The Two-Lane Adventure: Celebrating our highways of yesteryear...And the Joys of Driving them Today!
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear...and the joys of driving them today!

Regional Itinerary

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Memory Motel

Our Memory Motel department offers pleasant memories of days gone by and how you can recapture them. Be sure your car keys are close by because you might discover a little slice of heaven just around the bend!

Below you will find a list of Memory Motels and a brief excerpt from each article in which the motel was featured. The volume and issue number are listed for your convenience.

CINDERELLA MOTEL. By Tony Craig. Volume 7 #2 (Autumn 2009).

Tucked away in the northwest corner of California's San Joaquin Valley is a fairy godmother's gift of a mom-and-pop motel. The Cinderella Motel--with its massive neon sign shining like a wishing star--invites you to spend a night of sweet dreams in Hollister, California.

Christine Busk and her family have owned the hotel since 1978, and they were inspired to decorate their rooms after storybook themes. You're sure to find your favorite pick of fairy tale settings--from princess to cowpuncher, with a bit of little mermaid and salty sea thrown in between.

BUTTERFIELD STAGE MOTEL. By Johnnie V. Volume 7 #2 (Summer 2009).

The town of Deming, hunkered into the southwest corner of New Mexico, has always been a stopover for wayfarers. Its reputation as a lodging place began with the Butterfield Overland Stage, grew with the coming of the historic Spanish Trail and US Highway 80, and continues today courtesy of Amtrak. . .

US 80 wranglers have been kicking off their boots at the Butterfield Stage Motel since the early 1960s, attracted by one of the great American neon signs. Perfectly framed against the western sky, the impressive marquee comes to life with animated neon that creates the image of galloping steeds pulling an old stagecoach.

SHADY DELL. By Tony Craig. Volume 7 #1 (Spring 2009).

The Shady Dell has existed as a rest stop for roadside campers since 1927. It began life as Thompson's Motor Court - a precursor to modern motels - but it wasn't until 1996 when Ed Smith and Rita Personett got the idea to rent out vintage trailers to motorists on a nightly and weekly basis. That was the move that brought the Shady Dell enduring fame.

LINCOLN MOTOR COURT. By Denny Gibson. Volume 6 #4 (Winter 2008).

Standing beside the Lincoln Highway a few miles west of Bedford, Pennsylvania, the Lincoln Motor Court looks much the same as it did when it first opened. The trouble is, nobody is quite sure when that was.

SAFARI INN. By Tony Craig. Volume 6, # 3 (Autumn 2008).

Judging from the spear motifs, palm trees, and war shields, one might expect an uprising at any moment, or a Humphrey Bogart look-a-like to step out from the shadows. Then again, a movie star sighting may not be that surprising, considering that Burbank’s Safari Inn is surrounded by four major California film studios: Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, and NBC. Cartoon Network Nickelodeon also base their animated operations nearby.

Along Olive Avenue the Safari Inn’s gigantic sign is a gleaming treasure in a day when most neon beacons have gone the way of the “African Queen.” A wicked-looking spear points the way to an oasis of retro cool, where visitors soak up the sun and splash the day away in the pool or imbibe a tropical drink while lounging on the upper deck overlooking the grounds.

CHATANOOGA CHOO CHOO. By Tony Craig. Volume 6 #2 (Summer 2008).

Pardon me, boy, did you know you can sleep in the Chatanooga Choo Choo? Okay, so that's not the way the song goes. But in the heart of Tennessee, you can nap on the track--Track 29, of course. Pennsylvania Station, Dinner in the Diner--they're all here--and nothing could be finer.

KLAMATH RIVER RESORT INN. By Ariele Huff. Volume 6 #1 (Spring 2008).

His (President Hoover's) favorite stopover (on the Klamath River in northern California) was the Klamath River Resort Inn, which was the Anglers Motel (1970-2003) and before that (during Hoover's term in office) the Anglers Lodge or Anglers Cabins. The name is lost in time, but the comforts remain that drew the president to stay on his way down river to his private lodge. They have been updated as has the name while retaining the early delights: fishing, boating, gold panning, picnicking, and of course, the most popular gazing at the hypnotic sparkling water.

SHACK UP INN. By Denny Gibson. Volume 5 #4 (Winter 2007).

Someday, someone should set music to the story of the Shack Up Inn. The song would be bluesy - heartfelt and filled with soul - the type of tune you might feel compelled to hum while you're staying inside one of the motel's namesake shacks, staring at its rugged walls, and wondering how many of life's travelers found their paths leading to this very same place.

PINE LAKE MOTEL.By Jim Ross. Volume 5 #3 (Autumn 2007).

In southern Alabama, US 231 rolls lazily through a colorful pine forest that carpets much of the landscape. It is the only practical route from Montgomery south to Dothan and across the Florida line to Panama City. An aging divided four-lane, it ferries a lot of trucks, making one wonder why it never graduated to interstate status but grateful that it hasn't. Leaving the capitol city, the scenery quickly becomes rural as the road meanders toward an eventual rendezvous with the Gulf Coast. Nestled snugly within this cocoon of towering evergreens is the Pine Lake Motel.

PARKE BRIDGE MOTEL. By Jennifer A. Bremer. Volume 5 #2 (Summer 2007).

