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Check out Pages 6-7 to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire and many other wonderful prizes!

That’s The Highway by Cort Stevens

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Albuquerque, NM by Jim Hinckley

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Detour by Jim Hinckley

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Cruzin with Kramden by John Springs

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Calendar@66TheMotherRoad.com

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July / August 2012


DEADLINE REMINDER ISSUE

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CONTACT US Judy Springs Publisher Judy@66TheMotherRoad.com John Springs Advertising Manager 760.834.1495 John@66TheMotherRoad.com Beverly Maxfield Contributing Editor/Copy Writer Bev@66TheMotherRoad.com

Please note: When submitting materials to this magazine for publication, it is understood and agreed you have full legal rights to its content. In the event any litigation ensues, advertiser agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Magazine from all claims (whether valid or invalid), sits, judgements, proceedings, losses, damages, costs and expenses, of any nature whatsoever (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) for which the Magazine may become liable by reason of Magazine’s publication of Advertiser’s advertising.

How to Reach the ROUTE 66 ASSOCIATIONS California Historic Route 66 Association 16825 S. D St., Victorville, CA 92323 CAHistoricRT66@aol.com http://www.route66ca.org Arizona Route 66 Association PO Box 66, Kingman, AZ 86402 928.753.5001 azrt66@frontiernet.net www.azrt66.com New Mexico Route 66 Association 14305 Central Ave. NW Albuquerque, New Mexico 87121 505.831.6317 www.rt66nm.org Old Route 66 Association of Texas PO Box 66 McLean, TX 79057 806.373.7576 or 806.779.2225 www.mockturtlepress.com/Texas Trewblue@centramedia.com Oklahoma Route 66 Association, Inc. PO Box 446 Chandler, OK 74834 www.Oklahomaroute66.com or okrt66association@sbcglobal.net Kansas Historic Route 66 Association PO Box 66 Baxter Springs, KS 66713 620.856.2385 http://www.ixks.com/alynn/index.htm Route 66 Association of Missouri PO Box 8117 St. Louis, MO 63156 www.missouri66.org Illinois Route 66 Association Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum 110 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764 cathiesb@earthlink.net www.il66assoc.org Canadian Route 66 Association PO Box 81123 Burnaby, BC V5HK2 604.434.1818 route66kicks@mac.com, or route66@telus.net www.route66.ca National Historic Route 66 Federation PO Box 1848, Dept. WS Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352 909.336.6131 www.national66.com

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Images Š www.rt66pix.com

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HOT FUN IN T HE AMERICAN SUMMERT IME! Photographer Frank Gifford of rt66pix.com feels life should be one giant photo-op both on and off the Mother Road. It’s the peak of summer. Time to see the country that put men on the moon...and cheese in aerosol cans! Gasoline may not be cheap, but it is plentiful. Iced tea is both. So let’s grab some and go for a patriotic roadtrip--away from the Interstates.

AMERICA (SOLARIZED) This road sign is near the southern tip of Illinois, about 125 miles (200 km) from Route 66. The settlement of America was a grandiose land promotion in the early 1800s. This late afternoon image combines a dramatic rapidly-changing sky with a passing truck. (It was a lucky shot--the other 68 weren’t so lucky.) This is also a rare example of utility wires enhancing a picture.

USA, RUST & BEAM Embossed letters USA appear in hundreds of places on Route 66 over the Mississippi River. The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge north of St. Louis MO is now a hike-and-bike trail, closed to traffic. Extreme close-ups show USA in different combinations of rust and paint. This image was shot up a diagonal beam and suggests American strength. An entire gallery on rt66pix.com is devoted to rust, with 275 images.

FIVE NEON BANDS & 66 Red, White and Blue--what a coincidence! This 1949 neon beauty glows high above the Mother Road outside the 66 Drive-In at Carthage MO. A movie under the summer stars is a wonderful American experience--especially on Route 66. Neon has its own gallery at rt66pix.com with more than 200 images. Don’t let anybody tell you that Route 66 is only what WAS. Memorable photos are out there right now waiting for someone to find them. The three above were taken this year.

