Nameless Motel
Bear, DE
West Motel
Bear, DE
Hollywood Motel
New Castle, DE

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Cruising away from the coast to catch U.S. 13 back north toward Wilmington and the Philadelphia grid beyond presents some pretty countryside, but few decent motels. The Pleasant Hill Motel has stood for decades but has fallen on hard times recently. Only when you intersect with the National Road, known these days as Highway 40, will you encounter a scraggle of motels you won’t soon forget. Here, you remember that many formerly “Mom and Pop” motels have become homes to down-and-out travelers who work when they can, move on when they must. The town of Bear presents a good picture of motel life for these folks. There, at the West Motel, a sad assortment of locals and transients pass the days chatting, partying, and worrying about when the next cold gust will knock them back on the road.

All text copyright Andrew Wood. Photos copyright Jenny Wood and Andy Wood.