When on the road we like accommodations with personality. No five star lodging for us, that’s so terribly boring, not to mention expensive. We’re cheap-ass buggers at heart. Give us a dive motel, hotel, hostel, cabin…whatever…and as long as it’s reasonably clean we’re a happy bunch. We love them and not just for budgetary reasons, but mainly because they’re often interesting, weird or kitschy. Sort of like us.
Keeping with that theme, here’s a intimate and personal tour of a recent place we stayed at, Suite 16, the presidential suite I’m pretty sure, at the Blue Mountain in Pincher Creek Alberta. It’s dated, a bit tattered and worn, sort of Bates Motel-ish in a way, but it comes with a kitchenette! How can you go wrong?
Is there a deliberate design philosophy here or is it just a crazy cobbled together blend of Brady retro and random thrift store finds, brought together by accident? The latter, most certainly the latter. Yet it works and is strangely charming. Fans of the show Supernatural are sure to love the place.
Dark laminate wood paneling, the very same stuff found in every 1970s era basement rec-room, lines the walls. A think pile carpet with a funky geometric pattern adds to the vintage vibe. A large wall mirror, every old motel had or has one, is opposite the beds. It’d be better if it had gold flake accents – remember those? Completing the scene are a couple old fibreglass chairs, bright red ones, just like those we had in school. They’re just as uncomfortable as I remember them!
A heater in the corner makes strange noises now and then, and it’s not even on. A ceiling fan, each blade bent oddly at different angles, whirs above. It shakes as it spins, sometimes violently, and we picture the whole think crashing down on us as we sleep. Not wanting to be decapitated, we take the safe route and turn it off for the night. Yeah, we awake and we still have our heads! It’s a good day. Two of its three lights work. That ain’t bad.
In the bathroom, which actually is sans bath, a shower faucet drips…all…bloody…night…long, the tap resisting any efforts to tighten it further. During the night some spray splashes onto the floor, unbeknownst to us, and in the morning it’s wet feet at the biffy. Connie gives me that accusatory look and takes some convincing it was the shower’s fault the floor is wet.
Furniture appears to be a mix of garage sale finds mostly. Our bed stand is actually a file cabinet! Artwork shows wondrous and romantic places…far away Italy perhaps. No dogs playing poker or velvet Elvises here, this is a classy place. A vintage lamp, one my mom would most certainty kill for, helps illuminate the way. That dark decor sucks up the light like some kind of black hole, so even with all the bulbs burning, the place has sort of a twilight-like feel to it.
The only nod to modernity is a flat screen TV – a wood console tube set would be more fitting though – and a small bar fridge, microwave and coffee maker.
Then there is the kitchenette, a real throwback. Once commonly found, these are pretty rare today. At least two of the four burners on the stove work. The dishes are an odd and rather limited assortment of what ever they had lying around (I’d guess). You have the tools to make mashed potatoes, but no fork to eat them with. The back widow is propped up with a wooden spoon, the very retro lace curtains (my mom had these, I swear), gently blowing in the breeze.
A sign on the wall warns us not use the parking lot to dispose of garbage. Damn, where are we supposed to put it now? Throw it out the back window of course!
The place is clean enough, that’s important to us, save for a thick layer of dust coating the leading edge of ceiling fan blades. OCD me seriously considers running across the street to the convenience store to buy a swiffer, but instead settles downs to watch some Stooges. Moe, Larry and Curly dispense just the distraction needed to help me ignore that crazy urge to clean and make order of things.
Most soitenly they will, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!!!
When you stay at the Blue Mountain, and you know you must, request suite 16. Just do it!
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: July, 2015.
Location: Pincher Creek, AB.