I got stranded in Merkle Texas during a snow storm. I was attempting to travel to Abilene and spend the night as a half-way point between Odessa and Dallas. Due to icy road conditions and miles of backed up traffic, I didn't even make it that far. I got about 13 miles from my hotel in Abilene and was forced to turn around and seek shelter elsewhere. Problem is, there is almost NOTHING between Odessa and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And then i found Merkle. This town appears to have a population of 7, with a realy down home country vibe. Turns out that is the best thing to find in an emergency situation like the one I was in.
I found the Scottish Inn (which, I think is the ONLY motel in Merkle, Texas) and happened to snag the second-to-last room. I couldn't have been more pleased with the care and consideration of the owners. They are wonderful people who are truly invested in making your stay as enjoyable as possible.
Sure the accomodations don't seem to have been updated since the early 1980's, but you can tell these folks have put a lot of effort into sprucing the place up as much as possible. The TV was an old, somewhat dilapidated Sharp CRT, but it had cable! The room was old, but very clean and comfortable. The coffe maker worked beautifully in the morning and the heater kept my from freezing to death.
I also visited the attached restaurant (again, pretty much my only option due to the iced over roads), which was like eating in a friend's country kitchen. The servers were exceptionally friendly and the food was perfectly good.
Overall, this is a value motel that I never would have stopped at given the choice, but lo and behold, the weather had different plans for me. In the end I'm glad I did too. A large room with a king size bed was only $57 including tax, and the overall quality of the stay was exceptional.
If you don't require a name brand hotel --or funiture/decorations from this decade-- then this hotel is a wonderful choice.
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