There's no doubt in my mind that a good dog is the perfect companion for a long roadtrip ... though having a dog along brings with it some complications. It limits one's choice of motels, for one thing -- a surprising number of unfriendly innkeepers discriminate against dogs, and therefore lose my business. Often, I end up at the older, Mom-and-Pop motels, where dogs are more likely to be welcomed. Such places are a little more threadbare, but sometimes make up for it in character.
When Charlie the Dog and I headed up to the Flathead Valley last fall, we ended up staying at exactly such a place -- the Blue & White Motel. It was the low-end motel of choice way back when I was a college kid working in Glacier, and it's still going strong today. And besides being dog-friendly, the Blue & White has an absolutely wonderful neon sign ... something that a 21st-century hotel chain could never hope to match.