Jul 172015
Pincher Creek AB Blue Mountain Motel

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?

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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!

More posts you’ll like…
Red Rock Coulee.
Soul Work.
Turner Valley gave us gas.

If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!

Date: July, 2015.
Location: Pincher Creek, AB.

1970s motel

Our room has personality.

Blue Mountain Motel

That carpet!

Dive motel

At least two of the burners worked.

Blue Mountain Motel Pincher Creek

A Picasso, or maybe a Rembrandt?

Blue Mountain Pincher Creek

The “well” equipped” kitschy kitchen.

Blue Mountain Pincher Creek AB

When you stay at the Blue Mountain, request room 16.

Motel rules

Don’t use the parking lot to dispose of garbage. Huh?

Chris Doering

Mirror selfie!

Kitchenette Motel

Yeah, we can make mashed potatoes!

Blue Mountain Pincher Creek Alberta

A good supply of junk food across the street – check!

Pincher Creek Blue Mountain Motel

I’m pretty sure my mom had these curtains.

Dive motel kitchen

Old motel rooms are more a beer-type places, but we bring wine.

Curly Three Stooges

“Soitenly! Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!”

Pincher Creek AB Blue Mountain Motel

What a charming place.

Moe Three Stooges

Fifty shades of Moe.

Motel fan

Round and round and round and round and round and…

Motel shower

Drip…drip…drip…ALL NIGHT LONG!

Blue Mountain Motel sign

No Vacancy.

Blue Mountain Motel rooms

Channelling the Winchesters.

Blue Mountain Motel Suite 16

Suite 16 at the Blue Mountain.


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20 Comments on "Suite 16"

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Lila Cugini
Lila Cugini

I love this! I can see a hint of the wooden spoon holding that window open….. and the nice thing about this room too – is, you can peel the potatoes before you boil and mash them. No need to eat the skins – there is a potato peeler right there beside the masher!!!!!

Connie Biggart
Connie Biggart

Fifty Shades of Moe, I get it!

judy aulik
judy aulik

There was a motel like this on old US 6 in Iowa City that looked like this inside, except with knotty pine paneling. It had just been converted to efficiency apartments in the mid-1980s.

Mike B
Mike B

A lot of the old Rt 66 motels in St Louis look kinda like this inside with the paneling. Most are now residential.

Katrina LaRocque
Katrina LaRocque

Love the paneling.

Katrina LaRocque
Katrina LaRocque

Hmmmm…..that curtain placement right next to the stove doesn’t exactly scream “safety” does it!


Interesting website. That motel is quite unlike anything we have here where I live.

Steve G
Steve G

OMG, the place is amazing! Now that’s a dive motel.

Norm Millar
Norm Millar

Glad to see there are other people out there who actually seek out places like this! I was in Campeche, Mexico – seedy hotel, very hot, sleeping naked under a large ceiling fan. Woke up after a good sleep but my body was covered in strange white lesions. I thought I had leprosy until I realized the huge vibrating fan was causing the peeling whitewash to fall from the ceiling.

billy bayou
billy bayou

So glad I found this site! The motel is priceless.