Bridges mean many things to people. They lead us to new and exciting places and - along the way - often show us a view of the world we've never seen before. Parke County, Indiana, offers visitors the chance to visit thirty covered bridges. Around those spans lies a community swirling with activity - fishing and hiking at nearby Turkey Run State Park, antiques, shopping, and the numerous festivals, ranging from celebrations of maple syrup to mushrooms, civil war recreations to bluegrass. Then there's the Parke Bridge Motel.

OAKDELL MOTEL. By Jennifer A. Bremer. Volume 5 #1 (Spring 2007).

When William Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night's Dream, he imagined a magical forest populated with wood nymphs. If the bard had been wielding his pen around Waterford, Connecticut, one might think he was setting his play at the Oakdell Motel.

GAMBI HILL MOTEL. By Ariele M. Huff. Volume 4 #4 (Winter 2006).

The Gambi Hill Motel embodies the mysterious appeal of places with a lengthy history. A kind of magic weaves through the elegant stand of madrona surrounding the twelve cabins. Manager Cory Cook, husband Norm, and son Jake are used to the sighs and whispers of ghosts, friendly hauntings that only deepen the serenity.

LIGHTHOUSE OCEANFRONT RESORT. By Ariele M. Huff. Volume 4 #3 (Autumn 2006).

Sliding along the Pacific Way, drivers are guided into the same reliable shelter they've sought for the last 50 or so years - the Lighthouse, an Oceanfront Resort. The sturdy replica sentinel beams a friendly light at roadside from less than 30 feet high, a smaller version of the towering 65-foot North Head and Cape Disappointment structures at the south end of the peninsula.

RED CABOOSE MOTEL. By Frank Brusca. Volume 4 #2 (Summer 2006).

What do you do with 19 dilapidated cabooses? That was the question Don Denlinger asked in 1969 when he found himself the winner of an auction for old railroad cars. His solution was to renovate them and make them into a motel.

LOG CABIN MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 4 #1 (Spring 2006).

It stands along lonely US Highway 50 in Montrose, Colorado. And you don't have to wade through eight feet of snow to reach it. Well, not unless you make your visit during ski season.

WHITE DEER MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 3 #4 (Winter 2005).

Richard and Jo Ann (Caseman) have owned and operated the White Deer since February of 1999. They bought the motel knowing the classic 1950s motor lodge packed in guests each August when the Little League World Series is played in nearby Williamsport (Penn.).

SLEEPY HOLLOW MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 3 #3 (Autumn 2005).

Say "Sleepy Hollow" to Betsy Hatt, and she thinks only of the serene motel she and her husband built in Green River, Utah, circa 1954. . . The Hatts built their hotel at a time when Green River's main street was a trunk highway-US 50 and US 6 . . .

SUN PLAZA MOTEL. By Shellee Graham and Jim Ross. Volume 3 #2 (Summer 2005).

The Sun Plaza (38 rooms plus nine suites) has been family owned for more than 40 years. "We get all kinds of tourists herefamilies because of Silver Springs Park, and older couples, too," says manager Pat Lenstrom.

HI-LO MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 3 #1 (Spring 2005).

When Frank T. Rizzo and his wife Gene purchased the Pilgrims' Rest Motor Coach in 1951, they bought for themselves a quaint stopping place on US Highway 99 with cottages. The Rizzos had big plans; however, and soon they were awhirl, turning the motel into the 41-unit oasis one sees today.

MUNGER MOSS MOTEL. By Jim Ross. Volume 2 #4 (Winter 2004).

Few icons along original sections of US 66 are more recognizable than the historic Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri. The motor court with the unusual name has beckoned to the weary and the adventurous since the mid-1940s and has been under the caring stewardship of Ramona and Bob Lehman for more than thirty years.

BLUE GUM MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 2 #3 (Autumn 2004).

The Blue Gum Motel lies along an isolated stretch of US Highway 99 West, remarkable for its old-road flavor. Stroll across the historic bridge over nearby Walker Creek or view the ruins of the adjacent Blue Gum Restaurant.

WIGWAM VILLAGE. By Pat and Jennifer Bremer. Volume 2 #2 (Summer 2004).

The Wigwam Village concept was the dream of Frank Redford, who envisions a unique motel franchise designed after Sioux teepees. . . Ivan John is the current owner of the oldest survivor-Wigwam #2 in Cave City, Kentucky.

THE LOLLIPOP MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 2 #1 (Spring 2004).

"The decision to build the Lollipop Motel was made by my entire family," says Tom Karter, whose parents, Thaddens, "Ted" and Mary Karter constructed the Lollipop in 1970. . . The 32-unit Lollipop Motel became a kind of kid-friendly candyland for families visiting the Jersey Shore.

BEAR PAW COURT. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 1 #3 (Winter 2003).

Neon doesn't come any nicer than that found at the Bear Paw Court, a classic motel blinking clean and friendly on US 2 in Chinook, Montana. . . It's original 16 units were complimented by carports.

LAZY S ARROW MOTEL. By Thomas Arthur Repp. Volume 1 #2 (Summer 2003).

The next time you need to make camp along Colorado's stretch of Highway 50, consider kicking up your spurs at the Lazy S Arrow Motel at Whitewater, nine miles southeast of Grand Junction.


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