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  10/19/05 - Near Barstow, CA

Wahoo! We’re in Cow-lifornia! Traveled out of Flagstaff this a.m. and followed the old road around the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. We stopped in Seligman and serenaded a bunch of foreign tourists on the street—funny how the overwhelming majority of 66 aficionados and travelers are foreign. The town is totally passed by on the Interstate, thus has much of its old road charm and most people who live and work there are sustained by Route 66 travelers.

We dropped into the deep desert at Kingman and once again followed the old road into the mountains, an old mining road that is a definite throwback to the 19th century. Oatman, the main town, subsides on tourism, and wild burros roam the street extorting carrots and kettle corn from the people there. Gable and Lombard spent their honeymoon at the hotel there...supposedly. It is a place that you won’t find anywhere else. We played a set and fit in like local ‘color’. From there it was across the river to California and the scorched desert between Needles and Barstow. Imagine the people who chanced and embraced the promises of California, traveling huge distances, arriving to the Golden State to face the most unforgiving terrain and weather on the entire stretch of 2,500 miles that make up this storied road.

Alas, we are on our way into San Bernardino, we have a school hit in the early morn and will make most of the trip to Santa Monica tomorrow, leaving the last symbolic piece to the pier for Friday, exactly two weeks after leaving from Chicago. (Just like last year)

So much has happened since Chicago , it is as if we have lived many lives and found many new friends that we will miss, look forward to staying in touch with and seeing again. We’re pulling in now, and we’re well-beaten from the grueling trek today…we’ll check in tomorrow.

A reminder, (OK, don’t make me beg here…pleeeze!): We’re out here doing this to support JazzMasters Workshop, a no charge music-mentoring programs for kids. Please consider a tax-deductible per-mile pledge, we’d appreciate it. You can do it right from this site! Thanks!