Travels with Ibo Part 2: Hotel Brunswick

Over the years, I have done my share of travel, which is why I list it as one of my three passions.  Nothing exotic, but I have had my share of adventures, I guess.  A couple of times, I decided to write about it.

This first travel diary is my drive across the country, from Sausalito, CA to Philadelphia with my beloved pooch, Ibo (who sadly died a few years ago).  I originally entitled this Travels with Ibo” (pronounced eee-BOO, the name of my dog):

Part 2: Hotel Brunswick

[Part 1 can be found HERE]

Tehachapi is right in the middle of some mountains and it is quite windy.  At the pass there are thousands of wind machines (or are they still called windmills?).  Anyway, it makes the Altamott pass look somewhat underdeveloped.  I like windmills, they’re cool.

The Mojave Desert is absolutely beautiful, stunning, really.  I took a few pictures from inside of the car – I am such an artist.  But it merited much more.  If you have not been, and you get the chance, GO!  You will not be sorry.  But stop in Bakersfield for gas.

We stopped at a Rest Stop outside of Kingman, Arizona.  Ibo had some dinner, and appeared to be confused about all of the sand – she seemed to be looking for the water.  I called a hotel – Hotel Brunswick (the obvious choice since my alma mater, Bowdoin College, is in Brunswick, Maine).  I eventually found it and it is a rather interesting place.  Apparently, it was built in 1909 and is somewhat of a regional landmark.  It’s right on Route 66, in the old part of town. [*And, I found out later, the Hotel is supposedly haunted.  Glad we did not know that at the time since Ibo would have been a bit freaked out.]  The place certainly looks the part of an old west hotel [*and haunted, for that matter].

I did not opt for the “Cowboy room” (I did not make up the name), however.  Cowboy rooms have a single bed, no TV, no bathroom.  I do not know what it is about Cowboys that they do not need to ever go to the crapper, but at least they do not need to have one in the room.  Maybe it’s a religious thing.  Or an oath they take.  You also share a shower with three other guys (although not at the same time, I think).  I figured, even though like every kid, I had once wanted to be a cowboy, I figured this was neither the time nor the place to go with that fantasy.  Not that there is anything wrong with that….

Instead, I got the ‘Average’ room (so they have ‘Cowboy Rooms’ and ‘Average Rooms’–now I have never had a marketing class, but come on, really?) with a double bed. I was told that since I had a dog, I get a room at the front of the building.  I thought “Wow, these must be dog people!”  It was a complete ‘score’ since the rooms in front have a little porch/balcony and I could sit out and watch the comings and goings of the ‘town folk’.

Um, wrong.

They do indeed, have a little porch/balcony, and there may even be people who come and go. That part is true (see picture).  But.  On the way up the stairs, I heard an odd sound, but did not think much of it.  By the time I got to my room and opened the door (which was shaking when I opened it), it sounded like there was a freight train going through my room.  I ran to the balcony and looked.  Well, there actually was a freight train–it was not going through the room–it was about 25 feet to the West.  Or East.  I have no effing clue.  So I have a poor sense of direction, get over it.

Thus, all that really matters is that I have a great view of the trains as they came screaming through town.  I have been here one hour and four minutes and six or seven have come through (with their horns blaring, of course).  That’s like one every three minutes.  That Cowboy room is sounding better and better.  I used the word ‘sound’ completely subconsciously there.  I don’t think I believe in sound any more.

I ordered room service from the restaurant downstairs, and it was actually very good.  A salad and chicken Alfredo.  The wine, though, was regrettable.  I am watching T.V. in three minute increments at which point I get tossed out of bed as another train comes screaming through.  Ibo seems to have no trouble with the sound whatsoever.  This is horrible.  I think I hate my dog.

Time for bed.

The saga continues:

Part Three

About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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