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MEMORY LANE - NEXT EXIT

Welcome to Route 66 Adventures where the neon still glows bright along Route 66, shiny new Studebaker cars roll from the factory in South Bend, the Edsel is the talk of the town, and tail fins represent the latest in automotive styling.
We at Route 66 Adventures work hard to ensure your stroll down Memory Lane is a pleasant, enjoyable, and memorable one. In addition to regular posts by award winning author Jim Hinckley, there are numerous links to sites, including classic roadside locations, that will help in your endeavor to plan the ultimate trip along the Main Street of America and other legendary highways. In addition there are also a number of links to sites that provide technical information, as well as support, to keep your vintage car on the road.
We have also added a wide array of information about Kingman, Arizona, the self proclaimed "Heart of Historic Route 66", that is updated daily.
Before you leave meet the proprietor and learn about forthcoming projects by this author. Please take a moment to give your impressions, thoughts, and suggestions as to how we may make your visit more enjoyable.


Thank you - the Route 66 Adventure team

©2013 Jim Hinckley (includes the Route 66 Adventures logo, Jim Hinckley's America, and the logo used in conjunction with Jim Hinckley's America.









Friday, August 28, 2015

HISTORIC JOURNEYS, EPIC ODYSSEYS, GRAND ADVENTURES, AND A BIT OF NEIGHBORHOOD EXPLORATION

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Adjusting to a decidedly different work schedule, and adjusting my concept of what constitutes a steady paycheck has ensured that August 2015 will be a most memorable month. As a bonus, it has been a month of adventure, in the office that serves as central control for Jim Hinckley's America, and on the road.
Courtesy Historic Vehicle Association
Counted among the highlights of the past few weeks has to be the opportunity that my dearest friend and I had to share in the adventure with the folks from the Historic Vehicle Association that were recreating Edsel Ford's epic 1915 odyssey. The centennial of Ford's trip provided an excellent opportunity for the association to highlight a century of great American road trips, the nations rich automotive heritage, and the wide array of contributions these have made to American society. The only thing that would have made it better is if we could have tagged along as passengers in a century old Ford as it traversed the National Old Trails Highway and Route 66 through the Black Mountains. 
In one of those odd twists that seem to be part of adventures in time travel, the curtain between past and present parted briefly during the associations stop in Kingman. Even though it was a memorable event, it wasn't a pleasant one. 
Courtesy Historic Vehicle Association
From the Edsel Ford journal, "Kingman, Arizona, Friday July 16, 1915 - Stayed around town all day until 4:30 on account of heat. Met party in Stutz from St. Louis - Mr. and Mrs. Scott and 3 children, also Mr. Hillerby. Arrived at Needles 8:30 P.M. after being informed that highway men were along the road. Heat very oppressive. Slept on porch of hotel. Stutz crew half hour after ourselves. Day's run 72 miles."
During their stay in Kingman in the summer of 2015, the association was visited by highwaymen. The support trailer was broken into and thousands of dollars in equipment were stolen. 
Edsel's trip, and the associations, as well as their purpose for undertaking the adventure, were stories that needed to be shared. So, I called a few old contacts and have penned features for Old Cars Weekly and Hemming's Classic Car.  
Kingman is not the only Route 66 link in Edsel's journey that took place eleven years before that famous highway was certified.
"St. Louis, Missouri, Sunday June 20, 1915 - Breakfast at ten: drove to Curlees at Kirkwood. After dinner went for ride. Got Berkeley Sloan off train from Valley Park. Heavy thunderstorm prevent our leaving at a reasonable hour. Finally stopped and were able to leave at 1:00 A.M. Found Art Hickman in our room asleep, on our return. Day's run 30 miles." 
"Williams, Arizona, Thursday July 15, 1915 - Found Cadillac and Stutz crews at Harvey Hotel at Williams waiting for us. All got supplies at garage. Talked to Ford agent. Got going about eleven. Had lunch at Ash Forks. Loafed along; found it very hot. Bought some gas and oranges at Seligman. Stutz broke another spring about 15 miles out and returned to Seligman. Cadillac and Ford went on to Kingman, arriving at midnight, Brunswick Hotel. Very rough and dusty roads. Wired Los Angeles Branch for axle parts. Day's run 146 miles." 
I have also completed the revised edition of Backroads of Arizona, and coordinated photography with Kerrick James. This was long overdue but the timing for the project wasn't ideal as there were an array of pressing issues that required immediate attention, or sooner. 
The self publishing endeavor has proven to be an adventure in itself. First there was learning to navigate the template, and the writing of the text. Then there was the discovery that the template utilized was not the ideal one for the project, and it could not be resolved with cut and paste. 
Still, step one, part two is complete. Next is editorial assistance and some honest critical evaluation (once again, thank you Mike Ward). Then comes the addition of photos, and publication. 
The deadline of June 1 has obviously been adjusted. Now, I am shooting for a release by the end or summer, or early fall. If you know an incurable road trip addict, and are looking for a unique gift...
The first podcast, starring Toshi Goto of the Japanese Route 66 Association (thank you, Toshi!) is in a similar state of limbo. It is also moving forward, with editing and the addition of introductions, taking place now.
This morning I received word that a proposal submitted a few weeks ago has received approval. Next, the budget process. Once those issues are resolved, work will begin on another Route 66 related title. This one will be unlike anything I have previously attempted as it will be more intimate portrait of the road and the people that give it such a sense of addictive vibrancy.
On occasion, in recent weeks, this unfolding chapter in life leaves me quite tense with a feeling that I am juggling chain saws with one hand tied behind my back while straddling the third rail. There are, however, occasions when I find myself grinning like the Cheshire cat.
Historic journeys, epic odysseys, and grand adventures pale in comparison to the grandest adventure of all, the adventure of life itself.      

