In 2017 Harry finally admitted that yes, he did want to travel for months in a very small trailer with his wife, Renee, and two dog pals, Jack and Sam. This blog recounts their trials (many) and their tribulations (even more!)
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  • Day8

    Day 5 - more magnificent Rocky Mountains

    January 10 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We ended Day 4 at the Motel 8 I mentioned above in what can accurately be called an unhappy state. We were so freaked out about Washington and then this Motel 8 did not have the kind of room we asked for ahead of time - easy access to the outside. Again, we were stunned by the number of people walking around without masks. I just don’t get it. Since Harry had made this reservation he had to go in to deal with the front desk and I was worried about that. People around the front desk had to have a mask on, but workers were piling out of a van behinad me in the parking lot - none wearing masks. Finally, even though this was dog-friendly motel, there was no area to walk Jack and Sam. We disliked this motel so much we didn’t even take showers.

    I got Jack and Sam out early to try to find some place to walk them - 9 degrees weather and all. Things were better in the daylight, I could see that Dillon was nestled in high snow covered peaks, and that we were surrounded by pot shops. We scrambled around in the snow (Marcine will appreciate that I was doing this in my ankle boots with no socks). We packed up quickly eager to get back on I-70 but not before, yes, our soothing first stop at a Starbucks. Our normal breakfast was $1.00+ more here - which was explained by the Barista as the mountain town tax. The other interesting thing about Dillon was that there was an outlet shopping center - my blood quickened but we were too early for the stores to be open.

    We continued cruising through the Rocky Mountains much of the morning, high high up and very cold. Tried imagining what it would be like live in such a demanding environment. 78 of the 100 highest peaks of the Rockies are in Colorado. Also tried imagining how in the world did people actually cross the Rockies in covered wagons? But investigation reveals that the route that I-70 takes through the Rockies is not one of the paths taken by earlier explorers. The I-70 crosses the Rockies through the Vail pass, which was engineered by Charles Vail, in approximately 1940.

    We couldn’t resist going to take a look at Vail to see what all the bruhaha was about. The downtown and connected areas are crowded and everything is about skiing - people lugging their skis, getting on to buses with skis, being shuttled to ski areas. We on the other hand went in search of a dog park and we found a nice one - Stephen’s Park. The the first time in five days Jack and Sam were off leash and free. It seemed odd that this dog park was completely unfenced and next to a frontage road next to I 70 but - what the hay.

    We wanted to get to Grand Junction, CO for lunch - mainly because the name sounded romantic to us. The city gets the "grand" part of its name from the Grand River, which is now known as the Upper Colorado River. The "junction" refers to the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. We were surprised to learn that this area has long been a grape growing and wine producing area (from the 1880s) and is also a long time fruit growing area. All of this development happened after the United States Government abolished the Ute (as in Utah) Indian Territory in 1881, forcing the Utes into a reservation so that the government could open this area to white settlers. Can you imagine? We got a nice salad and a nice sandwich from Dream Café in the interesting (picturesque) downtown area. The air and light was stunning. We told the staff at the Dream we were going to go eat in a park we saw on 4th street and the frontage road but were told not to go there because homeless people lived there. We were directed to a park near the Public Library where there were also homeless-seeming people, and some shady looking characters. Problem, Grand Junction?

    After lunch we hit the road hard heading to our destination for the night - St. George, Utah. We arrived there at about 7:00, exhausted as usual but kind of excited - tomorrow is our last day on the road.
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    Kristen Conley

    I used to go to St George every year when Dad did the Huntsmen Games.

    1/14/21Reply
     
  • Day4

    Day Four - the Majestic Rockies

    January 6 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 3 °C

    Day Four - Salina, Kansas to Dillon, Colorado

    We left Salina in good spirits having found another Starbucks where we could get our now customary breakfast before hitting the road. We had our first “real” dinner last night too, getting a take-out steak dinner. Pretty good - beats crackers and cheese. But Salina, Kansas sure looked desolate and poor this morning when I took the dogs out for our first walk at 7:00.

    Back on to I-70: as it crosses Kansas I-70 is buffeted by the winds that blow hard across the Great Plains. I drove for the first hour and then Harry took over. It’s hard to drive when there’s a strong wind and even though the speed limit is 75 across the whole state, the trucks don’t go that fast due to the wind. The other strange thing about I-70 in western Kansas is that they have snow gates that they actually drop down to close the Interstate when there are bad conditions. They just close the interstate. I had never heard of that before.

