3-Day Texas Road Trip
A year ago, Don and I set off on an adventure not too far from our home in Sugar Land, Texas.
The Teepee Motel was our first stop!
History of the Teepees
The roadside wood & stucco teepees built in the 1940's are only about 30 minutes from our home. We've always been curious. About 12 years ago we stopped along what used to be State Highway 60 to take photos of the vine covered sign and teepees, surrounded in weeds.
Not long after, the old "motel" was bought by the Barbara and Byron Woods who had recently won 49 million in a Texas lottery. They renovated and added an RV park. It took Don and me about 10 years to follow through with our joking promise to stay a night in one of the fine pointed structures!
It was an overcast July day when we arrived. That was helpful since most of the teepees had no shade. It looked like the teepees had been recently painted and we noticed a few giant arrows decorating the grass here and there.
The 10 orderly teepees came with picnic tables and barbecue grills. The teepee nearest the road had a blooming Crepe Myrtle, but our #104 was in the center of the lineup. I was intrigued with the 2-toned, adobe look of the teepees. Don was more curious about the 12-sided (rather than round) structure.
A Peek Inside
Our little roundish room was actually not as claustrophobic as you might think. I was a little disappointed that we had a lowered ceiling and couldn't see up into the point of the teepee.
Bed & Bath
There was a nice blue theme going on with the quilt, painted furniture and curtain flaps. I kind of loved our Princess Phone since I haven't seen one in a while.
The bathroom actually had a hairdryer and coffee maker, which you can be sure wasn't available in the '40's. The accordion style door to the bathroom had some issues, but I was just pleased there was a bathroom at all.
Room for a Friend
There was actually some lounging space on the other side, with a desk, fridge, microwave and a futon. We could have brought along a friend... had we known anyone else in the world who wanted to share our adventure... and sleep on a futon.
We didn't know what to expect on our 3-day adventure, so we made sure to pack some camp chairs and a cooler. With the clouds it was cool enough to sit out with some drinks in the evening.
We seemed to be the only teepee guests besides a mama cat and her kittens. But after a while, a man who I will describe as a traveling salesman, parked and entered the teepee next door. We smiled and greeted but he did not look like he was in the mood for socializing. The man later had a female guest who did seem in the mood for socializing. I will say no more.
Another People Encounter
We sat a while longer enjoying the view of a tree and a field, along with the sound of a rooster crowing. Then we noticed a 1970's sedan pull into the drive.
We watched it slowly move our way until it stopped in front of us. A man, as worn and weathered as his car, spoke through the window. "You be interested in buyin' some boudin?" That was pretty ironic since 2 months earlier I had tasted the first boudin sausage of my life, while visiting Louisiana.
The man's car appeared to be a vehicle, food shop and home, all rolled into one. The seats and dash were packed to the gills with papers and clothes and coolers. It could have really added a fun twist to our overnight adventure had we bought a little boudin to enjoy that evening. But we told him we already had dinner plans. He wished us a good evening and drove on down the highway.
We turned in pretty early since there wasn't much else to do.
That meant I woke pretty early. I had a nice walk and the sun looked very dramatic, rising overt the teepees.
We picked up coffee and donuts in Wharton and ate on our little table.
Our mama cat came to visit and we tried to protect her from the mockingbird who rudely teased, when he wasn't perched on top of our teepee.
We spent the night in an iconic roadside novelty, what more can I really say. It was not luxurious, but it was fun for one night. I'm just so relieved that we were able to enjoy a visit, because you never know when places like this will close down and disappear!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!