Marfa to Katy, still in Texas

6 05 2021

Leaving Marfa wasn’t hard because I actually felt completely fulfilled by the experience. I got my act together, told Lil’ Pinky I would see her again soon and checked out. The gift shop is just so amazing and I could not resist getting the robe after all. I know it will always remind me of the great trip and the magical experience. Sort of like my very own technicolor dreamcoat.

I hit 90 east again and it was nice to drive through Alpine which was a super cute town I’d like to explore next time. Then I headed back north a bit and then onto the 10 and the long drive across. I decided it was time to make a big jump because my pause put me behind. I’d made a ferry reservation for May 2 to get the car from Hyannis to Nantucket and when I tried to amend it found that there weren’t any more reservations until May 5 and then it just gets slimmer and slimmer! And with Covid they will no longer let you leave the car for them to drive on for you.

It was long, and very dull, but I decided to make a stop in a town called Ozona for fuel. Justt before hitting the town I was surprised by the smell of petrichor, that ozonated smell of the air just before it rains. I remember Jenna had a little fountain gurgling in her room in Sedona and told me the ionization of water cleanses negative energy and anger. Suddenly one little cloud above a hilltop doused my car with big raindrops. Funny though, it ended almost instantly and there wasn’t enough rain to wash the Marfa dust off the car! Just big polka dots all over it. I found myself scribbling on my notepad. It happened just before the town. I took it as a confirmation that I should stop.

I pulled in and got some gas and then stopped at a little Mexican joint, what I figured would be a good stop. They had a funny drive through that went around the side of the building and if you call them from the first menu sign they’ll have your order ready by the time you pull up to the one window. I was excited to find what I call Frito chili pie but they called “Corn Chip Chili Pie”. I make a spicy version of this at my snack bar on Nantucket, The Hungry Minnow, I serve it right in the Fritos bag. This was next level. In a stalwart styrofoam cup (oh Texas, really?) it was a huge portion of chips slathered in a rich meaty chili with beans and lots of oily sauce. Every chip was saturated and it was so good. I ate the entire thing. I’m still dreaming about it.

I’d parked near the town square and hopped out to throw my trash in the waste bin, no recycling would be my only negative comment about the town. Very pretty and serene. A vintage shop across the street caught my eye and I waited to cross and opened Instagram as the trucks swept past me. I was stunned to find out that my dear friend Tomas Estes had passed away. His son Jesse had posted about it seemingly very recently. I couldn’t believe it. It struck me that life is so fleeting and we have to take advantage of every moment. It made me so happy I’d decided to take that extra day in Marfa. I found out later that Tomas had been in Marfa for an agave conference in 2019. I was also struck by the notes I had written as I was struck by the little rain spurt just before Ozona. I’d written, “Rain dappled the windshield at Ozona, is that why it’s called that? Not enough to rinse the Marfa dust off the car.” Then I’d written “spirit guides, spirits guide.” I was headed to New Orleans eventually and was kind of thinking about how many incredible spiritual experiences I’d had there as well as the fact that I’d been there surrounded by all my spirit professional friends at Tales of the Cocktail for example. How those spirits we imbibe can cure us, inspire us and allow us to dream big dreams untethered by logic.

Despite being saddened by the news I dropped by the little shop and had a nice time chatting with the owners who had me sign their guest book. took a U-turn near an old rundown hotel and was soon back on the highway. I got in a little traffic and got turned around in San Antonio and it wasn’t a fun drive due to a lot of construction. I hate having to pass trucks when you have those narrow lanes with two concrete barriers on each side and no shoulder.

Not much to see on this stretch but open highway. As darkness fell I hit Katy, Texas and was enticed by a billboard announcing crawfish. I stopped by one of the huge Buccey’s road stops with the cute buck toothed otter on their sign. There must’ve been 50 gas pumps it was nuts. And inside they had all sorts of food, brisket sandwiches, roasted sugared nuts and wine, souvenirs and huge spacious and spotlessly clean bathrooms. I wished I’d have made this a regular stop all through Texas.

So I pulled in front of a Hampton Inn and made a reservation and then zipped over to the crawfish place. I was astonished to see that there were no masks worn by basically anyone! It was crazy! Not even the servers. I took mine off because I didn’t want to draw attention! The bar was crowded no distancing or anything it was a little overwhelming. I was fully vaxed and two weeks since safe but it was still just really weird. I haven’t really been to bars or restaurants too much for an entire year plus!

The crawfish were worth it though and they were so sweet and spicy and tasty that I got another batch!

Overall a good day, but Texas is huge, don’t underestimate the time it takes to get through.


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