We have stayed in dozens of different hotels, motels, and B&Bs during our nearly two years our with American Futures adventure. One of my jobs is handling ground support: finding places to stay and rental cars, for starters.
For rental cars, my system sometimes fails. Many of the smallest towns in America where we land don’t have rental cars. And they don’t have taxis. Uber? Dream on. Airport managers at the small plane terminals, the “fixed based operators,” (FBOs) have bailed us out a number of times with their loaner “crew cars.” I will be forever grateful to the FBO in Guymon, Oklahoma, for loaning us theirs for a few days last Thanksgiving, when we stopped to find the homestead of Caroline Henderson, whose “Letters from the Dust Bowl” were published by The Atlantic back in the Depression era.
For hotels, my system is simple: I start by looking for anything with “suites” in the name, because it holds promise of an extra room to spread out in, and if we hit the jackpot, a small kitchenette and a coin laundry. That becomes priceless after weeks on the road and a fading infatuation with even the best beer-and-burger joints in town.
Occasionally, if I have time for a lot of sleuthing, I’ll branch out and take a chance on a one-off place. We have won some and lost some. Two favorites so far are the Adoba Hotel in Rapid City, and the Sonoran Desert Conference Center in Ajo, Arizona, which I wrote about here and here. A bonus for careful readers and adventuresome travelers is the Great Northern B&B in tiny Chester, Montana. Full disclosure, the Great Northern is owned by longtime friends of ours, but you will have the same amazing experience that we did if you stay there. As for the worst places we’ve stayed? Oh, let me run and get my list..