Inspired by a Conversation with Michelle on Our Cultural History Keepers


A Unified Face of Humanity Graced by a Smile

Natures Storytellers and Pillars of Peace

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming to Welcome Summertime…

Natures’ emblematic ‘face of hope’, Sunflowers are an expression of happiness that symbolize adoration, loyalty, strength and longevity. Known for its distinguishing trait that stems from its root word (sun) ~ embodies energy, joy and happiness in the advent of summer. It remains a fact that no flower can lift someone’s spirit like a sunflower!

Tracing its roots, Sunflowers originated in the Americas (1,000 BC), and were cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. With the European exploration of the ‘New World”, the flowers’ popularity spread as the world began to appreciate and recognize its beauty & sustenance bearing a sun- like appearance that radiates an invitation to summer. Sourced for their seeds, the sunflower reflects so many of the sun’s positive characteristics of life. Freshly picked from sunbeams and caught by the eyes of Artists who loved to capture sunflowers as a motif of splendor in various genres throughout ancient times; also revered as sacred & inspirational in ceremonies of aboriginal societies.

Today, the sunflower remains admired for its sunny charm & delightful disposition. It is no wonder this sacred flower was chosen to personify the “The Sunflower Project”, spearheaded by Master Muralist (Michelle) as a historical honor in recognition of the countless Canadian men, women and children of Ukrainian & European origins that were imprisoned at internment camps across Canada during WWI. The murals, commencing with the Sunflower Painting in downtown Vernon, BC combines multi-media, traditional artwork as well as historical photos & personal stories shared by loved ones directly affected in various communities across Canada.

File Name: Sunflower Salute by Lorrie Fleming – April 26, 2020

Inspired by a Conversation with Michelle on Our Cultural History Keepers (The Sunflower State)

Regarded as the “Sunflower State, Kansas in Midwest USA bordered by Missouri on the east and Oklahoma on the south, morphed into it’s namesake emblem to honor the early settlers that fed the seeds to their poultry along the Santa Fe Trail. Hence the Sunflower was officially signed into legislation as a unique & cherished State Symbol. In the southeastern corner of Kansas State, Old Route 66 passes through a brief section [of 13 miles] on its way between Joplin, Missouri and Miami Oklahoma. This is observed as the “shortest stretch of the popular Route between Chicago & LA and is among the best- preserved portions of highway featuring many Roadside Attractions. The vintage buildings of Galena KS, near the MO State Line, inspired Pixar to choose this iconic place as the fictional community of ‘Radiator Springs’ and its beloved character “Tow Mater”.

(Four Women on the Route)

The Kan-O-Tex Service Station on Old Route 66 is a 1920’s building lovingly restored and converted into a Route 66 Café by {Four Women of the Route – Betty, Melba, Renee & Judy}. Collectively, they facilitated the rebirth of Galena’s stretch of Historic Route 66 and dubbed the iconic Gas Station “Four Women on the Road” operated as a tourist attraction for several years. Ownership changed and today it is named “Cars on the Route” with the emphasis on the connection to the Movie CARS. The 1951 International boom truck next to the Kan-O-Tex Service Station was the impetus of the depicted ‘Tow Mater’ character that contributed greatly to the movie’s success.




Penned by Lorrie Fleming April 27, 2020

            As the world struggles with climate change, economic adversity and the silent enemy of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity awaits to reconnect, as social distancing becomes a distant point in time.

            Recently, I shared a surprising & joyful conversation with Cathryn Wilson, of the BC Achievement Foundation, to relay news of my nomination for a Community Award; and it still seems surreal!    In that regard, I am equally humbled, honored and overcome by a feeling that I have reached a juncture along this epic journey to unite the ‘Mother Road’ with BC’s ‘Gold Rush Road’.  An International Art Gateway Project envisioned & created by Master Muralist Michael Loughery is being considered to connect Rural BC along a borderless & cultural journey.  This would include portions of the TCH #1 and [Route 66, 97 & 99] adjoined as one linear community.  

            I remain speechless!  “Sometimes historic paths aren’t discovered until they’re lost”!   Such meaningful words of wisdom notated by a fellow Route 66 aficionado (Anthony Arno).  In my viewpoint of traveling on a road for so long, daylight fades into sunset; and you find yourself following headlights into the unknown.  Somewhere along the way dawns new light cast by living angels to guide us back on track.  I’m referring to my “Sisters of the Mother Road” (Michelle & Stacey creators of ‘Art Route Blue’ and Marcie & her team at ‘Explore Gold Country’).  Special acknowledgement is directed to folks like Steve & Paulette Rice, proprietors of the Historic Packinghouse Eatery, who meet & greet hungry travelers embarking on a scenic journey along an original portion of TCH roadway in Spences Bridge!