    I started this entry saying we left Salina in good spirits but those spirits took a dark turn when we became absorbed in the catastrophe that engulfed our country this Wednesday, January 6. Everything seemed unreal - we were truly undone. We listened to the terrible news as we said goodbye to Kansas and slipped into Colorado.

    The change in landscape between Kansas and Colorado is immediate - although we were still surrounded by huge fields of grain and hay, they just looked more lush in Colorado. It doesn’t take too long to get to Denver and again, I-70 rolls right through the town which is fun. By the time we had Denver in the rear view we were already at 5,000+ feet - remember it’s called “the mile high city.” And when you are driving west through the city you see ahead that you are going to be driving into some serous mountains and gorgeous snow covered peaks. We took pictures which will show up in this blog someday. Very exhilerating. I was driving which was kind of fun because I drove through the city infrastructure and then into the mountains, including the Eisenhower Tunnel. That tunnel carries I-70 under the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The tunnel has a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet and is one of the highest car and truck tunnels in the world. We were spit out of the tunnel into very dramatic sunlight and began a seven mile descent! I made the descent in the slowest lane and probably did a number on our brakes. We have been hugely fortunate in this part of our trip because if we were having any kind of bad weather we would be required to put on chains, which of course we don't have, and there is up to a $1,000 fine if you do not carry chains from fall through spring. Who knew?

    Anyway, we landed in a Motel 8 in a mountain town called Dillon. I have never been in the Rockys like this before so it’s very interesting - there are Rocky Mountain towns that are just nestled along the road. I’ll be able to see more tomorrow and will report more. Now, I need a glass of wine and some time to digest what is happening in our country.
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    Buz Eisenberg

    What a great travel blogger you are, Renee (sorry Harry, but I know who wields the pen in your family.) I well remember Renee's similarly delightful and interesting reports from your trip to India. While reporting highlights that convey the feeling of your trip, you pepper in facts, insight, and humor, so my takeaway is more than just having been updated and knowing you are ok. I also learn about the joys of Starbuck breakfast sandwiches, the nightmares of Days Inns, and why the Covid death rate continues to climb.

    1/9/21Reply
    Sydney Treuer

    These are very fun to read and I hope you plan to keep writing while you're in California!

    1/10/21Reply
     
  • Day3

    Day Three: Effingham, IL to Salina, KA

    January 5 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ -7 °C

    Day Three: Effingham, Illinois to Salina, Kansas

    Another grey start to our travelling day. Still pretty cold. Sammy’s better though. And our motel room last night was actually nice although still in a truck stop - The Baymont by Wyndham in Effingham, Illinois - pretty fancy. We had a Starbucks very close by where we got our now standard breakfast and found our way back to Interstate 70. Our mission to day is to drive 515 miles to Salina, Kansas where we will spend our third night on the road. I can still smell and taste, so so far so good. That's a COVID joke.

    Our first big landmark on today’s drive was St Louis, Missouri. It’s strangely exciting to see a city come into view when you are just driving and driving through countryside. 70 goes right through St Louis, no by-pass, which was dramatic. It’s like all of a sudden you are on Storrow Drive - very old looking infrastructure, and of course that beautiful arch, the Gateway to the West, which is truly huge. We also had to pass over a lovely suspension bridge which Harry took lots of pictures of but you know what? by the time I’m writing this at the end of a 10-hour day in the car, my desire to illustrate with photos is pretty minimal.

    I want to say right off the bat that Missouri has piss poor rest stops. Each stop has only one or two old vending machines and those vending machines are behind bars and have nothing you want to eat or drink, so why they have to be locked up is a mystery. On a more positive note, we had sunshine in Missouri and 49 degree weather. Another great thing about Missouri is that Lake of the Ozarks is IN MISSOURI!!! We have been watching Ozarks for the past several weeks but I had no idea Lake of the Ozarks is in Missouri. And the Osage River. That’s about it for Missouri but before we flew into Kansas, we went through Kansas City, Missouri - and then through Kansas City, Kansas. That’s gotta be confusing. Also, Missouri has great road signs - one fudge store boldly claimed there were no calories in road trip food. I’m afraid I am going to be living proof that is not true.

