Somethings I plan ahead, somethings I just ‘let things happen,’ but I do admit I like to have an idea of where I will spend the night and have a list of hotels and motels that are available in that city or town.
I had studied my map and chose Pratt as my half-way point. I then looked at the options for where to stay and chose the Evergreen Motel & RV Resort (just can’t seem to get away from those RV’s.) It looked nice, had a pool, even had a family restaurant next door. (Diner with 2 sides and tea would cost me $6.40 before tip!) So I set my GPS for their address and pulled in about 6 p.m. on a lovely Kansas evening. Temps had even dropped to a reasonable 89º.
Upon arrival and chatting with Diane, the manager, about room options, she asked if I knew about their very unusual accommodation that was available instead of a regular room? I said, no, and she said come with me, and lead me around the back of the motel and this is what I found!
The owners of the motel had purchased this still-in-operation caboose and had it brought over, via rail, to Pratt, then uploaded onto a flat-bed, along with a set of rails, trucked to the motel and hoisted with a massive crane over trees and motel roof onto it’s final resting place on it’s own rails, alongside the motel’s pool.
As you can imagine, this was a mighty big event for Pratt (home of a very big, stinky feedlot, which thanks goodness was on the East side of town and I was staying on the West) and made all the papers.
Next the owners had to scrub, power wash, paint and decorate the inside of the caboose to turn it into the really rather luxurious ‘motel room’ that it is today. Not only does the caboose have a lovely queen-size bed, with flat screen, wall-mounted TV, writing desk and comfy chair, it also has a double bed
the the back, a shower with multiple jets and an upstairs cupola seating area for two. Of course it’s has central air and heat and the walls are covered with some great train memorabilia.
For $89.49 (which includes tax) you too can stay in this extremely comfortable and fun caboose in the middle of the Kansas plains, watching the sunset off the back platform, with the sounds of RVers chatting, kids splashing in the pool and the scent of cow wafting in the air. A perfect way to end a day of driving across Kansas.