Along The Dusty Trail

Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm
By: Doug Lund
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 Linda and I have officially slipped into Arizona adjustment mode. It happened on the final leg of our trip to Fountain Hills.
We were cruising along Interstate 40 just outside of Holbrook, when we spotted, what appeared to be, a skinny German shepherd dog prancing alongside the highway. “Look,” she said, “ a Ky-OAT-ee!”  That’s right Ky-OAT-ee..not Ky-Oat like the Lord and most Midwesterners know to be the correct pronunciation. But, when in Rome, you know.

Our trip was, thankfully, uneventful and, aside from gale-force winds in Colorado and New Mexico, Big Red, our well-traveled Lincoln, did just fine aside from inhaling lots of expensive fuel which is the price you pay for all those Town Car amenities. The timing of our gas stops was not good either. For example, I had just filled up near Pueblo, Colorado for the ridiculously high  amount of $3.49 a gallon only to drive 50 miles farther down the road to see it for sale at $2.82. Sixty Cents difference?  It is quite literally highway robbery taking place out there and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it aside from staying home or trading down to a bare bones vehicle that gets 35 miles to the gallon but offers none of the things that make motoring enjoyable like heated seats to keep my tootsie’s  tushey toasty on those frosty mornings.  We spent New Year’s eve at the Gallup, New Mexico Rodeway Inn. After nearly 11 hours on the road we were ready to stop. I’d made the reservation on-line the night before and thought 50 bucks was a good price considering the 85 I’d spent at the Comfort Inn our first night out. I always figured from a quality level Roadway Inns were right up there but when we pulled in, my first instinct was to pull right out again.

Wern't Roadway Inns once considered up there with Comfort Inns and Best Westerns?

Wern't Roadway Inns once considered up there with Comfort Inns and Best Westerns?

The place just looked run down but we were too tired to find someplace else so chose to take our chances. Once again, the English language was foreign to those behind the desk which makes no sense at all if you’re in a business that requires a certain amount of communication. After a few times of me saying “huh?..What?..say again? My reservation was confirmed. They didn’t bother with reservation forms to fill out; the guy just ran my card and gave me a key. The parking lot was filled with pot holes deep enough to swallow up smaller vehicles but we made it to our room which was illuminated  on the outside by a million candle power fluorescent light over the front door. After opening said front door we were nearly overcome by a blast of fumes from Bon Ami or some other powerful cleansers you see advertised on late night infomercials by guys with thick British accents or bearded dead guys. “Well, it smells clean,” Linda said as she is wont to do with her “make the best of it” attitude. Then she nervously tip toed into the bathroom to inspect the floor, shower and toilet. Of course the TV and internet didn’t work so I had to have another conversation with the owner who put down his curry long enough to holler for his teenage son to visit our room and fix the problems. The boy was very nice and got both functioning properly within a few seconds.  We were both hungry but, rather than go out, decided to fill a couple Red Solo Cups with vodka and coke and have a party. (Heard that Toby Keith novelty song about a dozen times on the car radio coming down here.)YouTube Preview Image

We dined on a couple remaining ham sandwiches Linda had packed for the trip..then toasted in the New Year early at 8:30 PM. Our cups were still about half full when we both fell asleep in front of the TV and were deep into REM sleep when I was startled from my slumber by the sound of bombs exploding along with yelling and laughter from men, women and children outside the concrete bunker that was our room. The next thing I saw was the tragic figure of Dick Clark on TV ushering in 2012 from Times Square. I thought about waking Linda up for a little New Year’s smooch but concluded she’d probably much prefer to let the next few hours pass in an unconscious state. As we were vacating our noisy nest that morning, some of the other guests were just arriving to their rooms in various states of inebriation from a night of reveling with booze and fireworks along this famous stretch of Route 66.

We were only too happy to be galloping out of Gallup aboard Big Red; back on the dusty trail..only perhaps not quite as dusty as our overnight campsite. HeeAww.


  1. Jack Schmieder says:

    Watching Dick Clark is a better alternative than observing the MSM trying to do a hatchet job on the Republican Party while covering the Iowa primaries (can’t spell caucus) so that their BOY Obomama will get reelected.

  2. Bob Lob-Law says:

    Hey Doug,

    Unfortunately at work your blogs are about the only pieces of “literature” unblocked. I thought the story started to improve once you and the wife decided to party, but just like everything else on this website, the story was a big disappointment. Uninspiring to say the least. Who wants to hear a “story” about falling asleep during New Years? Reminds me of my diary when I was six years old.

    Also, was that little jab about the curry a racial reference? Or are there lots of places to buy Indian or Caribbean food along that desolate stretch of Hwy 66?

