When my favorite rockin’ band, Thin Lizzy, wrote Cowboy Song, they must of been talking about West Texas. Wes-Tex (spoken quickly) is just cowboyee. Deserts; mountains; dudes blocking your way on a road b/c they are moving cattle; and bar owners with cowboy hats, mustaches and eye patches. They’re all here!
When arrived in Wes-Tex, I proceeded to immediately run out of gas. While the jury is still out on whether EVERYTHING is bigger in TX, the stretches of road from town to town are. Luckily for me I saw a sign in the brush in that in big letters that said “GAS.” Even luckier, I was greeted by a dude with a southern drawl (first one in a while, thank Gord) who proceeded to fill up my gas tank while his talking mouth held a lit cigarette. Ya’ll know the one. It’s the motorcycle gas tank that to fill you have to stand over it whilst petrol fumes come spill out. Oh, don’t worry, the gas container was large and barely manageable with two grown man arms. I’m so I’m blessed. Some people get to Wes-Tex and don’t run out of gas. They totally miss out on the pleasure of finding gas at the last second in the middle of the desert. Even more so, some people don’t have the unforgettable pleasure having a redneck guy dangerously fill your tank as he’s smoking a fag. Most importantly, some people could have this happen and not know it’s a blessing and that’s what I’m most thankful for. And yeah, I just typed that so clearly I din’t get lit on fire nor did my bike.
Wes-Tex has Marfa, TX in it. Marfa is a cool little artist town. Think of it like a Joshua Tree (see previous posts on Joshy tree. It’s a cool place, well warm actually b/c it’s in the desert but you get me) in Texas ‘cept when you go to the gas station there, you stand a pretty good chance at seeing a guy with spurs on his boots. They’ll be covered in dirt from coyboyin’ all day. Remember, this is Wes-Tex, all that stuff about having cattle in the not-so-hospitable desert really happens here.
Marfa also has the Marfa Lights which are the equivalent of the Texan Aurora Borealis. There’s even a nice rest stop that some local land owners donated to erect a place you can pee in while watching for the lights. I can attest to place as I spent the night next to it in my tent freezing the parts of me that wasn’t covered by motorcycle jacket as I had every possible layer of clothing on and a sleeping bag. I did see some lights although nothing really that couldn’t have been cell or radio tower. However, since it won’t be disproven, I’m just gonna believe the lights I saw were the magic ones spoken of. There, now my life just got a little better. Thanks belief! The lights were so small pictures really didn’t capture much of anything. You’ll just have to use your imagination. And you thought you wouldn’t have to do that on the internet!
If and when you go to Marfa, make sure to hit up the town’s saloon, the Lost Horse. The night was pretty cold; somewhere below freezing. I wasn’t sure if should find camp or mingle with the locals but on the insistance of a coin flip, I checked out the bar. Glad I did b/c it was awesome. The bar owner, Ty, was a great guy. He had a southern accent that sounded Sam Elliot, a killer stache, a cowboy hat and an eye patch. An EYE PATCH! Bought every one a round of drinks and took pictures with me and several other travelers. To make matters texasier, a tex mex dude, also with a cowboy hat, was at the corner of the bar singing to the marriachi that was playing on speakers. He knew all the words and when a horn part or lyric he liked played, he yell out a loud “aaayyyyeeeeeeeeeee” with a grin on his face. The saloon had cow skulls on it too! I looked at the girl next to me and asked if this place was real. She said “yeah” so it must’ve been.
And Marfa is close to another word that could be used in conjunction with a curse word?! Not that I say those. They’re bad, y’all! If you go to the desert, check West Texas. Even the rest stop bathrooms have cowboyee tile art in em!
Special thanks to Sash and Ash! Thanks for the photo. Travel safe!