• brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 132

I know we need to hit the road today, but we are lured back into Marfa for half a day. We went to Squeeze for brunch. They are out of, well, a lot. I imagine keeping a restaurant stocked when you are located literally in the middle of nowhere comes with it’s challenges. We share a sandwich, thinking that we will eat light and hit up one more place for a bite and coffee. The Capri is part of the Thunderbird Hotel and looks really intriguing. We mosey over, getting distracted every two steps with another photo-worthy scene of art, dusty decay, or breathtaking mountains. We finally arrive at the Capri, only to find out that they aren't serving food. I guess we can drink our lunch.

They have a sotol on the menu. We saw sotol on a few menus in Austin as well (Sahara Lounge), but really don’t know much about it. The owner (?) of the Capri said, “it tastes like horse piss…drink this instead.” He poured us a shot of Gem and Bolt mezcal distilled with damiana (a Mexican herb and aphrodisiac), and grabbed us two orange slices rolled in sal de gusano (worm salt). It was damn good. Entry level, gateway mezcal…which is honestly what I need. I am not good at drinking mezcal *yet*. Herbal, sweet, and lighter than so many abrasive mezcals. Lovely. Yet, we do still need to explore sotol. Add it to the list.

On to Taos. This is a nine hour trip, and we decided to give ourselves three days to get there. Branden pumped gas and I went inside the gas station for road trip snacks. When I came back out, I was shocked. The beautiful, sunny, warm day had turned to a cold, windy, storm. I assumed it was a normal storm. One with rain. But as I ran back to the truck, sand stung my face. A sandstorm. What a pleasant Texan farewell.

We departed, making slow progress due to the strong winds. The road to Taos brought us right by Prada Marfa, an outdoor art installation by Elmgreen and Dragset. We had planned on doing a shotgun tribute in front of the building, but the winds were so strong that it would have knocked over my tripod. We settled for some basic photos and continued on our way. Prada Marfa is technically in Valentine, Texas, a town seemingly composed primarily of abandoned structures. Or at least it looked that way. I love it. Not in a misery-loves-company, joy-in-other-people’s-misfortune kind of way. There is something beautiful and haunting about suburban/urban/rural decay. The history that those places and structures hold. The memories left behind. The earth reclaiming what people have thrown aside. Branden and I are really intrigued by that kind of scenery. West Texas has been full of it. It has been inspiring. I have taken so many photos. Time to send away some film for developing.

On the road, we started listening to season two of Serial Podcast (S-Town). Um. Stop the garbage you are listening to right now. Listen to this. It’s insane and intense and heartbreaking and full of twists and….just listen to it. It’s seven hours. We probably knocked out three hours non-stop and I was bummed when we stopped listening. It made the time fly by. Podcasts make traveling enjoyable.

Hunger dictated our next stop. We pulled off in Van Horn, Texas and stopped at Margie’s Bakery, the only non fast food restaurant still open (it was 6pm). The food was unbelievable. While in Marfa and Austin, we were so excited to try new and exciting food spots (mostly tacos and barbecue) and we weren't cooking much on our own. We were overindulging and it was starting to take a toll. Everything about this place was home cooking goodness…except for the women’s wrestling playing on the big screen TV. Pork chops, green beans, and mashed potato special for me for a whopping $7. Heaven.

Looking at the map and the different possible routes to take, we decided to go through Roswell because why not. We arrived late at night, found a parking lot that was ok to overnight in, and settled in. Tomorrow we find the truth, because it is out there (in Roswell, obviously).

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar. Deal with it.

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