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(Boing Boing)   An unusually poignant photo gallery of the aging motels of Barstow, California will bring back memories of the kind of places your dad always made you stay when you took family vacations   (boingboing.net ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Barstow, Best Western, motels, Interstate  
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8490 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2014 at 7:35 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-18 01:36:32 PM  
fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net
 
2014-06-18 02:21:19 PM  
They have pictures of my childhood home's basement coal bin?
 
2014-06-18 02:43:47 PM  
It was somewhere outside the El Rancho when the drugs began to kick in...
 
2014-06-18 03:27:05 PM  
I thought Barstow was only a rest stop on the way to Las Vegas?
 
2014-06-18 03:33:09 PM  
Those places look a lot more maintained than some of the shiateholes we stayed in.

Our travel stops were planned by AAA based on our route and whatever was literally the cheapest place we could crash.  I actually have some fond memories of places BECAUSE they were so laughably awful.

The place in Washington DC with the bullet holes in the bathroom window, the place on Tuscon's miracle mile with the whores and the new management that didn't realize that you had to chlorinate the pool or algae would grow in it, the Atlantic City hotel on Indiana Avenue (The Monopoly board was waaaaaay too kind), the Atlantic City hotel named Cassino (with too s'es where we cowered in our room and I peed out the window because a pimp was shaking down a prostitute, threatening to stab her in the hallway that had the shared bathroom.

Good times, good times.
 
2014-06-18 03:51:06 PM  
My childhood summer vacation trips usually involved motels that offered kitchenettes so we could cook our own dinner instead of going to a restaurant.

One of the more memorable stays was when we were on a trip to Victoria, BC. We stopped in Stevenson, Washington to pick up Aunt Bertha and stopped that evening at a place that offered individual cabins (with kitchenettes, obviously) instead of standard motel rooms. I got up before anyone else the next morning and spotted at least 4 deer grazing barely 3 feet from the bedroom window.
 
2014-06-18 04:25:46 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: I thought Barstow was only a rest stop on the way to Las Vegas?


It is. The McDonald's in the old train car, and the chintzy gift shop attached, is still the main attraction.
 
2014-06-18 04:36:17 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: I thought Barstow was only a rest stop on the way to Las Vegas?


It's also where you stop and eat when you're leaving the NTC at Ft. Irwin, and getting ready to fly out of the amazing craphole that is the Victorville, CA airport.
 
2014-06-18 05:27:21 PM  
The photos were likely taken in the morning, before all the tenants awoke and started loitering about.
 
2014-06-18 05:51:01 PM  
img2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-06-18 06:14:55 PM  
Next time you go through, take the time to find the Route 66 museum and the Harvey house.  They're at the train station, not close to the freeway, but worth visiting.
 
2014-06-18 06:15:16 PM  

haemaker: [img2.wikia.nocookie.net image 850x483]


It actually exists in the real world now.

img.fark.net
 
2014-06-18 06:16:47 PM  
Wonder what's up with the cars in this photo?  Classic car show and they all decided to stay at the same crappy motel?
img.fark.net
 
2014-06-18 06:23:35 PM  

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Wonder what's up with the cars in this photo?  Classic car show and they all decided to stay at the same crappy motel?
[img.fark.net image 680x602]


It is the round beds. Classic car owners LOVE round beds.
 
2014-06-18 06:27:54 PM  

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Wonder what's up with the cars in this photo?  Classic car show and they all decided to stay at the same crappy motel?
[img.fark.net image 680x602]


This is actually a vintage photo.  Barstow got Wi-Fi and HBO 40 years before anyone else.
 
2014-06-18 06:36:56 PM  

haemaker: Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Wonder what's up with the cars in this photo?  Classic car show and they all decided to stay at the same crappy motel?
[img.fark.net image 680x602]

This is actually a vintage photo.  Barstow got Wi-Fi and HBO 40 years before anyone else.


Must be due to their proximity to Area 51.
 
2014-06-18 07:38:02 PM  
there's only one proper place to stay in all of Omaha

www.satellitemotelomaha.com
 
2014-06-18 07:39:44 PM  
Has someone checked to make sure these weren't ganked from Lileks's collection?
 
2014-06-18 07:39:44 PM  
Heh,  I'm heading there tonight. And with a girl I met online!
 
2014-06-18 07:39:54 PM  
or if you prefer to cruise along US 6. Not as much fun since razzle dazzle across the street closed

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-06-18 07:40:11 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: My childhood summer vacation trips usually involved motels that offered kitchenettes so we could cook our own dinner instead of going to a restaurant.

