Day 22: August 17, 2014
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It was near 11:00, with hardly a cloud in the sky, when I pulled out of Kingman to drive to Seligman on the longest uninterrupted stretch of old US-66 in existence.

In Seligman, I parked at the Snow Cap and tried to decide whether I wanted a half cone or a hole cone as I walked to the door. No need. French tourists from the bus parked across the street were lined up out the door. Rather than join the long line, I walked up the street to Angel Delgadillo's. I had met Anne Slanina, creator of the Annie Mouse books, in Kingman and we ran into each other in Angel & Vilma's Gift Shop. That's her car out front. She was hoping to follow up on a conversation begun with Angel in Kingman but he wasn't in the store just then. She was also planning on lunch in Seligman and walked over to the Snow Cap. The line at the counter had not diminished one bit so Ann headed up one side of the street for lunch at Lilo's and I headed up the other for a beer at the Roadrunner.

As I reached the intersection, Angel rolled past on his bicycle and we exchanged greetings. Seeing Anne just a few steps ahead across the street, I let her know that Angel was headed to the shop and she turned back. I continued to my beer. I sipped it at a table out front while making use of their WiFi connection. Hydrated and updated, I was about halfway back to my car when Angel passed me going the other way. Apparently it takes me about the same amount of time to drink a beer as it takes Angel to get things under control at the shop.

The sky was no longer clear when I left Seligman but it sure was pretty. Thinking I was closer to entering the expressway than I was, I put the top up before leaving -- completely coneless -- the Snow Cap. With both top and volume raised, it's possible to hear the stereo and I decided to fire up the iPod. Turns out it was already fired up, so to speak. Inside the console in the sun, it had overheated and it would take about half an hour of AC to make it operational.

I didn't even stop at, let alone stand on, the most stood on corner in Winslow, Arizona, but I did circle the block for a better shot and I did hum the song to myself as I drove. I came to a complete halt and even got out of the car at the park on the east side of town that was nearing completion when I was here in 2012. I also did a drive-by of the abandoned former home of the girders just up the street.

My one and only stay at Wigwam Village #6 in Holbrook, Arizona, was nearly eleven years ago and I thought it would be a good time to update my experience. There was no room at the Village, however, so I headed across the street to the Globetrotter Lodge about which I've heard nothing but praise. There will be more on my stay tomorrow.

In the journal entry for the 13th, when I finished the story about the closed park and inaccessible Old Spanish Trail Zero Milestone, I mentioned that what I thought was a failure to return my phone calls regarding the marker was one of two things that made me want to trust people less. I can now write about the other one.

I have previously stayed in Kingman on three occasions. Those stays were at the now closed Brunswick, the Hill Top, and El Trovatore. When I decided that I was really going to attend the festival, I called the Hill Top and learned it was full. I then called El Trovatore. A few rooms were available. The rate was about 50% higher than normal "because of the festival" and half of the total would be charged in advance. This was not really unexpected as I'd heard rumors of raised motel prices for the event at other motels as well and in 2012 all of the (much smaller) charge for my stay had been required in advance. I reserved a room.

Moving on from San Diego meant it was time to start working on a driving schedule to Kingman. I had been on the road about two weeks and the reservations had been made some time before that. I couldn't remember whether I had reserved three or four nights. Should I plan on a Wednesday or Thursday arrival? I called El Trovatore on Monday and Sam, the owner, answered the phone. I explained my dilemma and asked which day my reservations began. The lobby was full just then, he told me. I should call back in twenty minutes. That was about a quarter past 7:00. I waited until about 8:00 to try again. Things were still really busy, he said, and he had not been able to check. He would call me back. Yes, he had my number from the current call.

There was no call that night or during the day on Tuesday. At about 8:00 PM, I called but got a recording. I left a message that basically repeated what I had said the night before. While I waited, I accessed my credit card account. The advance charge had not been made before I'd left home and I now learned that it had not been made since, either. After about an hour and no call from Sam, I made reservations elsewhere. The lack of the charge seemed to indicate no reservation at all. That was troubling but understandable. Sam could have just forgotten to record it or somehow lost it. And it was no where near as troubling as the fact that he had not called me as promised. I sent an email message explaining the situation.

So that's how Dave Wickline, who made a last minute decision to attend and was sharing the room, ended up at Motel 6. I stopped by El Trovatore around 10:00 AM on Thursday but the office/lobby was closed. I stopped again on my way out of town and found Sam outside. I tried not to be confrontational and that worked to a degree but not completely. Regarding the advance payment, he explained that he had decided not to charge anyone until they checked in. He rightly saw this as a good thing but it would have been so much better if folks had been told about it. Sam and I obviously think a little differently. To him, not returning my call was no big thing and being really busy was all the justification needed. I'm thinking that being too busy to take care of your business is a problem that will eventually take care of itself.

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