February 20, 2011

Sunday Pleasures: Belated Post-Marfa Edition

I actually dreamed about being in Marfa last night, probably because I spent part of yesterday evening working on a collage of our trip. Nearly two weeks post-vacation, here are some of the lovely places we visited out west.

We were supposed to stay at the adorable and cheap STAY Marfa, but due to a freeze, their plumbing burst. Although we were bummed about not being able to stay in these cool apartments, we didn't complain when we found out we'd been put up in the historic Hotel Paisano for no extra charge. After a long day of driving, we got a few groceries from the Get Go and settled into our room to drink boxed wine and watch bad cable TV.

On Saturday we drove out to Prada Marfa and had fun fooling around taking pretentious photos. On our way back into Marfa proper we got absolutely delicious (and cheap!) tacos at Tacos Del Norte. Even better than many of the tacos you can get in Austin. Back in town, we walked around taking photos of Marfa and stopped in at Marfa Book Company, where I dropped far more money than I'd budgeted. Dinner that night was at Pizza Foundation, which has a fantastic array of toppings to make the pie of your dreams. And after getting lost and having to drive up a mountain in the dark, we finally made it out to the McDonald Observatory, where we got to look through powerful telescopes and have an astronomer point out constellations with the most badass laser pointer I have ever seen.

Sunday was all about hiking in Big Bend National Park. After breakfast at the Austin Street Cafe, we drove two hours (and went through a border patrol checkpoint) to have an adventure. We went down into a canyon and could see Mexico across the Rio Grande - and the river was so low that if we'd wanted to risk getting in trouble with border patrol, I would have run across and touched it. We spent the entire afternoon being floored by the beauty of the Texas mountains. I can't wait to go back so I can see them again. After getting dusty and dirty while hiking (and realizing the hard way that you really can't go off-roading in a Honda Civic), we stopped in at the Terlingua ghost town and went on the walking tour. Then we stopped in for a beer at the Starlight Theatre before heading back to our hotel to be lazy after a busy day.

On Monday morning we took a yoga class at Marfa Yoga, checked out of the hotel, and headed out to Chinati Hot Springs. We had to drive up a mountain again, but this time it was a totally unpaved mountain. After a slightly stressful trip up, we found ourselves in a beautiful, remote place without wifi or cell phone signal. We hiked, we cooked in the communal kitchen, and we spent a nice long time soaking in the springs. It was a great way to cap off our West Texas adventure.

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