Thoughts on my trip

August 9 - 30, twenty-two day solo trip. Over 3,500 miles traveled in my trusty Prius. Seven of the eight Route 66 states - Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. $1,569.00 spent on lodging, gasoline, food, books, and miscellaneous, plus probably a couple hundred I don't have receipts for spent in Route 66 communities. Sixteen blog posts. Back home in Edwardsville this past weekend.

My intentions for the trip:  be on the road a whole month, from August 1 - 31, travel all the way west to the Santa Monica Pier, take the old alignment in New Mexico up through Santa Fe and also visit Las Vegas and then Taos to see the "Fred Harvey and the Making of the American West" exhibit at the Millicent Rogers Museum, meet up with a dear friend in Vegas (Nevada). None of those happened due to a bit of illness.

But...I made it to the festival in Kingman, enjoyed time with old friends and new, stayed with daughter and son-in-law a week in Albuquerque, drove lots of 66, and took a lot of photos. Exclaimed to myself over gorgeous Southwestern skies, New Mexico mesas, Arizona mountains, art deco buildings, and other assorted sites along the way that elicited more than one "Oh, shit! Look at that!" from me. You'd think I was looking at all of it for the first time, but I guess if you can get that excited about it after many trips, it's a good thing.

I've been visiting the American Southwest since I was a little girl, and like so many, have special memories there. Trips with my parents on Route 66, trips with Thom Jett and our two children throughout the 1970s and 80s, trips to visit my daughter in the 22 years she's lived in New Mexico, and extended visits a couple summers to interview the grandmothers in some of the northern New Mexico pueblos. But I digress - back to this trip.

Kudos to Jim Hinckley, Judy Hinckley, Dora Manley, the City of Kingman, and everyone involved who produced, supported, or assisted with the International Route 66 Festival in Kingman! A lot of this event worked well, the volunteers were helpful and cheerful, the broadcast (and the viewing) of the conference sessions seemed to be a significant new angle, and the Road Crew band did not disappoint. My announcement of the Edwardsville 2015 conference was met with diverse reaction at the moment (when surely the announcement of a sanctioned 2015 festival was anticipated), but pledges of support and offers of assistance continue to reach me. Now that I'm back home, I'm awaiting scheduling by the City of Edwardsville for further meetings and planning sessions. I promise to update everyone as details are worked out and confirmed.

As I wrap up this post, I will say that being on the road by yourself is a complicated thing. You can feel very greedy about the landscape, the scenery, the decisions when and where to stop! "Mine! All mine!" On the other hand, there's no one there to share your joy at an awesome sunset, the sun bouncing off some rocky crag, or the chance for a great shot of a landmark sign or building. And there's no one to share the driving. You're it. A mixed bag, for sure.

Oh, and by the way, I'm making plans for another road trip in October - this one in a different direction and partially on another famous old automobile highway. 

A few photos from the festival and the trip, in no particular order:


Kingman Festival banner.
I model a new T-shirt at the festival.
Grand Canyon Cafe, Flagstaff AZ.
Kaisa Barthuli, NPS, with preservation awardees.
Collectors Steve Rider, Sharon and Mike Ward.
A selfie of sorts to mark the start of the trip.
The Sonderman - Jett book display.
Signing Roamin' Rich Dinkela's hood at the festival.
Michael Wallis, Jim Ross, Jerry McClanahan.
Co-authors Sonderman and Jett.
The graceful Marsh Rainbow Bridge, KS.
With my cousin Lauri Devine in Flagstaff AZ.
Triangle Motel sign, Amarillo TX.
Devil's Elbow bridge, MO.
Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff AZ.
Boots Court, Carthage MO.
Meadow Gold sign, Tulsa OK.
Boston Avenue Church, Tulsa OK.
Coleman Theatre, Miami OK.
Jim Hinckley, author, tour guide, storyteller, on his home turf.