RUBBER TO ROAD. . .DREAMS TO DRIVES

RIDING THE RURAL ON BC’S ART ROUTE BLUE

Sculpting the Stories into Timeless Art Touring Trails

Narrative Penned by Lorrie Fleming for Release in April 2021

            Dreams carry us away as a momentary escape from reality!  Imagining life after COVID confinement is akin to awaking from a prolonged & deep dream, much like landing on a distant shore!  The mind is racing, my heart is pacing, and my emotions are swimming from sea to sand in contemplation of “hitting the road”.  However, thoughts of an inner vision that’s shifting into gear after a ‘year-long sleep’ is somewhat haunting me, a feeling of similarity to Rip Van Winkle awakening in the strange tale’s ending of author Washington Irving’s famous Fairy Tale.     

            A Cantilever Bridge named in honor of Rip Van Winkle (memorialized in the story) spans the Hudson River in New York; and that’s just how art, literature and story telling creates a culture of economic sustainability.  Gravity pulls ‘Circular Art’ into a reciprocal perspective and manifests value into the vestiges of our cultural legacies.  A true measurement of cultural value is profoundly apparent within each distinct ‘persona’ (described as the aspect of someone’s character & traits perceived by others) as seen in literature and portrayed in the Art of lifetime expressions carved into face-lines.  

            Folklore sums up the experience, defining every line, wrinkle, and spot on one’s face with Its own special meaning.  Telltale signs reveal grief, anxiety, hardships, emotion, and life experiences between the lines.  Overlapped amid these bloodlines, builds character that rests silently along a ribbon of roads, that is deeply rooted into the soul of a person’s story.  Folklore defined as traditional beliefs, customs and stories passed through generations by word of mouth; implanted into a popular myth, culture and belief relating to a particular place, period, and of the people that disseminated within a region.  

            Folklore has no author (like a fairy-tale), it simply emerges out of cultures of everyday people into the tales that people tell, urban legends, myths that are carried forward by constant retelling.  Fairy Tales do come true-to-life in the form of Art, much like a favorite song that travels with you time-after-time along our journey.  The line between mythology and folklore is subjective.  Myth is held in sacred or spiritual reverence, whereas a folktale is popular, but not sacred.     

            Art is the glue to bond society and a counterweight of balance for the social & economic divide between rural, urban & suburban communities.  Being locked into neutral by COVID, forces us to recalibrate and set new goals for a stronger and more permanent path carved into an artform.  Art is the “currency” in the eye of the traveling public that harvests the stories protected by the History Keepers and ingrained deeply into the DNA of the Artwork; and portrayed as a Highway Delivery Billboard.   

            There exists a parallel spirit, a world, a special place inhabited by the unseen eye.  Mothers of the Road and History Keepers collectively add permanence to our society (just like a blueprint & trademark stamped by a sacred signature).  Let the Power of Art carry us to the Godparents of all murals and speak in a soft tone of a colloquial language for all humankind to understand and learn.  Entrust in the people of the wall as their images appear to the viewer (the traveller) that moves within the blue spaces along the horizon and transported by a Mystical Blue Horse held by the reins of a ‘Lifeline of Art’.    

            Fasten the seat belts and tune up the volume dial on “Art Route Radio”, Michelle has surprise guests to accompany you for the ride along your journey.  As we get ready to roll on a mystery tour, the storyline magic will unfold as Michelle holds the color wheel to highlight the people, places, and the stories of those who contributed to our life of freedom.  Filled by a fusion of tears of joy, sadness and despair, Michelle’s Art Route Radio tour expounds the trials & tribulations which paved our roads in the aggregate patchwork that built our nation strong & free.  Listen to the message between the breathes, time-after-time, they shall be our Highway of Hearts, a teaching platform to carry us home.  Let the road take you to the path unknown, unlock the experience of ‘Destination Mural Towns’ and share the campfire stories at journey’s pause.  The joy of travel comes from the unexpected, full of things that once were…

Talk with your eyes, listen with your heart, for eyes are the window to the soul!

