A Matter of Time
Route 66 through the Lens of Change
$34.95 Hardcover

Route 66 may never return as an American highway, but it will never disappear from our collective memory. The Mother Road touches our very soul, causing us to reflect on the past and reconsider our place in the present. A Matter of Time offers readers a fresh and different perspective. Documenting 101 distinct locations along historic Route 66, this book emphasizes forgotten and familiar places—relics of the past that are seldom, if ever, portrayed in print.

Photographer Ellen Klinkel first traveled Route 66 in 2013. Immediately inspired to capture the road “in its pure essence” through the lens of her camera, she returned over the next four years to photograph various sites along the old highway. As she explains, the road is the “main character” in all her images, whether they depict a dramatic sky along Tornado Alley, a nightscape in the Mojave Desert, or a tranquil early morning on the Santa Monica Pier. She is drawn to places that evoke change and abandonment—especially ones that became obscure during the road’s periodic rerouting—as well as revival.

A Matter of Time follows the journey that so many Americans traveled for decades: starting from downtown Chicago, coursing through multiple states in the Midwest and Southwest, and culminating in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles. As a Route 66 historian and advocate, Nick Gerlich is deeply familiar with the entire route, both through personal experience and extensive research. His in-depth captions place Klinkel’s photographs in historical and cultural context, enhancing our understanding of her haunting images. Together, photographer and historian inspire new and unexpected ways to appreciate America’s Main Street.

About The Author
Ellen Klinkel is a photographer based in Ahrweiler, Germany.
Nick Gerlich is the J. Pat Hickman Professor of Marketing at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.

Reviews & Praise
“This fascinating book focuses on the once-glorious sights along the Mother Road that are slowly returning to Mother Earth. Its title says it all: it’s just a matter of time before many vestiges of the bygone era are completely obliterated. A partnership between an outstanding photographer and an outstanding writer, the book proceeds along Route 66 state by state, showing off closed bridges, rotting motels, trading posts, and overgrown stretches of once-busy highway. The book also tells some stories of town, motels, and restaurants that still survive – and thrive – and these, too, are written and photographed masterfully.”—American Road Magazine

A Matter of Time is more than a love letter to historic Route 66; it is a profile of a road that continues to evolve in the twenty-first century. A Matter of Time is more than a love letter to historic Route 66; it is a profile of a road that continues to evolve in the twenty-first century. For people who cannot drive the road itself, this is the next best thing.”— Chronicles of Oklahoma