            A renown writer quoted “Not all those who wander are lost”; and I believe that we’re all just searching for a new path worth traveling!   Perhaps it’s passion that drives us to find a special place on the road.  Speaking of myself, I can neither sing, dance nor draw, but somehow the people that crossed my path (namely Michelle & Her Creatives) collectively transfer passion into energy driven by the perpetual Power of Art!  Therein lies a permanent bond to greet travelers by painted walls and voice over techniques hearing storytellers that awaken our spirits along a linear community linked by a connective corridor of neighborhoods, families and friendships.    

            Together, we’re traveling in the same direction guided by the power of passion, people & planet.  In an uplifting transformation, the ‘Mother Road meets the Mother Lode’ and we become a family.  Travel the road slowly, stop or stay to live & learn and cross the bridge of knowledge that connects the urban & rural.  Our Ancestors shall rise and show us the way… “Wisdom is the Sunlight of the Soul”! 

A lost road will remember your footsteps, for someday you may wish to return to trace the way

{Quote by Munia Khan}

LINEAR COMMUNITIES & Old is New Thematic CORRIDORS Driving A New Creative Recovery Vision By Connecting-The-Arts. .spots


Narrative by Lorrie Fleming
From the Diary of a Seasoned Traveler along the Roads Less Traveled…

Our highways are the stimulus to steer a renewed and creative sense of place into the heartland of our rural communities. The creative augmented reality of connecting ‘art-in-motion’ is moving closer to actuality, staged along an existing lifeline of humanity surviving between faded gridlines of our highways & byways. A fresh coat of paint is a clear solution to refresh the hopes of humanity living in small towns faced by the reality of a sluggish economy. Survival in the confines of these small towns, hidden in the shadows of cities and seemingly lost between the spaces of our society, remain to be a constant challenge and “takes a village” to achieve a renewed sense of permanence for their future. Reinventing themselves with a creative new image brushed by an injection of hand-to-land artwork stimulates sustainability for a fulfilling & healthful lifestyle that may silently be embedded within its existing foundation & infrastructure.

In the wisdom of others who have faced similar challenges in the advent of Main Streets becoming obsolete by freeways, Route 66 communities (described as a 2,448-mile linear village) was reawakened by the spirit of the folks who refused to let their towns disappear into the sunset. A rebirth of Rural America was born, and a renaissance movement began to rekindle the value of small towns and welcome back a new generation of travelers to experience the journey.

The spirited town of Seligman, after years of economic deprivation of being bypassed by a superhighway, Route 66 in a portion of Arizona State was designated a “Historic Corridor”. This amazing feat was resultant of the determination and drive of ‘The Road Guardian’, Angel Delgadillo (The Founder of the Arizona Historic Route 66 Association) and the citizens who remain proud to call the town of Seligman their home. Arizona is accredited to holding the longest remaining unbroken (158 mile) stretch of Route 66; and the preservation efforts speak to its beholden history and to the vibrant future on the road ahead.

To commemorate this historic title to honor Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman situated along this proclaimed longest stretch of remaining uninterrupted portion of the road in Arizona State, the townsites hosted a ‘Fun Run’ auto event and invited the world to celebrate the rebirth of “Historic Route 66”. The first Route 66 Fun Run was held in 1988 and every year in May, Route 66 enthusiasts worldwide continue to gather to celebrate ‘The Mother Road’ revival and the unique communities that make it a linear destination!

Back here at home in Rural BC, as direct descendants of the Mother Road, we are poised to

reach out to linear communities along Route 97 & 99 joining (TCH – Route One) corridors to broaden our

scope along BC’s heritage highways. Route 66 is the cohesive exemplary paradigm to drive the Rural Revival February 22, 2020


consciousness of travelers onward & upward to BC, reaching the Gold Rush & First Nations Trails to enjoy the drive and savor the experience that exists ‘borderless by nature’.

Art Route Blue flows in harmony with scenic & vintage portions of Canada’s Mother Road (TCH) and its connecting crossroads. An ‘Art Route Parkway’ is the vein of The Mother Road, a natural bloodline bred to promote, protect and energize historic & cultural travel and encompass inclusivity (of all ethnic origins) to embark on the ultimate North American Gateway to ‘Art-in-Motion’. Moving ahead,the Art Route deserves a place (not just a reflection in our rear-view mirror) but in the face of ourwindshield and sited on maps alongside of natural wonders and ‘must-see’ travel experiences. Art “HotSpots” laudable to be highlighted with significance and placed in the spotlight (such as parks & facades)laced along scenic parkways. Create ‘Authentic Art Gateways’ to showcase and celebrate the grandeurof outdoor canvasses bequeathed to travelers amid a creative landscape for generations to follow.