Images © www.rt66pix.com July / August 2012

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The Kindle Fire c

And so could any number of wond 66 businesses, and f

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Win 1 of 3 motel stays (One night for 2 people) - Globetrotter Motel - Wigwam Motel - Wagon Wheel Motel

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(Your email will NOT be shared or sold). The drawing will be held at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, MO, during Cuba Fest - October 20-21, 2012. Winner need not be present for the drawing. Each email entrant will be assigned a number. Numbers will be drawn and matched to the email. One email per person. Duplicates will be eliminated. All winners will be placed back into the drawing for a chance to win the Kindle Fire.

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July / August 2012

Harley & Annabelle Living Legends in Erick, OK


could be yours!

derful items donated by our Route friends of Route 66.

Today!

More prizes being added weekly!

Participating Sponsors: www.GlobetrotterLodge.com www.WagonWheelCuba.com www.WigwamMotel.com www.AmericasCave.com www.GrandCanyonCaverns.com www.Route66LastStopShop.com www.SeligmanSundries.com http://dolphinecho.com/ http://houseportraitsbypete.com/ www.Rt66Pix.com

www.66RoutePost.com http://harleyandannabelle.blogspot.com/ www.HenrysRoute66.com http://Route66Chronicles.blogspot.com www.McJerry66.com www.66maps.com/home.html www.shelleegraham.com www.66Postcards.com www.roadcrew66.com

Mr. C’s Soda’s Mediocre Music Makers Globetrotter Lodge Croc Lile Wagon Wheel Mote Jim Hinckley Henry’s Rabbit Ranch Wigwam Motel Jerry McClanahan Joe Lesch & The Road Crew Meramec Caverns Jim Ross Roger Naylor Grand Canyon Caverns Shellee Graham Frank Gifford The Last Stop Shop on Route 66 Joe Sonderman Catamaran Echo, Key West, Florida Historic Seligman Sudries Dolphins, Snorkeling, Champaign sunset cruise House Portraits By Pete

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Winners will be notified via email. No substitutions for prizes. No cash exchange in lieu of prizes. No cash refunds for portions of unusued certificates. Room prizes will be subject to the establishments availability. Gift packages will determined by establishments product availability. One email per person; duplicates will be eliminated. We will use all emails to notify participants when each issue of 66 The Mother Road is published. No other correspondence will be issued unless you initiate the exchange. If you choose to opt out, please send an email to info@66TheMotherRoad.com and your email will be removed from the bi-monthy notifications - you will still be entered in the raffle. Transportation to any location is the sole responsibility of the entrant.

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www.Route-66.org 8

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www.Route66LastStopShop.com endrt66@gmail.com

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Part 1 in a continuing series POTENTIAL SALE He glanced down and kicked at the cracked pavement. In that moment, he flashed back to a scene some 40 years earlier. “Get away from that wet concrete!” his mom had commanded, then turned back to the discussion between his dad and the contractor. Now, that concrete was no longer new, far from it, and his Dad had been dead some 5 years. Meanwhile, his Mom lay in a nursing home, close to death, and he was contemplating selling the building and the concrete to new owners, who may or may not keep up the Route 66 traditions. He didn’t want to sell the place, but he didn’t think he could keep up with it either. It was a dream of his Dad’s and, as it turned out, his 10

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Mom’s, too, though she never admitted it. His Dad had a fascination with Route 66 and just HAD to own SOME business along Route 66, “for nostalgic purposes”, he had explained at the time. So, with only some savings and a gritty determination, his parents bought a run down place along Route 66 and contracted for some renovations including new concrete along the walkways - that same concrete that now held their son’s stare. He sighed heavily, and took his stare away from the concrete to glance at his cell phone. A prospective buyer was already 30 minutes late. Figures, he muttered to himself. He kicked at the cracked concrete again, and turned around in the warm sun, looking for a car that may or may not show up. He looked back at the building and couldn’t believe 40 years had gone by so quickly. He glanced again at his cell phone, and hit the redial button. The prospective buyer answered,