    I believe there is a reason we encountered our first 75-mile an hour speed limit in Kansas. You hit Kansas and say goodbye to rolling countryside and beautiful farms, and hello to acres and acres of, at this time of year, fields of hay and grain stubble. One interesting thing did happen while crossing Kansas, we crossed the center point of the contiguous United States. Also, we passed through Abilene Kansas, the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower before he came east at 20 to West Point and Russell, Kansas, the birthplace of Robert Dole.
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  • Day2

    Day Two

    January 4 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

    Somerset to Effingham, Illinois

    You might remember that I mentioned that Sammie was indisposed yesterday on the first leg of our trip - well, that also means that she was indisposed throughout the night which means one of us has to get up, get dressed and take her out into the very scenic parking area of the Days Inn.

    All this by way of saying we were not in the best mood when we woke up for Day 2 of this journey, one of us less so then the other. But it’s pretty darn hard to begrudge Sammie efforts on her behalf since we uprooted her from her routine and asked her to sit in the back seat of the car for ten hours. Good thing she can’t talk. And then there was the fact that it was snowing big fat flakes when I went out with the dogs at 7:30 - on a day we were not expecting more snow.

    However, things quickly turned sunnier when, while about to get on Interstate 70 going the wrong way (it’s really like objectively confusing) I noticed a Starbucks! So one breakfast sandwich and two coffee drinks later, we got on 70 going the right way. Yeah! AND the snow had stopped.

    So picture this: we are starting out in Somerset, Pennsylvania (9:30 a.m. departure again) and we are going to end up in Effingham, Illinois, and all we have to do is stay on I 70 the whole way. We are about to drive through Pennsylvania, the tiniest sliver of West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. It’s magic.

    The Pennsylvania land that we drove through was lovely rolling farm land with lots of silos and the feeling that we were in mountains. But winter bleak. We drove through Wheeling, West Virginia which oddly enough resonated with me because I had written about Joe McCarthy as an undergrad, and it was in Wheeling, West Virginia, at a talk before a woman’s club, that he first took out of his attaché case a fistful of papers that he waved around dramatically saying - I have here evidence of Communists in our Government! Next time you think we just escaped the worst political period ever remember Joe McCarthy - he was dispicable too.

    In Ohio we stopped at a lovely rest stop that had lots of park like grounds to walk the dogs and really good vending machines. This is what is important when you travel with two dogs. I also learned at this rest stop that Interstate 70 parallels and sometimes overlaps National Road 40 which has historial significance. National Road 40 is considered to be the first highway in the United States. Both Presidents Washington and Jefferson believed that a trans-Appalachian road was necessary for unifying the country, so this 820-mile long path through Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois is considered the first federally funded road in the United States. When you are travelling on I 70 you will see exits to bring you down to 40 - side trips we are not able to take this time through. If you have some time, though, read about this road - it’s very interesting.

    We rode through Ohio, with our first glimpse of sun in three or four days, pleased to see big cities at Columbus and Dayton, into Indiana with a big city of course at Indianapolis and now here we rest for the night in Effingham, Illinois, having experienced our first time change. Effingham is at the crossroad of major north south roads and you cannot believe the number of trucks that are hunkered down here for the night - thousands. Another thing you won’t believe is that when we got to the office to check in here, there were three men standing in the check in office WITHOUT MASKS!!! Don’t worry, I called in to start the process and only went in after the maskless men exited. What is it with these people? when I see things like this I start to understand how we can have these ridiculous pandemic numbers - people are actually still not wearing masks!

    I have some pictures to download for this post but still have to figure out how to do it. Goodnight! onward to Kansas tomorrow.
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  • Day1

    First Leg

    January 3 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    January 3rd, 2020

    There is something enormously freeing about waking up one morning and saying okay let’s hit the road - California here we come!

    Harry and I did a good job of getting ready for this trip starting way back with organizing our barn in the unexpected warmer weather in November. Uh huh, that far back and yes it started with the barn. By the time we got up this morning at 7:00 we just needed to pack up our necessities and pile into the car by 9:30. Our first stop was Somerset, Pennsylvania which would bring us to the beginning of Route 70, which should take us directly west across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinoise and all those “other states” until we hit Nevada Interstate 15 and head south on 15.

    Alas, between us and Somerset was a snowstorm that started about 3 1/2 hours into our trip. Lucky for me, that was the end of my driving stint and the beginning of Harry’s. He’s much better in snow. Three and a half hours of pretty intense snow. Poor Sammie has intestinal distress so we had to stop more times than we planned. In one of the stops we recognized that a half foot of snow had fallen. Also, at a Valero gas station in Pennsylvania two Amish horse drawn buggies went by in this very heavy snow fall at a very good clip. It was pretty dramatic to be at a regular old gas station and see these two buggies go by - beautiful horses, a fast clip.

