Day 400 – Marfa, TX

Marfa, TX can be broken into three cohorts (my rough distinction) – those that existed before NYC artist Donald Judd bought a lot of property and started creating his art in the mid 70s, those that came after Judd was well established in the mid 80s and those that have been moving to town since 2010.

Similar to Terlingua, Marfa is getting an increasing amount of attention and the resulting pressures that go along, but unlike Terlingua, Marfa is bigger and more heavily curated.

I will leave it to you the reader to do your own Googling to find out more about the history of the town, as I will briefly hit the highlights.

Do yourself a favor and stay at El Cosmico (pics). They have a variety of shelters to stay in, beautiful grounds, outdoor showers and community cooking space in addition to a nice office/communal space indoors with air conditioning and cold beer. You can pitch a tent for just $15 a night and have access to all the stuff people paying more do.

Check out the Chinati Foundation (Chi-Na-Tee not the whine Chianti) and see Donald Judd and his friend’s art. There is some interesting stuff and he is a fascinating guy. He bought a lot of an old army base that was also a German prison camp during WWII to place his art (he hated the term installation so don’t use it while on the grounds).

Spend some time looking around the Hotel Pasiano and eat at the restaurant while people watching. See if you can pick out the locals and chat them up. James Dean’s final movie was filmed in Marfa and the hotel has a whole room dedicated to it.

If you are into mystery go see the Marfa Lights. It has to do with air temperature distant fires and car lights traveling on US Hwy 67 or maybe dessert spirits, ghosts and spiritual energy 🙂 I’m not into the Supernatural so didn’t bother riding out there on my bicycle.