty of The Beale Hotel
There is a haunting beauty in the mezzanine of the Hotel Beale lit by a morning glow from the skylight. #jimhinckleysamerica

Canadian military uniform discovered along the National Old Trails Road near Seligman, Arizona in 1919 was just one of the projects that has made this week unforgettable. On the weekly live Adventurers Club program I provided a glimpse inside the historic and long shuttered Beale Hotel in Kingman, Arizona. Two radio interviews provided an opportunity to promote a few of my favorite places such as the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri, Grand Canyon Caverns, and Clanton’s Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma. They also allowed for the promotion of the First Friday festivities in Kingman. I also had several opportunities to highlight the power of pooled resource marketing and at the same time help ensure travelers had an unforgettable experience.  (more…)

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The Joy of Telling People Where To Go
Welcome to Valentine, Arizona

The Joy of Telling People Where To Go

It is a God given gift, or so people tell me. I first began

harnessing that gift for telling people where to go in 1990 with the writing and publication of feature articles and books (18 to date with another due for release this year). Initially it was largely viewed as a means to stave off starvation. Then I began to meet the most wonderful and inspirational people. Then those people began to seek me out during their adventures, and to tell their friends to do the same. In turn this led to the promotion of my adopted hometown, Kingman, Arizona, and America’s small town, Route 66.

100 Things To Do On Route 66 Before You Die

The ultimate bucket list - from restaurants to photo ops, from time capsule motels to attractions here are 100 of author Jim Hinckley's favorite places on Route 66

$22.00

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Colorful Characters, Neon Nights, Grand Adventures & Good Friends
Crazy Ray

Colorful Characters, Neon Nights, Grand Adventures & Good Friends

Some people fear death and obsess about diet, exercise, and

face lifts as they make valiant but futile attempts to stave off the inevitable.  As a result, to borrow a slogan from Belmont Winery in Leasburg, Missouri,  they don’t have time to enjoy the simple taste of life. Work alcoholics suffer a similar malady. One of the greatest challenges in this life is to strike a balance. We need to work to live and not live to work. We need to avoid the trap that is killing time and never forget that time is finite.

I will be the first to admit that often in the rush to meet a deadline, these are simple lessons that are forgotten. This is in spite of the fact that on a daily basis, as I write about lives cut short,  I am reminded about the brevity of life, the futility of myopically focusing on work with the hope that at some point in the distant future there will be time to enjoy life. (more…)

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You Snooze, You Loose – Missed Opportunities, Lessons Learned, and Hard Knocks

A quick visit is all it takes to tell if a town or village is

possessed of a sense of community, is progressive and forward thinking, and if it has a vision for the future,  or if it is riddled with apathy,  indifference, self serving factions, and leadership focused on the rear view mirror.  Take a drive through town, hit the historic business district, and then take a couple of laps through neighborhoods. Skip the fast food joints and stop at a local diner or tavern, be a fly on the wall and listen. Pick up a local paper (or read the on line edition) and be sure to read the editorials as well as the comments.

My dearest friend captured this moment of contemplation during a winter outing in Arizona.

Today’s post isn’t meant as condemnation. It is a bit of a soapbox sermon inspired by thoughts and reflections as I gear up for this mornings conference call with the Route 66: Road Ahead Partnership economic development committee. It is also an expression of frustration.

As many of you know, my dearest friend and I call Kingman, Arizona home. Located at the heart of a wonderland of vast and diverse landscapes, and at the center of the longest remaining uninterrupted segment of Route 66, the town has, perhaps, the greatest undeveloped tourism potential of any community in the southwest. This boundless opportunity is magnified by a location on the western edge of the “Grand Circle” that is the premier destination in the southwest, and the fact that within 400 miles of Kingman there are ten million people with interest in mountain biking, camping, spelunking, fine dining, off road exploration, wineries, colorful festivals, ghost towns, museums, white water rafting, classic car events, Native American culture, the Grand Canyon, and hiking along shade dappled trails.

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Wait, Don’t Order Yet – Somewhere Between Ronco and PBS

Marketing, slogans, catch phrases, and promotion, have always

been a source of fascination for me.  See the U.S.A in your Chevrolet. Ask The Man Who Owns One. No Hill To Steep, No Sand To Deep.  The art of the sell at its finest.

Before trying to sell you on my latest book, an explanation is needed. I tried my hand at selling used cars many, many years ago and quickly learned that it simply wasn’t in my nature to convince a potential customer that a Pinto was what the family needed when they wanted, and desperately needed a station wagon.  There is an art to selling and selling in such a way that the customer leaves happy.  Still,  if I sell a fellow a three legged race horse when he is looking for a mule to pull the plow, chances are that I am going to have a bit of trouble sleeping at night.  And I would bet money that when it comes planting, there is no association between my name and fond memories.

With said, let me introduce you to my latest book, and make you an offer that will be tough to refuse. In a nutshell this book is a bucket list  for the novice or hard core Route 66 junkie, a list of must see sites, attractions, and places where you can enjoy great pie. I can guarantee that if you hit all 100 of the places listed, you will have had an unforgettable Route 66 adventure, met some fascinating people, made life long friends, and be hopelessly in love with a road that has an international fan club.  (more…)

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A Survival Guide For The Modern Era
Evolution and the ability to adapt to changing times is crucial if a business is to survive. Photo courtesy Mohave Museum of History & Arts.

A Survival Guide For The Modern Era

There is an old adage that the two certainties in life are

death and taxes. There are, however, two more adages that you can bank on. One, times change, whether we like it or not. Two, it is up to you to create the survival guide for the modern era and to keep it updated. In short, adapt and learn to adapt or face the consequences. You can bet money that the best blacksmith in town had fallen on hard times by 1915 if he hadn’t added automobile repair to the services offered.

Fred Harvey Company Touring Coach 1918
By 1918 the Fred Harvey had adapted to changing times by adding touring coaches as a means to ensure hotel properties remained profitable. Courtesy Mohave Museum of History & Arts.

The Fred Harvey Company pioneered development of hotel and restaurant chains. They didn’t, however, rest on their laurels after dominating the railroad hotel business in the southwest. They developed tours, added buses, and began marketing to tourists traveling by automobile.

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As an author I have, with a degree of success, made the transition from typewriter and carbon paper to word processor. Marketing, a crucial skill for the writer that is going to transition from hobbyist, is another matter. There are indications that I have been somewhat successful in regards to shameless self promotion. As an example, yesterday I learned that Route 66: America’s Longest Small Town is going into a second printing even though the book was released this past April.

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