and explained: “Sorry, we’re not coming. I don’t think we really want that place after all.” Good, he thought. At least I don’t have to deal with this today. He jammed the cell phone back into his pocket, glanced at the building once more, and turned and started to walk toward his car. He kicked again at the pavement, wondering if his parents ever wondered if they made the right decision moving here. He knew they did. ARRIVING When they (him, his parents and 2 siblings) first moved to town after the renovations to the building were completed, the local folks were not quite sure what to make of the new family in town. After all, the local newspaper was quick to inform everyone of the newcomers, especially since they were “city folk” moving to “small town USA”, hoping to make a go along a small stretch of famed Route 66. The townsfolk figured the new family was in for a culture shock of sorts - but they weren’t. His Dad had taken the time to educate his kids about Route 66 and the importance attached to even the smallest of towns. So, none of them were shocked at the relaxed life they had entered. Truth be told, they were all eager for the change from the “big city” life. But, they weren’t prepared for the “cold shoulder” they received from the locals. The first month his parents’ business was open, they only had one visitor. It took his Dad quite some work, and the entire family some sacrifices, to convince the locals that they were not the enemy - that they were, indeed, truly enthusiastic about and held an infectious passion in Route 66. Just a few short months later, a visitor to the town would never have guessed that this family of 5 had ever lived in a big city. GOODBYE As he pulled his big, old 1976 Caprice sedan into the driveway of the home he’s shared with

his Mom for 5 years - the same house his parents purchased when they moved to the small town, he realized his cell was still stuck in his pocket. He pulled it out and noticed a missed call. But, as he was about to hit the button to see who had called, his cell phone blinked again. The display showed the incoming call as “sis”. “Yeah?” he answered. “She is gone,” his younger sister whispered. “I tried to call you...” Silence. He couldn’t speak. Instead, he glanced at the dashboard of what had been his Dad’s pride and joy for so many years to see how much gas was left, and quickly said, “I’ll be there soon. Have you called…” “Yes. I talked to him while a song was playing. He said he was going to call Kyle to see if he could do the rest of his show so he could take the next flight out of Nashville.” “OK. I will see you soon. Here we go again.” He ended the call and backed the Caprice out of the driveway; the half-tank of gas would be plenty to get him back and forth one more time today. He had planned to park the Caprice and grab his other car, but he didn’t want to take time to switch cars out now. Besides, the Caprice was at the center of the family for years, before his Dad bought a 1990 Dodge Caravan, which was then replaced by a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria. Of those three, the Caprice was the only one still in the family. As he headed down the road, he turned the radio on to AM 650 to see if he could listen to his brother’s show. His brother, the youngest of the three, had been the first to “have enough” of the small town life and headed for a big city. He loved older country music and landed himself a job at Nashville’s WSM radio, the premier radio station that, at times, can be heard for miles. The station came in, but just barely. The first voice he heard, though, was his Mom’s: “…has been tremendous. And, because of that, my eldest son has agreed to help me keep the business open for a year so we can continue the tradition and greet people if they want to stop.” Continued on Page 12

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It was the recording his Mom had done for his brother’s show after his Dad died. The support they had received at the time was overwhelming, and at the urging of the local Route 66 Association, he had agreed to quit his job and help his Mom full time at the business to greet Route 66 travelers as they explored the famed roadway. He had agreed to only one year, but with all of the fellow Route 66 people stopping in to see his Mom after his Dad’s death and the daily trek of Route 66 explorers, one year quickly turned into three. Then, his Mom became ill and he had to rely on others to open the business which is why he had decided to put the business up for sale.

Loveless, ‘How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?’”

