I will be the FIRST to post about Dunnigan! Even though probably 99% of Californians have been there or at least passed by at some time in their lives, no one pays any attention to it. Literally, if you blink, you miss it; if you blink twice, you miss both North and South Dunnigan.
My first specific recollection of it is from a bus trip when I was on my college speech team and we went to Chico State for an event. We went up I-5 and stopped for lunch at Bill and Kathy's in Dunnigan. Personally, I hardly went north, and still seldom do, so I lost touch with Dunnigan for years, just going by on trips to Lassen and my one trip to Crater Lake.
Last year, I stayed there as part of a longer trip, and it was nice! I stayed at the America's Best Value motel in North Dunnigan. It was about $50. Next to it was a Best Western, which someone had said on a TA review was a good romantic getaway because it was so peaceful and had endless views of green fields and they didn't want to leave.
The ABV cost less, but it was fine. Although the freeway is nearby, it was not a disturbance. This might be a good place for stargazing because there is nothing urban very close; on my night there it was cloudy.
I again ate at Bill and Kathy's, which I understand is a venerable business owned by the same family since it opened.
That evening I explored central North Dunnigan. It's a farming community with grain siloes served by railroad tracks, a post office, a general store, and the highway interchange with the traveler services: the motels, Chevron, an indie gas mart, Jack in the Box, and a few others. A county road parallels I-5, and on either side are a few homes. To the east of the county road I found an ancient brick oven, a quaint little country church, and a small playground. I did not see one person out walking around.
South Dunnigan is a couple miles away, connected by I-5 and the county road. It isn't as interesting as North Dunnigan. The main features are a Pilot gas and travel plaza and a trucking company.
I was just in downtown Dunnigan again today, on my way home from Redding. I needed gas, and the weather was atrocious so I decided to take a break and have lunch at Bill and Kathy's. I saw that the Best Western that the reviewer raved about is now a Motel 6. I just checked their website and found lower rates than what BW's had been. Maybe there wasn't much of a niche for a nicer BW type of place in Dunnigan; it isn't as if it were a tourist town with lots of attractions where people stay for days. So the place is physically a little nicer than the generic Motel 6.
I was almost tempted to stay over just for the heck of it! Next time I go by, if it promises to be a clear night for stargazing, I just might. And maybe the reviewers who liked the old BW so much will come to the new Motel 6 for their third honeymoon.