    Well, we got to Somerset 10 hours after setting out and checked into a Days Inn Motel. Days Inn is our lot in life when travellng with two large dogs and wanting to be near the Interstate with access to our room through the parking lot. A lot of our friends are alarmed by the idea of us venturing across the country at the height of the pandemic and I totally agree but we weighed the risks and we told each other that we were making an informed decision The “informed” part of that sentence means that if something happens to us on this journey there can be no recriminations, second guessing, etc. And you have our permission to remind us of that.

    Back to The Days Inn - We are supposed to register from our car to minimize the only human contact we plan on having on this trip, and then just go inside to get the key. That didn’t happen exactly as planned at this first stop. I went into the office to show the clerk my driver’s license and to pick up our key. Both people working at the motel were behind a plexiglass petition but without masks. So far so good. I was in there for about 2 minutes when I realized I was hearing people talking nearer to me than they should be and looking up, I see a women (more than 10 feet away from me) talking to someone from behind the desk - WITHOUT A MASK ON. Major freak out. I told the clerk behind the plexiglass that I was leaving because I was super uncomfortable with someone not wearing a mask and rushed out to the car. Did I get COVID????

    Harry tended to the dogs while I tended to getting us ensconced in our room - we brought all of our linen, bed covers, food, a new hand propelled coffee maker, etc, and importantly wine for the evening. Getting us set up is a military field operation. All the while I am going back and forth into our room a guest from two doors down is outside her room smoking and trying to talk to me - which I am strongly discouraging since SHE IS NOT WEARING A MASK! Are these people crazy????

    And just to finish with a flourish - our room had an unidentifiable bug on the wall that Harry had to remove to the outside. Days Inn sucks. Two more things about Somerset - this is a town you might stay at if you wanted to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial - this is the area where the plane commandeered by the passengers and crew of Flight 93 on 9/11 went down. It is thought that the United States Capital was the terrorists’ destination thwarted by those brave folks. Also, Somerset abuts Johnstown, Pennsylvania which was the site of the largest flooding disaster in the 19th Century killing 2,209 people, and also the site of Clara Barton’s (founder of the Red Cross) first major disaster relief effort - the Johnstown Flood.

    Leg 1 completed - 482 miles. Tommorrow we set out for Leg 2 of the Great American Pandemic Get Away which starts us on Interstate 70 and ends at Effingham, Illinois.
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  • Day57

    The party's over ....

    January 21, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    We rolled back into Ashfield on Saturday evening, January 21, 2018, temperature in the 20s, cold and gloomy. Hard not to think back on the sun we had left back in Fernandina, where I left you in my last post. From Fernandina we made our way to my sister's in Charleston, were we hunkered down for an extra day waiting for yet another ice snap to pass through the Eastern Seaboard. We had a really good time with Rita and Kurt, saw two movies and ate more bbq.

    We left Charleston on Thursday morning not knowing how far we would get that day nor whether we would spend the night in the camper or in a motel. We made it all the way to Roanoke Rapids, which is in North Carolina on the border with Virginia, went for the motel since we stopped driving late and had no water in the camper.

    We started our last day on the road a little on the late side - somewhat dragging our feet - and had a beautiful drive through Virginia - really stunning landscape that we vowed to visit in better weather. Our very last night on the road was spent at the the Microtel Inn and Suites in Hamburg, Virginia.

    Back to our Ashfield return: after spending Saturday night in Ashfield, we emptied and cleaned out our camper Sunday morning, and headed out for Montreal Sunday afternoon to return our camper. That was poignant - we had lived well in the 150 square feet provided by it and I didn't want to let it go.

    Since being back, our friends have asked several questions - what was the best part of your trip? would you do it again? how much did you spend on gas????

    These are hard questions to answer except for the last and we are in the process of calculating that. I think for me the best part of this experience was to strip away a lot of what goes on in my daily life. I was more present. I had fewer choices. We had no tv. I had four outfits and two pairs of shoes. I had to carry my toiletries to a communal bathhouse in the morning. I had to empty out anything I put into the trailer (or rather Harry did - thank you Harry!). I had to pay attention to Jack and Sam's needs. I had to be sure Harry was feeling good. In sum, everything was a little more immediate than what's typical in my ordinary daily life - and I am grateful for that experience. And yes I would do it again.
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    Tamara Sloan

    Love you - glad it went well and glad you're all back safe!

