21 July 2011

Adventures in West Texas


My first trip to Marfa was at the suggestion of my friend Sarah. She visited me in Texas and told me she couldn't leave without seeing the Chinati Foundation. Days after our trip, we got our cube tattoos, full of inspiration after immersing ourselves in the work of Donald Judd.

All of us!

Around this time last year, our friend Duncan, Sam and I took a weekend trip to the Alpine/Marfa area. Along I-20 we kept seeing large black spots on the highway. Hundreds of tarantulas were crossing the road seeking mates, so we got out to investigate.

tarantula dance
When you annoy a tarantula, it rears back on its hind legs.

Tarantulas weren't the only interesting creatures we saw on this trip.  There was also a frog, a few lizards and numerous insects including the jewel scarab below.

The beetle waves!

The biggest animal I managed to get close to was a pronghorn antelope, at the Chinati Foundation. Fun fact: the pronghorn is the fastest animal in the western hemisphere, running in 20-foot bounds at up to 60mph.


We spontaneously stopped at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center after seeing a sign from the highway. It's well worth a visit if you're in the area; they have hundreds of labeled plant species along the walk and a greenhouse full of cacti.

Gorgeous pink flowers

water drops


Marfa's a small town, but with lots of character. Modern, eclectic businesses and homes are scattered amidst run-down, highly textured old buildings. Art is everywhere.

Marfa houses
Modern compact homes with stunning desert views.

Coati bus!!!

What you see is not what it is.
What you see is not what it is

Marfa is a place of renewal, where you can get a delicious slice of pizza and a cold beer in what used to be a gas station. You can get a gourmet meal at Cochineal.  There are also a few food trucks, including the Food Shark.  Side note: the background of my vintage shop banner & business cards is from a photo I took of the backside of the Food Shark truck.

Pizza Foundation
Patio of the Pizza Foundation in Marfa

gorgeous sunset

It's things like this that I will miss when we're in New Zealand. 
All photos © Kristen Eads Covington

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