El Cosmico

We drove through the night to make it to Marfa before midnight. The long Texas highways are pitch black at night, and the only depth of field that guided us were the lights on the trucks ahead. Which were sometimes misleading, and caused issues on the road. The moon set over that “big sky” Texas the state is famed for. The moon was a low, red crescent in the sky, setting down slowly as we drove. I began to think of my friends all over the world, and who might be looking up at the same moon from where they were in that very moment. I wondered if they saw the same moon that we were seeing? I thought about Johnny, and the poolside view at the Green Door. I thought about all the times I’d watched the moon set over the San Jacinto mountains, and how much I loved sharing that moment with our guests.

Simple, elegant, and thoughtful. Pulling into El Cosmico is a trip; I highly recommend it. For a hipster campground, El Cosmico feels very approachable. The staff is removed; cordial but a little cold: exactly the way I like to be received. My love of hospitality guides my career, and causes me to study the places I visit, down to the attitudes of the people who work there. I find that the line is slim between an overly boisterous, inquisitive host and a completely irrelevant host. I hate it when the first thing they ask is “Where are you from?”- I feel it’s the equivalent of asking about the weather. It was late; I didn’t need a big personality at the front desk. Check in was easy; everything about this place is easy.

The grounds were set up like Burning Man, in an arc facing the sunrise. Kinda hard to navigate at night, but the lack of light is magical here, and so it feels more like an adventure than a safety concern. We found our way in the dark with tiny lights, and were delighted at each accommodation. Wes would take the tent, which was a beautiful bed in a sparse white walled room. The shared bathrooms were close by, and looked like an adventure in and of themselves.

My trailer was adjacent to a set of large teepees. Lit from the fires set within (yup, real fire?!), shadows danced on the canvassed walls, and tiny plumes of smoke disappeared into the Milky Way, which smeared itself into the otherwise very clear night sky.

After staying the night in my trailer I met Wes for coffee in the main lobby, which is the only fixed building within what must be tens of acres of property. I liked hearing the happy voices of people in the wood-fired hot tubs last night. Wes shacked up in one of the tents on property: they lit up like lanterns in the night, and we could hear people having joyous sex: the kind you don’t mind falling asleep to the sound of. Wesley enjoyed it very much.

Texas is an incredible state. Boot shops, BBQ pits and drive through Donut dives line the town highways, separated only by large swaths of farmland. The wind whips through the tall grass leaving patterns in the landscape. It was easy to let my mind wander into the ether as I watched the world go by.

For me, this trip began with a desire to help my friend with a cross country drive. It quickly became everything I didn’t know that I was needing.

Gabbi Rose