Marfa, TX – October 25, 2014 / DAY 24 of #ontheroad1014
We drove into Marfa’s number one hideaway El Cosmico at 10:05pm. I’d been on the phone with the receptionist earlier in the evening inquiring about lodging. There was a wedding in town and everything was booked but we could pay the $10 service fee and sleep on the property using their amenities. We hadn’t packed a tent for this road trip, so we decided to just sleep in our car in the El Cosmico parking lot. Dan parked the car and I ran to the office as the receptionist I had been talking to was locking up, operating hours were 7am-10pm. She was really friendly and just told us to pay in the morning as the register had been closed out, and then pointed to where the restrooms were located. I returned to the car and explained what was up to Dan. Some friends we made in Austin were playing that night at a bar in town, so we drove over there.
It was a dark night in Marfa and we had been driving for over 8 hours, tired but ready to see what Marfa’s night scene had to offer we enjoyed our time by the smoky fires of Lost Horse Saloon. The owner and patch-eyed cowboy, Ty Mitchell caught my attention as he does most visitors, his tall stature and cool confidence inspiring the narrative of short stories one scribbles down on bar napkins. I was exhausted and my personality was not sparkling. It was a night of polite observation, watching a large black lab sniff at the feet of locals and travelers. Interns and artists chatting about their next venture with beer bottles in their hands. The ground was covered in rocks and bottle caps.
The band, Ted the Block, who’s touring schedule had coincidentally aligned with our road trip adventure took the stage and filled the bar with their catchy but experimental songs. A cacophony of melody produced with a grab bag of instruments that resembled the insides of a box labeled music stuff that’s hiding in the garage. After they played we went back to the El Cosmico parking lot and cleaned up for bed. It was cold and thankfully the few blankets we had with us, combined with filling the car with hot air before settling in for sleep, cocooned in a warm bubble. Yet, my mind didn’t want to rest and I repeatedly woke up in the passenger seat uncomfortable. On one of my hours of waking I noticed the sun was soon going to rise, so I woke up Dan and suggested we go and watch the sunrise from a hammock we’d spotted earlier. Grabbing our blanket we went to the hammock and cuddled under the tree, watching the golden sun rise above the horizon. It’s my number one favorite moment of the entire road trip.
We paid for our stay at El Cosmico and explored the grounds before headed to breakfast at Buns n’ Roses, a flowers, gifts, and breakfast joint. The food was ok, the company was delightful. Family members of the wedding that was in town were seated beside us and I enjoyed eavesdropping on the happy conversations. Unfortunately, we missed seeing all the cool day things about Marfa, since we were in the final days of our trip and Dan really wanted us to see the Carlsbad Caverns before going to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were on a schedule and had to say good bye to the small town before any of the stores or galleries opened. I often dream of returning to Marfa, to unplug and relax for a week or even just a few days. Surrender to my creative energies without the pressure of performance or deadlines breathing down my neck. I see why Marfa is this mecca for artists because it has a calm presence, a blank canvas for your mind to work from.
Last stop before hitting the road again was Prada, Marfa an art installation created in 2005 left to the elements. It’s a good 20 plus minutes from the center of town and on the side of the road, desert all around. We took our pictures, left some postcards, and were on our way. Later that day I actually received a tweet from a fellow traveler who had seen my postcard hidden behind Prada Marfa.