His brother then spoke: “That was my Mom, about 5 years ago, speaking after Dad’s death. A few moments ago, I received a call from my sister to tell me that Mom has died. Kyle is on his way to the Opryland Hotel studios to handle the rest of my show. Once he arrives, I will turn the reins over to him, and I will head to grab the next flight out of Nashville to my home town. Now, don’t you worry, I WILL be back.” After a long pause, his brother spoke again: “And now, for Mom, Patty

opted to move it to a larger church in the closest “big” city, a move that all three kids thought as a bit ironic. Now, with his Mom dead, he knew the response would be just as overwhelming, mostly because everyone knew that Route 66 was as much a part of her as it had been for her husband, and perhaps even more so. This in mind, his head spun trying to think of all the details that would have to be figured out, though he knew this was

July / August 2012

PREPARATION Five years earlier, the response to his Dad’s death had been overwhelming. By this time, the entire family had well established themselves as Route 66 enthusiasts and, to some extent, legends. As the news of the death spread, thousands called, sent cards, and came to visit, which is partly why he had agreed to help his Mom for one year. The service for his Dad was originally scheduled for a church in their small town, but with so many wanting to attend, they


not the time to think about them. He was, however, glad the prospective buyer had backed out. At least he wasn’t in the middle of sale negotiations, and a small part of him was beginning to think that he just may need to keep the place open and in the family for a little while longer.

about his Mom’s death, people started calling and dropping by just as they had done when his Dad died. A few members of the local Route 66 Association stopped by to offer the auditorium in the state’s museum for the place for the service and to ask about his intentions for the business.

The next few days weren’t as difficult as he had anticipated. His brother flew in from Nashville yet that same night, actually very early the next morning, and he went to pick him up. When his brother got into the Caprice, he exclaimed, “Now I understand why you wanted to keep this car.”

He didn’t know. He told them about the most recent prospective buyer dropping out, and the two told him that the state Route 66 Association would be interested in purchasing it, or helping him run it. He told them he’d let them know in time. Truth be told, though, he was starting to realize that this business had become his life’s work. He hadn’t intended that to happen. It was, after all, his Dad’s dream. But, meeting the Route 66 people, along with the travelers, was simply fascinating to him … and he wasn’t quite sure he was ready to let go … or that he ever would be. So, the evening before his Mom’s service, he spoke to his younger siblings about keeping the business open and in the family’s ownership.

His sister made most of the arrangements, while the youngest brother watched his nieces and nephew. As the middle child, she was torn. She loved the “small town” life, but also knew she had more of the world to see. So, she went to college and graduated with honors. She then married her college sweetheart, and moved with him to the “big city”, though she wasn’t all that excited about it. A few years later, she gave birth to their first child, a girl, and convinced her husband that they should move to a small town. They didn’t return to her home town, but a few towns away, close enough so that she could be near family including her Route 66 family - and close enough for her husband to not have to drive too far to his job in the city. The eldest brother found himself spending most of his time at the business. Once word spread

His sister was very much eager to see them retain ownership, and told him that she would be willing to help out a few days a week. The youngest brother, perhaps feeling a little bit guilty, wasn’t as eager for the family to retain ownership. He knew he wouldn’t be there to help out, and he wasn’t so sure the “small town” life was really right for any of them anymore.

... To be continued. Next installment, September/October issue.

Photo used at start of story courtesy of http://www.USA.Gov.

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www.WildWestJunction.com

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Mark your Calendar

October 20-21 Cuba, Missouri Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest 2012 to see what there is to see: apple butter making, Route 66 authors and artists, chili-cookoff, music, crafts, activities, street performances, a visit from Santa Claus, Taste of Cuba, trolley mural tours, trolley cemetery tours, chair-i-table auction, craft beer & wine tent, oh my, oh my ... Share our FB page so everyone can see what there is to see.

For more information, and/or to register for a booth, go to Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Ibbnub Enjoy the Music of the Road Crew at Cuba Fest, 2012

www.RoadCrew66.com

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established in New Mexico was named in honorarium of Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva Enriquez, Duke of Alburquerque, 34th Viceroy of New Spain. English speaking travelers and cartographers arriving in the early 19th century often dropped the first “r.”

