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I left San Francisco (sadly, without Sophie) and meandered down the coast.  I stopped in on friends in Laguna Beach and spent a relaxing weekend before I started my journey back East.  I made a quick stop in Phoenix, AZ to visit an old Boston friend – it’s really been a few years?!

Next stop, Marfa, TX.

Marfa is a town in the high desert of far west Texas.  I’ve been dying to visit, especially after my friend, Anthony, returned from his adventure with rave reviews.  I’m staying at El Cosmico – a fabulous RV park and camp site.  You can rent one of their amazing RVs, pitch a tent, or squat in your own camper on the premises.

Taco and my trusty steed

I’ve been riding my bike everywhere.  There are tons of little galleries, shops and restaurants and I’ve had a blast just tooling around.  The population is a great mix of old and young, native and transplant.  Frama for coffee in the morning and then I took a drive out to Balmorhea State Park (about an hour east of Marfa). It’s located on the San Solomon Spring and there is a fantastic spring fed pool that is the perfect respite for 95 degree heat!

After taking a dip at the park, I drove through Fort Davis and got a delicious sandwich at a farm stand, some beers for Taco (and me) and some local organic coffee.  I was also randomly asked to join a roller derby team (no, I was not on skates).   Then I picked this up at a thrift store for $1 !   Double album with one of my favorite Burt Bacharach tunes!!

I returned to camp for a siesta and then headed to Padre’s for some home cooked gumbo and a margarita.  This place used to be a funeral home!

After dark, I headed to the Marfa Mystery Lights Lookout.  The sky is soooo big and clear, every star is visible.  The mystery lights are theorized to occur for different reasons:  car headlight reflections, camp fires, swamp gas, static electricity – I like to think they’re aliens.

I had booked a tour for the following day at the Chinati Foundation – a modern art museum, founded by Donald Judd in 1979.  It was once the site of Fort D.A. Russell.  Most of the art here is on permanent display.  It originally was designed to house the art of Donald Judd, John Chamberlain, and Dan FlavinCarl Andre, Ingólfur Arnarsson, Roni Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley now join the ranks as well as a handful of artists in residence.

I met up with 3 guys who were staying at El Cosmico with me – we were unintentionally rendezvousing at the same places and decided to tour around together.  We’re all headed in opposite directions.  Happy Trails, boys!

Donald Judd

Donald Judd

Carl Andre

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin

Claes Oldenberg and Coosje Van Bruggen

John Chamberlain in the old Marfa Wool and Mohair building

John Chamberlain

After the tour, we stopped at Food Shark for lunch and a crazy, torrential downpour!

Back to camp for an outdoor shower and siesta and then I biked down to a new restaurant, The Miniature Rooster.  So delicious! I had shrimp and grits with a poached egg plopped right in the middle.  They’re famous for chicken and waffles, but it looked like an entire chicken atop a pile of waffles and Taco doesn’t like leftovers.

After dinner, I HAD to have a drink at El Paisano Hotel bar.  The cast and crew of “Giant” (Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean) made this their headquarters in the summer of 1955.  The hotel opened in 1930.

Goodbye, Marfa – I’ll be back!  Onward and Eastward…

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3 Comments

  1. You’d be kickass on a roller derby team. You could be Marla the Masher or Marla the Machine.

  2. Marla- Marfa is going to be our next springbreak destination. Kathleen has always had a thing for Donald Judd and why not try something new. You’ve sold it to us. I’ll bet that Austin is next. Didn’t know that you’d be my Texas scout did you? Corky

    • Hi Corky! You and Kathleen will love it – I’m glad I could be your scout!


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