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Surprised by lodging while on tour. The good and the bad.

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Surprised by lodging while on tour. The good and the bad.

Old 08-08-16, 08:20 PM
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Surprised by lodging while on tour. The good and the bad.

Have you ever rolled up to your nightly lodging on tour and surprised by what you found both good and bad?


My touring buddy and I are both snorers, he has the advantage because he falls asleep first. I have trouble sleeping as is then I get to listen to his noise. But he wakes in the middle of the night to hear me snoring away. The rooms in Italy are usually very small. Once in Cremona Italy we met this strange woman on a bicycle that declared herself Guard of the City. She was not even from Italy originally but Montreal, CA. She gave us a great tip on a hotel. Turns out the room actually had two separate bedrooms. We both slept that night. We also lucked out in Nauders, Austria with separate rooms.

In Metaline Falls we rolled into into this small fishing motel. I really didn't expect much from looking at the outside of the place. Inside the rooms were spanking new with the type of mattresses and pillow you would find a a four or five star hotel. Everything was super clean and brand new. One of the most comfortable places I have ever stayed in my life.


Everything is expensive in Lecco, Italy. We found a hotel on the outside of town next to the railroad tracks. The beds were pretty much cots. The surprise was what he found the next day. My buddy was doing his usual recon of the room before we left and he found a sheet obviously from a previous guest. On the sheet was what he described as "bodily fluids". Yuck.
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Old 08-08-16, 08:24 PM
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I got surprised with a spot that I had mapped too that was completely closed and hadn't seen traffic in 20+years and ended up staying with the friend who drove me up there because he lived nearby. I had gotten lost earlier in the day and went on a little detour ended up at a restaurant I liked and knew a friend in the area and we went to dinner together. He ended up giving me a ride back and I wanted to camp out but the campsite was unreachable from the directions I had. It was crazy overgrown and the sign was so rusty and hard to read, it was lucky I got lost found a different way and got in touch with him or I would have been in a wee bit of trouble.
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Old 08-09-16, 05:11 AM
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The good: In 2011 I stayed in the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen in Butte, MT. The bathroom had bright, lemon yellow everything. Total kitsch. Loved it. Have been back twice and asked for the room while making my reservation but have never gotten it.

The strange: There is a relatively new bunkhouse/hotel in Jackson, MT. The guy who renovated the old building put in a shared double bathroom. One shower, but two toilets and two sinks. Thing is, there are no dividers or stalls separating the two toilets, which are right next to each other. I suppose it would work for a couple who is quite comfortable with each other. Personally, I like some privacy.

Somewhat bad: Mosquitoes in the room at the motel in Wisdom, MT. But that's wisdom for you. Often you get set upon before you can get your wallet out of your pannier to go inside the market to shop. We were able to kill them all in pretty short order. The interesting thing about that stay was the fact that the owners of motel, who live in a house on the premises, were away at a family event when we showed up. They left envelopes with keys to each room taped to the office door along with a note inviting people to select and room and informing that they would be back later that night and you could settle up then.
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Old 08-09-16, 07:00 AM
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My last tour, I could not find the campground at the end of a very long and very rainy day when I was soaked. But found a HI Hostel, and it gets better, they had space for me. It was worth the cost difference to stay out of the rain that evening.

A distant relative organized a group supported tour for several in the family. The tour group provided the bikes, most meals, all lodging, hauled luggage from inn to inn, etc. On one of the days it rained all day and when they got to the inn where they were supposed to stay that night, but the inn had gone out of business and was closed.
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Old 08-09-16, 12:57 PM
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A Montreal hotel with mirrors on walls and ceiling around and above the bed and a jacuzzi tub right in the bedroom, also with mirrors on walls and ceiling.

It was later confirmed by someone who claims to know that said hotel rents rooms out by the hour.