Lessons be learned from those who witnessed the downfall decades of towns & livelihoods in bust & boon economic shifts. The Mother Road shall rise like the tidewaters upon our shores and bring new life in the form of “Art”, creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Let’s Celebrate a Rural Reclamation, as a piece of Canada’s Heritage that’s sitting on the leading edge of ‘art-in-motion’. Follow in the steps of the Guardian of Route 66 (Angel Delgadillo) who spearheaded & shepherded America’s Main Street back from the ashes through to the ages!

In closing, the cover photo features the Route 66 Fun Run cavalcade heading west of Seligman (the Birthplace of Historic Route 66), and reminiscent of one of my favorite heritage sites, Spences Bridge, once a traveler’s hub along the Trans Canada Highway, now a prime “Art Parkway” awaiting for the tide- to-turn toward a creative economic reboot for Rural BC. Dream ~ Draw and Drive it!

ROAD QUEEN of the Highway

Dear Michelle & Stacey:

Sending heartfelt appreciation for your steadfast “Pioneering” of Art Rural Route Blue!

As a mother of the road, my heart feels your testament-of-endurance in determination to forge beyond this mega road building process!  Thank you, Stacey for your phone call last evening to reassure me that I’m not forgotten along this (seemingly lost highway); and to you, Michelle for sending me the joys of motherhood that we mutually share on this journey of life.

You two “Sisters of The Road” remain bonded in Gold and sparkle brilliantly as “Golden Pioneers”, leaving a legacy enshrined in blue for Canada’s Mother Road!

Looking back in my rear view mirror, I am drawn to one of your “pioneering” presentation submissions (of 2014 Re. Heritage Highways & Byways for Open Road Learning) that states: “British Columbia & Canada becomes the [Bridge] from the USA {Route 66 to Alaska} by telling the stories of the historic First Nations trails of the past. 

Working with governance (Federal, Provincial, Local & International) is an endless undertaking, constantly holding you at the mercy of the “changing of the guards” for the powers that be who are on duty to oversee our economic & political well being.  This political obstacle course is difficult to navigate; and only the strong willed can survive the tempest of its decree.

Michelle & Stacey, Kudos to you two brave ‘way-finders’ for being such “Servant Leaders” (in the highest degree) to drive “Route Blue” into the soul of our society.

I’ve been touched by you!


“Everything will come to pass, victory or failure because life is just a moment in time” (Excerpt from the One Crystal Book)


Beyond our Braided Trails

Written by L. Fleming – February 2, 2018


‘Route Blue’ speaks boldly to our rural communities, reinventing a sustainable society with a renewed sense of place, deeply rooted in Arts & Eco-Culture.

         Our Beautiful BC is poised to follow the lead of “The Mother Road” as a conduit for historic, cultural & conventional travelers to embark on the journey and perhaps ‘stay a while’ to savor the spell of the ‘North’!  There truly is ‘life’ beyond the city limits and the borders that divide us, waiting to be rediscovered.  Steeped in history, our social studies & geography lessons are learned through engagement in the experience of ‘being there’!  This gateway to discovery lies directly ahead (beyond all borders) . . . 

         The Route Blue Vision generates a unique subset etched into the landscape introducing a health & wellness life-style component into a tangible tourism & spinoff services that will drive small towns along the ‘97 Corridor’ into the core of economic growth.

         Through the lens of a seasoned traveler, a descriptive imprint of Route Blue is reflective of “an altruistic moral compass”, manifesting a socially, culturally, environmentally & ecologically viable linear community that supports a new age of consciousness to infuse a sense of permanence and well being into rural living.  This land of opportunity is sourced via an international “Cultural Highway”, an intrinsic connective conduit primed to showcase the merits of each townsite as a reciprocal & tangible entity.  Shall I say, “Route Blue puts us in the saddle”, moving travelers & homesteaders on a joyful journey, cultivating new relationships & cultural experiences by means of the Arts.

Goals that we set are ever changing, whereas, visible Art adorned in public view throughout each community leaves a permanent mark in the landscape of humanity.  A sense of place in perfect balance for every rural stakeholder is a priceless, viable and natural fit to stimulate local economies in the breadth of the ‘Route Blue’ initiative.

