When you live the #businesstravel #roadwarrrior life you just might find yourself in some pretty obscure or unique places. This has certainly been the case for me over the years. While I’ve hit lots of big and popular places (NYC, Chicago, etc), I’ve also been to some unusual and obscure parts of this country.Â This country of ours is truly amazing with color and fascinating destinations in every nook and cranny.
So, here’s a few obscure or interesting places from my business travels (part 1, anyway). From Magic City suicide jumpers, to Monk Fudge, to a Bed & Breakfast inside a grocery store, the stories are interesting and places unique.
Minot, ND, or “The Magic City” – suicide jumpers
We start with a visit to the great city of Minot, ND. As we were heading to the hotel, we were blocked for several hours by police who’d close the road off because of a suicide jumper who’d climbed up onto a pedestrian bridge. Odd indeed. Especially because the bridge was only like 17 feet or something off the ground. It ended with the jumper being taken into custody and me finally checking into my hotel.
Minot used to be known as Little Chicago, given all of the organized crime there from the Al Capone days. The Minot airport is really nice, btw. Wow.
Monk Fudge in Amity, OregonÂ
I’ve done a lot of business in Oregon over the years, but on one trip with a business partner of ours (who’s since died of heart failure – sad story) led us Amity, OR. My travel companion told me about Monk Fudge. I was incredulous. What the heck are you talking about?! He showed me. Pretty weird, IMO (in an Oregon sort of way), but the fudge was delish. And yes, it’s an actual monastery that makes fudge.
This was my 2nd ever business trip and the last time I ever checked a bag. When I landed in OKC they announced my name over the airport speaker and informed me to go to baggage claim. Yes indeed, it was lost. Never again.
Weatherford, however, is west of OKC and we stayed in a tiny dumpy hotel and did some work at the police station / jail. What was unique about this trip is the prisoners at the jail served us lunch every day — after they let themselves out each morning or checked themselves in in the AM (some only did “day jail”). Bizarre. They were nice though.Â We also ate at Jiggs Smokehouse w/ some killer BBQ.
Flew into Evansville, IN and drove across the state line / Ohio River to Owensboro, KY for a conference a few years back. Our conference was at a place that no longer exists: the Executive Inn Rivermont, or just the Rivermont. It was probably a great hotel at one point, but it was clearly not anymore. And because there’d been a fire in the hotel recently, we were stuffed into an even less desirable part of it. Apparently, the Rivermont is long gone, having been replaced w/ a new Convention center. Good for Owensboro!
The Marines Memorial Hotel…in San Francisco
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I am a Marine (’96-’00). And so when I hear there’s a hotel for Marines in SF I have to stay there! Duh! If you think a Marines hotel in San Francisco of all places is super odd…you are not alone. I do too. And honestly, it wasn’t that great of an experience when I stayed there. Kinda weird. But hey, Semper Fi.
Zuni, NM and a Bed & Breakfast in a Grocery Store
While doing audits for a big contract we had w/ the state of NM, I made a trip out to the Zuni Indian Reservation which is south of Gallup, NM and close to the AZ border. On my drive out there I skipped I-40 and took a back road, which you see in the picture above. I snapped the photo on a disposable camera. IMO, my best photo.
Zuni was interesting. First of all, it’s set in a stunning and amazingly beautiful part of the country. Vistas and mesas and clouds. Yet, it is also an Indian Reservation and suffers from much of the poverty that many do.
There is no hotel for miles so I stayed at theÂ The Inn at Halona, a small bed and breakfast from which you check in from the local grocery store! It was a pleasant surprise actually. Clean, great food, community breakfast (where I met a fellow Marine…randomly). Pretty cool little spot actually.
Thus concludes part 1 of obscure and interesting places I’ve visited while on business travel. Stay tuned for adventures in Ft. Huachuca, AZ; Salishan, OR; Marquette, MI, and more!
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