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motels on the road while traveling to exhibitions,

updated tue 13 jan 04


claybair on mon 12 jan 04

conferences, etc.

Next time I travel I'm taking you along!

You have better luck than me..... I get the
"Psycho" Bates "Coming Mother" motels.......!!-O

BTW I love your Americana stories.

Gayle Bair
Bainbridge Island, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Vince Pitelka

> Now I would not recommend the same for motels. I do think it's safer at a
> chain motel. . . . I highly recommend calling ahead and making

Oh Gayle, on the contrary. I LOVE staying in locally-owned non-chain
motels, especially little old dive motels out West. I seek the old "auto
court" places. I have never had a bad experience, other than some
mysterious stains and a few inefficient air conditioners. When traveling
with my wife we always stay in chain places, and I have had a lot more bad
experiences in the chains.

Four or five years ago on my way back from my summer trip out West I stopped
in Ely, NV on US 50, the Lonliest Road in America (it says so on the highway
signs). On the west edge of town I came to a big motel on the left, and the
parking lot was filled with oil company rigs, mining company vehicles,
government vehicles. I figured this must be the place to stay. I walked
into the office, and the guy behind the counter didn't even look up. I
asked him how much for a single for one night. Still reading his magazine
he said $85. I asked if they give a AAA discount and he didn't respond at
all. I said "Isn't $85 a little pricey for around here?" He said "Take it
or leave it." I asked if there were other motels in town with lower rates,
and he said "Sure." During this entire exchange he never looked up at me.

I drove down the main street and a few blocks to the west I came across the
White Pin Motel on the right, and I thought of bowling. Then I saw that the
"e" was burned out, and it was White Pine, and remembered that this area is
the White Pine Mining District. The word "Motel" was in red, and the
transformer was going bad, so it was flashing on and off erratically with a
very loud buzzing noise. Ambience.

Behind the counter in the office was a very weary looking East Indian man.
He was polite and accommodating, and the room was $23. It was comfortable
and clean. I fell asleep wondering how this East Indian ended up running a
motel in Ely, NV. Of course, East Indians and Pakastani run motels all over
the country, and do an excellent job, but Ely, NV? I decided I would ask in
the morning, but when I checked out, the man's wife was behind the counter,
and she looked even more beaten down by life. I let it go, but now I wish I
had asked for their story. Nothing to loose really, and it could be
fascinating. Now I am trying to follow through on my curiosity more often.

The above experience was typical of MANY in small, cheap local motels all
over the West.

I NEVER EVER call ahead for motel reservations, because it defines what you
are going to do and how far you will travel for the day, and what fun is
that? In some cases I might decide to take a side trip, whereas if I have a
set reservation I would be less inclined to do so unless the side trip was
also pre-planned, and what fun is that? In other cases I might not come
across anything interesting, allowing me to drive further, and I might not
discover that until after the cancellation deadline for a reserved motel. I
have never had any problem finding a good room on-the-spot wherever I decide
to stay.
Vest wishes -
- Vince