Never again. I kept wondering where they kept the hidden camera, for blackmail purposes.
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Old 08-09-16, 04:40 PM
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The bad? Many TransAmer's from yesteryear will remember the now defunct "motel" at Jeffrey City WY. I had stayed there twice previously leading ACA groups and tried to prepare the 2009 group as to what to expect. The reality did not sink in until they arrived. Aided by a tailwind we all got there early. Four of the group continued on another 60 miles to Lander rather than staying in a room with "mushrooms growing from the carpet". From our group blogger at...

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=116215&v=9J

"We arrived in Jeffrey City -population 106.....Most of the city is empty. The houses, stores, buildings are mostly derelict. We rode by the first Motel we passed looking for the Motel we were staying in tonight.....We rode the 100 yards or so out of town and noticed that there wasn't another Motel. So we returned to the first one we had come to which we thought was derelict. No one answered our knock. The place was falling apart. Doors were open, displaying junk inside, doors were kicked in, weeds and junk covered the ground. Then Rusty appeared from Room 7. 'I went up to the bar and the woman gave me a key. I told her you two guys would be here shortly, you're in 8. I don't have any hot water or air-condition; you have hot water.' We opened the door to Room 8. The first thing I noticed was the carpet - it was stained with god knows what, dead bugs were on my bed cover, and on my sheets. The TV was covered in fluff, the bath was layered with dirt, the furniture was falling to pieces, the trash hadn't been emptied and there was a hole in the ceiling". -Bill Maxwell





The good? The same year our group pulled into the Hotel Ordway in CO expecting to find a hostel like facility with rustic bunkrooms. It had recently been been remodeled into a tasteful, high end B&B complete with restaurant!

"The Ordway Hotel, where we are staying, is 105 years old and run by Carol and her husband Tom. Carol is a red-headed lady of Irish origins. The Hotel is wonderful. The best place we've stayed thus far. I told Carol that and we were rewarded with the best room in the place!" -Bill Maxwell

Last edited by BobG; 08-09-16 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 08-09-16, 07:03 PM
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I've had my share of disgusting surprises at hotels, and that's why unless for some reason I have no other viable choice, I will never stay in one.
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Old 08-10-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The strange: There is a relatively new bunkhouse/hotel in Jackson, MT. The guy who renovated the old building put in a shared double bathroom. One shower, but two toilets and two sinks. Thing is, there are no dividers or stalls separating the two toilets, which are right next to each other. I suppose it would work for a couple who is quite comfortable with each other. Personally, I like some privacy.
Is this the one above the post office next to the cantina? I called the guy when I passed through but couldn't reach him. Sounds like a good thing that I stayed in the hot springs lodge across the street.

The good: There's a lot of good. Way too many to say....One of my favorites is the campground in Kimball, South Dakota is behind the popcorn ball factory. Same owner. The day I checked in they were producing the popcorn balls and he happily shared one of each of his flavors with me. Cool guy and enjoyed his company.

The bad: Also happens to be in South Dakota. The campground in Kadoka is the most disgusting place I've ever seen. The owner is a hoarder and there's stuff everywhere. All of the cabins and the swimming pool are filled with boxes. The "office" is a mobile home filled with boxes. The carport attached is filled with boxes. There's abandoned cars everywhere. The bathrooms are disgusting.
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Old 08-11-16, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
The bad? Many TransAmer's from yesteryear will remember the now defunct "motel" at Jeffrey City WY. I had stayed there twice previously leading ACA groups and tried to prepare the 2009 group as to what to expect. The reality did not sink in until they arrived. Aided by a tailwind we all got there early. Four of the group continued on another 60 miles to Lander rather than staying in a room with "mushrooms growing from the carpet". From our group blogger at...