Albuquerque may not be the oldest community on Route 66 but its origins predate that of most by more than a century. The foundations for the modern metropolis on the banks of the Rio Grande date to a settlement feasibility study authorized by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes, governor of New Mexico, in 1706. Its roots reach even further back in time as initial Spanish exploration in 1540 noted remnants of a village on the site. The initial Spanish colonial outpost built here, named San Francisco de Albuquerque, the third 16

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In late 1879, a new era dawned for the old presidio when the New Mexico Townsite Company, a subsidiary of the A.T. & S.F. Railroad, established a town to the east of Albuquerque at the site of a planned station and community. The new station opened in April of 1880 and in 1886, a post office opened as New Albuquerque leaving the original community with the designation of Old Albuquerque. By 1900, urban sprawl eliminated the need for the qualifying adjective. Surprisingly, even though Albuquerque was a relatively modern and prosperous community in, “By Motor to the Golden Gate”, published in 1916, Emily Post confined most of her Albuquerque observations to the Harvey House there. By the date of the designation of US 66 a decade later, the population of Albuquerque had surpassed 15,000 but with the exception of the Alvarado Hotel, the Fred Harvey enterprise noted by Emily Post, lodging rec-


Be sure to visit Jim’s Blog at www.route66chronicles.blogspot.com

ommendations in guidebooks were surprisingly sparse. The Hotel, Garage, Service Station, and AAA Directory of 1927 list the Alvarado and Franciscan at $2.00 per night. The history of Route 66 in Albuquerque can be divided into two distinct periods. Before 1937, Route 66 entered the city from the north following 4th Street, and for a brief time, 2nd Street. After this date, the highway followed Central Avenue. The Barelas-South Fourth Street Historic District is a linear corridor that preserves elements of the earlier alignment of Route 66 as well as the Barelas neighborhood, among the cities earliest. The area represents a distinctive cultural blending of the Hispanic farming community of the early 19th century, the transition that resulted from the arrival of the railroad in 1880, and the automotive era that includes the Trail to Sunset, National Old Trails Highway, and Route 66 before 1937. After the designation of Route 66 in 1926, a period of extensive commercial development that peaked in the mid-1950s commenced. Then, after decades of decline, the district, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, received renewed interest with the appropriation of $12 million dollars from the New Mexico Legislature for the construction of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Representatives attended the 1999 groundbreaking ceremonies from Spain, Mexico, and the United States. This proved the catalyst for extensive renovation. July / August 2012

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As of late 2011, a number of buildings with historic connections to Route 66 remain along the early alignment. Among these are the former Hudson dealership garage at 714 4th Street, the Magnolia Service Station at 1100 4th Street, the Red Ball Café at 1303 4th Street, and Durand Motor Company at 929 4th Street. Along the later Route 66 corridor, urbanization and changing times have erased numerous vestiges of the cities association with this highway but there are still a wide array of structures with particular interest and historic value. Counted among these are the Hiland Theater and shopping center dating to 1952, a former Pig Stand at 2106 Central, the restored KiMo Theater built in 1927, and the El Vado Motel near the Rio Grande River that dates to 1937. As of this writing intervention has stayed scheduled demolition of the El Vado Motel but the future for this authentic auto court is still in question. A partial listing of additional historic motels, from east to west along Central Avenue, include: • La Puerta Motor Lodge, 1949, • Luna Lodge, 1949, • Urban Motor Lodge, 1941, • Pinon Lodge, 1946, • La Mesa Court, 1938, • Tewa Motor Lodge, 1946, • Zia Lodge, 1940, • El Oriente Auto Court, 1935, • Aztec Motel, 1931, • Modern Auto Court, 1937, • Tower Court, 1946, • Cibola Court, 1947, • El Campo Tourist Court, 1939. Other surviving structures with a direct association to Route 66 include: • Enchanted Mesa Trading Post, 1948, • Ace Café, 1948, • Jones Motor Company, 1939, • Horn Oil Company and Lodge, 1946, • Last Chance Gas Station, 1936. The swelling tide of traffic that flowed along 18

