Last month, as part of Byron's birthday celebration, we spent a long weekend in West Texas. We've driven west, through Texas so many times over the years and I've grown to appreciate that long, open part of our travels. Miles and miles and miles more, there is, what looks to be, nothing. No trees, no rivers, no houses or towns. Just space and lots of time. The endless horizon, that unimaginable dome of a sky sends chills up and down my spine just thinking about it. There is something so therapeutic about passing through.
But this time, instead of traveling through, only peering to south, west, and north through our car window, we exited off and drove some more long distances deep into the vastness. We slept a couple of nights in an Air B&B storage container find. Yep, a finished storage container in the desert was home for three nights.
We explored Marfa (a tiny town with a thriving art scene), Alpine, the Davis Mountains State Park, and the Mcdonnell Observatory. With an elevation of over 6,000 the Davis Mountains are truly beautiful. Driving the highways out there, I could not get over the range of views. Besides the few roads, it is rare to see obstructions. The McDonnell Observatory is a world class facility operated by the University of Texas. This part of the country has some of the darkest skies in the world and so it's a spectacular place to view the stars. We attended a star party. We got to sit outside under the stars while an astronomer picked apart the night sky for us with a handy laser. It was amazing! There were also several telescopes set up to view Saturn, baby star clusters, nebulas, galaxies and other mind-blowing phenomenas.
Since our return from the trip, we've been home, hunkered down for the hottest and driest part of the year. It's the season of closing the windows and curtains, surrendering to keeping the garden alive, and venturing out as early or as little as possible. It's bright, hot, and crispy out there. Thoughts of autumn are creeping in.