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  • Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    The Doyle Hotel

    I stayed at the 100 year old Doyle Hotel last night in Duncannon, PA. A flea bag kind of place. It's more like a hostel these days, which seems to happen when a hotel owner stops giving a shit about it. I wouldn't be surprised if the first hostel got its name when some dispassionate hotel owner misspelled hotel on the sign out front and just said, "Ah screw it. I'm done fixing things here." This seemed to be the case with the forth floor shower where a sign said, "Please make sure the shower curtain is tucked into the shower or water may leak into the third floor shower and knock down ceiling tiles." I took my shower on the fourth floor even though my room was on the third, since water damage there proved not everyone reads signs.

    I feel bad saying anything negative about the Doyle, though, because the owners, Pat and Vicky, were great. The kind of people that make this type of travel unique and more memorable. But man, I literally picked a flea off my sleeping bag last night. I have to call it what it is.

    The old twenty five dollar a night hotel wasn't without charm. My room sat two floors above a cozy pub on the first floor. I got hungry last night and went downstairs. Pat made me a hot pastrami sandwich on rye and a bowl of delicious clam chowder. Pat is a fantastic cook and pointed out more than once that he had to do all the cooking because his wife, Vicky, couldn't cook worh a shit. A fact she happily agreed with as he smiled and kissed her on the cheek. One thing Vicky is good at though, is making you feel at home. It came naturally with her warm chubby cheeked smile framed by gray pigtails. She served me my food and drinks while we watched a celebrity gossip show on TV and talked about the trail.

    When I was ready to head up to bed, she asked if I had everything I needed, gave me a hug, and wished me luck on the rest of my hike. I didn't realize until morning that I did need something, direction on how to exit the building. I went up to my room all day yesterday through a door by the pub that was locked at night from the outside and didn't get unlocked until the pub opens. I walked around for fifteen minutes confused and frustrated until I found a way out. So, if you ever find yourself staying at the Doyle, don't forget to tell Pat and Vicky I said hello, and to exit the building go to the second floor balcony, make two right turns then walk down the outside staircase.