Yesterday, I blearily stumbling through Leggett and Laytonville on 101 in search of lodging. The motels I called were usually surprised to receive an inquiry from a potential overnight lodger, and the ones I drove by had Harleys under covers in front of rooms (ie permanent residents). Most didn’t have paved parking lots and one was next-door to (I kid you not) a combination laundromat and smokehouse (with a cigar store Indian motif).
I called some hotels in Ft. Bragg, but $120 is a little steep for on non-view single. And the KOA didn’t answer their phone (they must have caller ID).
So when I drove into the relatively bustling metropolis of Willits, CA, I was delighted to see a plethora of options.
“The Lark” looked like my kind if vintage neon-signed getaway, but the only on-line review said: “I wouldn’t stay there again even if the only other option was staying in my car”.
Another one I called whose sign pleaded “try us” didn’t speak English well enough to answer whether or not they had a room, and if so, the rate.
So I took a gamble and stopped at the Old West Inn.
Imagine my surprise to see a clean, interestingly decorated, spacious room (scented with incense, of course).
Nice. On to an evening of blogging and uploading the day’s photos using their free Internet.
But not before I was serenaded by a twangy western guitar from a neighboring outdoor theatre singing “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa.
I’m in the “trading post” room. Since a bed is its main feature, I’m not sure what kind of currency they use. There’s also a barber shop.
The cigar-store Indian (native American) has a fire extinguisher – just in case. Which is lucky, since all the CA DOT workers who stayed here last night smoked up a storm. And it was a symphony of beer can tab pulling.
Well, and if you want a pool, you’ll need to lift up the splintering cover to see what lurks beneath.
The staff are super friendly, continental breakfast simple but effective. All in all, I would definitely come back to this ponderosa of paradoxes.