Take a nostalgic walk on the Mother Road

Take a nostalgic walk on the Mother Road

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Many of my pleasant memories about my St. Louis past involve bicycle touring on and around the Route 66 Road through Missouri. And my flashbacks of pedaling to the Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Stand located on that fabled route frequently populate those reveries.

But my fondest recollections of that time are hugely overshadowed by my more recent experiences related to the Route 66 Highway through Arizona. And I'm continually fascinated by the many Flagstaff stories associated with that legendary American road.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, you, too, can be captivated by the enduring charm of this historical route through Flagstaff by attending the "Walk The Mother Road" celebration in downtown Flagstaff.

Focused at our visitor center, the festivities will start at 3 p.m. with an event featuring the Route 66 Car Club that will have vintage vehicles on display in the western parking lot. At 4 p.m., local historian Johnny Anaya will lead a Route 66 walking tour in his usual knowledgeable and humorous way and at 5:30 p.m. Sean Evans, the Route 66 Archivist for the NAU Cline Library, will make a presentation about this subject inside the visitor center.

My friend Rose Houk is the narrator of the new "Walk This Tour" activity that starts from the visitor center and will be there helping folks in her usual productive way. Bring your smartphone to participate. Foxy Koshka, the amazingly talented duo of Vincent Z and Annette Morrision, will be singing and playing at the Mother Road Brewery starting at 2 p.m.

On another subject, I was elated by reporter Scott Buffon's article in the Arizona Daily Sun on Saturday, Oct. 12 about the long awaited FUTS/I-17 tunnel connection between South Pulliam Drive and Fort Tuthill County Park.

The current link from John Wesley Powell Boulevard to Fort Tuthill is over the narrow I-17 bridge and through two roundabouts, which is not a prudent route for those of us walking or riding a bike. And while the use of the sheep passage tunnel under I-17 as a FUTS connection won't be as direct, it will be a much less dodgy and certainly more agreeable route.

As I understand it the Flagstaff Urban Trail will unite the Pulliam Airport Drive FUTS via the tunnel with the Soldiers Trail in Fort Tuthill. When completed, this link will also be an important connection for the Flagstaff Loop Trail.

If you're interested in exploring the proposed I-17 tunnel FUTS route, take a walk with me there Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. We'll start from the John Wesley Powell Boulevard dead end east of the entrance/exit into Pulliam Airport.

And for another interesting place to visit, join us on Friday, Nov. 1 at the new City of Flagstaff's Sustainability Section facility located at 419 Mogollon Street where the old public works yard once resided. There'll be live music, food trucks, tours of Francis Short pond and a composting workshop. You'll also have the opportunity to meet the staff, learn about their many projects and josh with me. The fun begins at 3 p.m. and lasts until 5:30 p.m. — and be sure to bring your decaying Halloween pumpkin for composting.


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