Marfa, Texas... you may or may not have heard of it, but I'm going to tell you a little about it!
I've heard of Marfa for a super long time now and when we decided to take on this journey... Marfa was one of the first places on my list! You know.. Prada Marfa, the Marfa lights...?? yea?! - Maybe not... Adam had never heard of it either and I didn't know much about it but I knew I had to go. It's one of those places you can't explain. It's weird and lovely and expensive and poor and it is way far West in Texas. Like, on the border pretty much, far away from any type of civilization or hospitals.
So from San Antonio, we decided to drive straight there, mainly because there's NOTHING in between- a few tumbleweeds, some non working gas stations, some broke down houses that I have no idea how they're still standing, oh and I can't forget about the border patrol... that was literally, it. It was a dreaded drive for sure but I was very surprised to see how beautiful the views truly were. It was miles and miles of desert and then these huge beautiful mountains randomly appeared and lasted through the rest of the trip, then hundreds of wind mills in the distance.. ugh it just didn't look real! Every minute of the drive, I'm pretty sure I'd yell at Adam.. "look! look over there! look at that mountain! look at all those wind mills!" I yelled enough that he was like, "ok, I get it, can I please get a nap in now?!" It was just one of those serene drives where you're like.. wow, all of this is out here, all of these forgotten homes that are miles apart just sitting in the desert existing with no love at all.. and you start thinking about your life. How small you really are, how you'll one day be forgotten like those houses were.. then you quickly think, Gosh.. that's exactly why I have to live in the NOW.. be present with everything that I do, be thankful for all I have and just live- which is exactly what we're doing. We are living our dreams that we had for so long.
So if you ask me about Marfa... my opinion is not only based on the town alone but the drive to and from, and the sweet footprint it left on my soul. It was just one of those places.
We pulled into our campsite (Tumble In Rv Park) and Adam looked at me and said "really??" with this "what the hell" look on his face.. all he could do was laugh.. he was like.. Is this seriously where we're staying?? I just giggled and said it'll be fun! Yall, when I tell you this was a shit hole... it really was! It was the driest of the driest places... just dirt everywhere, the office was an old tiny camper (maybe 4 feet big) and you walk in and write your name on a sheet of paper and what spot you're staying in and leave money in a box. This place works on an honor system- how crazy is that?! So, Adam comes out of the office just shaking his head still in shock that this is real life. (I'm laughing writing this thinking about his poor face coming out of that so-called office) So from there, we headed to our spot in the back.. there were 2 other people there and 2 trailers (one was an airstream) that looked completely abandoned. I found out later that one was a super cute airbnb trailer. The other, (the airstream) I still don't know why it was there.. it was empty inside and maybe someone is eventually going to fix it and make it an airbnb, too?? Just my guess and hopes for that cute little babe. Anyways, not gonna lie, it was creepy. The whole campground was just weird. They had an old shed that was the "clubhouse" and some bathrooms that I wouldn't dare go in.. and that's it. We met a couple from New Orleans that was staying right in front of us which was a warming feeling.. So if we were going to die, we'd all die together. Then that was it. The other people didn't talk to us, they were all just in and out of their trailers, never up for conversation. I know, strange.
Anyway.. Once we got the airstream set up and everyone was done getting their wiggles out, we got in the truck and headed to downtown Marfa. It took us 2 minutes to get there and 1 minute to go through town, seriously. Not exaggerating over here. We didn't really understand at first what the big deal was with this place? And there isn't a big deal about it at all, I think that's the thing. It's this old town that is only even existing because an artist went and installed some "famous" work there. Now, it's an "art town". A lot of rich people go and visit this place and spend a fortune on items in boutiques and yea.. it's just strange, and I heard some of the locals aren't so happy about it. Other locals are because without all the rage, this town would be gone. It has a ghost like feel and a champagne atmosphere at the same time. There were several abandoned buildings in the downtown area, a few restaurants, a few boutiques, and a really nice hotel... The rest of the town outside of the downtown was very, very poor it seemed. The people weren't real nice either except a very few. They all kinda looked at us like why are we here?! Funny cause my husband thought the same thing. -_-
We checked out a health food store (The Get Go) and spent almost $100.00 on like 4 items... I didn't get the memo when Adam kept saying, we can go to the "other" store. Oops. They had a lot of items I had never seen and quite a bit of gluten free stuff so I was too excited to even check out the prices. And who would have thought something in such a poor town would cost so much?! Anyways, if you want to be your best healthy self, this place has it all.. along with the high dollar price tags! So from there, we ended up going to Porter's where they had everything. It was actually a really nice grocery store if you're ever lost and starving in West Texas! We cooked dinner, then rushed down the street about 20 miles to see the Marfa lights.
