life is a highway. i want to ride it all night long!

 This is actually a photograph of New Mexico from a couple of years ago. We're  not  going here -- but for now, close enough.

This is actually a photograph of New Mexico from a couple of years ago. We're not going here -- but for now, close enough.

So there are two things you should know about me: 

1.  I have never been particularly charmed by the concept of the Road Trip; and

2.  If I'm standing in sand, chances are high there's an ocean no more than 30 feet from my toes.   My Caribbean soul demands that sand and ocean go together.

Given this, guess how Marcus and I will be spending the upcoming Memorial Day weekend!

  That's 600 miles of bona fide Texas asphalt, baby!

That's 600 miles of bona fide Texas asphalt, baby!

That's right: flying in the face of these two truths I've always held about myself.  We're embarking on the Great Chookooloonks Wild West Road Trip of 2013!  (And I'm weirdly excited about it.)

Originally, Marcus and I had planned a weekend getaway, just the two of us, to New York City -- you know, lights! Broadway!  Walking hand-in-hand on city streets past urine-soaked alleyways!  It was going to be romantic and perfect.

And then, I started looking at the cost.

It just didn't make sense to do such an epic trip for such a short time.  But I was looking forward to a date weekend with him, so I started thinking about what we could do that was different and fun, but that was driving distance away.  San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, while great cities, are places we've recently visited.  New Orleans is only about a 5 hour drive away, but again, it's a city that we've been to before.  Mexico is close ...

... and then I remembered Marfa, Texas

Marfa is one of those cities you've never heard of, or you've heard of it and you're intrigued, or you've actually visited and think it is the coolest! place! ever!, or so every photographer who has visited insists to me.  I am in the first camp.  From what I understand, It's a tiny town in west Texas, and friends of mine who have visited the place speak of it with so much awe that it confuses me, especially since a Google search of the town indicates that there's not a whole lot to the place.  It's truly an outpost out in the middle of nowhere, closely resembling Radiator Springs, the setting of the animated Disney/Pixar classic, Cars.

Don't believe me?  Here's Radiator Springs.  Here's Marfa.  


And yet, everyone insists the town is magical, speaking of it with almost whispered reverence.  And admittedly, my curiosity is piqued:  after all, it was the setting of the movie Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.  It has developed into a widely-renowned art colony.  And then of course, there are the eerie, mysterious Marfa lights. *

So the more I researched the place, the more convinced I became that this was the destination we should spend our holiday weekend.  When Marcus came home, I got ready to spring my brilliant idea on him. 

"I have a brilliant idea to spring on you," I said. 

"What's that?" 

"I say we cancel our hotel reservation to New York ..."  I began.

"... and do a road trip to Marfa, Texas instead?"  

I looked at him, stunned.  "How in the hell did you know that I was going to say that?" 

He looked at me, stunned, "Wait, seriously?!  That's what you were going to say?" 

It was a sign. And so, tomorrow, we're heading out.  We'll spend one day touring Marfa (ending with a viewing of the Marfa lights! I hope!), and then the second day, we'll head over to Big Bend National Park, to hike and take photos of the desert and rocks and cliffs and sand-that-is-nowhere-near-the-sea (pray for kind weather -- summer fast approaches in Texas, and temperatures are already knocking on 100˚F!).

Naturally, I'm hoping to have tons of stories when I return. 

So with that, have a great weekend, friends. And for those of you in America, if you're enjoying the long weekend, please stay safe! 


*  A third thing to know about me:  I am frankly fascinated with the paranormal.  Fascinated enough that a blunt person might use the phrase "mildly obsessed."  Marcus is too: in fact, we're in the middle of an X-Files marathon in our house  (we're halfway through season 4).   Likely related:  Marcus studied mathematics at university, and I majored in engineering.  

Our nerd cred is strong


Song:  Can you believe it -- two playlists in one month! But I could hardly leave for a roadtrip without getting the music ready, right?  Click on the image below to hear a sampling of what our epic ride will sound like. 

Only a few days remain for registration for the Chookooloonks Path Finder.  This is the final time I'll be offering it in its current format -- I hope you'll join me!