The Dratted No Vacancy Sign

Moving from map pins to reservation making, the planning continues

And the next step is underway.  As of today, the journey takes me from Ottawa down the US East coast to Florida.  From there I travel west to California, then north through to Boise, Idaho where I go back southeast through the Midwest until I turn north again for home.  Fifty nights.

With my route mapped through the United States to visit and meet fifty different moteliers, the task in making motel reservations and arranging interviews has started. What I wasn’t expecting was to experience this many challenges in booking rooms. In October, I wrote in a chronicle update  Icons: Google Map Pins and Mid-Century Motels, how I thought reserving rooms may be a challenge. That was why I needed to identify 100 motels.  I was right. Motels with no vacancy and policies that require a minimum number of night stays in peak season are prevalent.  A reminder that trip planning requires patience and flexibility.

Join me for a Meetup on Saturday July 13 at the Starlight Ranch in Amarillo Texas – details to follow

But so far, with a few minor changes, I have been able to stick to the planned route and booked the first 15 nights of my journey.  And some moteliers are bending over backwards to support me, accommodate my interview requests and trying to help.  Moteliers like: Carolyn Emigh and George Miller of The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, NJ, David Brenner of the Roadrunner Lodge in Tucumcari, NM and Bobby Lee of the Big Texan Motel in Amarillo, TX.  They all supplied me with background information, photographs, lodging and offered their precious time. And it goes on.  Like how Bobby Lee and I are planning a Meetup on Saturday, July13 for The Motelorcycle Chronicle followers to come out and enjoy a concert at the Starlight Ranch. Or an invitation to come back and hold a Sleeping Around in America book signing at the Caribbean Motel.  How cool is that!

What I love most is my conversations with the moteliers. On the phone, you can hear the pride in their voice as they speak about their establishments.  It is in much the same way a rider talks about his bike. But each story is unique. I have long preached there are many similarities between moteliers and motorcyclists.  These conversations just reinforce it. Both moteliers and motorcyclists take managed risks and are fiercely independent.

So I hope to have my itinerary set in February. And when complete, I promise to share it. Then, when I am in your neck of the woods, perhaps we can meet and grab a coffee.  But until then, I must focus on reserving my room in 35 more motels, working around the motel policy potholes and avoiding those dratted no vacancy signs along the way.

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