Tag Archives: Route 66

Q&A With Roger Naylor On His New Book With Photographer Larry Lindahl, Arizona Kicks On Route 66…

Photography by Larry Lindahl

“If the Grand Canyon is the heart of Arizona, then Route 66 is the main artery…” Writer and frequent Arizona Highways contributor Roger Naylor couldn’t have said it better… and now you can read about his love affair with Route 66 (and his thing for homemade pie) in the book, Arizona Kicks On Route 66… Of course, this project could not have been done without another Arizona Highways contributor, photographer Larry Lindahl. Larry’s photos are beautiful and rich in detail… there’s a real sense of nostalgia… you’ll want to hit the Mother Road after checking out some of his images below:

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This dynamic duo traveled the longest intact portion of Route 66 (we’re talking 158 miles) to create this stunning book — a 9×12 masterpiece, showcasing the magic that is Route 66… it’s truly a slice of Americana.

Below, Roger talks about the book, his obsession with pie and working with his pal and colleague, Larry:

Why did you decide to focus on Route 66?
If the Grand Canyon is the heart of Arizona, then Route 66 is the main artery. A pulsing and vital link feeding the towns that stretch across the northern half of the state. There’s such a blend of history and scenery, of small towns and wide open spaces, of Wild West and mid-century Americana that I just found irresistible. I’ve always loved road trips and Route 66 Arizona is the ultimate. It rambles across stark badlands, cloud-swept plateaus and a desert painted in scandalous hues. The road explores forests of tall pines and forests where trees have turned to stone. It brushes past volcanoes, craters and the ruins of ancient civilizations. It’s a beautiful, bewitching drive, plus there are burgers and pie. What else do you need?

What can readers expect from this book?
They can expect a love letter to Route 66 and Arizona. Visually, it’s a stunning book. It’s a big 9 x 12, which is a great showcase for the spectacular photographs of Larry Lindahl. And I kept it a fun, breezy read. There’s plenty of information—where to eat, where to sleep, what to see and do, including some side trips—but there’s also a rhythm to the book, a sense of movement. So many Route 66 books feel static because the narrative is viewed through a kind of historic prism, lamenting what’s no longer there. I touched on the history of the road because it’s fascinating but I focused on what’s still going gangbusters. Route 66 exudes a timeless quality but it’s vibrant and vivid and alive as new businesses open and additional restorations salvage existing ones. I believe Route 66 is about to undergo another renaissance and it’s great to be part of that. It’s a book that will make you want to jump in your car and GO!

Route 66 is a very popular “destination,” will readers find anything unexpected in your book?
There are no other Route 66 books devoted solely to Arizona so I was able to go into a lot more depth. And I give readers truly important information, like the joints that serve homemade pie. I have Pie Alerts throughout the book because there are two places where you should always be able to find homemade pie—cooling on Grandma’s windowsill and in cafes and diners along Route 66. In the interest of journalistic integrity I should admit, I like pie.

A lot of smaller attractions that often get overlooked are included in the book like the Native American dances on the lawn of the Navajo County Courthouse during the summer, a mystical, beautiful experience. Great little museums like Old Trails in Winslow, Ash Fork Museum and Kingman Army Airfield Museum. And there are some oddities, like Giganticus Headicus, a 14-foot-tall tiki head in the Mojave Desert and the “Trail of the Whispering Giants,” which is a completely different giant noggin. There are also lots of natural attractions that readers may not know like Shaffer Fish Bowl Springs, Mesa Trail in Cool Springs, the Boundary Cone formation and lots more.

Did you learn anything new about the Mother Road, if so, what?
It wasn’t something I didn’t already know but it still startled me to discover how widespread the passion for Route 66 is around the globe. I knew it was an international icon but it was so much bigger than I realized. I’ve met tour groups from France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Australia, Norway, Japan and at least a dozen other countries. Larry and I have a Route 66 Arizona Facebook page and every day we hear from fans from all over the world. That wavy ribbon of road symbolizes freedom and a sense of adventure that resonates with people no matter what language they speak. They come to Arizona because this is holy ground for Route 66ers. The preservation movement began right here in Seligman, led by Angel Delgadillo, the town barber who decided to save this road. And he did!

That’s something else I learned: Route 66 exists today because of a few determined people who decided they could make the world better. La Posada, Wigwam Motel, Cool Springs, Hackberry General Store and so many others are all just stories of people that decided to save a piece of our heritage. How cool is that?

You collaborated with photographer Larry Lindahl…how did you guys work together?
Larry and I first met while working on an Arizona Highways story several years ago. We took a balloon ride over Sedona, which was a blast. For the book, we traveled Route 66 together once or twice but for the most part operated independently. Like all great photographers, Larry pursues the magical light of early morning and late evening. For my purposes, I needed to visit places when they were open and bustling. We kept in contact as we crafted the book so we knew what ground each of us was covering. At the end we were thrilled at how perfectly the text and images fit together. But I don’t think we were surprised. We both have a passion for the subject matter and just tried to capture it in our own way. It was an honor for me to see my words so beautifully illustrated.

What was your favorite part of the book?
I included a series of vignettes called Route 66 Arizona Moments throughout the book. They’re small personal stories from my travels—watching a sunset and moonrise in Painted Desert, listening to a kid play piano at La Posada, spending the night underground at Grand Canyon Caverns and more. These are my favorite memories of traveling the Mother Road. Because I think that’s what stays with us from a journey, intimate moments. It’s great to have the big experiences and see the sights but what we cherish afterwards are the times we stop at a diner in the middle of nowhere and have an amazing burger and piece of pie. Or we pull off the road to watch horses graze in meadows drenched with sunflowers. Or we step out of store to see fierce thunderclouds bruising the sky above sandstone cliffs. Life is all about moments. And I hope the book encourages folks to go out and gather a few more of their own. When Mother Road calls, you have to answer.

