After we left Athens, Ohio, I wanted to pass through some of my old haunts, so we headed north toward Nelsonville, Logan and Old Man’s Cave. Just past the 595 exit on Rt. 33, I looked to the right and spotted the remains of the Hocking Theater. I was going too fast to stop, so I blew right past it. Knowing that there are a couple of readers who are drive-in nuts, I drove five miles to the next exit to turn around and head back to it.
I probably should have gotten off at the 595 exit and gone exploring like this guy did in 2003, but we had miles to go, so I made do with a shot from the main road. (You can click on it to make it larger.)
It’s in both better AND worse shape than the drive-in at Bloymeyer.
Bad vibes at No-Tell Motel
I’ll write about some of our other Ohio stops, but I’ll jump ahead to our search for a motel in Louisville, Ky.
Friend and passenger Jan Norris told me before we left on our grand journey that she likes to plan where she’s going to stay. I said that my plans change on a whim, so I drive until I get tired, then start looking for the best place at the lowest price. We agreed to be flexible.
When it became obvious that we weren’t going to make it into Cape before midnight, and because the weather forecasts all called for ugly stuff to start falling out of the sky around midnight and to continue on through the night, I told her to set her sights on Louisville. She pulled out her computer and, with much pecking and pausing, announced that she had found us two inexpensive, highly-reviewed, non-smoking rooms in a chain hotel that had been recently remodeled.
Jan’s going to check it out
When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed several things: the parking lot was almost empty; the curtains had that “old” look, and the metal-clad doors had an awful lot of dents and dings in them. Jan said she’d ask to look at a room before we committed.
My bad vibes multiplied when a sign on the lobby directed us to another door where we had to talk to the clerk through a slit in what looked like bulletproof glass. She wouldn’t give us a key to inspect a room unless I left my driver’s license as security. I don’t know if she thought we were a couple of AARP members in search of a free spot to unleash our passions or if she was afraid we were going to steal the towels. Given our wrung-out, road-worn looks, I’m going to put my money on the latter.
The room was about half a block away, give or take, and on the third floor reachable by an elevator that had graffiti scratches on the walls. The rooms all opened to the outside, so it was a cold, windy walk. The room itself was clean, but so small you couldn’t have swung a bob-tailed cat in it.
We both reached the same conclusion: it was time to move on. I told Jan I’d get the car and warm it up while she got my license back. I only regret that she didn’t return the key to the desk clerk smoking a cigarette and sporting a glow and a big smile. Maybe then she wouldn’t have been strip-searched for hidden towels.