Sunday, April 3, 2016

Abandoned Motels: Goodbye Baby Boomer Road Trips

There is something nostalgic about the empty mid century motels along the highways in the west. They remind of us a time when baby boomers were toted from one end of the US to the other in search of epic family fun in huge fast cars by the WWII generation of parents who could afford things their parents never could. They brought their families out to see Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, maybe Disneyland. And, along the way the west provided ultra-modern looking facilities with air conditioning and swimming pools for the family gangs. 

With the advent of easier air travel and dual working couples, such road trips were a luxury afforded only by a generation who actually took 2-week vacations during the year. The leftover buildings are a reminder of the "Jetsons" era or all the modern conveniences, sadly drying out in the blazing sun. Here are some abandoned such motor courts and motels. 

These photos below are from Picacho, AZ along the I-10. This little strip of motels, church, post office were plowed under by the State because of illegal aliens seeking shelter in the empty shells. 

In Gila Bend, Arizona this little motel still sits on the edge of town near the freeway. In fact, a psychic reading I did for Julie Ferguson's and my book Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition) is in it. 

Down in Casa Grande, AZ, my friends and I came across this abandoned motel that needed documenting, as it was a classic mid century with casitas and old pool in the back....

Back east, in the Front Royal, Virginia area, I got to photograph an abandoned motor court that was likely a great getaway when visiting the caverns and Shenandoah.

The world of urban exploration can take you to many places you never imagined and seriously makes you ponder how a business can go down when it seemed so charming in its heyday. These definitely represent a different time, a different way of life that involved seeing America at her greatest growth and glory and sharing time with family in the comfort of a motor court and the perhaps 4 channels that it received on the brand-new color tv! 

1 comment:

  1. Great photos -- I love those old motel signs, so rapidly disappearing. Thanks for sharing them with us!