The Marfa lights are these lights that bounce around in the far distance in and around a mountain side on the East side of Marfa. Nobody knows what they are. Some say they are headlights from cars, some say it's where the heat and coolness of the desert come together and form a type of gas, Some say it's just a strange unexplained phenomena- They are also called "ghost lights". What I saw looked like headlights butttt lots of tourists around me were certain they were something else? Regardless, It was SO BEAUTIFUL, the stars that is. I'm pretty sure I've never seen so many. I took advantage of the pure darkness of the desert and learned a little night photography as well. I'd love to give these lights another try one day when I don't have tired babies ready to get in their beds. If you've never heard of these, do some research on them, the history is pretty cool and the people I talked to that have seen them said they couldn't even explain it. They said the lights come together, separate, bounce, and pretty much dance all around while changing colors! I'd love to witness this for myself one day, but for this trip, I had no luck.
The next day was a rest day, rest as in- lets find a coffee shop, visit El Cosmico (a campground with teepees, trailers, & airstreams you can stay in!), and maybe check out the art in/around town. The art is THE thing to see in Marfa. The art is actually why this place is still on the map. A minimal artist named Donald Judd moved to Marfa in the 70's from New York City. He wanted to get out of the crazy, fast paced life and he liked the little population that Marfa had to offer, so he settled. He brought his own idea of art to Marfa and probably never would have guessed it's as big as it is now. His art is very basic structures that he wanted to merge with the desert and that he did. I'm not totally into art, but what he did was fascinating. Fascinating in a sense that people from all over the world travel to see it and it's nothing more than concrete structures (if you ask the average Joe). Judd died in 1994, but his art and foundation live on. His foundation has also inspired other artist to place their work in this town.
Prada Marfa is one of the pieces of work... one that I'm in love with, built by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. It's this random building West of Valentine, which is the tiny town next to Marfa. When I say tiny, I mean, we never saw a soul there.. I've never seen a town more ghostly. There were holes in every house, looked like no electricity was running in any of them.. yet, there were newish cars throughout the town. STRANGE. And if you blinked, you'd miss it all. Anyway.. back on track- the Prada Marfa building... this building... yall- it's so pretty... with actual Prada merch in it. The idea behind this art was to let the desert take it back over, however that may be. The plan was to never upkeep it, but to simply, let it be. Of course, in today's world- vandals ruined the building quite a few times so repairs were made. They now have a few cameras installed and the local police watch out for any nonsense that goes on. Anyway, I HAD to see this building in person. And when I finally did, I was in awe. It's just crazy to me that something so beautiful, yet so simple... just exists... in the middle of the desert! This was the highlight of the trip (to me, at least). I don't know why this was so amazing to me, maybeee because it's like the fashion icon of the West. Just one of those things I had to see for myself. and I so happily did. :)
So yea, that was pretty much our trip to Marfa... have I talked you into going yet?! It's ok if I haven't... When we tell people we went and they ask how it was... I always smile and look at Adam waiting for his eye roll. He will say there's nothing there and go on and on about the vastness of dirt/dust they have and how it's a phenomenon that it's even a "destination" for some. I say go. Go and explore the nothingness, pretend you're crazy rich a time or two and act like the insanely expensive, hole in the wall boutiques aren't good enough for you. Check out El Cosmico because a bunch of teepees are always cool to see, even if they're surrounded by poverty in the middle of nowhere. Find yourself starring at the stars and realizing how little you truly are, even if you never see a Marfa light. See how many thoughts pop up on that long drive to and from Marfa... you'll be surprised at how much you can actually think of in the desert. It's just a place you can hardly explain to somone.. I think some love it and some are confused by it. But I say go.. go and form your own opinion. Adam's and mine are sooo different and that's totally ok. I found a little piece of me there & that's all I really needed.