Sometimes camping sucks. Like when it is raining cats and dogs and you can’t find your waterproof pants* and you get absolutely soaked and covered in mud taking down the tent, getting your food out of the bear-proof locker and loading up the car. I think we’re getting too old for this kind of nonsense. We broke down the other day and looked for a motel for the night in Crescent City, CA. Our original requirements were cheap, clean and free wi-fi. I later added a new requirement – a place where they’re not making porno movies.
We stopped by one motel along Hwy 101 on the California coast in the morning to ask about their room rates. It was still early in the morning, but the office wasn’t open and it didn’t look like anyone had stayed there the previous night. We asked the chambermaid if she had a clue how much the rates were. She said we had to come back in the afternoon when the owner would be back from taking her dog to the vet. That’s when I noticed she only had two teeth. When we came back in the afternoon to talk to the owner, she quoted us a ridiculously high rate for a room without wi-fi. I happened to glance in one of the rooms and saw a bunch of guys setting up lights. I’m pretty sure they were getting ready to make porno movies. I guess if you’re making porno, you don’t need wi-fi and you’re happy to pay a lot of money for a dodgy room. Scott tells me that guys who are doing drywall use lights to check for imperfections and quality control. But, trust me, they didn’t look like drywall guys. That’s when I added a new requirement to our motel list – no porno movie filming. And as a bonus, it would be nice if the chambermaids had more than two teeth. If they don’t practice good dental hygiene, how can I be sure they’ll do a good job cleaning the rooms?
Further up the road, we stopped by some other motels. Either outrageously expensive and/or no wi-fi. On the plus side, I didn’t see any evidence of porno movies being made. Then we ran across Curly Redwood Lodge in Crescent City. It was relatively cheap ($56 during non-peak season), it had wi-fi, the rooms were clean and it was porno-free. And the best part was its retro vibe.
The entire lodge was built from one curly redwood tree – 57,000 board feet of lumber in all. Curly redwood produces curly grain wood. Which seems pretty obvious from its name. Most redwood is straight grained, so this stuff looks a bit different.
The lodge opened in 1957 and looks like it hasn’t changed at all since then. But for folks who are tired of all of the generic, cookie-cutter motel chains, this is a very, very good thing. Don’t you get tired of seeing the same chains all over the world when you travel? How many Comfort Inns, McDonalds or Starbucks do we really need? (Although to be fair to Starbucks, I recently had one of their salted caramel mochas and would desperately like another one.)
We continued our retro vibe at a Mexican restaurant in Crescent City. It also looks like it was built in the 1950’s. They have Pacifico on tap. What more could you want?
I wish I could say that we got a discount from Curly Redwood Lodge for this post, but I’m pretty sure they don’t know we have a blog. And if they did, I’m sure they would prefer that we didn’t talk about them in the same post that also talks about porno movies. Google does some weird things with their search engines.
*Note: For our UK English readers, I mean “trousers”, not underwear. Talking about wearing waterproof underwear would just be too weird, even for this blog. I know from experience as, when I first moved to the UK, I mentioned wishing I had elastic pants at work. All I meant was that I had eaten too much during all the recent Christmas festivities and that an elastic waistband would be helpful. I got some horrified looks from my co-workers until I explained that “pants” are “trousers” in the US. I’m not sure they believed me.