Editor's Note: This property was formerly the Whites Motel Bakersfield.
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June 8, 2007
From journal Days Inn in Mojave
August 15, 2004
We passed all the safe bets like Holiday Inn and Red Roof Inn in Palmdale and Lancaster and headed farther north. Slowly the freeway stopped and the fast-food joints and motels became fewer and fewer. Finally, in Mojave, I became nervous that we were seeing fewer and fewer motels, so when a bright neon sign for WHITE'S MOTEL glowed in the night, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was also next door to McDonald’s, which seemed to be a sign from home. We pulled in.
The office was dark, except for a number of candles and a TV screen. Two old crones were sitting in chairs and, without a word, handed me a registration form. The rate was $39, and they promised me a nonsmoking room with two beds and a TV. It didn't feel right, but I was nervous there were not more motels ahead of us.
The first room key they offered me had someone in the room! Room two was a sauna - it was 110°F outside and they had turned off the air. The room was a dated chocolate brown, with wood panels, beat-up furniture, and a tiny green bathroom. The bed did not have mattress covers. The towels were like paper and we had no curtains, just blinds missing slates. The TV barely worked. There was no sliding lock on the inside of the door. It was cross between the Bates Motel and the set for COPS.
I could barely sleep between the train tracks next door and the people milling about outside our room all night. Finally, I fell asleep, when at 4:30am someone was banging at the door, demanding to be let in. It was a woman in a crazy hat, and my guess was she was a drugged-out hooker. I finally scared her away by threatening to call the cops. She moved on, and finally another room let her in. This was the end to my sleep for the night!
I was thrilled to get out alive the next morning, and we fled the motel at the first sign of sunlight!
Were we shocked to find a very stylish, modern Best Western on the other side of the McDonald’s the next morning. If we had driven just a few more feet, we would have found a safe, clean hotel. I can only say that White's was a night I won't soon forget.
From journal Sleepless in Mojave