The Jim Hinckley Collection - Autographed Copies!

The Jim Hinckley Collection - Autographed Copies!
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The Jim Hinckley Collection Autographed!

The Jim Hinckley Collection


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.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


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Water's Edge Motel in Gravois Mills, Missouri.
After bidding adios to our friends at the Water's Edge Motel in Gravois Mills, we rolled south, first on state highway 5 and then highway 7. The we picked up Route 66 near the Devil's Elbow and commenced to mosey.
By the time my dearest friend and I made St. Robert after making a number of stops for photos and to explore the beautiful Missouri roadside, the appetite was adequately stimulated. The Route 66 Diner, a passable imitation of a classic 1950's diner, caught our attention. The food and price was adequate as well as average but it did the trick. 
The long closed store and cabins near Stony Dell
east of Arlington.
The next stop has become a favorite of ours, the 4 M Vineyards store just to the east of Fanning, home of the world's largest rocking chair. This is a real throwback that sparks an array of memories from childhood road trips with every stop. 
We sampled a wide array of interesting breads and goods including corn cob jam. Then we stocked up on fresh pumpkin bread and added a large jar of sorghum. 
The Wagon wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri.
As we drove into Cuba, and past the colorful murals, Shelly's, and the charming old homes along the shade dappled road that once carried an endless stream of traffic on Route 66, the now familiar sense of warmth that comes with visiting an old friend chased away an entire year of frustrations, job related issues, worry, and anxieties. Then when we arrived at the time capsule that is the Wagon Wheel Motel and found it to be teeming with members of the Route 66 family that feeling was magnified ten fold. 
Only a cursory inspection of the Jeep that revealed a troubling oil leak at the front axle put the slightest of dampers on the warm glow. This, however, was a Route 66 family reunion wrapped in a Norman Rockwell print made manifest in a festival. 

Cuba Fest 2014, Cuba, Missouri. (Judy Hinckley) 
Mike Wallace, a friend from Ohio and a mechanic confirmed my initial thought that with care and an eye on oil levels, we could drive the Jeep back to Arizona. Then Frank Kocevar, the former owner of Seligman Sundries, offered to tow us home if need be. So, with all concerns alleviated, I made a few phone calls in the hope of finding a shop that would be open on Saturday.
When the first garage I called told me they would be closed on Saturday as the owner had promised to take his nephew fishing, I had to smile. Once again I had followed Route 66 down a rabbit hole that took me back to America circa 1958. What a delightful treat!
Excellent food and the camaraderie of friends at Missouri Hick Barbecue proved to be the perfect elixir and soon the Jeep, the oil leak, the long drive home, a pressing deadline, the need to make arrangements for our trip to Los Angeles in November, the Netherlands in January, and a litany of issues that had flitted through my thoughts as we drove east were pushed aside and swept into the corner.
The evening was still young and the best was yet to come. After dinner a small car show developed at the wagon Wheel Motel, a birthday party for Joe Loesch of the Road Crew unfolded, and a Route 66 family reunion commenced in earnest. 
Just like a kid at Christmas, or a pair of Hinckley's long denied an opportunity for a road trip, we awoke with eager anticipation of the day to come. It commenced with a wonderful breakfast at Shelly's shared with Mike and Sharon Ward, and Jane Reed.
Then it was off to the commons to set up my table and to kick off the official debut of The Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas. The early morning fall chill, the ebb and flow of crowds, the smell of wood smoke under a kettle of slow cooked apple butter, unhurried conversations with friends, the raising of the stars and stripes with troops from Fort Leonard Wood in attendance, laughing children, excellent music, and good food transformed the day into something almost magical. As a bonus, I sold a number of books!
All to soon, it was time to load up the Jeep and close out another delightful Cuba Fest celebration. This, however, was not the end. There was still an evening to be shared with my dearest friend at the wonderful Belmont Winery, a bottle of dogwood wine, an excellent wood fired pizza, the music of the Road Crew, good friends, and lots of laughter.
Authors Cheryl Eichar Jett and Joe Sonderman at the 2014
Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. (Judy Hinckley)
The schedule for Sunday called for a leisurely drive to Route 66 State Park for their open house where I was to make a presentation and sign books, meet with Rich Dinkela to discuss development of his Route 66 events website, and then commencement of the long return trip with the days end scheduled for the Munger Moss in Lebanon. First, however, was a wonderful early morning visit with Connie Echols, owner of the Wagon Wheel Motel, that included pleasant conversation, fresh coffee, and pumpkin bread from the 4-M Vineyards store. 
We were soon joined by Mary Frances of Mid Century Style magazine, and gift shop customers traveling Route 66. What a wonderful way to start a day! 
In the next post, tales of the 2014 fall adventure will continue. Stay tuned as I have a few things to share such as the discovery of a few delightful restaurants, motel reveiws, and an introduction to a stunning museum.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014