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Route 66 in the late 1930s transformed the city. The Directory of Motor Courts and Cottages, 1940, lists several AAA recommended Route 66 auto courts in Albuquerque. These include Monterrey Court, one mile west of the city on U.S. 66, Country Club Auto Court on west U.S. 66, and De Anza Motor Lodge at 4391 E. Central. Fueling the transition was establishment of the Albuquerque Army Air Base established in 1940 that became the Air Forces Advanced Flying School on December 24, 1941. This bombardier training school served as the primary filming location for the 1943 film, Bombardier, staring Eddie Albert, Pat O’Brien, and Randolph Scott. In 1942, Jimmy Stewart accepted an assignment to serve as an instructor for pilots of At-6, AT-9, and B-17 aircraft at the school. With post war prosperity tourism became an increasingly important component in the city’s economy. The 1954-1955 AAA Western Accommodations Directory lists two hotels, the Alvarado and Hilton, and thirteen auto courts on Route 66, Central Avenue. The auto courts are: • Zia Lodge – 4611 Central Ave. • Tropicana Lodge – 8814 Central Ave. • Tewa Lodge – 5715 Central Ave. • Premire Motel – 3820 Central Ave., • Ambassador Lodge -4501 Central Ave. • Bel Air Motel – 4222 Central Ave. • Bow & Arrow – 8300 Central Ave. • Casa Grande Lodge – 2625 Central Ave. • Comfort Lodge – 4020 Central Ave. • De Anza Motor Lodge – 4301 Central Ave. • Desert Inn – 918 Central Ave. • El Don Motel – 2222 Central Ave. • Luna Lodge – 9019 Central Ave. • Monterrey Court – 2402 Central Ave. By the late 1950s, traffic on Route 66 along Central Avenue had reached unsustainable levels further fueling the need to complete the interstate highway system. An article in the Albuquerque Journal dated October 18, 1961, reports, “The narrow underpass at the Santa Fe railway line on Central was blasted Tuesday by the New Mexico Highway 66 Association as “the

greatest traffic slowdown in the entire 2,000 mile length” of US 66, and the group called on the city of Albuquerque to eliminate the bottleneck.” An obscure footnote in the history of the city’s tourism related businesses is Little Beaver Town, a small amusement park with an old west theme that opened in the summer of 1961. The odd naming of the attraction was resultant of investors’ hope of capitalizing on the fame of the Red Ryder-Little Beaver comic strip, the creation of Fred Harmon Jr., a primary investor. Bankruptcy in 1964 led to the parks closure followed by reorganization of the corporation and a reopening under the Sage City name. Under this guise, the park primarily served as a set for local commercials and promotional films. The venture was short lived as vandalism and fire necessitated demolition. A deepening understanding about the potential for economic development based on the resurgent interest in Route 66 has made Albuquerque a leading proponent in the revitalization of historic properties associated with that highway. Manifesting this is the effort to restore vintage neon signage along the Route 66 corridor and the stay of demolition for the El Vado Motel. A crown jewel of the modern era on Route 66 in Albuquerque is the Enchanted Trails Trading Post located immediately to the west of the city, near the top of Nine Mile Hill. This property is now an RV Park with a gift shop housed in the original building that offers a unique experience for the Route 66 traveler. The owner, Vickie Ashcraft has restored a wide array of vintage travel trailers, which are rented as motel rooms.

Albuquerque photo courtesy of Marble Street Studio, www.marblestreetstudio.com Post cards provided by Joe Sonderman, www.66postcards.com

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By Jim Hinckley

one of the obstacles construction crews faced.

For fans of the double six-seeking forgotten or obscure alignments of that legendary highway, and the tarnished gems found along them, they are an important component of the Route 66 experience. As a result, even remote and difficult to reach sites such as the Painted Desert Trading Post or the Padre Canyon Bridge become international destinations. Amazingly, the shadows still hide a number of historic treasures. Counted among these obscure little jewels is the historic railroad tunnel in Johnson Canyon just a few short miles from two of the earliest alignments of Route 66 west of Williams. In consideration of its historic significance, and the fact that the old railroad tunnel is an almost perfectly preserved time capsule from the dawn of the territorial period in Arizona, this obscurity is most surprising. By late 1881, in the rush to lay rail to California, the survey crews for the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad had charted a course across the colorful Painted Desert, over the chasm of Canyon Diablo, and through the towering Ponderosa pines of the Colorado Plateau. Now they faced the challenge of finding a suitable course down the western escarpment of that plateau to the forks of Ash Creek. After extensive evaluation the survey crews determined that Johnson Canyon with an average drop of 112-feet per mile, which exceeded accepted grade levels, was the only option available without a lengthy deviation to the north or south. However, the grade was but

