The Daily – Deserted Dessert Desert

Sunday 4/28 Marathon, TX – Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

I’ve camped a few places in and around Big Bend, and the Marathon Motel and Park might well be my favorite. The adobe cabins are cute as heck, the fountainfull courtyard feels happy, the tent spots are properly tucked away, the chickens like it, the bathrooms are tiled, and permanent residents (who are numerous) have sweet dogs and star gazing parties. A train passes through 6 times a night and it is full throttle cousin Vinny skit. We had pancakes for breakfast, we played with our newest friendliest acquaintance Rita who passionately enjoys belly rubs and tried to leave with us, and we took some much needed showers.

Then we were off for Marfa. At this point Marfa is a known commodity, but it really is a hip happening place in that hot dusty grunge way that the southwest does so well. We tipped,  tapped, and drank ginger pseudo kombucha at a lil slacker coffee shop full of the expected lil slacker crowd. Afterwords, we followed this crowd over to the Donald Judd (minimalist architect guy who did alot to put Marfa on the map) museum (really beautiful collection of buildings, part exhibit, part comune, part performing space) where we found a free live show (apparently part of a weekend festival, the Marfa Love In) inside a high ceilinged, stone floored building full of incense, jorts, and beautiful people meditating. The band was a trio – a couple multi-instrumentalists playing a range of woodwind instruments and old school percussion, and a producer live mixing and adding synths. Together they were soaring, screeching, bone rumbling ambience. I don’t know much about ambient music, but the comparison that came to mind was Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works Volume II, though this was probably a little less dense. Ultimately it was a little too much pretty, and a little too little freaky for me, but certainly some of the chords were gorgeously full, and it was one of the more beautiful performance spaces I’ve been in.

The drive from Marfa to Guadalupe Mountains National Park was pretty, highlighted by the famous Prada (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prada_Marfa), and Dissect taking on Kanye. We got in early enough to get a sight, and spend the evening chilling out with beans, rice, and an above average chapter of Fifth Season.

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