Once I was finally able to eat and keep it down, I started to feel a little better. My friend, Gavin, went home and although I was still very weak, I decided to go back to work.
It continued to be a total nightmare working at the High Sierra but I stuck to my original agreement and finished out my time there. Even though the place was a thousand times busier than when I started, tips went down due to unsatisfied customers and I was making less money. John tried to get me to extend my time there, but I knew I’d be miserable if I stayed. Plus, there was a place I’d been hearing an awful lot about and I was excited to explore it….Marfa, Texas! I finished out my last shift, packed up camp and started to make my way out of Terlingua.
I didn’t get far before I noticed I was leaking anti-freeze. There’s an extra fill port to the radiator attached to the end of a hose and that hose had started to leak. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say pour. The anti-freeze had started to pour out from that hose. I knew I wasn’t going to get far losing that much coolant, so I swung by the one repair shop in town and asked them if they had a replacement hose. They didn’t, but said they could order one and it would arrive the next day. I had no choice but to hangout and wait for it.
Let me tell you about Larry. Larry is a crotchety old man who always has a can of non-alcoholic beer in his hand. He got hired as a bartender at the High Sierra out of desperation. He spent his shifts ignoring the printer full of drink orders and instead, giving all the customers at the bar an earful. If you did manage to get him to make your drinks, he moved at such a painfully slow speed it almost wasn’t worth it. He was forever upset about having to wash glasses and at one time, interrupted me while I was taking an order at a table to yell about it right in front of the customers. Oh, and I think the most notable thing about Larry is that he is the most aggressive swearer I’ve ever heard. I’m not offended much by swearing but he would put so much emphasis and energy behind every swear word, that it made your head jerk back when they came shooting out of his mouth. No joke, his nickname is “Asshole Larry” and I thought it suited him quite well. I dreaded working with him and I had concluded there were no redeeming qualities to this man.
Larry happen to live by the repair shop and I was floored when he offered me a place to park. Not only did he welcome me onto his property, but he offered me a shower. Then we spent some quality time together as I helped him tie down a load on his trailer and he aggressively swore at the FFFFU@$K!N ratchet straps. The next day, he offered me a ride to go pick up the part for my radiator. Larry, the guy I had written off as a no-good, crabby old man was being kind to me! It may be silly, but it really hit me. This sour-puss was actually a nice guy under his very rough exterior. That rough exterior hadn’t gone anywhere but I was getting a glimpse at a layer of him that had been hidden to me before. I wonder how many “Asshole Larry’s” I’ve met over the years that I had decided were nothing more than assholes? I didn’t like that and I vowed to do a better job at not believing the worst in people.
I put on the new part, topped off my fluid, thanked Larry for the hospitality (and the lesson) and was ready to head to Marfa! I headed north out of the deep south part of Texas and into another quirky town. On the outskirts of Marfa, there is a place you can park overnight to view the Marfa Mystery Lights. I spent my first night there and I’m pretty sure I saw them….I just didn’t feel mystified. Seeing these lights dates back to 1883 and if I would have seen them then, maybe I would have been more mystified. But in this day and age, I could easily excuse them as car lights. Maybe the ones I saw were car lights because they weren’t green or blue which has been reported. Nevertheless, it was cool to be able to go there since there’s been years of debate surrounding them.
As you head into Marfa, at first glance you may think the town is borderline abandoned. But as you make your way through the streets, you see there are moments of creativity and art everywhere. Among the vacant and run down buildings, there are art galleries, coffee shops, bars and health food stores. Basically, it looks like a ghost town that hipsters took over. I was super into it.
I spent the day exploring the town and the very cool El Cosmico. El Cosmico is a place where you can stay in a rad renovated vintage trailer or a tee-pee. It was super fun to walk around the lot and look at all the colorful trailers.
I could of spent longer exploring this little town but other than the light viewing place, there wasn’t any places I knew I could park legally, so I decided to keep moving. I stopped for an obligatory photo in front of the Prada building on my way out and continued to head north.
The repair I had made on the radiator seemed to be sticking but Mander was starting to get upset about something else. It looked like I wasn’t gonna make it very far before I had another mechanical issue to deal with…
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Until next time, much love and Mander on!