Dear El Cosmico,
Severe wildfires couldn't keep me away. (Seriously, they tried.)
After a detour, Lauren and I — players in a less bleak, less exciting Thelma & Louise — pulled into your gravel lot on the outskirts of tiny Marfa, Texas. We were so glad to be under your blue-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see skies that we gave ourselves hiccups gulping the fresh air.
We instantly girl-crushed on the groovy concierge (bell-bottoms, pigtails, "right-ons") who pointed out the essentials: the lounge's metal cooler stocked with really good $3 beers and the flashlights we'd need to find our trailer at night. It gets dark out on the range.
I'm no hippie, but the communal vision was so charming that I felt like I'd stepped into a latter-day Peaceable Kingdom that was on the verge of erupting into a very cool party. There were the cross-country bicyclist lovebirds swinging between elms in your hammock grove, a couple of kids drinking Topo Chico and listening to music in your lean-to kitchen, and others hanging out in teepees and yurts.
I won't be able to go back to camping after tramping in the 1956 Imperial Mansion trailer, one of five impeccably restored mobile homes parked on your eighteen acres. You thought of everything, didn't you? Like our private cedar deck with Acapulco rocking chairs and a recycled tire stool so inviting that we called friends over for afternoon beers. Mornings, we sat out there to enjoy the last hour of cool air while sipping strong coffee made with the Chemex pot and Hario Buono kettle in the kitchen.
Inside, it was all honey wood, the kind you just want to run your hands over. And so luxurious: from stylish '70s orange accents and covetable Navajo rugs to conveniences like a fridge, stove, air conditioner, Tivoli radio, and mini bottles of Dr. Bronner's. Don't get me started on the gorgeous wooden folding door that separated the main sleeping cabin.
We wanted an outdoor shower, but the Imperial had a full-service hot pink indoor one. The wood faucets trimmed in shiny silver made up for the fact that we didn't get to soak outside in a private wood-heated Dutch tub (it was too much of a fire hazard while we were there).
At night, the wild wind that sweeps the desert rattled the trailer. But we never minded; we were tucked under an eggshell blue Utility Canvas blanket with a moon-like globe lamp dangling over our heads. When we wanted the real thing, we just pushed the curtains aside to see stars.
On our last night, as we used a flashlight to find our way back to the Imperial, an orgasmic howl cut through the curtains of one of the outdoor showers. It was exactly the sound I expect you send up to the universe every day, and I will fight natural disasters to go back and hear it again.
Yours in tramping,