Bar Q Motel
Sidney, NE
Generic Motel
Sidney, NE
El Palomino Motel
Sidney, NE

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In Sidney the Lincoln Highway eases past the El Palomino Motel, a streamlined beauty that would appear from overhead as a Flash Gordon flying ship with rooms located along two long wings and an office for the cockpit. Painted orange and brown with yellow doors, the spaceship would find its home base somewhere in the Southwest and simply must have run out of jet fuel in the plains states. They don’t get a lot of fancy tourists around here but they do have a portrait of Ed Bagley, Jr. in the office. That’s got to be good for something. Further along the highway, you’ll find one motel run by folks with a sense of humor: The Generic Motel. Richly deserving its name, the Generic nonetheless deserves a quick stop. How odd that in a nation of “starlights,” “wigwams,” and “sunsets,” it’s the most banal name that seems easiest to recall. Don’t be surprised to find yourself jockeying with photographers snapping a kooky shot for their vacation travelogue.

Lazy V Motel
Grand Island, NE
Western Motel
North Platte, NE
Hollingsworth Motel
Lexington, NE

Ultimately, your journey may wind up in Grand Island, a quizzical name for flat farmland. Locals explain that a great inland sea once covered this entire region, leaving only the land where the town now lies breaking the surface. Cruising the surface streets, you’ll find all manner of scruffy courts, but hold out for the family run Lazy V on the east side of town. When twilight descends and the moon begins to rise, you’ll find a jubilantly tacky motel sign and a temporary neighborhood of bikers, family trucksters, and long-term locals. Friendly and safe, the Lazy V is easily one of the nicest motels in Nebraska.

Scottsbluff, NE, Motel Postcard (click for larger view)

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