Wigwam Fantasies – Friday Fictioneers


“It’s a long drive,” Drew said, his breath hot on her cheek. “Nadine called from the Wigwam Motel. She could be in danger.”

“Take me with you,” said Veronica, her face flushed.

He said with neither urgency or affection, “I need to get going.”

He took the Will Rogers Highway, stopping at the Texas midpoint for pancakes.

In the doorway of #7 of the Wigwam Motel, he felt a gun to his head.

“I knew you’d take the bait,” Nadine said. Click.

He brushed her arm away from his head. “I had no idea these teepees were so spacious.”


Genre: Noir (100 words)
PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Jean L. Hays


Cheers to the first Friday Fictioneers of the year! Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading this group and her dazzling stories, and to Jean L. Hays for the photo.

The Wigwam Motel was a fixture of my youth as I passed it often on the way to dance classes. I always knew that it was situated on the historic Route 66, which is now Foothill Blvd. The Wigwam was on the boundary of Rialto (my hometown) and San Bernardino, and although it received a Rialto address, truthfully it was physically located within the San Bernardino border. Why it would want a Rialto address, I have no idea. I guess it put Rialto on the map.

I found out the Wigwam is still in business (Roadtrippers). As a kid, I secretly wanted to spend the night in one of these teepees, although I’ve never revealed this to anyone until now. My secret is out! It was a kind of surreal experience seeing these teepees in the middle of a busy highway.

Here’s a photo:

Wigwam Village #7 in San Bernardino, CA on Route 66. Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

More cool photos of the Wigwam Motel can be found at the Roadtrippers site shot with classic cars.


64 thoughts on “Wigwam Fantasies – Friday Fictioneers

    1. I always got a kick out of it. It was a little strange to me, too. I always thought there would be no furniture or beds in there, just dirt! Ha, the things you think when you’re a kid. Thanks, Jhaneel.


    1. Ha ha. When I was kid, I just thought there would be dirt in there and nothing else. No bed and no potties. It’s funny to think about now. Apparently, it’s just a normal room with a potty. This is an old photo, I believe. (I hope it you see it):


  1. It seems like Veronica lucked out in the long run in this shot of pulp fiction, Amy.

    I agree with you that the Wigwam must have looked surreal out there in the middle of the highway. If I was a kid, I would be dying to check it out up close and personal. As an adult, I checked it out on Wikipedia and found this about the history of Wigwam Village #7:

    “The property had become very run down and rooms were rented by the hour, aggravated by a sign advertising “Do it in a tipi” that is still on site in the back …”


    1. Thanks. It was surreal, sort of, but I saw it so often. So, I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s definitely a firm memory, and I don’t seem to enough of those.

      I read that, too, and I am not surprised at all. Ha ha. Rialto is not exactly pleasant these days. However, I believe the Wigwam has been redone and business is good, at least as good as it can be, in as much as Rialto is tourist destination! Check out the Roadtrippers site I linked to.


    1. Thanks, Perry. I imagine they were ultra cool back in the day. It’s not entirely serious. I thought what a funny and unlikely place for a Noir story. That was my thinking. 🙂


  2. Here’s an interesting aside. I have a very slow connection so your words loaded before the pics did. So I read them raw without the visual compliment. It seemed more sinister without the pics. Like something really was afoul. After the pics loaded I thought it was kind of jokey.


    1. Perfect! Thanks for that little tidbit. I’m going for a little sinister mixed with a lighthearted feel that’s silly. I can’t be too serious with a name like the Wigwam Motel, can I? But I thought it would make it interesting against a more sinister story line. Thanks for the feedback.


    1. Yes, San Bernardino gets a mention! It’s probably the only song that says anything about the place. Thanks for this, Frank. It’s a great song. 🙂 Speaking of…your musical! I’ll be over.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Entertaining story. 🙂 There are some of these right outside (north) of Cuba, New Mexico. Except, I think they are roadside potties. 🙂 I’ve never stopped there and don’t think I ever will.


    1. Thank you, Priceless. I guess there were seven of these little villages of Wigwam Motels. I know there are some in Arizona. Maybe the ones in New Mexico are their little cousins. 🙂 Ha ha. I probably wouldn’t stop there either.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Too cool for words, he is. I think they might belong together. The wigwam, spacious as it is, is sure to be cozy. I think Nadine will think she over thought things. 🙂 Thanks for the noir comment. It was fun to try it, but hard to do in 100 words.


    1. I’d love to do the Route someday. I hear it’s best if you have lots of time. Maybe just sections at a time for now. 🙂 I hope that the history is still there to be found. Thanks so much, Patti.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy, I had no idea Wigwam was still in business. Your story coupled with the image of the teepees left me feeling spooked. It reminds me of camping in the outdoors for some reason–something I have yet to try. Hope your week is going well. Can’t believe Friday is almost here!!


    1. Oh, you know the Wigwam!! My fellow Southern California-er. 🙂 Remember that place?! Apparently, they are still in business. I haven’t been to the specific area now for years, so I’m curious what it looks like. From the photos, it looks like a great time! It could be close to a camping experience. I don’t do a lot of that either. My husband prefers hotels. Yay, it’s Friday! How’s the new year treating you? xo


  5. Dear Amy,

    I’d say it’s time to make reservations. 😉 It’s never too late to realize that childhood dream.
    Wouldn’t it be better to say he felt the gun against his head, or the muzzle. I don’t really think he’d feel the trigger.
    There. I’m through nitpicking. It sounds more like a little rendezvous going on here. Nicely played.




    1. Dear Rochelle,
      Ha ha. My kids would have a blast there! Maybe we’ll do it. Rialto hasn’t been a destination for years, but you never know.
      Yes! Thank you for nitpicking. I don’t mind one bit and I changed it right away. Guns don’t make an appearance in my stories very often, but I don’t want it to show. 🙂



  6. Dear Amy,

    Your story was a multi-layered tale that I loved and read again right away. ‘Click’… Very good love story, too. Perfect title, damn good author.




  7. This gives me an idea. Perhaps I set up a collection of little Hillbilly shacks on our property and let city-slickers pay me to experience that reality. They would be cheap to build since I wouldn’t have to worry about running water or indoor plumbing.


    1. Ha! I’m sure you would have some takers, Russell. Then you could write about a book about it, too! Us city folk always looking for authentic experiences. 🙂


      1. All I want to say is
        I love you!!! You can always put exclamation points on my blog. And teepees…what more do we need to say. Anything? More exclamation points.


  8. Wonderful piece! I love the drama.
    Is it a bad thing that I want to plan a stay in the Wigwam Village now? Of course, your childhood imaginings of the inside would be exactly what I would have expected as well. Some things are best left to the imagination of a child. 😉


    1. Thank you, Michelle. Of course it’s not a bad thing to want to stay there. I wish it was in a better part of town…like maybe on a beach somewhere. These teepees did hold my fascination though for many many years, and it was always dirt inside. Ha ha! 🙂 I thought people brought their sleeping bags.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If I’d been a child and passed it all the time I no doubt would have liked to spend a night there also. It was a neat idea and I bet they did a good business. Nice inside. Good noir story. Well done. 🙂 —Suzanne


    1. For a time, I wondered if I really saw the teepees growing up. That would be a funny story. Well, they are still in business, which surprised me a lot. Where else can you stay in a teepee like this? Not too many places, I would imagine. Thank you, Suzanne. 🙂


  10. That was a lot of fun, Amy. Sort of a dark tongue-in-cheek feel. Love that picture. How wonderful. I want to stay there now!


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