Archive for November, 2007

A ride to Marathon, Texas

Friday, November 30th, 2007

So you are thinking if the title above is a typo? Shouldn’t it be "Ft Davis"? First of all I now repeat to myself everyday "never write our next destination"… We packed up a couple days ago, seriously, we are rolling down the road ready to fuel up the inexpensive Terlingua gold liquid ($3.30 a gallon for regular!), of course we have to stop to chat with Kathy about some postcards I have printed for her (a web page on those will come up soon, as one is up for the sale of our "Spirited Doggie Treats, in case you have not seen it). All is well and she asks me if we are going to attend the Powwow this weekend? This weekend?… and are we going to attend also the "Art Bug Show"?… and are we going to watch or even participate in the 10th Annual (only in Terlingua) "Run for Stupidity"?

This morning’s Sunrise!

I must have been out of the loop regarding the local News! How could we miss all these exciting events? So yes, we turned around, ran a couple errands, and came back to Roger’s… reset everything back up! I had thought about going to Ft Davis for the day, instead the rig pointed to Marathon, a little town of 600 where we had never been. So through the Park we go…

It is about 100 miles from camp, into the Park and then north on 385, a beautiful road that parallels 118. The ride through the Park again brings on this serenity only found on those grounds. As if the Spirits are uplifted, it never fails every time to find this outmost peaceful mind set. It is sacred grounds to us, a place where we can stop, look up, look around, just be, emptied from any outside interference and reevaluate the moment. If none of this makes sense, you just need to come and visit… I know you will experience the same… It is "the prescription" to your well being… walk, ride, drive or… crawl… but you need to make it here, if it is only just once. As we have however, be ready to come back again and again, you will be the judge of it.

Today for some reason, many are after Spirit’s picture. Some days are just like that. We had a couple trucks tailgate us, then speed up to pass us, and suddenly they were on the side of the road, someone kneeled down ready with the camera to snap some shots while we are passing by. While in Marathon on this little narrow side street, looking at the local old train station that obviously has been moved… now harboring as an antique and dilapidated "car station", this huge truck and camper are behind us and then on next to us parked, both passenger and driver come out with cameras and again Spirit is the center of attraction… Poor guy! I can hear him and read his eyes under those dark shaded Doogles… "save me… save me"! 


This is Marathon, quite different from Terlingua, like night and day. Shorter and tighter, it has a real downtown, park and walk, you will cover it in no time. I don’t eat out often, except my regular stop at Kathy’s Kountry Kowboy Kafe where the Cosmic shredded BBQ Pork has become an addiction of mine (an yes! this is a plug for her… the hardest working woman I have ever met), but I was hungry yesterday, did sell a couple postcards to the on lookers (my new thing! I am "using" my Dog to make some fuel money!… you can turn me in if you like), and I went in to the only place in town where one could have lunch. "The Cottonwood Station".

And being in the food business for so many years I should know what to order… maybe being hungry is distorting any common sense left in me, the "Cajun Chicken with Rice" was definitely not it! It was getting near their closing time, that might have been the reason why a half of a half of chicken breast was laying all lonely in the middle of the plate, the Cajun touch was more than enough specs of black pepper marking their territory as a map of cities as in the Los Angeles area. Ah! When will I learn… A couple of Spirit’s "Spirited Pumpkin Doggie Treats" would have settled in much better… I am trying not to steal his treats of for that matter food, he gives me this weird look when I do.


Imagine my excitement when I saw this store. A French Grocer? Filled with Bries and Camembert and warm baguettes with real cream butter… maybe a "Cafe au Lait" in a big cup and saucer, white of course. Some Pates maybe and finish up with some Pralines?… Reality check… back to Earth, I should have asked about the name… or maybe it was that single bottle of "Veuve Cliquot" Champagne standing up alone amongst the Budweisers and Millers, somehow smuggled in through the Port of Entry of the Liquor World.


The "Gage Hotel" I understand has great food. "Chef Paul", which I have never met, yet, in his mid thirties, so yes, with a couple years of experience, has his menu posted and it looked good! real good… Duck Confit took away the blur that had set in my thoughts after my delightful lunch, they start serving at 6pm, he is off Sundays and Mondays, we were not going to stay around town that long, mainly trying to avoid the night time deer lottery ride (more about that in a bit!!!).

I have the feeling that "Shirley’s Burnt Biscuit Bakery" has some good items… How can you go wrong when you see the owner’s name associated with the worse scenario one can come across in a Bakery, burned goods. She is covered… it says "burned"… no one can blame her if they are. But, they were closed, we arrived too late.

The Gage Hotel has more rooms across the train tracks and also some beautiful well taken care gardens right next to it. I was glad someone told me about them. They are used for weddings mainly and also for the guests to walk around, take it all in as I did… Spirit had to wait outside…

Of course he was not a bit happy being left behind, seeing all that nice green grass where he could… do his thing, well, you understand, right? Beautiful settings, since I was not a guest I don’t know if myself should have been wandering around, but I did meet the couple caretakers digging holes, looking for a water leak, and they were happy to have a bit of conversation. They are actually expanding the Gardens by another 15 acres, planting some grapes, the winter plants also were going in.

Beautiful Fire Pit! If I ever settle down, this is the way I will do ours! We spend the rest of our time by the bookstore, Sandy who runs it and myself on the bench just chatted away for a while, she even bought a postcard. Retired from Oregon, both her and husband have been in Marathon for a couple years, now enjoying the better weather, even though they got 7 to 8 inches of snow just a few days ago. I think Terlingua has given me this new hobby… chatting! That is what we do here… a run to the store can take up to a few hours, sometimes a whole day… better never leave anything on the stove!


It was time to leave. I was planning to be in the Park when Sunset would happen. You know… Sunrises and Sunsets… my camera is still not out of vermilion, there is never a back order of it in this area. Cool as it has been lately, but not real cold, electric jacket always plugged in, the bike is humming away as usual. Sunset was not a spectacular show as it normally is, we get spoiled here you now by its sights. It had however this calming effect last night, lots of blues mixed in with the clouds and some haze barely showing the outline of the mountains in the horizon.

Still undecided about visiting Big Bend?… It did not take long afterwards for darkness to descend on us… The deer again had our number last night, it was this time almost a jackpot, a young doe bolted out from the side of the road and literally brushed his hind legs against my front wheel, I felt it, he felt it, and as quickly as he appeared changed direction and took off spinning his own wheels diagonally for the other side! I really slowed down at that point… enough to avoid this time an old buck with many points about 20 feet away. Now that would have hurt I know… The days are short, I cannot plan to return to camp in the daylight as the morning daylight itself is later on now. All was well… a bit of a faster heart beat for a while and some "thanks" for being watched over. So yes… much happening again this weekend around here. The Powwow should make for some real nice and colorful pictures!

Do you have a Dog? Check out the "Spirited Treats" we are now making… They are fun to make, they are baked to order… they are good… I know!

You have liked the pictures… you can order them as Postcards  ( 4 x 6 ) of the outmost quality…

Till next time… and after… be well.

Ara and Spirit

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Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108