To Georgia and Back Series: Pt.16

We have left Garner State Park, needing to leave earlier than we did. It will be a long slog to Marfa Texas, unless we happen upon a good spot to camp. Garner, a friendly park, has been a naturist’s frustration and that continued this morning.

We’ve been getting into some wide open spaces, flat plains and some desert on our way to Marfa. It is a long drive across this state.

I want to make a point to check the famously super blue waters of the river in the Amistad Recreational Area. There is supposed to be something very special about their blue. They do reflect the clear sunny sky, as we cross on the extensive bridge system, near the Rio Grande at the Mexico border.

It is lunch time and a spot by the lake sounds good. We pull off the highway, but soon enough, discover that it is several miles to the lake, the boat launch and we can’t be sure what else. It just doesn’t have the vibe that says undeveloped, skinnydip in the refreshing clear waters. There appears to be many opportunities on Google maps, but not for a Honda Civic and a tent.  It is perhaps a nude boaters paradise.  Perhaps a stealth dip at night.

A simple roadside sun shelter presents itself on this small road to the boat docks. It is an opportunity to continue our day nude. Traffic has demonstrated itself to be nil here. 

We sit naked near the very quiet road. We are in a dry desert, sheltered from the now distant trans-state highway. I unwrap my kilt, sitting on the picnic table’s bench. DF gathers a lunch of left over snack foods, like chips and hummus, sliced veggies and hard boiled eggs.

For some reason, DF delays slipping her dress over her head, then a woman on a fat tire bicycle goes by, waving to the only other occupants on this quiet road. We share a kinship as the only neighbors.  I find no time to cover back up. I don’t know if she even notices as she passes. I’m sitting down opposite her under a table’s shadow. A car, DF and other distractions are cluttering her view. No problem, apparently.

We are both surprised by the silent rider, when she comes back. In this stillness a vehicle would be noticed at a distance, but not the motorless bike. DF is not showing any surprise, but the biker gal’s eyes wander to the rest area and sights a bare back and its bottom. DF can’t do much but grin and bare it. All I have to do is to flip up my kilt around my waist, if it matters.

She just doesn’t seem like one to complain, and her ride back, if to find an authority is distant and remote.


Judge Roy Bean had a different way of looking at law than that of San Antonio’s sophisticates of “blind justice.” There were statutes back in his day. He however was the law west of the Pecos River.  Essentially there was “no law west of the Pecos and no God after that” as the legendary quote goes.

Other gems come to recollection as we pull off of the highway to visit “his” town. “A decent cowboy does not take what belongs to someone else and if he does he deserves to be strung up and left for the flies and coyotes,”” I find this corpse guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and I fine it $40,” His reputation after over 100 years still haunts me, as I pull into the dusty mini hamlet. I decide to forgo my unconventional kilt and place pants on myself, as if I might get an unexpected arrest by some made up whim of a law.

Across the street the bar is closed. There are no authentic cocktails, nor ice cream. I step up to the museum/shack where the Judge’s law once reigned supreme and he ran a freight line of oxen across this desolate rugged terrain.

Hands in Imaginary Levis

“Don’t interfere with something that ain’t bothering’ you none,” but what bothers a subjective mind can be a surprise. The sense of the judge’s spirit remains. On the corner of Langtry, named after Lilly, there is a rugged individualist, or maybe a nut job with a sense of humor involved with his vision. Maybe, he is a reincarnation of Mr. Bean.

We head out naked, once again in the warm dry air on a two lane road with a surprising 75 mph speed limit, cruising at 80 and 85. It all feels like common practical sense. It is a long haul, as we slowly pass a mile long train, the only mobile life out here, other than a jackrabbit. Perhaps there is now a God out here, at least for this creature.

We have been traveling through an enjoyable landscape before this. My past experience has been the boredom of Interstate-10, which runs further north.

This highway has been charming. It passes through several little and some very little towns. These were settled way back when pioneers sprinkled themselves wherever water was found. Each has old structures, revisions often geared to tourists, with something unique and artsy. The little homes draw photos out of me.

Water towers and trees obscure the great plains when we drive through civilizations. One town has a butterfly population as thick as a swarm of locusts. They are everywhere, unavoidable and fluttering color.

We are compelled to turn off of the highway to cruise the streets admiring residences. Each town has a billboard about electing a sheriff as you arrive. They appear to be up all of the time.

In Uvalde a larger small town, I get a bit turned around and attempt to use GPS to get us back to the highway and a local grocery store. It eerily takes us past the elementary school where a mass shooting horrified the nation, fairly recently.  It is amongst quiet back streets filled with a peaceful neighborhood, Americana that Disney might try to emulate.