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To the west of the summit, where the canyon made a sharp bend to the north, a shoulder bulged outward to form a sheer wall of basalt stone. A 328-foot tunnel, the only one to be built on the main line west of Albuquerque, was the only option. In comparison, the two 100-foot deep gorges west of the tunnel that would need to be bridged represented minor obstacles. As work commenced on construction of the rail bed in Johnson Canyon, a rough and rowdy railroad camp of tents, rough cut wood frame buildings, saloons and brothels mushroomed on the ridge above the future tunnel. The wages - $2.40 per day for laborers, $2.60 per day for muckers, and $2.80 per day for drillers – lured men from the four corners of the earth. Injuries and even death were common. In late August of 1881, the premature explosion of more than a ton of powder in the tunnel left seven men dead. Shootings were a rarity but still happened often enough to fuel the growing reputation that this was the most dangerous place in the Arizona Territory. In February of 1882, alcohol and cards led to the demise of William Ryan, and James Casey who paid for the murder of Ryan when a mob served instantaneous justice with a pistol ball to the head. The Weekly Miner in Prescott heralded all of the gory details. Construction of the tunnel was like a severed artery for the finances of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad and soon they began selling blocks of stock to the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad. Hand drilling and blasting gave way to steam drills and in late 1882, the shoulder


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www.route66chronicles.blogspot.com Photos provided courtesy of Jim Hnckley

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was breeched. Even with completion of the bridges and the rail line, rock falls from the ceiling of the tunnel continued to be a hindrance. Initially this was resolved by ribbing that utilized foot thick timbers but this led to a series of fires that often closed the tunnel for days at time. A major fire in 1898 resulted in the death of two men and the serious injury of nine who were working to replace charred timbers. The fire and subsequent damage forced closure of the main line in northern Arizona and rerouting of traffic to the lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad for more than three weeks. Extensive repairs to the tunnel included adding a riveted steel plate ceiling, and stone and masonry walls. Later, in the years bracketing World War I, the floor was lowered to accommodate a new generation of larger trains.

cessed and makes for a great Route 66 detour, especially for those who like a stroll through scenic Arizona backcountry. The adventure begins at exit 151, Welch Road, between Ash Fork Hill and Monte Carlo Road west of Williams. Follow Welch Road, Forest Road 6, north along two early segments of Route 66, one from post 1932 and an alignment that also served as the course for the National Old Trails Highway. These alignments now also serve as a bike trail. Continue north about 2.5 miles. With the exception of the segment through the often dry creek bed of Johnson Canyon the road is accessible by most vehicles provided caution is exercised. There is disagreement about the origins of Johnson Crater that is on the left side of the road at this point. However, the general consensus is that it is a major sinkhole not a meteor crater.

In 1911, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad built another line in a canyon to the north of the tunnel for eastbound trains. During World War II the tunnel was deemed of vital importance and a permanently manned gun emplacement was established on the ridge above it. Surprisingly, westbound trains continued to rumble through the Johnson Canyon Tunnel until 1962. Fast forward to the 21st century, only concrete slabs and weathered debris mark the site of Welch Station at the mouth of the canyon. The old rail bed is a dirt track that gently climbs into the canyon through deep rock cuts and along shelves cut into the canyon wall. On the pine and sage scented winds that pass gently through the empty tunnel the sound of trains in the canyon to the north present the illusion of ghost trains that still travel the vanished rails. The brush shrouded cut stone portals that frame the east and west ends appear as the gateway to the past. The lost world of Johnson Canyon is easily ac-

