The Fresno Motel
California 99 splits off the 5 just south of Bakersfield and runs north through the Central Valley to Sacramento. It’s a long, lonely road stretching more than 300 miles and flat as a pancake. Other than Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento, the road connects hundreds of farms and small roads criss crossing the valley from the Pacific coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the east. It was Steinbeck country. Fresno sits in the middle of this long stretch of road. The city had plenty of places to stay back in the day for those weary travelers that just couldn’t drive any farther.
This sign is of another time. On the day I took this photograph it was 113 degrees in the shade. A motel with air conditioning, color TV, a restaurant, a bar and a pool must have brought travelers in by the droves back in the 50’s. The Fresno Motel was in dire need of repair but still open when I took this photograph in 2008. My guess is that this charming sign had a lot to do with it.