    1/29/18Reply
    Meghan Ecclesine

    Yay! Just getting started on reading your blog! So glad you had a great trip. I can't wait to read more. Hope you are cozy up there in W. MA. What an incredible journey! ❤️

    2/13/18Reply
     
  • Day52

    The long and winding road ...

    January 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Destin Florida January 13 |Fernandina Beach, January 14

    There is no denying we are on our way home. I could stay on the road longer but Harry is ready to turn in his driving gloves. Thank goodness we stopped in at Henderson State Park in Destin, Florida (think western Florida panhandle) before we started heading north. My cousin Diane mentioned this as a great place when we were heading west, but we couldn’t get in. This park is awesome. I think it may be the nicest place to stay in Destin. The beach is very built up on both sides of the State Park so it has that Miami Beach feel. But in the State Park stretch of the beach, when you leave your camper you walk down a long sheltered path until you get to a boardwalk that meanders to the Gulf of Mexico. Also, the individual campsites have a lot of vegetation so you feel private. Some may not like the fact that you can hear road noises in the Park, but we don't mind -- and are thrilled to be near restaurants, donut shops, etc.

    This is the whitest beach I have ever seen but I haven’t been to the Caribbean. I think it’s okay to post these pictures of a white sandy beach because I believe it is colder here in Destin today than it is in Ashfield. One fly in the ointment - no dogs on the beach! What?

    Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, January 14

    We set out from Destin early on Sunday, 9:00 ish, and drove the whole day uneventfully on 10. Beautiful day. We rolled into the Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island at about 4:00 and we got a spot! This was the first time we didn’t have a reservation so we were feeling pretty lucky - this State Park is another great example of what I have said many times - check out the pictures below - you couldn’t stay in a nicer place than this on Amelia Island and it cost 28.00! We are going to go explore Fort Clinch shortly. If you come here, there's a tiny cuban breakfast/lunch place called Hola Cafe that has great media noches, Cuban coffee, empanadas, etc.

    But we are alas now in the eastern time zone, and when we hit the road tomorrow, we will be heading North.
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    Travels with Jack and Sam

    Destin Beach Library. I've spent hours in libraries on this trip and it always makes me feel very grounded. This must be a wealthy area because this Library was pretty cushy - including old Mark Twain there on the bench. And here's a shout out to the Library and Librarians in Fort Davis Texas - that was a great Library too.

    1/16/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    Destin State Park beach - delicious except for no dogs.

    1/16/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    The walk - Destin

    1/16/18Reply
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  • Day52

    Galveston! Oh Galveston!

    January 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Galveston Texas 1/10.

    We left Galveston this morning, January 11th, after spending one night at Galveston State Park. This State Park has both bay and ocean side camp sites and we went with ocean side which in this case is actually gulf side, as in the Gulf of Mexico. This Park was not as exciting to me as most of the others have been. I think when you opt for ocean side you are going to be out in the open, and steps from the ocean, so exposed. $25.00 a night though which you can not beat with a stick. We only stayed one night because we need to get serious about making our way back to the East coast and home. This was restaurant week in Galveston so we had a nice dinner (Red Fish - see dinner below) at Blvd. (That's the full name).

    We explored the old part of Galveston - The Strand - a little before heading for the ferry (free!) that connects Galveston to Port Bolivar and then Highway 87 heading east. Leaving the ferry we travelled over the smallest strip of land I’ve ever travelled over with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Galveston Bay on the other connecting back to the Texas mainland at Gilchrist. Some of the pictures below are from along that strip with houses on top of stilts three stories high!

    We made our way to Lake Charles, Louisiana where we stopped for lunch. But before we got there we had our first super scary road event - a truck tire blew out right in front of us. Loud explosion, debris shooting out from the truck. I have to say Harry is one awesome driver. He did not freak out but drove around debris in the road and on we went. I was shaken up. This is why Harry is driving and I am writing.

    We had a lovely lunch at a Lake Charles restaurant called Luna Bar and Grill (see picture below). When we approached the restaurant we noticed they had a nice outside patio and asked if we could bring in Jack and Sam so all four were able to have a pleasant lunch and I broke my longstanding rule of not feeding dogs from the table. I’m hoping they will forget. I had shrimp scampi with gulf shrimp in a mustard sauce with sweet potato fries (do not know why they call it scampi), Harry had a hamburger with fries and we shared a crab cake. Crab cake got two enthusiastic thumbs up.