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By John Springs

What a summer! I went back to driving tour buses over the road. I’m not crazy about being away from home but Judy says the money sure comes in handy. The tours have been really first class; my favorite is a 12 day tour that includes time on Route 66 - two days each in Williams, AZ, Scottsdale, Palm Springs (two nights at home!!!), Long Beach, Pismo (one night), and San Francisco. We stop in Seligman and visit with Frank and Lynn at Historic Seligman Sundries, as well as the obligitory stroll to the “barber shop”. I’ll get 2 more of those tours in the fall, and they are working on the July and August schedule now. I should be back on the patio by the end of October. I also filled in on the last 6 days of a tour that spent 2 nights in Santa Fe, one each in Holbrook, Tusayan, Sedona, and finished with a night tour of Las Vegas. That was with an awesome group of Germans! The next Route 66 adventure that Judy and I will take together will be to CubaFest! We are excited for that one! Judy has a new job that is consuming a lot of her time and energy so CubaFest will be welcome getaway for her. Mark your calendars - October 20-21 - then make your reservations! This will also be the unveiling of the winners of the Big Palooza Give-Away! Send your emails now to “Event@66TheMotherRoad.com” to be eligible to win. As always, I would be remiss if I did not mention Jim Hinckley and the hard work he dedicates not only to our magazine but in generating support from the leaders of Kingman, who are helping to promote Kingman’s enviable location on Route 66, thereby attracting publicity and tourism for the town and helping the town’s economy. Jim is making huge progress and the success of his books is giving him instant credibility in the community. His wife Judy also deserves a great bit of credit for keeping Jim on task and ready to go. And, last but not least, was the Arizona Fun Run, where we were joined by Bob and Barb, my cousins from Cleveland. We spent all day Friday in Seligman and then proceeded to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel where we partied the night away with Dale Butel and his tour group at Rod’s Steak House and the Canyon Club. We took the horse and buggy to Rod’s and hoofed it back to the hotel. A good time was had by all. Yes, it’s been a great summer so far! Anytime I can land on Route 66 - even for the most brief of moments - I consider it a good day! 24

July / August 2012


www.Route66Tours.com.au dbutel@Route66Tours.com.au

July / August 2012

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www.Route66Tours.com.au dbutel@Route66Tours.com.au 26

July / August 2012


GHOST TOWNS of ROUTE 66 By Jim Hinckley Photography by Kerrick James

ISBN-13: 978-0-7603-3843-8 Hardcover • 160 pages 151 color & 21 b/w photos, 1 map $25.00 US • $28.00 CAN

Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway! Ghost towns lie all along the Mother Road. The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boom towns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 25 ghost towns, rich in stories and history, complemented by gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James. Also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66!

For trade sales, please contact: Brenda Lunsman, Sales Representative blunsman@mbipublishing.com • 612-344-8179

You can find Ghost Towns of Route 66 and our other Jim Hinckley books in fine bookstores, online booksellers, or www.voyageurpress.com.

To order a signed copy of Ghost Towns of Route 66, please e-mail Jim Hinckley: jimhinckley@yahoo.com JimHinckley@Yahoo.com http://www.route66chronicles.blogspot.com/

Voyageur Press is an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group • 400 First Ave. N., Suite 300 • Minneapolis, MN 55401

July / August 2012

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Crawford County Historical Society & Museum Cuba, Missouri 

An extensive collection housed on 3 floors

Enjoy talks on the Underground Railroad, Civil War, American Indians and much more!

Geneology information from 1829-1960

Make Arrangements for a customized tour

Admission Free - Donations Gladly Accepted

308 N. Smith Cuba, MO 65453

www.CubaMoMurals.com

Check the website for current hours

Call for Tours 573.885.6099

www.WagonWheel66Cuba.com

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July / August 2012


This album (first in a series) includes 21 new heartfelt country songs written about Route 66. Sung by Jess McEntire, along with Special Guest, Loretta Lynn, and a duet with Danny Shirley of “Confederate Railroad.� Purchase this CD and help fund more billboards to raise awareness and promote tourism on Route 66.

www.WigwamMotel.com WigwamMotel@gmail.com July / August 2012

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