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El Paso Mission Trail

A nine-mile corridor through present day El Paso, Texas, connects two historic missions and a presidio chapel.

Ysleta Mission

Ysleta Mission, El Paso, TX

Built in 1862, Ysleta is the oldest continuously operated parish in Texas

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More Marfa

Vintage RV Park Sign

The cool vintage sign that welcomed us to the Tumble In RV Park in Marfa, TX.

I originally planned on only posting this photo to our Facebook Page but then decided it would be a fine addition for here as well.

7 Reasons to Visit Marfa, TX

Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa, TX

Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa, TX

Far removed from the typical tourist trail in west Texas, we discovered at least seven good reasons to take a detour to Marfa, TX.

It’s Artsy

Ever since the renowned minimalist sculptor Donald Judd made Marfa his home in the early 1970s, the area has been a magnet for the creatively inclined. Today, the town of just 1,981 residents boasts as many as 14 art galleries. Judd’s work, along with that of other contemporary artists, is still available for tour through the Chinati and Judd Foundations.

. . . and literary

Named after a character in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Marfa retains its literary legacy to this day. Over the past decade, the Lannan Foundation has housed close to 200 fellows in Marfa through its Writers in Residency program.

The wonderfully urbane Marfa Book Company in downtown draws the area’s artists and writers together. The bookstore and art gallery functions as a gathering place that routinely stages music, readings, talks and other performances.

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Don’t Follow the Lights

Marfa Mystery Lights

Sam: “There are dead things, dead faces in the water.”

Gollum: “All dead. All rotten. Elves and men and orcses. A great battle long ago. The Dead Marshes. Yes, yes that is their name. This way. Don’t follow the lights.”

At first we thought they were car headlamps shining faintly across the vast expanse of the West Texas desert. Slowly they moved to the right, roughly in a row; four in all, until one of the middle lights went dark. The others followed suit, winking out in no particular order. Other lights appeared within the general vicinity, mostly white but also red and blue. Some drifted left. Others moved vertically or bounced around at random.

Reports of Marfa’s softly glowing mystery lights date back as far as the 1800’s, with rumors of even earlier sightings. They’ve been explained as everything from swamp gas, to the reflections of car headlamps, to UFOs. Some still maintain there is no explanation for the nocturnal apparitions.

If you find yourself in Marfa, TX, look to the south for an interesting show. But if you’re tempted to strike out in pursuit of the lights to uncover their mystery, know that miles of dangerous desert have long helped shield their secret. It’s probably best if you enjoy them from a distance and don’t follow the lights.

Photo of the Day: Saint Mary’s Church, Fredericksburg, TX

St Mary's Church, Fredericksburg, TX

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