Braided Trail System:

  1. The Great Osage Trail:  The Osage first people and other tribes traveled among a variety of routes later named “Osage Trails” by white settlers.  The famous Route 66 through southern Missouri Ozarks follows the route of one such “Osage Trail”, which in 1825 became known as the first phase of the Santa Fe Trail.
  • Santa Fe Trail:  A transportation & trading route opened by the Spaniards at the end of the 18thcentury.  Used afterwards in the 19th century by Americans as a transportation & trade route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, NM (the 2ndoldest city in North America).  It served as a vital commercial conduit until the introduction of the railroad in 1880.  Special Interest:  Susan Shelby Magoffin (1827-1855) was the wife of a US trader and her spirit of adventure made her one of the first American white women to travel on the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1840’s.  The diary in which she recorded her experiences has been used extensively as a source for historical tracks of the time; and remains a valuable record on the development of the “West”.  
  • Oregon Trail:  A part of westward expansion during the mid-1800’s, the 2,200 mile east-west trail served as a critical transportation route for emigrants traveling from Missouri to Oregon and other points west.  Travelers were inspired by dreams of gold riches and fertile farmlands.  (From about 1811-1840) the trail was laid down by traders & fur trappers who traveled by horseback or foot.  By 1836, the first of the migrant wagons were put together, starting in Independence, Missouri and traveled a cleared trail that reached Fort Hall Idaho.  Work was done to clear more of the trail bed stretching farther west and eventually reached Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Improvements on the trail in the form of better roads, ferries & bridges made the trip faster & safer.  Settler traffic increased during the 1830’s through 1869; and when the first railroad was completed, allowing faster and more convenient travel, use of the trail quickly declined.
  • The Old Spanish Trail (Trade & Auto):   A historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe with Los Angeles & southern California.  Explored by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and extensively used by pack trains between 1830 to mid 1850’s.  The Trail is a combination of known navigation routes used by Spanish explorers, trappers & traders with Ute and other tribes.  In early 20th century, the trail connected St. Augustine Florida with San Diego and crisscrossed & overlapped multiple trails to develop the southernmost national highway and the National Old Trails Road.
  • National Old Trails Road (Predecessor of Route 66):    Also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway est. 1912, became part of the National Auto Trail System in the USA covering 3,096 miles (4,983 km) stretching from New York to California.  Much of the route follows the National Road & the Santa Fe Trail; and in 1926 portions of the road certified as US Route 66 by the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials).  
  • Yellowstone (Auto) Trail:  Established May,1912 as the first transcontinental automobile highway through the upper tier of the USA.  It was an auto trail that ran from the Atlantic Ocean in Plymouth MA through Montana to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming out to the Pacific Ocean in Seattle WA.    
  • Semiahmoo Trail:  Began in 1858 as a series of pioneer trails between the Fraser River in the north and the USA border at Blaine, Washington in the south.  A wagon road established in 1873 to open settlement in Surrey (previously accessible from the waterways) provided an overland link between New Westminster and the USA.  

Historical Significance & Monuments:  

US Boundary Commission:  In 1856, the USA formed a ‘boundary commission’ to mark the border; and Great Britain soon followed.  The two countries then arranged to work together in what became known as the International Boundary Commission to establish & mark what is now Washington State’s northern border with British Columbia.

The Oregon Treaty:  In June 1846, the US & Britain signed the Oregon Treaty, ending the Oregon boundary dispute, which made the 49th parallel the official boundary between the USA & British North America (it would not become known as Canada until 1867; and BC would not join the new country until 1871).  The treaty granted the Hudson’s Bay Company navigation rights on the Columbia River for supplying their fur posts; and left the British with good anchorages at Vancouver and Victoria.

The International Boundary Commission:  In June 1857, American & British commissioners met in Esquimalt Harbor to discuss commencing the work necessary to mark the boundary between the USA and what is then know as British North America along the 49th parallel (about 410 miles from the Strait of Georgia to the summit of the Rocky Mountains).

Peach Arch Monument:  Built by Sam Hill & dedicated in 1921, is situated near the westernmost point of the Canada-US border, between Blaine, WA and Surrey, BC.  Commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 and stands on the exact US-Canada boundary between I-5 & Highway 99 in the grass median between the northbound & southbound lanes.  The Arch has the flags of both countries mounted on its crown; and two inscriptions on both sides of its frieze.  The words on the US side reads: “Children of a common mother”; and the words on the Canadian side reads: “Brethren dwelling together in unity”.  Within the arch, each side has an iron gate mounted on either side of the border with inscriptions above each gate that reads: “May these gates never be closed” … 

“Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living”

Entrance to Weed, California with Mount Shasta in the background.  “Weed like to Welcome you” is their motto!  Situated at the Junction of Route 99 & 97 and touted as the Beginning of the Al-Can Highway… 


My Blue Ladies:

Our official affiliation with Route 66 gives us the credibility of international status as heritage highway advocates.  

