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Back in the early 1900s, when mechanized cross-country excursions were new, hosting cities would hold huge parties to welcome record-setting travelers as they made their way along routes that most often did not include maintained roads. Cities would compete with each other to attract the travelers and the arrival of an adventurous guest was cause enough for an elaborate extravaganza. Chase riders experienced many of these same kinds of great welcomes as they traveled across the states.

Entire hotel properties were taken over by the Cross Country Chase and several times the staff was absolutely elated to host the arrival of the weary riders. From the exhaustion of the day’s ride that plagued the checking in process each night, to staggering out into the early morning rush of excitement before departure the next morning, riders are occupied with the constant details of route sheets, engine issues and physical trials. When riders pull into a hotel that is genuinely excited to host the group, however, the energy level shifts in a huge way. Most often, new friends are made as folks from all across the country meet locals and share stories.

The ladies who welcomed the CCC to the Days Inn during Stage 8 that ended in Lakeland, Florida were particularly thrilled and were the perfect example of gracious hospitality. The welcoming committee that checked in the worn out riders was bubbly, enthusiastic and genuinely ecstatic to meet the riders and see the antique machines parked in their parking lot. Kim, Sandra and Cindy practically levitated as they handed out room keys and chatted with the group, asking where various riders hailed from and soaking up the energy of the motorcycle maniacs who flooded the lobby. The team stood ready to help in any capacity, even offering rags for anyone needing to clean up their machines.

Waking up each morning in a new bed, town and state is a challenging part of the daily routine during the Cross Country Chase, but by check out time the next morning the ladies were back at the front desk, smiling brilliantly, to cheerfully see the group off. These are the experiences that add another level of sparkle to any ride, but it’s especially magic for everyone when locals realize the historic significance of the traveling museum that visited their property, and these ladies certainly did.

If you happen to be cruising the back roads of the Lakeland area and need a place to lay your head, go to the Days Inn on 4502 N. Socrum Loop Road in Lakeland, FL 33809. 1 (800) 329-1992…you’ll be glad you did. The hotel was clean and welcoming. Be sure to tell Kim and the ladies that the Cross County Chase sent you, we’re certain they’d love to hear it! Riders, if you enjoyed these beaming beacons of hospitality, be sure to let corporate know they’ve got some great employees by sharing a review on their website: