Today, we left Carlsbad, New Mexico, bound for Marfa, Texas.  We weren’t too far down the road when we came upon a pleasant surprise- Guadalupe Mountains National Park. How one just stumbles upon a national park, I don’t know. If we were better planners we would have noticed that we would be passing another national park.  It’s not exactly rest-stop-sized. If we were better planners we would have made sure we made time for it.  However, we are only sort-of-kind-of following a plan so what’s a few hours to stop and drink up God’s beauty and get my “passport stamp”. I gotta have my stamps.

There are only 2 National Parks in Texas, Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Guadalupe Mountains is actually an ancient coral reef and now home to many animals like rattlesnakes- I don’t think there is a place out west they don’t exist- elk, mountain lions, black bears, mule deer, turkey, and golden eagels.  (I learn stuff from the Jr. Ranger programs too.)  However my favorite part was the The Pinery, ruins of a mid-1800s stagecoach station. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable in the RV, I can’t imagine a stagecoach.

Remember what I said about planning? Well my map app and I don’t get along too well.  We had been on the road about an hour after leaving the park and I was talking to my dad when Brent says, “I need to talk to you.”

Uh oh.

Brent  – Were we supposed to turn back by the park?

Me – I don’t think so. This is our road. I think…

(Please God, let it be so.)

I look at my phone which has horrible reception and the map page won’t load.  Of course.  Finally, it loads and…we missed the road.

We. missed. the. road.


What is the navigator supposed to do??



Sob big giant tears and choke out, “Maps are just so hard for me. I’m a girl. My brain doesn’t work like yours.”

Yes, I admit I actually said, “I’m a girl.”

I know. (Boo. Hiss.) For the record, I don’t really believe that but I’m not above using it when it could get me out of potential trouble.

Brent, the sweet loving husband that he is, told me a few minutes later that it was okay because I was just “lost in the moment enjoying myself”. Enjoying myself I was. The vast barren landscape of west Texas is almost too beautiful for me to bear. I could stare at the horizon for hours. It’s a good thing because we had hours to go.

We pulled into Marfa, an eerily quiet town, hungry. It was already dark so we stopped at the first and only place we saw with a light on, Pizza Foundation. Unfortunately, they were out of pizza which was our first indication that nothing about Marfa is normal.  The folks at the pizza shop without pizza, sent us down the empty street to Cochineal. One minute it felt like we were in a nearly deserted ghost town and then next minute it felt like we were in a trendy LA restaurant. Chochineal was full of hip folk and couldn’t seat us for 45 minutes. We headed back out into the empty streets to find Jett’s Grill at the Hotel Paisano.

The hotel is best known for housing the cast and crew from the classic movie, Giant starring Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Which got me thinking if I was going to see ghosts those two wouldn’t be so bad.

After driving up and down the quiet streets, we finally found it and stumbled in tired and hungry and cranky from the long day of driving. Like Chochineal the patronage of the restaurant didn’t match the town. I suspected I’d see cowboys or rugged oil men but instead there was a Woodey Allen lookalike in one corner, a hippie with skin tight purple capri pants and pilgrim shoes in another, a family whose young child disappeared halfway through dinner a few tables over, and us.

After finishing dinner we headed to our campground and we pulled into Tumble In campground to this…

An empty “office” in an empty campground. At least they didn’t forget the holiday cheer.

Love and Laughter,



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