Thursday, September 12, 2013

Road Trip

Back in my college days, road trips were a mandatory release from the worries of the moment.  My roommate and I would take off on a Friday afternoon and head for Brenham or some other small town for whatever random reason. Because we could.  We ate in countless "hole-in-the-wall" places, danced ourselves silly in who knows how many small town dance halls, and just had fun. Random, spontaneous road trips are part of the college experience, something to remember fondly or laugh about in later years. 

Here's a sad fact about adulthood:  Ain't nobody got time for road trips.   There's a passel of responsibilities that come with graduating from college, and between a job, a house, pets, and a family, most adults are just too darn exhausted.  Oh, I've tried to get my husband to pack up and head out for parts unknown, but by the time we've decided where we would like to go, one of us is snoring. 

If I could pack up and head out today?  I'd go west.  I'd go to Marfa.

Where in the heck is Marfa?

Marfa is a tiny town in West Texas, located between the Davis Mountains and The Big Bend in the Chihuahuan Desert.  It is approximately 406 miles from San Antonio, a six hour car ride out Interstate 10, turn left after Fort Stockton.  The town is out in the very middle of nowhere.  It started out as a railroad water stop in the 1880s. My very first thought when I read that was to wonder where the water came from, since they're in the middle of a desert? Marfa got new life as a training facility for pilots during WWII, but that faded after the airfield closed.  Marfa is also the place where the movie Giant was filmed.  Visitors can ask to stay in James Dean's old room at the Hotel Paisano. Who knows?  Maybe his ghost will visit, looking for cigarettes.

The current population of Marfa is a whopping 1,981 people, so if you want to go where everybody knows your name, Marfa is the place.  These days, Marfa is a tourist destination for people who enjoy art and shopping.  Oh...and people also come to Marfa to see the Marfa lights.  These are 'ghost lights' or will o'the wisps that seem to enjoy entertaining the masses every evening.  No one seems to be really sure about when they showed up, but the people of Marfa have embraced the lights wholeheartedly.  They even built a viewing platform, so one might be comfortable sitting out in the dark in the middle of nowhere, waiting for random, floating balls of light to appear.  Marfa even holds a festival to celebrate the lights each year!  The Marfa Lights have been debunked a number of times as reflections from headlights on Highway 67, or some sort of atmospheric anomalies, but people still keep coming. 

I'd like to judge for myself.  I'd like to hop in my car, back it out of the driveway, and head west down Interstate 10.  After Uvalde, there's not a darn thing out there, and a road trip is about the journey, not the destination.  If I left my house at lunchtime, I could hit Marfa around dinnertime, check into a hotel, and then head over to the viewing platform, where I would wait for the lights to appear.  If I could stay awake that late, anyway.  These days, my nighty-night time is around ten-ish.  If the Marfa Lights could manage to show up before then, that would be awesome. 

Where would your own road trip take you?

2.) If you were to take a road trip this weekend, where would you go?

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. That trip to Marfa sounds interesting. I don't know how I feel about those mysterious lights though.

    If I could go someplace this weekend, it would be someplace in the low country. Maybe Daufuskie Island or Hilton Head. I haven't seen the ocean in a while and miss it.

  2. Love all the details about Marfa! I'd hop in the car and go to Oregon-to the coast. It's a state I've never been to and it is w/in driving distance.

  3. I'd love to just pack a bag and head out somewhere for the weekend... just drive and figure it all out as we went along. But like you said with families and responsibilities it's just too hard.

    Marfa sounds interesting for sure!

  4. Now that we are retired we take a road trip or two in the RV. We have a dark country road outside of Joplin where the Spook light travels up and down. It can be elusive but we have seen it a time or two. Sounds similar.

  5. Round Top - to eat a piece of the pies I've seen on Food Network.


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