One of the more memorable stays was when we were on a trip to Victoria, BC. We stopped in Stevenson, Washington to pick up Aunt Bertha and stopped that evening at a place that offered individual cabins (with kitchenettes, obviously) instead of standard motel rooms. I got up before anyone else the next morning and spotted at least 4 deer grazing barely 3 feet from the bedroom window.


So venison for breakfast
 
2014-06-18 07:41:00 PM  

Omahawg: there's only one proper place to stay in all of Omaha


The Omaha thread is two over
 
2014-06-18 07:42:19 PM  
Someone took a bunch of photos of Holiday Inns?
 
2014-06-18 07:42:23 PM  
I missed the memo where the meaning of "poignant" was changed to "barely competent and artlessly shot".
 
2014-06-18 07:44:27 PM  

RoyBatty: Heh,  I'm heading there tonight. And with a girl I met online!


Well, if you're lucky, she'll be heading there too.
 
2014-06-18 07:44:49 PM  

HotWingAgenda: Someone took a bunch of photos of Holiday Inns?


Probably not, because they wouldn't be Holiday Inns anymore.  They quit putting their brand on 2 story buildings so the two Holiday Inns in my city from the Holidome era have changed branding.
 
2014-06-18 07:46:25 PM  
I rolled down that main drag around Jan 5th. Said screw it and went to a big chain a mile away for about the same money.

I had stayed in a homey motel in Seligman, AZ the night before. While there wasn't anything really wrong with it, I had no real desire to recreate that experience.
 
2014-06-18 07:46:40 PM  
I travel through Barstow at least two times a year. I usually grab some Del Taco and head to the train museum to eat it. Afterwords, I seek out a sun-damaged, 50-year-old, 200lb hooker to service me before I head to Joshua Tree. One of these days I'll get a woman hooker, or "Barstho" as they're called.
 
2014-06-18 07:47:29 PM  
We TRIED to find kitchy hotels to stay at when we did our grand NM/AZ/UT trip.  Its half the fun.
 
2014-06-18 07:48:09 PM  

gunther_bumpass: I missed the memo where the meaning of "poignant" was changed to "barely competent and artlessly shot".


Maybe he meant "taken with a poignant-and-shoot camera."
 
2014-06-18 07:48:34 PM  
I grew up dirt poor on a farm so this vacation thing was something that I heard about on the radio but didn't experience till I joined the Marines to get away from that hellhole.


/yes boot camp was like a vacation, I got to sleep in, 3 meals a day and only light chores
 
2014-06-18 07:50:56 PM  
If you're looking for venues like that, we have plenty of places here in Albuquerque, along Central (Rt 66), that are dilapidated, sad, and boarded up. But it's in a part of town, not many go to (willingly, at least). Cheap hotels, a habitat for druggies, hookers, and the down and out crowd, on the news. I know it's not "that bad", but we don't like driving by that area.
I can supply lots of pics, but not of a better time for these places.
 It's my opinion, many of these places, despite stories of trying to "save" these places, it's better to raze them The world has moved on. Drug users and hookers don't need cover.
THat guy on that Hotels commercial reminds of when my wife and I got to Vegas  day ealry, and spent the night in a Westward Ho. Felt so good to check in to the Bellagio.
 
2014-06-18 07:53:10 PM  
lh3.ggpht.com
 
2014-06-18 07:53:53 PM  
I didn't really have many family vacations in the traditional sense growing up, but my Dad was an engineer who (mostly for conventions) got to travel to pretty cool places every now and then and if school was out, I could tag along. I guess spending a week in Paris compared to crammed into a station wagon with your siblings while driving into a god-forsaken place like Barstow is a decent trade-off.

That said, I've been to Barstow, and yeah, it's depressing. Needles, CA too.
 
2014-06-18 07:59:28 PM  
I stayed here after Hurricane Georges hit in 1998. Drove north on US 1 from my place until I found electricity; this place had it. About 30 miles from my house. The hurricane hit a day before my birthday, too. So this is where I racked up another year. Also, the attached restaurant, Mangrove Mike's, is a great breakfast joint.

