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Day 1
Arrows and Bridges and Rain

Day 2
Sixty-Six Reached

Day 3
Ready to Confer

Day 4

Day 5
Conferring II

Day 6
Buildings, Bridges, & Bugs

Day 7
Wrapping It Up

Postlude - November 5, 2015
The fact that I'm just now getting my journal caught up is an indication of how busy I was at the conference. Yes, some of the things that kept me busy -- the bash, the breakfast, the concert -- weren't exactly or officially part of the conference but the fact that nearly all of the people at these extra-conference activities were also paid conference attendees or presenters is an indication that the conference itself was a success. That it was different from past national events is obvious. Whether it was a blip or a watershed event is not.

As far as I know, this was the first time that "roadies" actually paid to attend something other than a meal. There was plenty of grumbling, of course, and I don't doubt that many question whether they received good value. There were certainly instances of the choir not only being preached to but paying for the sermon. But there were also instances of something new being heard while listening to a familiar voice. My sense is that there is less grumbling afterward than before. The success of any event depends primarily on the people who spend time, energy, and money making it happen. I don't think that's any more or less true for the Edwardsville conference than for other events but I think that maybe time, energy, and money were not the only things the organizers contributed. It could be wishful thinking but both last year's gathering in Kingman and this year's in Edwardsville seemed to have a little vision behind them. There is certainly some truth in the view that those events had to be different because the old guard abdicated but I think there is just as much truth in the view that they were given an opportunity to be different. Maybe those differences didn't result in complete and indisputable success but they sure didn't result in failure and that makes me hopeful.

November 2, 2015 (day 7)
It was a beautiful day to cross Indiana -- once the fog was gone.

November 1, 2015 (day 6)
A post-conference visit to endangered beauty in East St Louis and a pair of icons in St Louis got me headed home with a smile.

October 31, 2015 (day 5)
More good presentations preceded by a wonderful e-group breakfast and followed by a fabulous Roadie Bash. It caught on in a flash.

October 30, 2015 (day 4)
Interesting presentations, a pumpkin shake, a good dinner, and a great concert. What's not to like?

October 29, 2015 (day 3)
After a couple more stops, I reached the conference where I became too busy connecting and reconnecting to give this journal much attention. That's not really a bad thing, you know.

October 28, 2015 (day 2)
Rain was still around for most of the day but it was never very heavy. I ate at what could be the oldest Maid-Rite in the world and which is certainly the oldest Maid-Rite I'd never heard of. Then it was a Cozy Dog, a root beer float at Doc's, and manicotti at the Ariston. If you can't eat well, eat a lot.

October 27, 2015 (day 1)
Raindrops are falling on my hood. They keep fallin'. But I still got a look at Indiana's big arrows and a few covered bridges.

Prelude - October 11, 2015
There's something a little different happening on Route 66 this year. It's called a conference. I've noted several times in the past that the big annual gathering for Lincoln Highway fans, and recently for Jefferson Highway fans, too, is called a conference with the biggest Route 66 related event each year being called a festival. Last year's "Route 66 International Festival" in Kingman, Arizona, included a "Crossroads of the Past and Future Conference". This year, the "Route 66 International Festival" name is going unused. The "Miles of Possibility" conference being held in Edwardsville, Illinois, could be a look at the future, a one year anomaly, or just another independent gathering of unorganized roadies. There was a time when it seemed unlikely that it would happen at all but quite a few people have put in a lot of hard work to see that it does. The least I can do is be there.

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