    Now we are on to Fountainbleu State Park in Louisiana where we will spend the night. This State Park is on the north banks of Lake Ponchatraine which I have always wanted to see.
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    Travels with Jack and Sam

    Red fish, somewhere in between an oily and a white fish.

    1/16/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    can you spot the Alto?

    1/16/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    Galveston Bay

    1/16/18Reply
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  • Day49

    Las Cruces to Texas

    January 13, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    We Left Las Cruces and headed to Davis Mountains State Park - deep in Western Texas. Why you might ask. One word - Marfa. We had heard of Marfa on our way to California earlier in December, and then our good friend Vince was going there - so we figured - better see it now because who knows when we’ll be this way again, etc etc. All we knew about Marfa was that it was a mecca for art installations and that “art installation” is sometimes considered a vulgar expression. We ended up going to Davis Mountains State Park because that is the closest state park to Marfa.

    I took some ordinary shots of landscape between Las Cruces and the Davis Mountains of Western Texas just trying to convey the vastness of Texas. Some are in my previous blog post and some I hope will be with this one. Beautiful light, beautiful expanses of land. Texas continues to amaze.

    We got to the State Park at a beautiful time of the day - the magic hour in movie parlance - and set up camp for the night. By the way, this State Park is beautiful and as usual, we paid about $25.00 a night to stay. The odd animal in this park is a Javalina, which looks like a boar but is called a peccary and is not in the pig family

    As we set up camp a family came by and told us about the McDonald Observatory which was just up the road, and something happening that night called a “Star Party.” The Observatory is affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin and is located at the top of one of the Davis Mountain Peaks. We went to an early twilight show, in addition to the “Star Party.” The earlier show was over my head, a grad student type talking about “plane of the ecliptic” and reporting there were actually 13 zodiac signs - the 13th one being Ophiuchus. I left the lecture and took the sunset picture below. At 7:00 we went to the Star Party and that was lovely. The Observatory takes light pollution very seriously - kids with those sneakers that make light had to get masking tape to put over their sneaks. Our lecturer was knowledgeable and accessible and we saw some great cosmic sites but the piece de resistance of the evening was going around to the various telescopes set up and seeing what was on the menu for this night. We went to two and saw nebulae and Uranus!

    The next morning we drove the twenty miles to explore Marfa. Marfa owes its fame to Donald Judd, an artist who worked from the forties to the beginning of the nineties. I thought I had read somewhere that Judd first became familiar with Marfa due to being stationed there, there used to be an Army base here, but have not been able to confirm that. He worked in many different mediums but what we went to see in Marfa were his concrete structures.

    I think Judd may have been one of the first artists to have others construct his work and he defended this practice arguing that methods should not matter as long as the results create art. He also advocated for permanent installations for his work and that of others believing that temporary exhibitions, being designed by curators for the public, “placed the art itself in the background, ultimately degrading it due to incompetency or incomprehension.” That’s a quote from Wikipedia! Judd rented his first house in Marfa, which is really truly in the middle of nowhere, in 1971 in part to have space for his art to be permanently displayed. Over the years he bought thousands of acres, some of them from the Army, and used all of them for various purposes related to his art, and of course, living space. Some of these lands are now managed by the the Chinati Foundation whose purpose is to keep art in the space in which it was created. Other artists are housed here as well, but we focused on Judd.

    A note on the town of Marfa itself: I don’t know what we expected but Marfa surprised us. It was on the whole very unprepossessing and hard to figure out. It is very underdeveloped except for some chichi hotels and stores which look crazily out of place. We did manage to find a really good place to have breakfast and I, of course, captured the food below.

    From Marfa we drove to Austin where we had mundane business things to take care of - car’s 12,000 mile checkup, etc. We did many of the same things we did in Austin on our first visit with the exception that we tried a different bbq place, The Salt Lick, located in Driftwood, Texas. You have to go to a place like that just because of the name, right? We left Austin after two nights to visit Galveston, a town that for some unclear reason I have aways wanted to see. Fortunately Harry agreed!
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    Travels with Jack and Sam

    a sample of wide open spaces

    1/13/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    ditto

    1/13/18Reply
    Travels with Jack and Sam

    Hey! there's are camper!

    1/13/18Reply
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