Friday, June 12, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity-jog!



In spite of some terrible weather in Dallas, we arrived home yesterday most reluctantly. The Big Bend area turns out to be very easy to get used to: mountains as far as the eye can see, fantastic weather (barely humid, cool enough to require a jacket at night and in the morning), fantastic traffic (read: what traffic?), and a lovely new tan I'm sporting. And what does Dallas have? Well, a tornado apparently came through, the whole area's flooded, and my cashmere sweater will no longer be an option until late autumn.

Anyway, let's get down to business!

Saturday: Up at 5:00 AM, in the air at 8:00 AM, spend the late morning at Monahans Sandhills State Park, get coated in sand, arrive in Marfa at 2:30 PM (long drive), do a small amount of exploring, take a shower to remove sand, sleep like rocks.

Sunday: Drive from Marfa to Presidio (on the border), see Fort Leaton State Historic Site, take the scenic drive along the border between Presidio and Terlingua that runs through Big Bend Ranch State Park (not to be confused with Big Bend National Park), wind up at the very cool Barton Warnock Environmental Education in Terlingua, head back to the hotel, get stopped by Border Patrol just south of Alpine (they found guys with $35,000 worth of pot in their horse trailer, so I guess it's understandable), eat pizza in our room from the greatness of Pizza Foundation, discover I have some nasty sunburnt shoulders, sleep like rocks.

Monday: Rise and shine early, head out to Davis Mountains State Park, hike part of a trail (we knew our limits and didn't want to get caught on the trail when the temp shot up to 100 degrees--in the morning it was still in the low 80's), drive the scenic Skyline Road up a foothill, take some great pictures, head over to Fort Davis National Historic Site, have a siesta back at the hotel, dine at the hotel's restaurant in the official anniversary celebration, get tipsy on champagne and a delicious tawny port, sit on our balcony and argue the merits of modern and contemporary art, sleep like rocks.

Tuesday: Rise late, breakfast late, pull on swimsuits, head out to Balmorhea State Park, see the reconstructed desert wetlands, discover I forgot to put battery in camera, see the viewing area (you could see underwater at the wetlands to see two fish not found anywhere else), climb into 72-degree spring-fed pool (brrr!), enjoy the fish that live in the pool, get bitten by said fish, play catch with gloves and baseball, nearly lose baseball in spring, realize that my sunburn now covers my shoulders and chest and back, dine at hotel restaurant again, get tipsy on champagne again, have deep discussion about the merits of Sergei Eisenstein films, spend evening on balcony, sleep like rocks.

Wednesday: Finally take in cosmopolitan Marfa, rise late, buy art at the hotel's gallery, eat at Food Shark (divine), see a gallery with original vintage posters, lust over WWI posters and a pre-WWII German poster, wander about town, siesta, head to restaurant Cochineal for what we thought was Mexican food but was really a fancy restaurant, got tipsy on a rosé brut, walk back towards hotel while taking pictures of all the beautiful buildings, discover a nice community garden, drink iced tea in the hotel's plaza, wander about and take nighttime photos, sit on balcony until midnight, sleep like rocks.

Thursday: Rise reluctantly, eat breakfast at Squeeze Marfa, get to use my German skills (the labels on the special chocolate they sell are all in German), peruse gallery and stores at hotel one last time, drive back to airport, find out that weather in Dallas is crazy and our particular flight may not leave until tomorrow, move to earlier flight that's supposed to leave at 3:20 but now leaving at 5:15, somehow wind up on flight, land in Dallas, feel profound sadness over not being in Marfa anymore, sleep like rocks.

Now you know what our schedule was. Pictures will be forthcoming!

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