Monday, August 24, 2015

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ADVENTURE

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On occasion in recent weeks I felt as though my compass needle was spinning wildly or the Garmin never stops telling me to spin in circles to calibrate. I am not exactly starting a new chapter in life but at this late date the recent transitions are fraught with a swirling mix of anxieties, episodic moments of dark humor, misdirection, occasional confusion,  numerous opportunities for a laugh, frustrations, excitement, enthusiasm, and eager anticipation. In my world every day is either an adventure or an adventure waiting to happen but the recent turn of events has been, to say the very least, quite interesting. 
As it has been almost a week since I last posted updates from my corner of the world on the road less traveled, let me bring you up to speed. 
The first step was to move from a set schedule to a schedule of my own creation. Being raised in a home where most every day started by preparing me for boot camp ("It is zero five hundred, lets go, everybody up.") that wasn't overly difficult. Still, a week was consumed with developing a schedule that fit my early morning habits and yet allowed for me to dovetail this with the real world where the day seldom begins before 8:00. 
So, as an example, this morning commenced at 4:30, or zero four-thirty. After answering a few emails, there was a shower, shave and breakfast. 
I usually have a number of phone calls to make first thing in the morning. So, I start with those on the east coast. 
Courtesy Historic Vehicle Association. 
At 6:30, I finalized details with the Historic Vehicle Association pertaining to the acquisition of materials to complete a couple of feature articles, one for Old Cars Weekly and the other for Hemmings Classic Car. These are about the associations recent cross country trip in a 1915 Ford to foster discussion about the nations rich automotive history and to celebrate a century of road trips. 
Next, completion of an outline for Route 66 centered marketing for Ramada Kingman, an historic property that the owners are in the process of transforming into a Route 66 resort. 
This was followed by coffee at Mr. D'z and a meeting with Gary Cron of Baby Boomer Radio, and Sam Frisher, owner of the El Trovatore Motel. The primary topics of discussion were two fold; the ongoing need for development of coordinated tourism related promotion in Kingman, and the pending podcast (Gary is providing editing and technical assistance). 
Afterwards I stopped by the Ramada, and picked up the mail. The rest of the day will be consumed with completion of the two feature articles, and ongoing work on the self published guide to Kingman. A meeting with Robert Bravo of Grand Canyon Western Ranch is pending for later this afternoon. 
Yesterday was rather interesting. After filing the sales tax report for the month, and breakfast with our son, I simply cleaned up the email and created a photo album highlighting adventures on the road less traveled, and the people that makes those adventures memorable.
That afternoon I had a meeting scheduled out near Hackberry. However, that meeting was rescheduled, but not before I was half way there. 
So, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for a road trip and a little photography. However, the monsoon clouds that add dramatic effect to photographs of the desert had transformed the area around Hackberry in a rather dramatic manner; a power pole was lying across the west bound lane of Route 66, the road into the town of Hackberry was a small river, the dirt roads, including the National Old Trails Highway that is also an early alignment of Route 66 was part quagmire, part rutted goat trail strewn with rocks of varying sizes and cow pies.
Rather than deal with the backed up traffic on Route 66, I decided to take the scenic route by following the  old road through Hackberry. After fording a stream or two, picking my way through rocks washed into the road, carefully charting my way across stream crossings where the road had been carved into sheer drops, and covering the Jeep with mud as well as cow dung, I came to an abrupt halt at an impromptu road closure just east of the historic school; a lariat strung across a cattle guard.
Local ranchers had cleared a mountain of sand and mud from the road but fences were down, hence the home made gate. After passing this point there were two options; crossing under the tracks and back to Route 66 or following the National Old Trails Highway several miles west where it connected with the double six near Antares Point. I chose the latter.
With the exception of a half mile of thick deep mud, and a couple of small washouts, the road was in good shape. The century old culverts still perform as intended.
Tuesday last week, through Saturday, were simply consumed with writing. In addition to the feature articles, I finished the work for a revised edition of Backroads of Arizona, and focused on re working the self published guide to Kingman. 
I have long held the belief that every day is another opportunity for adventure. That is now more true than ever.  
      
   
     

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