The Arctic Caribou Inn, aka, the “Hilton” of Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay), Alaska. I drove up there once upon a time in early August, 2007.
Back in March, 2010, I drove up to Alaska. This is the office of a little motel in Canada ... at the moment I can’t remember the name of the town, but I could find it again. :)
Dateline: March, 2010.
Not one of my better times. On the drive from the Lower 48 back to Alaska, I got stranded in Canada. The reports said the roads were clear, so I was hoping to make it through with my old tires, but “clear” has a different meaning in the winter in Canada than it has in the Lower 48. “Snow-packed with occasional ice” was a more apt description. My tires weren’t up to the task, and not wanting to die, I was forced to stop in Dease Lake, British Columbia, population 303, one motel, one gas station, one mechanic.
I’m laying in bed in my apartment, and there’s a knock at the front door. It’s dark, so as I walk to the front door to see who’s there, I see white light coming in from all sides around the door. “Must be one heck of a light out there,” I think. I open the door, and my wife (who I’m separated from) is standing there, and this white glow is all around her.
I don’t even get a chance to think or say hello, and she says, “You died in a hotel in 1984. Everything since then has been a dream.”
With this, I instantly wake up in my bed. My body is shaking like crazy, but I jump up, look back and think, “I am NOT getting back into that bed tonight.”
As I walk around the apartment debating about whether I should try to sleep on the floor or just go into work at four o’clock in the morning, I remember ... I did spend a lot of time in a hotel in 1984.
I can’t remember the name of the motel where I saw this, but this is a photo of a painting of sled dogs that I came across in Healy, Alaska, just north of Denali. (I remember the motel because I used to work with a nice guy named Carson, and a guy that could have easily passed as his twin brother worked there.)
In 2014, my mom, three sisters, two nieces, and I went to a hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico known as The Lodge at Santa Fe. Shortly after we got in bed the first night, I was in the hypnagogic state between being asleep and awake when I saw three young Native American girls. When I first saw them they asked, “Do you know who we are?”
On the drive back from Vegas this weekend, the road got icy in the mountains near Vail, so I decided I better pull off and stay at a hotel, or sleep in the car if necessary. I wasn’t happy about it. Even though it was after 2am, I was jacked up on Mountain Dew, and just wanted to finish the last ninety miles to get home.
I got off the interstate at the next exit. The roads were nasty slick, and I slid around the dark collection of motels and gas stations until I saw a skanky motel whose “Vacancy” sign was lit. My car couldn’t make it up the motel’s hilly entrance, so I parked in an open flat area below, grabbed a bag, and walked five minutes in the freezing precipitation to get to the motel entrance, finding footing anywhere I could.
Ever have one of those days where you wake up in a bathtub full of ice in a hotel room with one of your kidneys gone?
One thing I learned on vacation this week: It doesn’t hurt to ask for the “biggie” hotel room. Turns out they had a really nice discount on this nice size suite, which was much more comfortable than the usual little hotel room. (This room is a “mini suite” at The Lodge at Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.)
Whoever does the marketing for the Lodge at Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, does a great job.