Epilogue:

LIVE HISTORY AMID FOLKLORE ETCHED INTO THE POWER OF ART

THE EYES OF ART ARE WATCHING …

VACCINES TO VACATIONS ON THE HORIZON

SPEARHEADED BY ARTISTS PAINTING THE LINES & PLACING THE DOTS

CREATING THE WAY TO THE APEX OF OUR HERITAGE ART HIGHWAYS

A MESSAGE TO WELCOME SPRING:  Penned by Lorrie Fleming for March 1, 2021

            Spring is a pinnacle time to plant seeds of optimism to weave the threads of knowledge into our crossroads, cultivating a renewed sense of direction into a desired tourism destination.    Traveling between the lines is the preferred ‘trails to tales’ of a bonafide roadie, seeking new faces in the wide-open spaces of unexpected twists & turns navigating a true-to-life travel experience.  

            March is the textbook time to awake, muse, and reflect on the places that we have traveled, and evoke the looming hearts hidden securely within the spaces tucked tightly between these lines.     It remains a fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, however, traveling between the lines creates the real window to the soul.

            Along this journey lies the means to reach the inner soul of people, place & purpose that form the memorable experience to magical miles and the code that sets the tone to that ‘sweet spot’ along life’s scenic byway to bliss.  Travel is a therapeutic distraction from our daily diaries of life, an influential escape with a new sense of purpose.  

            February 2021 reached a renewed reality as the eyes of the world watched the amazing imagery of the ‘Perseverance Rover’ successfully land on the surface of Mars.   Witnessing this dynamic solar journey that captured the scene so vividly, our people, place & planet gained a sensation of vicariously voyaging along for the ride!   

            Speaking in terms of staying on Planet Earth, the roads are wide, and the possibilities endless.  Let us take this time to forge ahead and feel the healing powers of “Art” to move us and create the way forward to showcase the miracle of mobility and transport our past and present into a purposeful destination within our reach. 

            An Artist, through a powerful prism of color, can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and reveal the cultural life & times of those who traveled before us; and infuse into humanity a love for learning. 

Here’s to ‘vaccines-to-vacations’, opening the gates for new discoveries that foretells a refreshed story in the season ahead to embark on an actual journey of hope.

“Art is a beacon of light that appears in plain sight, outlined by hues of true blue, and awaits to enlighten you!”

TRANSFORMING OUR HERITAGE HIGHWAYS INTO ART ROUTES

RIVERS-TO-ROADS -TO SCAFFOLDS

Interweaving Threads of Color into the Strands of our Transportation Corridor

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming Penned on December 12, 2020

Inspired by a conversation with Master Muralist, Michelle Loughery

            A new generation of trail blazers are geared up and ready to hit the road, headed for an optimistic journey as the Coronavirus fades into our rear view.  Meanwhile, a new horizon for humankind is being cast on a transportation canvass envisioned by Humanitarian & The Master of Arts, Michelle!  The next step for the Art Route Blue framework is to create a Heritage Highway Recognition Plan and to form an Advisory Committee to work collaboratively in a consortium of partners to cultivate a means to restore the spirits of people, place & planet.  

            Our first pathways of mobility emerged via rivers & waterways connecting early travelers into a landscape of vast terrain that our ancestral pioneers forged initiating a network of trails to open passageways for human navigation.  As the advancement of human travel evolved, our trails developed into rail systems, interspersed with roadways that became highways of a transverse transportation system. 

            Culture & Art changes the face of our civilization; and our roadways & crossroads are the conduit for ancestral history keepers to showcase the founders & pioneers who built our roads and opened new gates to serve the settlements of homesteaders to outreach an immense landscape.  A new horizon is being sculpted to honor the enormous strides of stalwart champions of society and to acknowledge their efforts by transforming the future through visual arts & brush strokes depicting our multifaceted heritage.     

