Friday, November 15, 2013

Part 1: On the Road to Marfa. And Hotel Paisano.

I've lived in Tejas since 1982 and this is the first time I've been out to west Texas. Within the first two hours, give or take, the word southwest came to mind. Ah yes, this is the southwest. And it's starting to look like Arizona; duh, naturally this makes sense. You can see the landscape organically morph. Who knew there were real mountains in Texas?! 

Our trip was planned around staying in a teepee at El Cosmico that Mike booked as a surprise. The only teepee available happened to land on Thursday. Our trip basically went in three parts based on where we could get a place to stay along the way. We left on Tuesday morning. So we needed some place to stay for two other nights. Besides glamping at El Cosmico (and it's still pretty close to real-ish camping, in my opinion) some other things of nature we had to do were stop at Balmorhea to jump in Solomon Springs on the way (check) and explore the Ft. Davis mountains and stay at Indian Lodge. Those are on the way out to Marfa but the only availability at the lodge was on Wednesday. We couldn't decide on where to stay on the way to or near Marfa on Tuesday (that wouldn't take us out of the way or be a complete shit hole) so we just went on through, stayed the night in Marfa on Tuesday evening then headed back north Wednesday morning to explore the Ft. Davis area.

We originally thought we would real-camp on Tuesday but at the last minute decided not to because we thought we might freeze. It was supposed to be in the 30's or 40's or something. Turns out, with all the blankets we brought we probably would have been fine. Well, after around 10 hours or so of driving (we made stops for photos, etc.) we got to Marfa and stayed at El Paisano. Amazing hotel with turn of the century, southwest revival design and architecture. I'll talk more about Marfa in my next post in this three part road trip series: 1) On the Road to Marfa, 2) Ft. Davis & Indian Lodge, and 3) Back to Marfa.

But for now here are the photos from our trip out to west Texas and early the next morning heading to Ft. Davis & Indian Lodge. This was really one of the best trips I've ever had, including trips to Europe and the Caribbean. For real.
These next two photos are from Balmorhea at Solomon Springs. I hate to say it but the water itself is more amazing than Barton Springs. It's clear spring water that feels so soft and the visibility is phenomenal. If you were blind folded and dropped into the water there then the blindfold was removed and you opened your eyes to look below, you would think you were in the ocean. 
These next two photos are a view from our screened-in porch. Some might think, "awful, white-trashy", but if you know me, you know I like seedy stuff & see everything as art when I'm in the mood. The light was ethereal and the texture of the buildings and little patches of grass was crunchy perfect.

This is on our walk to Cochineal for dinner, a really adorable and delicious upscale yet casual chic restaurant. I'm good at identifying the most subtle of flavors in recipes but the steak that Mike had -- I dunno! It was really perfect. All I know is that there was some sort of smoky grilled thing going on and I was getting the sense of something herbaceous, green, and fresh at the same time. Yowza. The building you see in the distance is part of The Chinati Foundation.