MOTEL hopping in a 2-door Lark Regal hardtop

By the time Studebaker was building the Lark they were near the end of the line. That's okay. We only need an imaginary car to go on our imaginary crisscross the USA motel tour. Who's going to yell "Shotgun!"

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MOTEL hopping: HOLIDAY INN memories

For so many years staying at a Holiday Inn was only a dream. They were too expensive for my family. Gradually, I guess as my father's income increased, we began to stay at them more often. The last one I remember staying in was in London in 1975. After weeks and weeks of traveling through Europe my friends and I just wanted something that felt familiar with a bathroom NOT down the hall.

On the same trip we'd also stayed at the Holiday Inn in Augsburg, Germany. Actually there's a very long story about that hotel which only personal friends have been bored with. I'll save you the details, but there was a McDonald's clown involved, a stick shift in a candy colored green Opal, and trolley tracks. Like I said, a long story.

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MOTEL hopping: Along old Route 66 in Grants, New Mexico

Well folks, stay in the car. We won’t be stopping. 

I’ll let the pictures tell the story. An oasis for sure. A motel along the once grand Route 66.

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Oh, don't you wish you could see that neon sign light up? Did the arrows flash or just stay red? And gosh darn, they gave S&H Green Stamps! 

Sadly, they aren't "completely modern" today with air conditioning, television, swimming pool, etc. In fact, I couldn't find a nice word spoken about this place. They rebranded themselves "Historic Route 66 Motel" in hopes of pulling in those of us who still long to travel America's Highway.

Below its last hurrah. And as far as the restaurant is concerned, I don't even see a spot for it. Usually in places like this the restaurant would have been where you see the pool located. And it seems that eventually they indeed did exactly that. Perhaps putting "restaurant" on the back of the card at the time was just wishful thinking.

So settle in, put your feet out the window...I'm going to keep driving. 



I'd like to say I got stuck in Van Horn, Texas, which would be the reason I haven't posted here for weeks. Alas, my traveling was cut short by the inter-tubes. Bandwidth had me sitting in one place for far too long. I have explored every corner of Van Horn, Texas and I'm now back on the road...providing I don't have any more flats along the inter-tubes.

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You know you're old when you look at the postage date on an old post card and think, "Oh, 1972. That wasn't very long ago." Then you realize the card is older than a lot of people you know. Sigh...sneer...resignation.


MOTEL hopping: Van Horn, Texas

The address for this card of the Western Lodge Motel in Van Horn, Texas, is so confusing that there's no way I can find where it is or was. Many of the highways listed on the back simply don't seem to exist anymore. So we really don't know whether we should unpack or not. I'm guessing we'll keep driving.

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Apparently this is the main drag in Van Horn. I do see another Best Western, but it is not called the Western Lodge.

(SOURCE: Wikipedia)  Click on image to see it larger.

This strip reminds me of so many towns I remember from my childhood. My father driving, my mother with the AAA guide, and me in the backseat with the dog, my doll, and pillow.

Some towns just seemed to be a few miles of gas stations and motels. There were no houses. My mother might have a place picked out, but once we saw it and my parents passed judgement we might pass it by with my dad saying, "What's the next town?" sending my mother back to the AAA trip-tick and guide book.

I always enjoyed when we headed to "the next town" because it usually meant we'd arrive after the sun went down meaning I'd get to see all the neon motel signs. Then, too exhausted to drive any further, my dad would say, "I don't care what it looks like. I'm stopping." And so my mother and I would sit in the car while my dad went into the office. By then I was ready for bed, most likely already in my pjs, having changed while we were driving. My dad would come out of the office and my mother would say, "Did you ask if they take dogs?" And usually my dad would say, "No." End of discussion.

Now, I have no idea if Mr. and Mrs. Evans Burnett or Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Brune allowed dogs, but, looking at the surrounding territory in which Van Horn, Texas sits, I'm thinking the "refrigerated air" was most welcome.

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Surely I don't want you coming away thinking Van Horn is just a dry spot in a bigger dry spot. Van Horn is part of the space race, such as it is.
Space Tourism
In late 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of amazon.com, had acquired 290,000 acres (1,200 km2) of land 25 miles (40 km) north of Van Horn to house his fledgling space tourism company, Blue Origin. As of 2008, Blue Origin had been expected to start commercial operations as early as 2010, aiming for 52 launches per year from the Van Horn, Texas facility. As of March 2010 however, Blue Origin and Bezos "have been very secretive about" the plans for the Van Horn facility for the past five years, having granted no interviews with news media since a single interview with the Van Horn Advocate in early 2005. 
In early 2010, NASA awarded Blue Origin US$3.7 million to work on an advanced technology, which detaches a crew cabin from its launcher if the shuttle malfunctions."[14]

10,000 Year Clock
In 2009 the The Van Horn Advocate announced that the Long Now Foundation was starting geologic testing for an underground space to house a 10,000 Year Clock of the Long Now, on the Bezos ranch, north of Van Horn.
Well there you go then. Learn something new every single day.

And one more thing...why would someone call a motel a "lodge motel?" I mean, it's not really a lodge. It's a motel. I know, a lodge sounds a bit more homey, but it's rather deceptive, don't you think?