West Texas is bleak, my friends. Driving the last 60 miles out of Texas is a barren, hollow, desolate, scouring of the inside of your soul experience. Nothing but oil horses and RV parks for their workers, flat parchment land. The only notable features are the wire skeletons with electric wires swooping between them and spires with oil lights flickering against the nondescript sky. Still, like any desert, there are oases. Here’s some of our favorite spots:
An arts colony in the desert where almost all the architecture in the town was done by own guy. It’s mid-century desert minimalism and it is striking. The Hotel Paisano in the center of town is like a crown jewel and is mostly noted for its use in the phenomenal movie, Giant. In fact, as you drive out of town toward Valentine (where the famed Prada art installation store sits in the middle of for real nowhere) you’ll encounter an installation with figures from Giant with accompanying music.
No pictures for this one, but trust us when we say that it is the perfect western town. Everyone knows each other and there’s lots of life here. The stores—unlike Marfa—are reasonably priced and the entire place is walkable. As a bonus, you’re only five minutes from the Davis Mountains.
We hit this one up the day before Big Bend and it was super cool. In fact, we stayed for the first time ever in an RV park (which was also a certified dark park). They had a great little grocer that provided the needed sundries for an excursion into the desert and some great coffee houses. Plus, there was a super weird place called the Chicken House. Behold: