Landscape: Mountain Kitsch

Ute Trail MotelIt’s embarrassing, I know, but for some reason I like kitschy run-down motels, the kind you can find in don’t-blink towns like Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado. On the recent girls-only weekend, we opted to stay in this one, the Ute Trail Motel, located right off the main road through town. defines “kitsch” as “something that appeals to popular and lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality.” I find that definition funny; I mean, does this mean that I’ve got lowbrow taste and a penchant for things of poor quality if I’m finding something beautiful in this scene? I’ll admit—and you can see from the photos—that this motel is no Four Seasons. But help me out here, folks. Anyone else out there finding something redeeming here? (If so, or not, leave me a comment and let me know what you think).

Early Eve

Maybe it was the sign, the cowboy riding a bucking bronco that made me love the place from the start, or maybe it was the billboard advertising that rooms with kitchenettes were only $60 a night, or maybe it was the way that the neon lights blurred into the evening sky.

Later that Eve

Yes, that’s it, the way the fluorescent pink letters melted into the mountains, and later, into a black void studded with stars.


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