Last Leg

We left Terlingua after breakfast; another shockingly tasty meal accompanied by great coffee. We headed north to Marfa on our way to Alpine and the Holland Hotel, where we’d spend the night before heading home the next morning. The weather was great, the riding easy and beautiful.

We rolled into Marfa in the early afternoon, hungry. After trying two places for lunch and being told we were too late, we hoped we’d have some luck at The Capri, across the street from The Thunderbird Hotel. We’d missed lunch there, too, but we did have delicious cocktails and the guys had ice-cold beers.  When I remarked about the beautiful etched glasses our drinks were served in, the bartender told us a story about a person with no arms doing the etching with their feet.

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Turns out, the story is true. The company, Rose Ann Hall, is run by Charlie Hall, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They create glassware that’s both blown and etched on site with delicate floral designs. They also do traditional colored glasses and blue-rimmed glass. I learned that Charlie Hall does indeed seek out employees with physical limitations in order to give back to the disabled community that helped him.

If you are ever heading to Marfa, remember two things: Get there in time for lunch, or you’ll have to go hungry until dinnertime.  And stop by The Capri for a cocktail (I had a Hibiscus Margarita on the rocks) to support a place that supports artisans of that caliber.

Tell them you heard about their beautiful glassware.
XO Donna

Viva Terlingua

imageThe last time I was in Terlingua was almost 20 years ago. There was nothing but dirt and dust, rattlesnakes lying in wait, a few alcoholic “desert rats,” some ruins, and this cemetery, which has been here since 1908. Terlingua was a mining town, mercury mining to be specific, and as our friend said, “Sure, what could possibly go wrong with that?”  Between digging for mercury, outbreaks of the flu, and gunfights, the cemetery is pretty full.

The only places to get a drink back then were La Kiva, a run-down, semi-cavernous bar a few miles away where the aforementioned desert rats hung out, and The Starlight, which acted as the saloon/stage for the town.  Our room was close to the action, although a bit of a come-down after the luxurious Gage. As my friend pointed out -the beds were comfy, the linens were clean, and it was air-conditioned. The thermometer had steadily risen as we headed south, so A/C was a good thing. We unloaded our bikes, washed our faces, changed clothes, then headed out to La Kiva for a margarita.

LaKivaNone of us could believe our eyes when we entered La Kiva! It was hip, it was cool, there was even a mixologist behind the bar – you could easily mistake this for someplace in Santa Fe. There were already quite a few folks enjoying themselves when we arrived. Beyond the bar was a sun-room with tables for dining, and a view of the bluffs. Out back through French-doors was a lovely stone patio with a low wall separating it from the arroyo, lots of picnic tables, and an outdoor stage with party lights strung everywhere.

After the murder in 2014 of the previous owner, and the ensuing trial, there was now a new owner, and he was doing an amazing job! After my initial reluctance to come Terlingua at all, I can’t wait to return. We visited with a couple from up north – down here to escape their winter. We met them in Big Bend Park earlier, talked about their bike, and then ran into them again, here. Throughout the weekend we kept seeing the same folks over and over.

imageWe hated to leave La Kiva, but we had reservations for dinner (I know, reservations out in the middle of the desert). The Starlight looked pretty much as I remembered it, but this time it was packed. The food turned out to be delicious, the band was good, and it was a pretty spectacular venue as far as people-watching went; everything from folks living off-the-grid, to happy families in mini-vans.

There seem to be a lot more people looking to get out to the middle of nowhere these days. Hell, they’re even doing destination weddings in nearby Lajitas (where the Mayor is a beer-drinking billy goat) and in Marfa, too.

Now that Marathon, Marfa, and Terlingua have been discovered, we’re going to have to try a lot harder to find ourselves out in the middle of nowhere.  

XO Donna

 

All roads lead to…

Roam. That was the name of the toiletries that greeted me when I walked into our room at the Gage Hotel. Fitting. I noticed there had been some updating since  I was last here, the whole place felt more like an oasis than ever before. Their new moisturizing products were much appreciated after our long dry ride there.

After cleaning up and changing clothes, we all headed over to the White Buffalo Bar adjacent to the hotel and had their famous Prickly Pear Margaritas. They were more delicious than any I’ve had before…or maybe the magical environment just made it seem so.  Still, it was a great way to unwind before dinner.image

After dinner, strolling back to our rooms, I stopped to look up at the night sky. So many stars! I put on a hotel robe planning to read before bed, but the sky beckoned. I went back outside and my friend Cindy was there, so we lay on the lawn together looking up at the Big Dipper pouring stardust into the blackness.image

The next morning after a hearty breakfast, we loaded the motorcycles and headed out from our oasis, further south into the desert. Destination Terlingua.

XO Donna