Monthly Archives: February 2016

TEXAS AND BEYOND TO – MORE TEXAS ???

February, 2016

You can see on a map, that Texas is a huge state.

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¬†But it’s not until you actually drive from one side to the other, at the widest point, do you really understand just how big. ¬†That’s one reason we’re still here. ¬†But it’s only one small reason. ¬†When we left Marfa, we drove to Del Rio. ¬†We found Broke Mill RV Park (see review) and reserved for two nights.

broke                     pool

Well, we stayed¬†for 2 weeks, so I thought I’d write a little bit about what held us there.

While speaking to one of my sons the other day, he said he looked at Del Rio on a map, and it seems pretty desolate. ¬†Well, yes and no. ¬†I imagine on a Google satellite map it does seem to be fairly “deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness” (thank you, Thesaurus). ¬†But not true. Broke Mill RV Park is about 6 miles from “downtown”. ¬†The sky is a perfect blue. ¬†Yesterday, my ¬†challenge for the day was to find ¬†one cloud. ¬†By sunset, I had lost the challenge. ¬† Every day has been warm and dry, in the high 70s and low 80s, with a bit of a ¬†cool breeze. It’s about 20 degrees cooler at night, which makes for great sleeping.

About 5 miles away is Lake Amistad, the second largest lake in Texas, with 65,000 surface acres of water, and a total shoreline of 851 miles.

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Craggy inlets make it fascinating to explore.  Bass fishing is fabulous.  There are ancient Indian petroglyphs in caves, only accessible by water.

San Felipe Creek is the fourth largest spring in Texas. ¬†It is clear and beautiful, and used for swimming, canoeing, ¬†kayaking and fishing. ¬†People walk the paths along ¬†the banks. ¬†It’s so clean, it’s the source of drinking water for the town. ¬†It’s also the place where four grown men, each in their own tube, but tied together, float down the creek with a special tube dedicated to carrying a cooler full of beer. ¬†If you enlarge and look closely at the next picture, you’ll see them.

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It was fun to visit Val Verde Winery, the oldest winery in Texas, and have a taste.

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We enjoyed Memo’s Mexican restaurant on the banks of San Felipe Creek.

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Incidentally, Memo’s is owned by the family of “Blondie” Calderon, who was country singer and star Ray Price’s bandleader for 30 years. ¬†If you ever visit, go on a Thursday, when they have live music, and sit by a window overlooking the creek.

Currently, we are on Mustang Island, just to the east of Corpus Christie, Texas. ¬†We have reserved our site here at Surfside RV Park for one month,¬†and this is why. ¬†Twenty five miles of gorgeous beach – that you can drive on, and park not less than 50′ ¬†from the water’s edge. ¬†The fee for a yearly beach permit is $12.00 !!! ¬†You can bring pets and food. ¬†No glass containers. ¬†It is immaculate and civilized, with rest areas and trash receptacles every 50 yards or so.¬†¬†By comparison,¬†in a New Jersey resort town, an individual¬†season beach badge is $105, and a daily is $10 – ¬†no pets in season — wake up NJ, and any other state that feels the need to charge people to use the natural resources of this planet.

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This is a pic of me and our truck – notice no one felt the need to park rightupagainstus.

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Tim relaxing with Willie Nelson.

It’s noon here, and Tim is waiting for me so we can go and enjoy the beach. ¬†Since we’ll be here for a month, I’m sure there will be lots more to report. Til’ next time, ¬†stay warm, y’all!

 

 

THE STARS AT NIGHT, ARE BIG AND BRIGHT [clap, clap, clap, clap]….

February, 2016

MARFA /MARTHA

On our continuing quest to be warm, and headed south, we found our way to the Texas town of Marfa. ¬†Marfa has the unfortunate fate of sounding like the name Martha, spoken by a person with an unusual overbite. ¬†Like her…

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In a prior post, I mentioned that we laugh a lot on the road.  Nothing is too silly for we weary travelers.  While in Marfa, we pretended that we would live here and open a shop.  For no other reason than to name it.  Marfa Plimpton Cinema, Marfa Graham Dance Studio, Marfa Stewart Home Decor, and Marfa Washington Gifts and Americana, were high on the contender list.

Marfa Visitor Center’s literature says: ‚ÄúMarfa: tough to get to, tougher to explain. ¬†But once you do, you get it.” ¬†We got it – sort of. ¬†It’s a place where minimalist art and cattle ranches collide. ¬†There is an art installation thirty miles out of town, a single structure in the middle of open range and desert, called “Prada Marfa”. ¬†There are real purses and shoes from the 2005 Prada Collection. ¬†Here’s yours truly doing a photo op.

beyonce

Beyoncé 2012

Booké

Booké 2016

ART

The famous minimalist artist Donald Judd decided that Marfa was the perfect canvas to create an indoor-outdoor museum, where artwork comes alive under the huge blue skies, and sharp Texas sun.  Judd was a cantankerous, larger-than-life figure who, by the time he had turned 40, had been invited to present a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Here in Marfa, in the early 1970s, Judd purchased property in Marfa, and ranch lands of Presidio County.  Most of the properties contain permanent installations of work by Judd, as well as art he collected from others.  The work below is typical of a Judd.

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THEATER ARTS

In the theater arts, you can catch glimpses of Marfa in movies like Giant, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood.

SUPERNATURAL MARFA

Finally, there is a supernatural phenomenon in Marfa – The Marfa Lights.

The Marfa Lights of west Texas have been called many names over the years, such as ghost lights, weird lights, and mystery lights. The favorite place from which to view the lights is a wide shoulder on Highway 90, about nine miles east of Marfa.  An observatory has been built, including restrooms and permanent binoculars.  The lights are usually reported as rather  bright  glowing orbs of various colors.  There is no highway, and no campfires can be built in or near this terrain.

The Cherokees believed that the lights were the spirits or souls of the dead. ¬†I don’t know what they really are, but the Marfa Lights are the most famous unexplained lights in America. ¬†And guess what…

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In spite of the fact that you may think we’re “flakes”, ¬†we saw the Marfa lights. ¬†We saw one the first night, and then one split into two the second night.¬†¬†Not dancing, not twirling, but most definitely there, white and glowing.

STARS

The most memorable thing for us will be the Marfa nights. ¬†When we drove to the Marfa Observatory to find/see the lights, we got out of the truck and looked up. ¬†Breathtaking, extraordinary, spectacular and just plain old OMG!!! ¬†The stars were sitting in a sky so dark, they shone like jewels, and were close enough to touch. ¬†The Milky Way was an actual highway of stars. ¬†Orion was the true warrior of the sky. ¬†It is doubtful that we’ll ever see a sky like that one again.

This song, “Deep In The Heart of Texas” ¬†was written in 1941 by June Hershey. ¬†The melody is by Don Swander. ¬†Here we go –

CLICK HERE:

 

The stars at night,
Are big and bright, (clap, clap,clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas,
The prairie sky
Is wide and high, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom
Is like perfume, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas,
Reminds me of,
The one I love, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The coyotes wail,
Along the trail, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas,
The rabbits rush,
Around the brush, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The cowboys cry,
“Ki-yip-pee-yi,”¬†(clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas,
The dogies bawl,
And bawl and bawl, (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Deep in the heart of Texas.