Trip to Say Goodbye - 5
On Friday our Quality Inn provided a very nice buffet breakfast, and we took advantage by having waffles and omelettes and a little bit of just about everything. That was the day of the referendum election results and all the American news channels were carrying the story with shock and dismay. The main worry for them was the stock market, but they did include interviews from Britain and commentary about what might be going to happen next. I was about the only one in the breakfast lounge to pay much attention to the TV, however.
The weather started out and stayed wet – with deluges of rain and spray from the vehicles causing it to be almost impossible to see the roads. Traffic was slow and our stops for photos non-existent. We had a delay due to a serious accident but finally entered Idaho and stopped at Cor d'Alene for
lunch. I think we all had the breakfast special with waffles and eggs – not got enough from our earlier choices.
Before long we were in Washington state, had gone back another hour to Western daylight time, and the sun came out and the day cheered up no end. We still had a few hundred miles to go until our planned stop at Connell. Larry had particularly wanted to stay there because we had done so on the trip two years before, and had started a game, where we, while sitting on our patio drinking beer, made up a story about the people who lived across the road in a trailer. The motel had vacancies, and the same family were in the trailer across the road, but I won't go into the details of our little story which we continued, because I might write it up as a story on its own.
After settling into themotel and having a beer or two, Larry and I introduced Cathy to the art project that we remembered from our last visit. The town was given a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission Art in Public Places Programme some year ago. Just in front of our motel, and then
at regular intervals down the street, were a series of bronze sculptures depicting the local wildlife in bronze with little tables ( see above) or park benches as part of the scene. The other aspect was wall murals painted on the sides of all the public buildings with a spare blank wall – telling the history of the town.
We had dinner at the same restaurant as on our last occasion, Michael Jay's and came back for an early night. But from then on things for me were very different from our first experience.
I will tell you a bit about my very sleepless night in this motel. I will be rather vague, as I intend to say this is suitable reading for most, but those of you with an over active imagination might read between the lines.
My single bedded room was 103, and the door to 101 was open all the time we were there, making me think that it probably was part of the owner's space. There was nothing to see to make anyone think it was anything other than a normal motel room.
The lock to the door to 103 was broken, and there was no way I could lock it again from the inside. Of course the management could use their key card to get into my room, if they should wish to.
I was tired. Jet lag had hit, but because I couldn't very well have naps during our long drives, I tried to go to bed early and get as much sleep in before the inevitable waking up, fully awake at what other people would consider the middle of the night.
The first thing I noticed about my room was that there was a noise coming from the ceiling. There
appeared to be a crack down the middle, but it didn't look a problem and although mice did enter my mind at this stage, I was too tired to care too much. After all, they were in the ceiling.
I got ready for bed, and as I said before, I was absolutely exhausted. I turned down the duvet cover, and couldn't help but notice the bottom sheet was stained. Two round circles of something red. I wasn't absolutely sure if they were newish stains, or whether the sheets had been badly laundered. But then I noticed that the top sheet and the pillowcases were also wrinkled and messed up looking. I knew I should complain, and every inch of me wanted to not sleep in that bed, but I was so tired, that I talked myself out of telling the management to remake my bed. I got in and was quickly asleep.
At 12 exactly, I woke, and realising I needed the toilet, turned on the light, and made a certain amount of noise in getting up, flushing, etc. so there was no doubt if anybody was watching or listening, (from a camera in the ceiling) that there was someone in the room.
I got back into bed, hoping that I would be able to get back to sleep, and then it started. The noise coming from 101 was a noise most adults would recognise - a regular thumping that got faster and slower at various stages. I somehow thought the person in the room (the manager? - a thin 60 some year old man with a long grey pony tail) was alone and using a blow up doll. This annoyed me and amused me. Nothing was spoken and the procedure ended eventually, and I hopefully settled back to sleep. But I must admit that I was a bit scared. I knew that my door was not secure – and that if someone decided to come into my room to do something similar, I might well not have the voice to
waken Larry who was several rooms down the corridor. At 12.30 the noise started again, less fast, less regular, shorter. After this I heard a sliding door open and close. 1.00 back to the frantic humping again – 1.30 a different pattern but still the same activity – still no voices but the occasional sound of a door opening and closing, toilet flushing and sometimes the shower. I won't go through the whole night, because it was all the same pattern until 5 a.m. when it finally stopped for good. At 6 I conceded that I would get no more sleep, and got up for breakfast.
I wasn't alone in the breakfast room. Besides Cathy, who I was delighted to see, there was a small, slim, young Japanese (I think) man who gave me such a sly look – almost challenging me to say something to him. I didn't and I was annoyed with Larry who came in soon after that and started chatting to him, just as if he were a normal person. After the Japanese man left Cathy said he had come into the breakfast room from the outside, from a huge white stretch limousine type car except that it had no windows except for the front ones. So in my mind, he was the boss of his little business, and the owner was in cahoots with him somehow (the sliding doors led to the owners' private part of the motel). I expect he did good business that night, but also suspected that on an earlier occasion my room had been used for similar activity and either the wife didn't realise this, or at least didn't know that the bed hadn't been redone since the activity took place.
I hope I haven't offended anyone. I was quite upset about the whole thing, but it did make quite a good story to tell my relatives, who thought maybe it had been a honeymoon couple (No way) and they were amused when I said that I thought the noises sounded mean. But if I should ever get into
Washington again, that will be one motel that I will pass by.
Our breakfast was pre-packaged cereal, with little bottles of milk and packets of juice and a choice of wrapped rolls.