In preparation for my trip down to NC in a couple weeks, I thought I'd share some photographs from the second-to-last big trip I took (the most recent being my relocation from TX to NY with just me, a cat, a bag of Barnana, and all my belongings in the car).
In July 2013, my good friend B and I headed out in the FJ with some good desert outfits, a pair or two of crazy tall heels (just in case), and loads of chia seeds, fiber crackers and bananas.
Our goal was to hit Marfa and surrounding areas, pass through some border towns, see a star show, see Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation, check out the Prada Marfa store, exist in the desert, and leave time to explore/look at rocks.
Our first night, we slept in an average old motel with two beds. We were near a large town.
We moved westward....
We spent a night at a "tourist's/motorist's camp," whose rooms were basically open-air stalls crammed with two twin beds. It was cheap, and breezy, and clean. The town, whose name escapes me, was quite strange.
We headed up an unpaved mountain path to get to the Chinati hot springs just out of Marfa proper. Below is the spring-fed cold pool where I learned to swim for the first time.
Having failed to obtain fresh groceries before setting up the mountain, we improvised with some dry goods and spices we found in the communal kitchen, plus a questionable beverage made from Crystal Lite concentrate + Bragg's apple cider vinegar in water.
We had a little cabin a few feet from the hot spring. It was filled with carved wooden trinkets and tiny furniture.
Heading down the next day, we passed through a ghost town called Ruidosa. We stopped a while; ruins filled with tires and HOT sun.
On one lovely night, B coordinated for us to visit a star party at the McDonald Observatory, which boasts the highest-elevation public-access road in the country. When night fell, we were allowed to look through various telescopes at planets and star clusters.
We spent a night in Marfa at the El Cosmico "tent hotel" (they have trailers, too!). It had gotten unbearably hot for me. When it cooled down at night, I bundled up in woollen blankets and laid in a hammock under the stars.
We ate a taco that, for some reason, contained grits.
We drove down a broad, empty highway to visit the Prada Marfa installation. We took our clothes off because nobody except distant truckers could see. The sun felt good.
We passed an air base fencing in a massive, unidentifiable floating white object. Even though no one was about, we didn't dare step through the gate.
Finally, the death toll on my FJ's bullguard, including one pretty (dead) ladybug.