            In our multicultural and distinct society, we are people of many colors, graced by a multitude of vibrant tones and shades of diversity.  As a non-artist, my personal connection to Michelle runs deep, flowing like a river that culminated at the Heart of the Mother Road.  As I traveled on the road, Michelle was high overhead on a scaffold creating the first official Route 66 Mural City in Cuba, Missouri, in 2002.  Painted images that touch the hearts of the townsfolk [The Gold Star Boys aboard the Blue Bonnet Train] depicts the town’s homegrown heroes as they left their home to serve in WWI.     

            Today, in an era of the excessively rushed pace of people {in a hurry to multitask & reach unduly goals}, the time is right to reconnect and reset the inner soul of humanity.  To focus our sights on a sense of shared societal culture in harmony with a lifeline of art spliced into the initiative of Michelle’s Art Route Blue corridor, pumping new life into an upcoming generation of travelers.   Out-of-the Blue appears a beacon of light in pursuit of a beloved Blue Horse (a mythical symbol of hope) and a stabilizer for to all humanity to reach a base of solid ground in this time of global uncertainty.  May we sharply turn towards a Highway of Hope and meet each other on Main Street for a cup of tasty tea!

“If your heart is broken, make Art with the pieces” 

Quote by Shane Koyczan – Canadian Poet & Writer

Romancing the Rural on Art Route Blue

NAVIGATING LIFE’S CROSSROADS

Traveling Through the “Art of Life” (Michelle)

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming Compiled on October 20, 2020

            Michelle’s artistic life’s vision over the course of a quarter century has elevated the bloodline of Steinbeck’s Mother Road into a borderless and timeless ‘piece of art’.  In her eloquent words “we are all traveling through the art of life”.  Art Route Blue represents art-in-motion and is defined by Michelle as “wayfinding”, a belief in a doctrine that all travelers hold an inclusive right of passage.  Our mobility may differ by the vehicle driven (whether it be the driver at the wheel, the passenger; or (remotely navigating by virtual techniques), we are all equally engaged in the biodiversity of life.

            Art & COVID are ironically mutual counterbalances that renders humankind to be inventive by reshaping our world.  The power of art levels the field and draws the landscape into a broadminded ground of passage. “Placing the dots upon the map is much like stringing the pearls on a necklace”, such meaningful words of wisdom voiced by Stacey – A key pillar of Art Route Blue.  Lacing a legacy linked by a connection to culture & creativity straddled along a linear community corridor that depicts both the inner & outer soul of Art Route Blue.

            As a senior citizen, my experience as a seasoned traveler is tremendously enhanced by the introduction of Art Route Blue injected into my life and becoming a part of something much greater that the journey itself.  Michelle and her creatives coupled with the adept insight of Stacey, collectively carved the cornerstone for a purposeful sense of direction in the manner that we are traveling.  Entertaining an instinct to roam is a quality and a driving force towards a therapeutic escape, a reset button that Art Route Blue generates for a life of mobility throughout the aging process.    

            In life’s mosaic of experiences & events, our greatest asset is the ability to venture beyond the set parameters of the present place and connect to the mystical stories that await between the lines.  Isn’t it ironic that The Artist draws out the words inside the Storyteller…And traveling through the ‘art of life’ is where my personal story shall come alive!  

Moreover, Next Page – Reflections of Trails End 2020 …

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself” ~ A fitting quote by travel blogger Matthew Karsten

Remain in a state of readiness to go somewhere…

                        Seasons drastically change, and no matter how we try to resist, the prolonged Canadian winter is creeping upon us as the calendar turns.  Our annual September summer’s end RV road trip has faded into our rear view.  However, the memories remain to be ‘on a roll’ within the places and the faces of the people who are holding on tightly to the bounty of nature.  

