After a very long day, we arrive at the "W" just at dusk. A thunderstorm is brewing; dark clouds obscure the setting sun and a chill wind rattles through the dry shrubs along the side of the building. The hotel is old - it's very bones seem tired.
Inside, the lobby is shadowy and empty. We appear to be the only guests......
Lugging duffel bag, day pack and cooler up a very steep, dark staircase, we see the upper hallway is lit only by a single bulb. The silence is complete, the scent of dust and mildew heavy in the air. Our rooms are at the very end of that long, dim hallway - right next the the back door with a jimmied lock and splintered frame. The desk clerk (the owner, actually) is completely agreeable to a change however, and we finally decide on two rooms, directly across the hall from each other.
It is now completely dark and silent outside: no streetlights, no traffic - the town seems utterly deserted. But hunger drives us forth and we brave the elements in search of a restaurant. Hurrying along the broken, rutted sidewalk in the dark, we pass an abandoned building, almost entirely hidden behind a wall of tangled shrubs. Something on the porch creaks slowly back and forth in the autumnal wind and suddenly it is all too reminiscent of that scene from "To Kill A Mockingbird" and with slightly nervous, self-conscious laughter we hasten onward.
Later, we 'borrow' a heavy table from the hallway and Z helps to wedge it between the bathtub and the door that opens into the dark, empty room next door - in order to prevent something like this:
Despite exhaustion, sleep is a long time coming. There appears to be a 2 x 4 running length-wise under the thin mattress and if we are not careful, the slope on either side of that propels us toward the floor.
But in the morning, the sun is shining - and best of all Frank (the owner) is in the kitchen, whipping up some strong coffee, blueberry pancakes and the biggest frying pan of bacon we have ever seen.