The terrain looks sort of like our southern Arizona grasslands under a big sky, as we pass through the last couple of towns before Marfa. We’re getting that feeling that we are back out west. We both harbor a sense of home, no matter how vast the region and how far we are from Tucson.

Our destination reservation doesn’t look so inviting from the road, as we pass. We decide to check out this famous art town, before we settle in. We take a drive, but realize that things close early around here. This town is filled with fun old adobe houses and B&B’s. Nothing is happening this week, but next week there is a big music fest. The other camping place is busy getting ready to host that and closed. The entire town seems all booked up for the big event.

There is a flavor here. Quaint meets surreal and mystery. Flat boredom meets the ruins of the 50’s, becoming chic. I like it. It has community radio. For an isolated smaller town, it reeks as being place with a true sense of a culture. 

We return to out of town slightly and enter the Tumble Inn. It has room for trailers and some camping sites. These are either next to the railroad tracks (remember the mile long train), or the highway. We choose the highway section. It is quieter. There is no host. An antique travel trailer has been gutted to serve as an office. “Sign yourself in.”

A guy hangs out of his trailer and waves as we drive past. He has blanketed the open field, called a trailer park, with a medley of 80’s hairband rock and roll. There is only quiet and a breeze after the finale, which is a tune by one of my favorite early 70’s bands “Mountain,” playing “Nantucket Sleighride.”

Most of this place is empty. We find a spot amongst some scraps of old asphalt, thousands of goat-head burs and prickley fiddler weeds. A lone shin-dagger plant sits in the middle of what passes for a road. I take note to watch for it with my flashlight, when I’m up tonight. It is a horrid spot to camp, but it is the only place to camp.

The saving grace is a series of pipes standing on the side of the property to entertain passersby on the highway.

We pitch our tent and then shelter in the rugged collection of garage sale items in the kitchen for dinner. When we emerge, the world has gone dark. Now, each of the twelve tubes are illuminated in colors depicting various Aztecan deities. It is big. It is impressive art.

It is Marfa. But, this is still as crappy a place to camp, as I have ever seen.

We drive out and back down the highway for the only entertainment, a roadside monument dedicated to watching for the “Marfa Mystery Lights. They are an unexplained phenomena. We wait hopefully, but there are no lights this evening. I see what appears to be some headlights coming down a mountain road in the far distance. We think to wait naked to make it more interesting, but the night has acquired a chilly wind. Oh well, there was some suspense.

The Next Morning:

We pack up camp and wait for a local walking stick to climb out of the car. It just doesn’t seem right to callously let it die for an innocent mistake and human impatience.

The rubber soles of my shoes sport more goatheads than the tires.

I find a local in the complimentary kitchen and ask where, “if I were local, would I be eating breakfast.”  The answer is Marfa Burrito. Along the road out of town, on the way, there is a small sign on an old house, yet business appears to be booming with locals.

We stand in line to order and receive, like fast food. A pair of burritos comes through a small window in the kitchen wall. I turn around to face a simple rustic little space filled with locals. Mismatched tables are spread around what was once a residence, I suspect.

There is a patio area which we choose. It is fast food of quality. Like a little Mexico town, women make burrito breakfast and men all stop in on their way to work, or whatever.

Outside, there is writing on the whitewash walls near to where friends converse. 

A friendly couple with their a dog named Jango greet us in small talk, as we sit down at an empty table. This isn’t fancy. The garden has pieces of local art amongst a disparate collection of furnishings and flowering shrubbery. The burritos are enjoyable. We enjoy a cross between some quick food and home cooking.

The whitewash wall is littered with graffiti where people are invited to leave their mark, like an old birch tree. When we’re next in Marfa….

We decide to take a walk downtown, before we leave, just to see what all of the Marfa talk is about.  It is small. There are art and specialty shops with some galleries with abstract and western art.

The sales people wear western chic trappings. The stores are expensive, but intriguing. There are people with wealth coming through this town. It is a laid back get away.  Hoping not to sound blasphemous, but I find the clothing looks fun. Picture Dale Evans in a delicate frilly full dress and contrasting masculine cowboy boots.

The local hotel is a work of western classic art.

It is one of a few in the ilk of the Club Congress in Tucson where John Dillinger was captured. This small town however, has a more elegant atmosphere than our larger city’s similar hotel.

 After this curious wandering through the streets of Marfa, we’re heading to Big Bend State Park.

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4 thoughts on “Marfa

  1. Pingback: Marfa | EcoNudes

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  3. Bill

    If you drove down to the boat ramp at Lake Amistad, you passed a loop road, navigable in your Civic, with picnic areas and paths to coves where I have been able to sun and swim nude for years. Hopefully next time you’ll try them out.


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