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The trusty Jeep in Elk City during the fall 2014 road trip.
Being somewhat technologically impaired (a fancy way of saying that I just don't seem to get it) hindered regular postings during our road trip, the fall 2014 edition. These problems were compounded by very long days on the road that resulted in some pretty late arrivals at motels, some early starts that found us enjoying the sunrise as it unfolded over the highway, and the simple fact that some of our evenings were consumed with the need to restock supplies, lively conversations, incredible dinners with friends, good music, and in general, good times.
As there was a need for speed on day one, we followed I-40 to Holbrook for lunch at Joe & Aggies with David Heward, a local with very long roots in the community that is becoming a leader in the rebirth of the historic city. Then it was back on the road with an eye on Santa Rosa and a dinner at Joseph's with Dean Kennedy, a friend with a shared passion for Route 66 and the people that make it special.
An oasis in Guymon, Oklahoma
The following day was another long one with the final destination being El Dorado, Kansas a few miles to the east of Wichita. Magnifying the long hours was the vast emptiness of the Panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma, and western Kansas.
The saving grace during the first half of the day was the discovery of a wonderful little restaurant in Guymon, Oklahoma. Our second stop later that afternoon merely fueled a very long running joke that is now well into its third decade.
From our very first road trip as husband and wife, when an attraction failed to meet expectations, or was deemed a bit hokey, I would quip that it was the World's Largest Hand Dug Well. Well, on this trip my plans was to introduce my dearest friend to this one of a kind road side attraction that is the claim to fame in Greensburg, Kansas. 
On my last visit the well was surround by a beautiful park and covered by a gazebo type roof. Now, the park is still there but the well is encased in a shrine, a shrine that I might add, closed ten minutes before our arrival. The joke continues.
The third day marked the start of a more relaxed pace for our adventure. After a wonderful and hearty breakfast, we explored a beautiful park that embraces an intriguing county and oil field museum. 
The next stop was Fort Scott, the historic community as well as the fort itself. This will most definitely be added to our very long list of must see places. 
The historic district is truly an architectural treasure. It is also amply peppered with wonderful shops (including a book store!) and restaurants. 
The fort itself is scenic as well as historic. Walking the grounds, and exploring the buildings with exhibits that captures the essence of military life on the frontier, there is an almost palpable sense of history. 
The morning view from our room at the Water's Edge
Motel in Gravois Mills, Missouri.
In El Dorado Springs, Missouri, we discovered an unexpected time capsule in the form of a small cafĂ© where everyone smoked. The waitress, the cook, the cashier and most everyone except for the kid coloring his menu and enjoying his grilled cheese sandwich seemed to have a cigarette hanging from their mouth. 
To be honest I had almost forgotten what it was like when restaurants were often as smoky as a skid row pool room. I seem to have also forgotten that there was a time when I contributed to the foul atmosphere. 
As it has been a tough year for us, and as this was our first major road trip in 2014, I had a surprise for my wife in the guise of a beautiful lake cradled by mountains bedecked in fall colors. The bonus was to be our haven for the evening, the Water's Edge Motel, a wonderful gem that hearkens to a time before the Lake of the Ozarks was almost entirely ringed by condos and resorts. 
As this motel is accessed by a relatively short but extraordinarily scenic drive from Route 66, I wholeheartedly suggest travelers consider adding it to the travel itinerary.
Water's Edge Motel, Gravois Mills, Missouri.
Enhancing our visit was an excellent dinner and wonderful conversation shared with Bob Swengrosh, and Robin, friends as well as the proprietors of this wonderful motel and ardent Route 66 enthusiasts. Our only regret was that the pressing schedule prevented staying for a second, or third, or fourth day.
It was a late start day. The stunning sunrise, a hearty breakfast, as well as coffee and conversation shared with our hosts, kept us from hitting the road until almost 10:00.
We meandered south and picked up Route 66 just east of Lebanon, and then motored through the Devil's Elbow on our way to Cuba. And that is where will pick up the story with our next posting.         

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