            Recreational activity (cycling & hiking) lead to a bevy of outdoor patios at cafes, coffee shops & roadhouses that serve and carry an energetic vibe.  Coffee is becoming a tasteful artwork, steeped with sweet conversation, and lightly sprinkled with a touch of soulful inspiration. These eateries along the roadbed are a lifeline for travelers, a place to share a homelike meal and recharge the energy for the ride back to camp.     Notwithstanding, the unique boutiques & art galleries that instill the culture into the communities, adding value and balance into the Art of ‘retail therapy’! 

            Traversing the lush sun kissed Okanagan Valley eastward along the Crowsnest Highway #3 through to the golden Boundary Country transitions harmoniously into the untouched splendor of the Kootenay Region.  Hospitality is an endless component here as history unfolds into the downtown Main Streets, characterizing each township, where linear communities are threaded tightly into the local culture & folklore to meet & greet travelers as welcome guests.   

              On these dark days of autumn, I simply open my closet and a light reaches out to seemingly ‘stitch the threads together’ into a dance set to a rhythm of time travel.   A fashionable sense of preparatory direction gives me the tools to enter a world of greatness, dressed to conquer and be transported to incredible places, for a glimpse [just for a moment] in the ‘corners of my mind’!   Armed with an inherent desire to travel draws an extended purpose for me to meet & greet like-minded folks who await along this hopeful journey.  Yes indeed, my readiness to travel is a sense of empowerment that’s reflected deeply into the ‘people, place & planet’ ingrained within my inner soul.   

            In closing, preparation for springtime is a new beginning of life on the road.  My passion for travel begins in my closet, a hemline of anticipation to find the perfect accessory for the new road ahead.  So, here’s to my fellow roadies, gather your travel ‘wish list’, pack for all seasons, fasten the seat belt, tighten up the hat strap, and roll down the windows in pursuit of a sweet ride to somewhere else.  Feel the wanderlust and get ready to soak up new cultures for a pilgrimage of travel by the will of your heart.  

Excerpts of a Seasoned Traveler.

Lorrie,

We are but a feather on this planet, be as gentle”! (Michelle Loughery Master Muralist Extraordinaire)

Romancing the Rural on Art Route Blue

NAVIGATING LIFE’S CROSSROADS

Traveling Through the “Art of Life” (Michelle)

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming penned October 19, 2020

            Michelle’s artistic life’s vision over the course of a quarter century has elevated the bloodline of Steinbeck’s Mother Road into a borderless and timeless ‘piece of art’.  In her eloquent words “we are all traveling through the art of life”.  Art Route Blue represents art-in-motion and is defined by Michelle as “wayfinding”, a belief in a doctrine that all travelers hold an inclusive right of passage.  Our mobility may differ by the vehicle driven (whether it be the driver at the wheel, the passenger or remotely navigating by virtual techniques), we are all equally engaged in the biodiversity of life.

            Art & COVID are ironically mutual counterbalances that renders humankind to be inventive by reshaping our world.  The power of art levels the field and draws the landscape into a broadminded ground of passage. “Placing the dots upon the map is much like stringing the pearls on a necklace”, such meaningful words of wisdom voiced by Stacey – A key pillar of Art Route Blue.  Lacing a legacy linked by a connection to culture & creativity straddled along a linear community corridor that depicts both the inner & outer soul of Art Route Blue.

            

As a senior citizen, my experience as a seasoned traveler is tremendously enhanced by the introduction of Art Route Blue injected into my life and becoming a part of something much greater that the journey itself.  Michelle and her creatives coupled with the adept insight of Stacey, collectively carved the cornerstone for a purposeful sense of direction in the manner that we are traveling.  Entertaining an instinct to roam is a quality and a driving force towards a therapeutic escape, a reset button that Art Route Blue generates for a life of mobility throughout the aging process.    

            In life’s mosaic of experiences & events, our greatest asset is the ability to venture beyond the set parameters of the present place and connect to the mystical stories that await between the lines.  Isn’t it ironic that The Artist draws out the words inside the Storyteller…And traveling through the ‘art of life’ is where my personal story shall come alive!  

