I decided to take a solo road trip/retreat this fall and initially had a hard time pinning down how and where to spend my time. This itinerary was ultimately shaped by a random combination of things including roller skating, shooting expired film, and places my family was not likely to visit on another trip. I drove around 2200 miles from our home in Colorado, with a long detour to Mesa, AZ to see an amazing art exhibit, to Tucson, Marfa, TX, and back to Colorado.
I adore Santa Fe, but on this trip, it served merely as a pit stop.
- Visit Container | Turner Carroll
- Really enjoyed the Matt King exhibit. I learned from the gallery that Turner Carroll has just started representing Virgil Ortiz, which was super exciting. Adam and I learned about Virgil Ortiz’s work through an exhibit at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center five years ago and he eventually appeared as a guest on the Humanitou podcast.
Another quick pit stop!
- Mesa Arts Center
- Saguaro National Park Tucson Mountain District West
- King Canyon Trail
- Signal Hill
- Visit MSA Annex, a cool shipping container park with shops and restaurants
I rolled into El Paso early afternoon and parked around the corner from where I was going to eat (see below). I had already stopped at an auto parts store in Deming, NM to get a diagnostic code for a check engine light that came on a hundred miles or so earlier (“engine oil pressure control circuit stuck on”) and then at a nearby mechanic’s shop who reset the code for me. As soon as I put the Jeep in park in El Paso, the light came back on to my dismay. This set me in scramble and decision mode. A couple of days later, I was going to be in a super remote part of the country and likely without cell service for a while. Do I hedge and reset the sensor again and leave it at that? What happens if there is actually an issue and I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere? Do I want to pay now or pay later? After my yummy meal of chicken mole enchiladas, I headed over to the one Jeep dealership in town and pleaded with the service tech. They were already backed up for the day, but I ended up with an incredibly empathetic person helping me who did everything he could to make sure I’d get on my way safely. Around 2 p.m. I prepared myself for the idea I might need to stay the night in El Paso instead and wait for the Jeep to get fixed. I decided to wait around until closing time at 6 p.m. to see what they could do. A minute or two before 6, I had a new oil pump and sensor, (and a hefty $1300 bill), but I was ready to continue on to Marfa. Shout out to Charles and Dick Poe Chrysler Jeep for the last-minute and timely fix.
- Stop at Prada Marfa (note this is not actually in Marfa, but is around 30 minutes away and is an art installation by Elmgreen & Dragset)
- Check out digital (and analog) galleries
- Try to spot the Marfa Lights
- It’s worth hanging out at the viewing platform just to observe fascinating human behavior and talk of who believes what. I only saw headlights the night I was there, but it was still a beautiful place to sit for a while.
- Loved my three nights at this Airbnb