May in Marfa, Texas
El Cosmico is considered a nomadic hotel and campground.
Don and I were ready to take it on. We'd been traveling for over 3 weeks and we were up for a little Marfa vibe... which is sort of hard to explain.
Teepees, Tents and Trailers!
There were numerous rental options, spread out over the 18-acre desert camp community. There were 3 Sioux-style teepees, a hamburger shaped yurt, safari tents, scout tents and 9 vintage trailers.
Checking In at the Office
We headed up to the quite exotic, 10-ton door. When I turned the odd knob, I felt like I was cracking a code on a safe.
Inside the office building we noticed a lounge area, with a few guests, absorbed with their books and computers. No one looked up. I noticed a few tables and shelves, holding expensive merchandise. That seemed curious. I felt like our cheery voices were intrusive when we checked in. I like a peaceful atmosphere, but it felt like a library. (Back when libraries were quiet)
Finding Our Way
We were given a red wagon to tote our bags, since cars weren't allowed in the camp area. I like that.
The wheels made a horrible clackety sound, rolling over the gravel. We passed 2 women lounging in hammocks and I apologized with a laugh. "Sorry." I offered, when eye contact was made. "It's really noisy." Then I cringed at the sound of my voice, which again seemed intrusive. The women said nothing and went on my way.
Our "Kozy Coach"
Our 1951 "Kozy Coach" was awaiting our arrival! We stepped up the two large slabs of stone, onto our little deck. I smiled at the sight of our wonderful old door, with its crackly blue paint.
We unloaded our wagon and took a good look at the shiny wooden interior.
Much of the interior was original with aged knobs and hinges. There were a few essential dishes and a drip coffee maker, so no complaints there.
I can be ridiculously caught up in the retro, so I was disappointed with an updated sink. We had a perfect view from the kitchen window, of a cute green and white trailer... and a very romantic couple on the porch! We had no curtains, so that could have gotten weird.
The small but comfy bed was tucked into the back of the trailer.
Robes for the Shower
We found a handy set of striped robes, near the back door. They came in very useful when we ventured to the shower, moments later.
I have been known to opt out of a shower experience, in some of our odder hotels. But we'd traveled from Arizona and needed to clean up. It was time to chuckle and just go for it!
In and Out
We did actually have a toilet in the trailer. It had a lever on the floor, for flushing. The tiny space felt like the inside of a soup can.
Our own private shower was outside the back door. The metal frame held up the shower head and brown canvas flaps.
More campers and guests were beginning to arrive, so I felt a little silly as I marched out to my canvas shower, in my robe. I felt even sillier, when big gusts of wind messed with the loose flap! But at least my head was hiding below the frame.
I was able to scrub away, while humoring myself with a couple verses of, "I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair..." It seemed so South Pacific!
Don on the other hand, couldn't really hide at all. He didn't seem too worried, though. And besides, this shower was much larger than the community showers, available to tent campers. Don and I were amused to realize, our showering inspired the romantic neighbors behind us. Suddenly they had their outside shower in use, but they were enjoying it together. Oh my... things are sometimes too cozy, at Cosmico.
Seeing the Sights
We felt much better after showering and took a stroll, hoping to get a sense of who the other guests might be. We've been curious about El Cosmico on other visits to Marfa.
We're intrigued by this small town, where rural ranchers and big city artists converge. We've chatted with people in town, but wondered about the people who might be drawn to a place like this.
Couples and small groups were beginning to arrive and busy themselves unpacking and pitching tents. A few gathered at the outdoor community kitchen. Everyone seemed focused on getting settled, and no one appeared open, to my greetings. "Should be a beautiful full moon tonight!" I tried.
Time to Mope?
Oh well. I understood that these youngin's might cringe, to see an old couple in the vicinity. It was like Mom and Dad had surprised them and shown up at the next campsite!
But I had better things to do, like put on my pearls and apron and go for a photo op! Coffee anyone? Don wasn't up for coffee. He pulled out a bottle of wine. He bought it in the office/shop, when we learned that no outside liquor was allowed. We are such rule followers.
Happy Hour on Deck
I moved the plastic, hand-shaped chair, to the far side of the deck.
I prefer a vintage "50's look, but there was a bit of mod seventies and hipster chic, mixed in. Picky, picky, I know. Just stating my preference.
Sunset and Full Moon
We headed off to dinner early and got back in time to catch the sunset, behind our trailer. A full moon rose over some trees in the east.
It would have been spectacular stargazing, but chilly winds were moving in. The cool temps probably kept things pretty quiet, for a full moon night at El Cosmico. It seemed like people were hunkering down.
Comfy Lounge Area
We turned on the heat in the trailer and there was a cozy hum, along with some great radio tunes.
Marfa may have only about 2,000 residents, but they have an amazing radio station. We spent much of our evening sitting in the very comfy couch area getting an education, on Island Exotica Jazz! We are now fans of Arthur Lyman and his great '60's music, which includes some crazy jungle sounds!
Arhtur Lyman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbCp087ktaI
In the morning we rose early and tiptoed past campers, without using a noisy wagon. We headed east from Marfa, nearing the end of our 4-week journey.
The outdoor shower, will absolutely go down as an amusing memory. Our cozy time with the radio, will be a landmark memory, since it exposed us to some new music.
I'm afraid I'll always feel a bit disappointed, that I failed in the people department. Part of the thrill of trying new places, is meeting new people.
It just wasn't happening at Cosmico. It could have been the chilly weather, or it could have been an unlucky mix of guests. Or... it could have been me, or us! Oh dear! I hope not.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!