Moreover, Next Page – Reflections of Trails End 2020 …

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself” ~ A fitting quote by travel blogger Matthew Karsten

AWAYS BE READY TO GO SOMEWHERE…

                        Seasons drastically change, and no matter how we try to resist, the prolonged Canadian winter is creeping upon us as the calendar turns.  Our annual September summer’s end RV road trip has faded into our rear view.  However, the memories remain to be ‘on a roll’ within the places and the faces of the people who are holding on tightly to the bounty of nature. Recreational activity (cycling & hiking) lead to a bevy of outdoor patios at cafes, coffee shops & roadhouses that serve and carry an energetic vibe.  Coffee is becoming a tasteful artwork, steeped with sweet conversation, and lightly sprinkled with a touch of soulful inspiration. These eateries along the roadbed are a lifeline for travelers, a place to share a homelike meal and recharge the energy for the ride back to camp.     Notwithstanding the boutiques & art galleries that instill the culture into the communities, adding value and balance into the art of ‘retail therapy’!  

            Traversing the lush sun kissed Okanagan Valley eastward along the Crowsnest Highway #3 through to the golden boundary country that transitions into the untouched splendor of the Kootenay Region.  Hospitality is an endless component here as history unfolds into the downtown Main Streets that characterize each township where linear communities are threaded into the local culture & folklore to meet & greet travelers as welcome guests.   

              On these dark days of autumn, I simply open my closet and a light reaches out to seemingly stitch the threads together into a dance set to a rhythm of time travel.   A fashionable sense of preparatory direction gives me the tools to enter a world of greatness, dressed to conquer and be transported to incredible places, for a glimpse just for a moment in the ‘corners of my mind’!   Armed with an inherent desire to travel draws an extended purpose for me to meet & greet like-minded folks who await along this hopeful journey.  Yes indeed, my readiness to travel is a sense of empowerment that’s reflected deeply into the ‘people, place & planet’ ingrained within my inner soul.   

            In closing, preparation for springtime is a new beginning of life on the road.  My passion for travel begins in my closet, a hemline of anticipation to find the perfect accessory for the new road ahead.  So, here’s to my fellow roadies, gather your travel ‘wish list’, pack for all seasons, fasten the seat belt, tighten the hat strap, and roll down the windows in pursuit of a sweet ride to somewhere else.  Feel the wanderlust and get ready to soak up new cultures for a pilgrimage of travel by the will of your heart. 

Excerpts of a Seasoned Traveler.

Lorrie,

THE SUNDAY SUNFLOWER STORY

A Multicolored Reflection of Light on Social Diversities

A Moving Narrative by Lorrie Fleming – Penned July 19, 2020

            Diversity in Society stands for freedom & equality in all people(s) that is deeply rooted and engrained within the “Soul of Sunflowers”!  Understanding that each individual flower (just like a person) is uniquely different and collectively equate to the whole garden of life.  Sunflowers are figurative pillars of power & purveyors of Art recognizing that everyone on the planet has value and such differences in cultural ideologies is the true soul of our society.    

            Today, the world mourns and pays tribute to John Lewis, a heroic champion of the civil rights movement, [prelude to Black Lives Matter] died July 18, 2020 at age 80.   Mr. Lewis is recognized as the Conscience of the Congress that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in the USA.    In 2015 USA President Barack Obama bestowed honor to Mr. Lewis to observe and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.  He stands as a testament of gallantry and a “Stalwart Sunflower in our Society”.  

            Standing amidst Sunflowers in the present day, let us remember the words spoken by Mr. John Lewis:  “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something”.  He continued to say.  “To do something.  Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say’?  We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”  Such empowering and moving words of wisdom! 

            Lest we forget our Canadian feminist forerunners who advocated for women’s rights and focused on increasing their role in public life and the suffrage movement for voting rights.   The foregoing series of events transpired at a time when the Mother Road was in her prime.  Named in the classic novel [The Grapes of Wrath], Steinbeck called Route 66 The Mother Road because it beckoned to desperate migrants fleeing the dust bowl as they moved west in search of jobs during the depression of the 1930’s.