Art is the ‘Mother’ that makes us equal … Blue symbolizes The People, a product of the stories ~ Gold is the business.  Without one, there is no other!  Take one component away and none remain…Basic ethics of physics must apply (or) the structure crumbles.

Together, we have the power to drive commerce in a shared economy of a national scope by forming an inclusive alliance to honor the resilience of people, the survivors & builders of our transportation hub.  

A ‘Prism’ is what we must become – a solid geometric figure that follows equal and parallel rectilinear paths.

Go National!  Art Route Blue owns its product and is the virtual Heart of Art and the assets of stories that equate to its success.

The process will prove itself and roll out by the integrity of the Crescendo (highest point) within the Voice of Art.

Create a pictorial of places (visual) in concert with the voice (audio) on The Field of Dreams platform – build it – they will come!  

We live in the Rural with a national focus.The power of Art, creates its own mood to interject with the Alliance and Talk to the Walls; and they in turn will tell the story.

It’s time to Create a Market Plan, Build the Pod Cast and showcase the peoples’  playground that will capture our strength for the voice over art to ‘align’ the stories and turn them to Gold!





An All-Inclusive Greenway Enriched in Blue & Gold

Written By:  Lorrie Fleming, Member of ‘The Blue Team’ 

            Going Back to Our Roots … “Where were you in 1962”?  Our revered Trans Canada Highway was officially opened on September 3, 1962, building a Nation to link Victoria, BC to St. John’s Newfoundland.  Spanning Coast-to-Coast and Rural-to-Town, the introduction of a nation-wide transportation corridor woven into the tapestry of a ‘National Dream’ laced the stories together in the true spirit of our Confederation Founding Fathers.  At the time of its completion in 1971, this 7,821-kilometre epic journey was “the longest (uninterrupted) highway on earth”!  

            Michelle, A Pioneering Visionary, has brilliantly sculpted a futuristic, eco-cultural and all-inclusive movement that extends far beyond our ‘Canadian National Dream’.  In her adept wisdom, creative thinking and articulate language in the expression of Art, Michelle, by way of the Rural Route Blue initiative, transforms far outreaching spaces of our national highway into a vast multi-cultured platform of connectivity.

            Keeping in mind the vast lineage shaped by the legendary “Mother Road” with bloodlines that launched in 1926, she held the heart of America for nearly a century and changed the course of a nation by a powerful force in moving humanity.    Today, 2020 is approaching in our near vision and Michelle has set her sights on Rural Route Blue as an extension of the Mother Road, to move with the times in perfect harmony.  Driven by Michelle, Canada’s Mother Road is turning a corner toward a cultural rebirth with her deep-rooted sense of story telling via outdoor galleries encompassing a revolutionary evolving enhanced system of sight, sound & voice over technology. 

            Walls Will Talk… History has a brand-new lens to the future by way of a dimensional eco-force that extends into the transportation tapestry of humankind along a timeless and connective corridor that’s alive within our “cross-by-car” lifestyle.  Retrace an epic journey to rediscover and traverse our footpaths through the windshield to explore vehicular experiences that carved two nations in a cross-boundary trajectory of friendship.  

Through the vivid eyes of a gifted Artist, Michelle injects color into this new dimension using a dynamic mix of blue ‘n green with a dusting of Gold freshly picked from nature’s toolbox.  She has created a ubiquitous guideway for generations to learn & grow.  A new E-Highway paved with the aggregate of people, place & purpose awaits along ‘Rural Route Blue’ with arteries that connect a multi-directional, cultural and “art-in-motion & destination-mural-town” journey. 

See you soon “down the road” in 2020.  Meantime may the spirit of our ‘Mother Roads’ carry you to amazing places full of awe inspiring and multi-colored faces.  Now you can hear their voices!  

 Writer’s Footnote:

In my viewpoint, the patriarch link that connects Canada & USA is Great Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company.  It cannot be understated the value of the footpaths that these brigades forged, alongside Aboriginal Americans who guided the expeditions to discover and delve deeper into the heart & soul of this vast new land called North America.  “Trapping Furs & Turning Gold” …Our history speaks through a land of braided trails with a renewed “Rush to Riches”!  Lorrie