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=116215&v=9J

"We arrived in Jeffrey City -population 106.....Most of the city is empty. The houses, stores, buildings are mostly derelict. We rode by the first Motel we passed looking for the Motel we were staying in tonight.....We rode the 100 yards or so out of town and noticed that there wasn't another Motel. So we returned to the first one we had come to which we thought was derelict. No one answered our knock. The place was falling apart. Doors were open, displaying junk inside, doors were kicked in, weeds and junk covered the ground. Then Rusty appeared from Room 7. 'I went up to the bar and the woman gave me a key. I told her you two guys would be here shortly, you're in 8. I don't have any hot water or air-condition; you have hot water.' We opened the door to Room 8. The first thing I noticed was the carpet - it was stained with god knows what, dead bugs were on my bed cover, and on my sheets. The TV was covered in fluff, the bath was layered with dirt, the furniture was falling to pieces, the trash hadn't been emptied and there was a hole in the ceiling". -Bill Maxwell



[/I]
Heh. The good old J.C. Motel. Only motel I have ever stayed in that did not take credit cards. When I stayed there in '00 it wasn't that bad, but I did later read a post on ACA's forum about mushrooms growing from the carpet, but IIRC, the author was a solo traveller who stayed there shortly before it closed.
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Old 08-11-16, 04:58 AM
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The odd ...

When I was on my first Australian tour, a friend and I had cycled through a good portion of Tasmania, and at one point, he decided to cycle for the next two days, and I decided to stay in Strahan a couple nights and rest, and then take the bus to Hamilton. Hamilton is a dot on the map, with no overnight accommodations (no camping, no hotels, nothing). We had decided that whichever of us got their first would scout out a place to stay for the night. My friend got their first, and popped into the pub, got chatting with the locals, and one of them, Paul, offered to put us up for the night.

Paul was in the process of renovating an 1800s inn, which hadn't been used as an inn in many, many years, to live in as his home ... so he had lots of room. He took us around the place and it was fascinating, and old, and parts of it were in quite the state of disrepair. You could see how the place was constructed way back when it was originally built. So that was all very interesting.

Then we sat down to have supper and my friend and Paul started to drink and we all started to talk. Paul did most of the talking, and told us all about his girlfriend Robin who had found the inn and bought it with the dream of rebuilding it. He told us how he and Robin had moved to the place, and had renoved the bathroom (which was spectacular), and music room (another beautiful room) because Robin liked to have long baths, and Robin loved to play the piano, and there was a piano in the room. He told us she was dead. He told us about the kitchen renovation which was mostly complete and which they looked forward to completing because they liked to cook together. The kitchen was well on its way to being gorgeous too. And he talked about their plans to renovate the room off the kitchen, and their plans for this and that and the other thing.

But did you catch that? Right in the middle of all the "Robin and I did this and that and are going to do this and that", he told us she was dead. Never in the whole conversation did he tell us how she died or when ... he just kept talking as though she were still there, or maybe just away for the weekend, or something.

It was probably all very innocent, perhaps she died in a traffic accident or something and maybe it was still too painful for him to think about it ...... but there we were in an ancient inn undergoing renovations, and we had been informed that the girlfriend was dead, with no additional information, and the girlfriend was being talked about as though she were still there ...... I have to say that the thought that perhaps she was still there entered both of our heads!

It made for a rather spooky night.

Last edited by Machka; 08-11-16 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 08-11-16, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. The good old J.C. Motel. Only motel I have ever stayed in that did not take credit cards. When I stayed there in '00 it wasn't that bad, but I did later read a post on ACA's forum about mushrooms growing from the carpet, but IIRC, the author was a solo traveller who stayed there shortly before it closed.
Yep that was Shane, a young solo rider who was leap frogging with our group all the way across country, occasionally sharing campsites with us. He would have passed through JC at about the same time. He had a thread on ACA forums about "Jeffrey City and Mrs. Happy". Heres what our blogger had to say about "Mrs. Happy", the bartender who kept the motel keys for the truck driver owner who was often away...

"I went up to the bar and the woman gave me a key"...."We decided to go up to the bar where the lady was and Rusty was going to ask for a different room.

We entered the bar which was occupied by 3 people - a bloke who was at a computer, an over-weight lady who was playing some game on a computer, and a girl of between 16 and 29 who obviously had learning difficulties. None of them acknowledged our entrance. Rusty mentioned the fact that he would like another room. Nothing. He explained the reason. Nothing. Then (says lady), 'Well, I'm not doing nothing yet.'
.
Five minutes later she appeared, angry at having to leave her game.

