Exploring some Giant bits of Texas before leaving the Lone Star State. This is the third week on the road.
Words taken from my daily journals, with some enhancements…..here or there.
I was seeking wifi to catch up on some blog posts. The locals at the grocery store all suggested the library, which happens to be located next to the hotel that Alice wanted to have a drink. Approaching the library, it looked like an old jail with rusted steel bars and heavy metal doors. I made my way in and explored. As I wandered I fell deeper and deeper in love. Then it happened! I came to a room with books for sale! My weakness. I indulged in my giddiness and looked over each and every title. Limiting myself to 6 books, I dropped my donation (payment) in the box. Setting my new treasures aside, I found a quiet spot and got to work.
2 hours later, work was done, bills for the month were paid and the hotel bar finally opened. Alice and I bellied up to the bar and for the first time on the trip, I enjoyed a real good drink: Campari, Bourbon, Bitters!!!! YUMMMMM!
Stars Bright Above You
Last night we went to the MacDonald Observatory, which is a short yet steep drive from the campgrounds. Pulling up to the mountain there were domes after domes of telescopes, reminding me of the movie ‘Contact”. (Oh, what a great movie!) I wondered what it was like to live up here in the mountains, spending all your time studying the night sky.
We had made reservations for the star party. 398 people did as well. The space of the welcome center allowed for so many people and felt cozy, not cramped. As we waited for the party to start I snooped through the gift shop buying some postcards to send home.
Once almost dark, the party began. Alice and I, and the others, headed to the outdoor seating area. We were led by red glowing lights. ‘Would this lead to a space ship to take us to another world?’ I thought, fingers crossed.
Days before we left for the road, we had watched “Giant” with Alice’s cousin Jo Nan. I had not seen the 4 hour epic film in its entirety. Seeing the movie made exploring the Hotel Paisano, even more exciting. The walls were covered with old photos taken on the set of the movie. I was especially taken with the photos of James Dean, well, who wouldn’t be.
James Dean and Liz Taylor dancing on set (photo 1), stunning chandelier in the bathroom (photo 2).
We were killing time before a tour of Donald Judd’s living space in Marfa. Once on the tour, I was completely taken by Donald Judd’s book collection and libraries. One of only few reasons I’d like to have a permanent home would be to have a library! And I won’t mind one like Donald’s.
We got into the tour thanks to our new friend Sam. She also made sure we had BBQ that night, at the BEST place in town, Convenience West. You can taste the love, sweat and tears that go into this homemade BBQ, pickles, sweat potato salad, and Gluten Free cornbread! Don’t tell my mom but I think their brisket is better than hers…..shhhhhhhh.
If These Yucca’s Could Talk
We finally made it out of Texas and at Oliver Lee State Park in New Mexico. Last night, we watched “Joe Verses The Volcano”. It was fun. Hanging in the van, eating popcorn and watching a movie, it felt like home.
The Yucca’s are in full bloom. At first they are shy and hidden. I look out, over the vast open land. Seeing only a sea of green, then a POP of white, then another POP of white, and another, POP, POP, POP. What first appeared to be nothing is very much something. They are coming out to say hello, full of welcoming delight.
As I go up to greet each one, they stand tall with blossomed crowns, placed just off kilter, on top of their heads. Stacked tall with lush white flowers with the smallest hint of yellow and tips painted pink, like sun kissed lips. Spiked green collars that stiffen and elongate their necks. Dead blades hang and weave their way round and round the waist letting in only bits of the clear blue skies. The cool fresh breeze ripples through the valley, conducting the miles upon miles of crowns in a slight head bobble style of dance.
Giant Sea of White Sands
I’ve marked something off my bucket list! Camping at the backwoods campgrounds at White Sand National Monument. A few years ago, I visited here with my brother and saw they had hike in camping in the sand dunes. I made a mental note, thinking that would be totally rad! Now, here I am.
It was so quiet last night. No creatures, no people, nothing. Not a sound, except the slight rustle of my tent in the faint breeze. The stars were pretty cool but it was a bit overcast. I was hoping to see all the way to another galaxy but had to settle for this spectacular one instead. I woke around 5:30am to popsicle toes. It’s chilly, no, it’s a cold morning. I finally got the bravery to come out of my tent. Sitting in the cold white sands, I’m taking in the magical moment of the night greeting the morning. Ha, ya know only a few of us, myself now included, have experienced a sunrise from the center of the dunes. That’s pretty epic.
Thank you sooooo very much Barbara Luna for sending in this epic heart photo!