    This last message is for Mr. Schmieder–nice job spinning the most boring, innocent story I have ever read into a way to spout your political beliefs. Don’t let Obama torture your thoughts! Get him off your mind once in a while!

  3. grouse says:

    Did you tell the ki-O-tee that you’re a big fan and have all his hats???!!! Now maybe you’ll realize that a Coyote is just carrion with fur. You continue to surprise me on these travelogues when you pull into motels that to anyone with even a modest knowledge of moteldom would beg you to avoid. Hopefully, the plight of bed bugs that are now rampant in “lesser” motels didn’t sneak into your luggage or clothing. Hopefully, you haven’t been passing on the potential blessing. You’re not itching a lot today are you? For the route home, call me and let me know where you plan to stay. After 25 years on the road, I’m a pretty good resource.
    The weather here is great. 40 degrees today, and it’s going higher with no prediction of snow!! They’re predicting 60 on Thursday!!
    Well, have a good time! Tell the Mitchell Trio’s guitar player hello, and that I’m still their second biggest fan next to Gary Bill. Do you realize he may have replaced Jim Mcguinn of the Byrds (sp)
    Keep letting us know what you’re doing? Slow down on the back swing. Tell Linda I was probably just kidding about the bed bugs….and we’ll see you in Feb.

  4. Michael says:

    “Watching Dick Clark is a better alternative than observing the MSM trying to do a hatchet job on the Republican Party while covering the Iowa primaries (can’t spell caucus) so that their BOY Obomama will get reelected.”

    Their “BOY” Obama? Sad to think that in 2012 there are still racists spewing their hate.

  5. Bea in AZ says:

    Doug, that Rodeway Inn used to be (and I mean USED TO BE) quite nice before it was sold out to
    the foreign speaking people. Now I truck on to Holbrook and the Motel 6, that is, IF I leave the valley to go north for visits. P>S> Say Hi to Linda – she maybe doesn’t remember me, but Iam
    from her home town and hung around with her next-door neighbor in high school.

  6. CARLA says:

    I read the blog and could not stop smiling as I can totally relate to staying at the “Roach Inn”. But you just make the best of a bad situation. Happy New Year and I am so glad that you made it safe and sound.

    Oh and Bob – Lob you apparently were not raised liked the rest of us. “If you do not have something nice to say DO NOT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!!” I know my Grandparents would be proud of me cause I remember those words that they tought me. Would yours be proud of you?

  7. George says:

    Hey, Bob-Lob, I bet your employer would rather you work than read blogs anyway! My suggestion if you don’t like this website is to go find something constructive to do! I’m sure it won’t hurt Doug’s or the people that enjoy this blog’s feelings!

  8. Denny says:

    Doug, glad to hear you and Linda made it to Phoenix. Sounds like this trip was much better than last year. Now it’s time to go hit that Gawd-awful sounding driver. Oh, and Bob-Lob, If Doug’s blogs are so boring and disappointing, why even bother with a response? And that diary you mentioned? Just wondering if that was last year? Later, Denny.

  9. LeAnn says:

    I agree with Denny…Hope you and Linda have a fun month

  10. Brenda says:

    I bet you are just all kinds of fun at your place of employment Bob-Lob…..kind of guy that brings smiles to the workplace…..when you aren’t there. Must be nice to get paid to romp on the internet while working, looking for an outlet for your negativity. Plug in someplace else and leave us and our smiles alone! As I will be working and accessing the internet while doing so would be a definite no-no I will be signing on tonight to see what I wish I could be doing in Arizona through the eyes of a a couple people who know how to enjoy life, bring a smile and a laugh and to simply share their thoughts and experiences with anyone (they can be any color, shape, size, religion, sex etc) who cares to know. Racist <>, NOW you put a smile on my face and am shaking my head too cuz you are so off base you surely must be trying to crack a joke!

  11. Charlie Smith says:

    So a different route this year? No U.S. 54 and Kansas. Sounds like you’re sticking to the Interstates. Faster and more boring.

  12. Bob Lob-Law says:

    Well I have just checked back to the blog to see if I got any responses. It’s good to see such a spirited discussion!

    My intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings; instead I wanted to question a few aspects of the column that I found questionable.

    I was disappointed to see that nobody had a problem with BEA in AZ’s comment:

    “Doug, that Rodeway Inn used to be (and I mean USED TO BE) quite nice before it was sold out to
    the foreign speaking people.”

    You all defending Lund must be his friends, and although this may be somewhat honorable, you are all choosing to ignore the larger issue: the small-minded view held by the author of this article as well as the author of the comment quoted above.

  13. You could get 30 some miles with a Buick!!! Maybe prior 2005 though…ours is a 2002 Park Ave and we get 30 plus on the open road…heated seats, the works!! We had the same problem at a Roadway Inn in North Platt, NE.

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