'What kind of beer do you have?' asked Steve.
'Bud or Coors.'
'On tap?'
'Bottle or can.'
'I'll have a Bud, please,' said Rusty.
'Bottle or can?'
'Bottle please.'
She placed a warm beer in front of him.
'You?' she said to Steve.
'I think I'll have a jolly old Coors.'
'Bottle or can?'
'Whatever's coldest.'
'Ice machine's not working.'
'Bottle, please.'
I asked for a Root Beer as they were in a fridge-type thing with the sodas.
She went back to her game.

As we were leaving others were beginning to arrive. like us, they had mistakingly thought the Motel was derelict and had ridden the length of the city looking for a Motel. Chris and Adam, Grant and Ingo took a look at the rooms and decided to move on. Where to, I'm not sure; but I'd guess Lander. The rest of us stayed put.

We came across to dinner. The lady was still here, as happy as ever.
We ordered. She seemed annoyed that we were again disturbing her.
When she brought the food to the table, I'm not lying when I say she threw the plates down!
The food tasted OK.
Pity she didn't move out when they closed the city down.

Rusty is still in the same room." -Bill Maxwell


In contrast the breakfast waitress the next morning was smiley and cheerful!

Last edited by BobG; 08-11-16 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 08-11-16, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
In contrast the breakfast waitress the next morning was smiley and cheerful!

I cooked dinner at the miserable Lion's Club park that had a porta-pottie. I didn't use it, but it looked like it had been sitting there for years. There was a small group of westbound Dutch cyclist staying there. Felt sorry for them. Had some emergency pasta and found a can of chili at the one open gas station. However, I did have lunch in the café section. The waitress was a bit inert, but not unpleasant. I didn't have any ones to leave a tip but got some when I went next door to have a beer. I returned and handed her a few bucks. She looked shocked and asked "What's this?" After dinner I walked back to the bar and ended up talking to a one-legged woman about antelope meat and the crash of the uranium market in the early 80s. She and her husband had moved to Jeffrey City so her husband could work in the mining industry. She said they were promised jobs for life. The man behind the bar was complaining about how the state was limiting elk hunting tags. Then some ranch hand looking guy stumbled into the bar. He was obviously extremely intoxicated. He bought a 12 pack, stumbled back to his car and drove off. A couple of the patrons laughed about it, like "Joe's drunk again." I was heading east and wanted to leave early the next morning before the headwinds kicked up. Couldn't get out of that town fast enough.
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Old 08-11-16, 08:00 PM
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My wife and I rode into a small town in Portugal, and started looking for a place to stay for the evening. We saw the ice cream sign, and thought we'd fuel up before looking. Even though we did not speak Portuguese we asked the proprietor about room, "casa de comida", availability, and he indicated that he had a room above the store. My wife is Portuguese and has heard the language around her grandmother. She also knows Spanish which is similar, which helped. We were a little apprehensive from looking at the exterior of the building, but it was getting late, and we are not fussy.



Boy, were we surprised when we stepped into an immaculate, spacious, beautifully furnished apartment. After riding through Portugal, I came to this conclusion: if Portuguese kitchens are half as clean as their bathrooms I'd never have a problem with the food!


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Old 08-11-16, 10:10 PM
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Cranberry Junction BC , I thought I'd find some bit of activity / civilization , but there was none, nothing . I was welcomed there by more mosquitoes and black flies than I'd ever seen before as well .
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Old 08-11-16, 11:49 PM
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Cope , its part of the adventure.

Past AYH member and briefly a Bike trip leader, I liked HOSTELS in Europe & US.

more social places than Hotels or B&B and way cheaper ..




./.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-13-16 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 08-13-16, 06:47 AM
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Not a bike trip but while camping in our VW Westfalia we went to the Ohiopyle PA area to see the two Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the area, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. Overnighting between the two house tours, we found a family run campground north of town and found a spot. Actually, we could have had any and every spot since we were the only campers in a fairly large but woodsy and overgrown campground, and when we checked in the office was in a dark, wood-paneled building full of taxidermy specimens. Pretty damn spooky but it turned out okay.
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