And so we're finally back with a blog post! Both Thomas and I have been plenty busy with work and school which hasn't left much time for any adventures. We agreed to take a break for the Thanksgiving weekend and get the heck out of Houston to visit West Texas. Our trip took us to the little desert town of Marfa.
We took off on Wednesday night and traveled halfway to Garner State Park where we camped for the night. I was excited beyond belief to finally go camping but feared getting our camp setup in the dark as we all know Thomas isn't the handiest dude around and I lack patience. We surprisingly managed to get the tent all set up in about 15 minutes while Poof was busy getting himself tangled around a picnic table, covering himself in "stickies" (those spikey seed things that latch on to everything) and eating wildlife that would eventually make him sick. I also thought it would be super easy to start a campfire. Wrong. We were ill prepared and Thomas had to burn a book from his car to get the fire started. We celebrated with S'mores and Whiskey!
We survived the night in our tiny tent where Poof played security guard for a good portion of the evening. A pack of coyotes found food in the middle of the night and decided to let everyone know they were nearby which kept me up scared straight for a solid hour but all went well and peaceful.
Turns out we were camping right next to the Frio river which was much prettier in person than in these pictures. My camera skills need some serious work.
We left early in the morning and hit the road for another 6 hours. Here are some photo highlights.
We own our own cycle store in the middle of nowhere.
Crossing Lake Amistad.
We said a little hello to the Mexican Border where we got stopped at a border patrol check point where a fleet of 15 big huge dudes greeted us which their giant German Shepherd to sniff our car and make sure we were American Citizens (to which I mistakenly said yes because I was so damn nervous) before sending us on our merry way. United States to your right, Mexico to your left.
Crossing the Pecos River which feeds into the Rio Grande. This was such an awesome surprise. It's much much grander in person. It looks shrunk in this photo!
Because I'm obsessed with trains.
The drive to our cabin in Fort Davis.
The desert is incredible. We couldn't stop pulling over to take pictures and gawk at the scenery.
The obligatory Poof conquering the world photo.
We hit up the Marfa Lights Viewing Area when we arrived. Marfa is most famous for it's "mystery lights" which draws peoples from all over the U.S. We saw a gorgeous desert sunset and reflections of car headlights that looked mysterious but no ghostly lights.
Marfa is a sleepy desert town that has a reputation for being hip and up and coming in the art scene. Our vacation timing was a bit off on this trip. Thanksgiving weekend meant lots of little shops and restaurants were closed. I imagine it to be pretty packed in the summer time with camping and music & art festivals. We visited the book store and a couple of art galleries that had Andy Warhol's rendition of the last super. Who would of thought there would be Warhol's in Marfa?
It was super cold and super windy but super nice and sunny.
Tumbleweeds. They're for real.
We also got pulled over on our way to the neighboring town of Alpine for lunch (since everything was closed or cash only in Marfa) We got in trouble for driving in the left hand lane (which is apparently only for passing in these parts) and for driving 4 miles over the speed limit. Luckily the cop realized we were silly out of towners and let us off with a warning. Oops!
We went to the McDonald Observatory (p.s. not my photo) on Saturday night for one of their star parties. We bundled up with layers, brought our sleeping bag to keep our legs warm and equipped ourselves with hand warmers and hats for the evening. It began with a 30 minute constellation tour in an amphitheater at the top of the mountain where the guide pointed out the different constellations in the sky with a super strong and fancy laser pointer. After that telescoping viewings were open to see our moon, a nebula and Jupiter and it's moons. It was freezing. Like maybe 30 degrees freezing and standing in long lines with no time limitations on viewings was not too fun. We toughed it out to view nearly every telescope except for the big dome ones until I called it quits because I thought I'd have to amputate my toes from frostbite by the end of the evening. We sat in the car with our feet up to the air vents blasting the heat for 10 minutes before actually heading back to the cabin. I'll try this adventure again in the summer time.
We also took a whole series of awesome pictures on another stretch of gorgeous highway which I later realized I neglected to check my camera settings which were on nighttime numbers from the lights viewing the night before. Oops again!
We headed back on Saturday and drove the 9 hours in one shot. Having not much to do because of holiday weekend closures turned out to be a great success. We just wandered around aimlessly and took pictures and it was such a nice change of pace to get out of the city. We plan on visiting the area again on our TNT Roadtrip 2014 and we can't wait!