            In the following decades, the Highway took on mystic status as America’s Main Street.  Threaded into the ribbon of crossroads that carved the biodiversity of two nations, the framework of “The Sunflower Project” at Mile ‘0’ here in BC has etched a new Art path by launching the Sunflower as “Emblems of Discovery” in respect that all lives matter!   

            Words cannot express ample gratitude to the Art Community & the creatives for endowing balance into the color wheel of tonal palettes, dipping their brushes equally into the painted places of time.  To sum it up, Art & The COVID pandemic are global equalizers for humankind.  In solidarity, humanity will march to the beat of the choir in a “Symphony of Sunflowers” guiding the next generation to “the right side of history”.  

In search of Sunflowers

By Lorrie Flemming AR:T ROUTE WRITER

Natural Storytellers 

Symbolic Art & Soul of the Road

             “My Heart wants Roots, but my Mind wants Wings…” an articulate phrase coined by popular Lyricist {E.Y. Harburg} that describes the wondering soul of many travelers, like myself, in a constant search for things that make us feel whole.  Commonly referred to as “wanderlust”, I describe the term as a trait characterized by a desire to keep learning via experiences drawn by a magnetic pull touching our inner selves, all while discovering new places!

             The majestic Sunflower is nature’s compass that stand stately as mileposts & guardians to navigate the vastness of our Province leading the way to wondrous time treasures & cultural vestiges.  Sunflowers characterised by their sunny disposition are sprouting in Gold Country as noble wayfinders.  “The Art of the Drive is Coming Alive” in the Village of Cache Creek, where sunflowers are painted on buildings and seedlings are popping up throughout the townsite generating a fresh new beginning for Rural BC.  A geotourism adventure program (aka the Modern-Day Treasure Hunt) is an integral component of the spirit of Cache Creek.  Located at the ‘Junction’ and aptly named, the local Coffee House perks the spirits of travelers by a freshly brewed beverage mixed with tantalizing conversation and a refreshed sense of discovery for the road ahead.  

            Mile ‘0’ through the Gold Country Region is a golden gateway and a pivotal junction where the Trans Canada Highway #1 meets Route 97, directing travelers to an extension of B.C.’s Golden Mother Road.  A Garden of Hope inspired by Internationally Renowned Artist, Michelle Loughery, and a recent meeting with Marcie Down (Executive Director of Explore Gold Country) mutually lifted our spirits into a “sunflower state of mind”.   Soon, bold yellow sunflowers will start to appear with seeds in motion induced by sunshine and orchestrated by the wisdom of horticulturist & Regional Director, Steve Rice, resident of Spences Bridge {an integral part of this “Golden Triangle”}. 

In closing, Articulate road wisdom educates us that no place you have been ever leaves you!  The Sunflower Project is a Milestone, not just a Moment in Time.  Travel is a dynamic teacher and the sunflower is a universal sundial that steers the soul of humanity into a rhythm of hope.  

   Living a nomadic lifestyle is a sacred survival mechanism and adept cultural practice used by indigenous peoples since ancient times.  This mobile skill set is a beneficial & sustainable livelihood set into motion for a multitude of purposes {agriculture, hunting, trading & commerce}.  One is not necessarily a Nomad to live a nomadic lifestyle.  Renown Educator, Author & Keynote Speaker (Stephen R. Covey) said it brilliantly… “Live your life by a compass, not a clock” … 

Yours from a Sunflower State of Mind,

Lorrie Fleming

A Mother of the Road…

  

SUNFLOWER SALUTE

DEDICATED TO OUR CULTURAL HISTORY KEEPERS

LORRIE FLEMING – APRIL 26, 2020

2020

Inspired by a Conversation with Michelle on Our Cultural History Keepers

SUNFLOWER SALUTE

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.

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}