Recently, my friend Spike and I figured that we could kill a few days by getting on our motorcycles and looking for odd stuff. We were in search of roadside oddities, the world’s largest anything, and places off the beaten path and on a path that has not been beaten enough. We figured that the best place to start our search was Wisconsin. Having been up north many times, we knew it was different but this time we were looking for the totally unusual. Perhaps we’d happen upon a resident who hates the Packers, or somebody who doesn’t like cheese. We found neither of those but we did discover the unusual.
Our adventure began by riding to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, home of the Don Q Inn. In my career, I have stayed in a lot of hotels. The best ones were rated with five stars. The Don Q Hotel deserves a rating of five joy buzzers. What a hoot.
For starters, parked right in front of the Don Q is a c-78 cargo plane from the Korean war. It’s huge and actually landed on an airstrip in front of the hotel in 1977. It has quite a history, including being in a car commercial featuring Farrah Fawcett, and she even autographed the fuselage. When I asked where her signature was, I was told that somebody painted over it. Thank goodness I had a marker with me and put it back where it belonged. I even spelled her last name correctly, Faucet.
When you walk into the Don Q Inn, the first sight you see is a very large round fireplace surrounded by a ring of old barber chairs. There’s also a couple of old dentist chairs if you want to relive childhood horror. Then, there are the guest rooms.
Don Q offers two kinds of rooms. Regular rooms are just that, regular rooms, clean, comfortable, and reasonable. They also offer “Fanta-Suites” which cost a little more but offer a variety of options. The Swingers Room” for instance, features a bed suspended from the ceiling by four chains. The igloo room looks just like an igloo, and the Flintstones would feel at home in the Cave Suite.
Due to an overbooking of regular rooms, I got upgraded to a Fanta-Suite. What luck. Spike got a regular room but I was assigned to the Blue Room which was very appropriately named. Everything in the room, the walls, the carpet, and the bed covering, was blue. Also, it made me quite blue that I was here alone.
The main feature of the Blue Room was the mirrors. There were large ones located over the bed, behind the bed, and to the side of the bed. If you were here with a partner, I imagine the multiple mirrors would provide you with a view you might not normally see. For me, they only served to bring out my multiple personalities. I would ask myself a question, then discuss it with the guy behind me, the guy to the side of me, and the hideous creature hovering over me.
The other oddity in the Blue Room is the bathtub. It is round, enormous, and made of copper. I discovered that the tub holds 300 gallons and was formally a cheese vat. There were no jets or fancy plumbing, just 300 gallons of water to which you could add the complimentary bubble bath. I did not use the tub because it was deep and I was alone. ‘Nuff said.
Don Q was a great place to stay and I would recommend it to anybody with a taste for the unusual, but it was only the tip of the oddity iceberg. Next stop, the House On The Rock.