Thursday, November 26, 2020

RVing in the Time of COVID 8: Kitsch, UFOs and Shopping

We spent a few days in West Texas beating the Black Friday shopping, going to the World's smallest Target outside of Marathon.  The produce section was a bit picked over, all they had was a pumpkin.

The Prada shop near Valentine, proved interesting but the selection was sparse and they didn't have shoes in my size.

Which is reported to me 3rd hand from the Prada corporate lawyer as being officially "Sanctioned" by the Company.  

Then we tried to shop in Sanderson at Kerr Mercantile, but it has been closed for Twenty years and now it is owned by some sort of shop, but what does one do with any of these?  Where do you pack such things?  Wrapping?

It turns out the Kerr Mercantile building is something special, it is a "lost" Trost building.  A work from a noted and special Southwest Architect.  Being Thanksgiving it was not open to look around.  The famous Gage Hotel in Marathon is a Trost building.  It is cool.    

Many of the hotels in Marfa and the Gage were full of people, and with COVID one wonders...why?  We had a private jet fly over us leaving Marfa, 

So why REALLY did we go to Ft Davis area, it wasn't to shop, nope, it wasn't.  We came to find to UFOs mystery fliers, and so we came for two stakeouts.
Sadly both were unsuccessful.

We came to find the Montezuma quail which I saw here in 2016, but alas, we staked out the bird blind at the State Park which was difficult because the State park had reached quota the first day, it was full, and we had to call and beg to get a pass from the state agency which had a just under two hour hold time.  The Conservation Society visitor center up the road twenty miles was closed for the duration of the virus, so we had to go to the State Park, but the birds don't seem to be coming to the feeders any more.  At least not when we were there.

We saw some birds.
Oddly the best bird we saw and the only state lifer was this Brown Thrasher, strangely I saw two at one of the feeders

Loggerhead shrikes were everywhere

sage thrasher

Woodhouse's Scrub-jay

Bewick's wren

Pine siskin were everywhere

A Townsend's solitaire came to the feeder.

Some of the terrain in the Davis Mountains, we hiked quite a few miles, but it was dry, dust storms came in from the north and the south on us, and with that significant wind.

I took Silja to the rather strange and depressing Slaughtered horse memorial
go here if you want to learn more...

Some interesting roadside art, if nothing else.  

Enough of horse overpopulation, then we went after the second UFO, the Marfa Lights.

We staked out the place on two nights, the second of which involved quite a significant party atmosphere, maybe 150 people, including a person painting the lights

He was busily painting the background waiting for the lights, it will probably be at a gift shop in Marfa shortly

Setting up tent for the night vigil

the rater substantial viewing platform, the toilets left a bit to be desired, the lights were red and it had seats.  It was quite a place and parking for maybe thirty cars.  Oddly, most seemed there for the first time

So, we saw some strange lights, Silja saw this light which after a while became two lights, but sure looked like two groups of illegal aliens coming across the desert, not actual aliens or real Marfa lights.  They don't appear every night, and one wonders if they are real or the best marketing scam ever although they were first seen here in the 1850s.

We staked out the area for a while until some five year old showed up with light sin her shoes, which hurt the eyes in the darkness, so I had enough and packed up Silja and we drove back to the RV.

The strangest things we saw were elk while driving down the mountains toward Alpine.
I'd never seen elk in the state of Texas, this was a first.

We looked at some historical things, and I will start saving photos of county courthouses, many in Texas are really cool.

Jeff Davis County Courthouse, Ft Davis (TX-1)

Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa  (TX-2)

We looked about Ft. Davis, the real historic Ft. Davis
It was based in a box canyon guarding the San Antonio to El Paso road, but closed in 1891 when the Apache problem was taken care of, much like Ft. Bowie

So we had an interesting visit, no UFOs, a little too much dust, a few birds, a little history, and some strange shopping choices.....

So we continue on East.  I like the Texas Mountains of the Trans-Pecos, and I have been around here many times, and we will be back...

Be thankful



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