<img src="www.sevenpleasures.org ">
 
2014-06-18 08:03:23 PM  
I met an actual female online.
Booked a room  at a sleezy motel two blocks from her house.
Got there early to clean up and the furriner behind ther counter told me the room was "damaged" by a drunk driver a few hours earlier. He points to police tape across the front of a room acroos the courtyard from the office, with the bricks under the window A/C all pushed in.
I tell him, "$20, cash?"
He says, "OK, license plate?"
I say, "Did you get the plate number from the guy that did that?" thumbing toward the the room.
Uh, No, he says.
"$20, no questions"
And he acquiesced to my offer.


Of course, she was a looney, so I flushed the rubber down the loo at the room the next morning, and left town. But hey, $20 for an overnight back up plan?
 
2014-06-18 08:06:51 PM  
I still spend time in motels like this.

Usually only 1 hour at a time.
 
2014-06-18 08:09:02 PM  
Do you like clowns? Do you like motels?

i1.ytimg.com

Bonus: There's pictures of clowns in the rooms to watch you sleep.
Double Bonus: The cemetery next door.
 
2014-06-18 08:09:45 PM  
Give a wave to good ol Dave.

/ any other bluegrass/folkies?
 
2014-06-18 08:10:51 PM  
media.boingboing.net

In Florida they've repurposed many of these types of hotels, so that they now house nail salons, chinese take out places, pawn shops, abortion clinics and gun shops.

/progress
 
2014-06-18 08:11:01 PM  

Killer Cars: That said, I've been to Barstow, and yeah, it's depressing. Needles, CA too.


Try Baker, CA.  It is on the same Vegas-LA drive as Barstow and way better/worse.

/World's Tallest Thermometer
 
2014-06-18 08:11:06 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-06-18 08:11:41 PM  

Ex-Texan: If you're looking for venues like that, we have plenty of places here in Albuquerque, along Central (Rt 66), that are dilapidated, sad, and boarded up. But it's in a part of town, not many go to (willingly, at least). Cheap hotels, a habitat for druggies, hookers, and the down and out crowd, on the news. I know it's not "that bad", but we don't like driving by that area.
I can supply lots of pics, but not of a better time for these places.
 It's my opinion, many of these places, despite stories of trying to "save" these places, it's better to raze them The world has moved on. Drug users and hookers don't need cover.


Hell, I live right next to a bunch of those. A few of them are fenced now to keep the pitbulls in, and if you ever need an old shopping cart there are plenty for the taking. When old US highways are bypassed by freeways, it's the inevitable result.
 
2014-06-18 08:14:12 PM  
Those looked a lot better than I was expecting, I've seen much, much worse.
 
2014-06-18 08:16:50 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: I thought Barstow was only a rest stop on the way to Las Vegas?


It's the home of Ft. Irwin, but since it's really just a brigade or so of Opfor stationed there it almost doesn't count.

Railhead is busy as shiat though.
 
2014-06-18 08:16:59 PM  

Glendale: Do you like clowns? Do you like motels?

Bonus: There's pictures of clowns in the rooms to watch you sleep.
Double Bonus: The cemetery next door.


I submitted a link about that place yesterday but sadly my headline was not clever enough.
 
2014-06-18 08:17:56 PM  

Glendale: Do you like clowns? Do you like motels?

Bonus: There's pictures of clowns in the rooms to watch you sleep.
Double Bonus: The cemetery next door.


NOPE!
 
2014-06-18 08:21:09 PM  
A few years ago I set a goal of getting to the top of Mt. Whitney. For some reason the altitude bothered me on the way down rather than up. On the second day I made the summit then headed back down. I got half way to Lone Pine and then puked my guts out on and off until I finally called it quits at Barstow. Paid $35 to sleep from 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM while I wasn't puking. Worst dive ever. Razor wire around the perimeter. I brought everything inside the room for fear of getting robbed. Slept on top of the covers inside a sleeping bag with one eye open the whole time.

/CSB
 
2014-06-18 08:23:39 PM  
What most people who aren't from California don't realize is that vast swaths of it are basically just big, flat, mostly-empty expanses dotted with tiny roadside towns full of shiat-stupid hicks.

The only parts of California* that make it any different than most of the rest of the country are the actual mountainous bits and the stretch next to the ocean.

*Leaving out that little pocket of Southern California for various reasons.
 
2014-06-18 08:25:50 PM  

Glendale: Do you like clowns? Do you like motels?

Bonus: There's pictures of clowns in the rooms to watch you sleep.
Double Bonus: The cemetery next door.


Double secret bonus?: if that is the hotel I'd wager there are two cemeteries next door, the one you referred to and the "other" one out back.
 
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