Charley’s ride across America 25. Marfa snow angels and big paws

No progress these days so no stats.

Dear friends and family,

What did the bartender say to the grizzly bear who walked into his bar?

Said nothing…

Said nothing…

Then finally: “Why the big paws”

Well, just like the bear, we are taking a big PAUSE.

And, the angels continue. Yesterday I woke feeling pretty cold from my air mattress developing a leak. If I blew it up every hour, I was insulated till it slowly deflated. When Gregg and I went to the community building at 0730 for gourmet coffee and a roaring fire, a Texan from Austin named Dan heard my concerns about the mattress, no sporting goods stores near, and not even a yoga mat available for insulation. He mentioned that he had two foam mats in his car and nine more at home, so I could pick one that worked for me. “The Texan Way”.

As you can see by the pictures, the cold front brought below freezing weather and 3-4 inches of snow overnight. About five AM I woke to a very small and dark tent. The accumulated wet snow had bent the poles inward just inches from my face. It took a few good kicks on the sides to shed the snow and open the tent to full size. I wonder what the rated snow load is on this Big Agnes model tent?

We are staying at the El Cosmico compound. It’s kind of a high end hippy place offering lodging in either classic trailers, tepees, expedition fixed tents, or you can plant your own backpack tent like we did.

They offer this great community room to hang out and meet other travelers and swap stories. Last night they had a quite good live band to entertain all us guests.

We met Marya from Amsterdam, who visited Austin for South be Southwest tech conference. Then she rented an American Mustang for the experience of powering her way to Marfa. Marya is a systems designer of to try to redesign broken systems, like government healthcare right now in the Netherlands. We spent hours discussing and comparing government systems, philosophies, and consulting. She adopted the two of us to be advisors to her consulting company; Gregg for marketing and myself for finance. The Boss even treated us to dinner as an unofficial Texan angel.

During the day we explored Marfa some and spent lots of time meeting other travelers and digital nomads, plugged into their laptops and working.

Marfa is a smaller version of Port Townsend in a way. It’s a mix of the hipster crowd, lots of very high end art galleries, and restaurants and bars that are really creative. One bar last night was in a formerly abandoned repair shop, with all the inside walls left the same as they’d been for many years as a shop and a hip bar planted in the middle. Even with that, about every third building is still vacant.

Yes, we picked a great place to lay over. Tomorrow we potentially have near freezing weather, but a big tailwind. And we’ve been off the bikes for three days already so champing at the bit.

I’m hoping the snow melts away this afternoon, but it’s after two pm and still hanging around.

Well let you know in a couple of days.

Sending love,


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