Road Trip To Marfa – Day 2

Day 2 in Marfa was spent mostly relaxing. The Allen Oldies Band had an afternoon gig playing on the back of a trailer that was hauled into the common area near the train tracks that is used on the weekends for the farmers market. David Beebe and Allen Hill had gone over to the Marfa Public Radio station to interview Allen Hill and promote the mid afternoon show as well as the evening show in Alpine and the show on Saturday at Padres.

The promotion did get quite a few people out to the afternoon show which lasted about 45 minutes.

The next show was in Alpine, about 30 minutes away from Marfa. Scheduled to start at 10:00 pm the band was planning to head over there around 4:30 for a 5:00 pm sound check. This meant about 5 hours of downtime plus the show which would run about 4 hours and then the breakdown and trip back to Marfa.

I opted to stay in town and skip the festivities. There’s still the Saturday night show at Padres and a lunchtime show on Sunday so I felt I could give this one a miss.

Walked around town and shot some pics and hung out with some of the band wives who also opted to skip the Alpine leg of the tour.

In the above picture you can see the Marfa Courthouse in the distance. I was able to climb to the top of the dome and put together this panorama of the City of Marfa with Main St. in the center.

Road Trip To Marfa – Day 1

When I decided to go on this road trip to participate in the Allen Oldies Band Marfa Invasion Tour I made a conscious choice to leave my vehicle behind and cast my fate with some friends. Typically I don’t like the idea of not having my own transportation in a situation like this but after much agonizing I decided that the stress of driving the 10 hours by myself would be greater than the stress of not having my own car so I decided to go for it.

I was picked up at 7:30 on Thursday morning and we headed out. Everything was going well. We stopped in Luling, TX to gas up and get some food at Buc-cee’s.

After that it was smooth sailing to Junction, TX where we stopped for some BBQ and then on what I thought was going to be a stop in Ft. Stockton for another bathroom break and petrol.

After we cleared the multiple exits to Ft. Stockton with their signs promising food, bathrooms and GASOLINE it became apparent that we would not be stopping and since I was a passenger and the driving logistics were not up to me I didn’t say anything figuring it was not my place and that there was an alternate plan.

After we turned off of I-10 on to 67 it was obvious by the commotion in the cabin of the rented minivan that the low fuel light had come on. Discussion turned to how many miles could be driven once this had happened and a decision was made (by my hosts, not by committee) to press on in hopes of finding a gas station between our current location and the next town which is Alpine.

Let me just say for the record, there are NO gas stations between Ft. Stockton and Alpine Texas. And it should also be noted that a minivan with 6 passengers and their luggage can go about 25 miles. Much less than the 40 or so needed to get to Alpine.

We did, in fact, run out of gas.

After pulling over one of our hosts got out of the van and was able to quickly flag down a passing motorist. A woman in a van travelling with an infant child. I was surprised at her willingness to help and before long our hosts were in the van and off to find gas leaving myself, Jim Henkel, Bill Shirley and Tricia behind to wait and watch our stuff.

It occurred to me as our hosts were heading off with a complete stranger that this seemed remarkably like the beginning of a bad horror flick…

Bill introduced us to a card game called Tichu which we played to while away the time as we waited for rescue and distract us from the dangers the surely lurked all around us.

We played Tichu and we were even visited by a DPS officer who checked in to make sure we were OK. While hot, it is a dry heat out here in West Texas and we were never really uncomfortable. After about an hour our hosts returned with gasoline and profuse apologies.

All in all it was not a horrible experience and it wasn’t long before we rolled into Marfa and got settled.

Of course Marfa is a small town and word of our experience got around and there has been a bit of good natured ribbing over the last few days.