AR:T ROUTE CANADA

SISTERS OF THE MOTHER ROAD

A SALUTE TO EXPLORE GOLD COUNTRY TO HONOR OUR LINEAR COMMUNITIES

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

RURAL REVIVAL ELEVATED TO AN ART! SPREADING SEEDS TO SUCCESS

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

2

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!

AR:T ROUTE CANADA

Art and beauty comes in many forms, including the natural and the handmade , and there’s no reason why, when admiring one, you cannot enjoy the other. And there is no reason that our modern cave masterpieces should not be showcased as invitations for the globe to visit and meander along our highways. The bonus is that travellers can fill the art stops in with small business and community events along the way. Connecting our communities makes sense. Like a giant story book. And it makes more sense if a highway art project like ART ROUTE BLUE is launched with artists and grassroots communities. To keep the jobs, make connections and bring the creative economy to the rural communities and keep our young people talking to the elders. This is a people up road trip. The Canadian Version of ROUTE 66. This art trip is long standing in its vision. Held dear by many and led by Queen of the Road Lorrie Flemming. I am just the conductor and the painter who got to paint way before murals became the explosion of trend that are now. Or maybe these modern cave drawings have always been a huge part of the education and history making of the stories of the people and of nature as we all ride the highway of life. Our Destination Mural Town Art Route is a global grid. It has many more layers to unravel and we are excited as many are using the model to bring Destination ART Routes to their regions. There is blue on those walls though! And the blue beings to the hands of the artists, the visionaries and the first people that have shared fire stories since time began. AR:T ROUTE BLUE details great work across the globe. Some of these artworks are showcased in outdoor settings, others however, are set amidst the most beautiful scenery. Take a look and see community social economics through a new lens. With a content building economy made strong by keeping the people in that system. Our stories are our art and our towns the fires that warm the rural earth. We have made ground at AR:T Route Blue. Destination Mural Town has many tourism organizations and communities abuzz. Destination Routes have been growing in rail and nature trails. Art walks have been around forever and people love to stroll through the streets seeking local treasures. But this AR:T Route is unique as the team of Blue are also trainers, educators, creators, builders, healers, connectors, first responders, homeless, nature protectors, storytellers, painters, sculptors, carvers, singers, youth, elders and all first people from the globe. This is community building from a place of renewal to reimagining. A new form of muraltourism. A content creating system that keeps the content with the creators and the power of all horses in front of one cart. The blue is the stories of many, in a place of global connection, to a system that keeps people and nature connected. Now that is reachable tourism and community economics.

#ARTROUTE VERNON

Hello from Trails End…

Leaving our last campsite here in the Coldstream Valley perched high on the hillside that overlooks the radiantly beautiful Kalamalka Lake!
The views up here are stunning and this magnificent area is truly difficult to leave behind in our rear view.

Going ‘back to reality’ heading homeward, we’re stopped for a rest at Juniper Beach’ along the banks of the Thompson River, west of Kamloops Lake.  How blessed we are to witness the landscape unfold in a kaleidoscope of colors.  From red apples 🍎 to pumpkins 🎃 of brilliant orange, nature’s bounty speaks volumes as Autumn settles into brilliant hues.

So long for now my special comrades, we shall meet again soon ‘down destiny’s road’!

Love Lorrie
Rural ROUTES Rider