Details: The book is available in stores and visitor centers all along Route 66 Arizona. It can also be ordered from Amazon. For more information, check out Roger and Larry’s Facebook page.

For Even More Details: Roger and Larry will be discussing the book and signing copies at Well Red Coyote in Sedona on June 2. 928-282-2284, http://www.wellredcoyote.com.

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Filed under Drives, Photography, Q&A

Friday Fotos: Get Your Kicks On Route 66

Photo by Bobbi Jane Tucker

This week, we asked you to get your kicks on Route 66… many of you shared some very fun shots of the Mother Road. Thanks to everyone who submitted photographs and be sure to repost this blog on your Facebook or Twitter accounts; or tack it on to your Tumblr.

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Ghost Towns of Route 66

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We love the Mother Road! You know, America’s highway? Good ol’ Route 66 was 2,291 miles of paved possibility. So, when Arizona Highways photographer Kerrick James came out with his latest book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, with author Jim Hinckley, we decided to chat Kerrick up. After all, like our photographer friend, we can’t help but be fascinated with this slice of Americana. The book explores 25 forgotten outposts along Route 66… each story contains several wonderful images taken by Kerrick… the slideshow above showcases some of his work that appears in the book, which is available now.

You should seriously consider buying a copy today.

How did you get involved with this project?

I have shot four books for this publisher; Backroads of Arizona, Our Arizona, Backroads of Route 66 and Ghost Towns of the Southwest. All have done well, and they asked me to work again with the same fine writer, Jim Hinckley of Kingman, AZ — how could I refuse?

Why is it important to document Route 66?

Mobility has always been hugely important to Americans, specifically the freedom to pick up and find more and better opportunities elsewhere — just as in the 1930’s and the refugees from the Dust Bowl; then again when people started moving west to work in WWII industries or post war, when gasoline supplies freed up at last and our soldiers returned from battlefields to explore the country they fought for. Many of these “ghost” towns have structures that are literally disappearing, dissolving back into the dirt and forest, lost to time and memory. Once they’re gone, we’ll have only pictures to remember them.

Why did you choose the photographs for this book (out of the many you took)?

I like images that evoke an emotion within the viewer, but the first viewer is me. If an image ignites a response in me, if an image tells a story, beckons of a distant time, or triggers a long lost memory, then it deserves an audience. And many of the Route 66 visuals are highly symbolic of Americana, a subject I’ve loved my entire adult life.

 What do you hope readers take away from your images?

Explore! Slow down, take a back road, park on a side road and look around or talk to someone about days gone by — learn something you didn’t know about your country. If my photographs inspire or enable someone to take a trip to learn or search for beauty, then I am more than pleased. Photography thrills me still after years of shooting around the world, and my goal is to engage with the viewers and readers on an emotional level.

What is your favorite image out of the series in Arizona?

Probably the image of the Frontier Motel in Truxton… I took it at twilight with this lovely moon. Long before the interstates wove our country tightly together, many lonely travelers looked for havens such as this after a long slow day of traversing unfamiliar roads in the ‘wilds’ of Arizona. How many stories of love, loss and dreams were lived in motels such as this, and are now forever lost?

What’s the significance of Route 66 to Arizona?

Arizona has the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66, and it offers a variety of scenery, period architecture, plus some colorful history.

Why is the Arizona portion of Route 66 so magical, or rather, haunting?

I love the wide open stretches of the western run of Route 66, from Seligman to Kingman, but there are some especially wonderful places like Hackberry and its fabled general store. Two Guns has a superb setting aside a rocky canyon with clear views of the San Francisco Peaks bursting out of the high grassy plains to the west. Route 66 has big skies and distant horizons, and it feels like the Old West of the pioneers and movie makers — or myth makers, if you will.

What is a must-stop stop on route 66 in Arizona?

The Hackberry General Store is always a must-stop and shoot for me… no matter how many times I’ve been there and photographed it’s signs, cars and kitsch. It’s all about atmosphere and details, and creating a mood out of symbols and icons.

Did you use any technique when shooting?

I use a variety of lenses, wide to long. I also prefer early and late light for the warmth and heightened color, but I also love to convert full color images to monochrome. This can mean either conventional black and white or infrared, plus maybe a hint or more of sepia to suggest age or an earlier point in time.

What most intrigued you about this project?

I always have loved and explored ghost towns, but I mainly shot mining camps. So finding a new genre or family of ghost towns was a welcome discovery for me. It’s also a challenge to create striking images of places that sometimes have little left to portray!

Any tips for novice photographers wanting to capture the sites of Route 66?

Get one of the many good maps or travel books and hit the road without a set schedule. Let your eyes and senses guide you, and really slow down! Stay a while longer in these towns and watch the skies for evocative clouds and light. Then shoot as many variations as you can imagine. And of course, I hope you’ll bring this book with you on your journey of Route 66 discovery!

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Filed under In YOUR Words, Photography, Things to Do

Biking for a Cure

Iris Klein rides through Sedona during "Bike for the Cure."

One woman, one bike, one road and 2,500 miles in 44 days — that’s “Bike for the Cure.” The brainchild of 35-year-old Iris Klein, the ride’s mission is to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research.

Since September 13, Klein has been cycling from Chicago to Los Angeles via Historic Route 66, and she’s scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles today. For more information about “Bike for the Cure,” visit http://www.bike4thecure.com.

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Filed under Make a Difference