A couple of years ago now, my friend Liz wrote a post that I shared about El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. Since seeing the amazing photos she found of this funky, boho, hippie campground. When my dad and I decided to go to Big Bend National Park together, I started researching the surrounding areas and found out that the town of Marfa itself is supposed to be funky in its own right.
⋙ The Town of Marfa ⋘
On the Visit Marfa website they say it’s ‘Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get here, you get it.’ I have to say after my first trip to Marfa, I don’t know that I got it, but I do know that I’m definitely intrigued enough to go back.
There are a two things to consider with my Marfa visit: I was only here for about 24 hours & it was a Sunday/Monday. I had read in researching this trip that you can’t really depend on the Marfa restaurants to be open and we found this to definitely be true. On Sunday night we only found two local restaurants open and we chose Foundation Pizza. It just recently opened and served up some truly delicious pizza. The crust was unbelievable.
The next morning we set out to get Marfa Burrito. Online I had read that they opened at 7am, on the restaurant paper that El Cosmico gave us it said they opened at 6am. When we drove to it eagerly awaiting a delicious burrito at 7:30am it still wasn’t open. That was a major bummer. We opted to eat breakfast in to save money and when we drove by later it was, of course, open.
I have heard nothing but good things about the food in Marfa, so when I come back for a longer stay with Matt I hope that we can experience a more of their food culture. However, as we passed the Food Shark bus I couldn’t help but crack up at their ‘Always Closed’ sign. Talk about a forcing spontaneity!
This campground isn’t your normal campground because its forms of accommodation aren’t just areas to pitch your tent (although, that is available), it’s a collection of safari tents, campers, yurts and – our personal accommodation of choice – teepees! We checked in at El Cosmico and were greeted by an extremely friendly woman who showed us the way to our teepee, explained what we needed to know and told us about the Marfa Lights – I’ll get back to those in a bit. My dad and I put our bags in our teepee and strolled around the grounds a bit taking photos of this place. It’s seriously the epitome of funky, boho charm. Follow me to El Cosmico…
The inside of the teepee was truly magical. From some of the photos I had seen of them made them look a lot bigger, but they were the perfect size. However, getting inside was a bit of a crawl.
I love all of the boho details like the rainbow blankets, the american flag draped across the wall, the mini-bar made from an old tool box and funky pillows on the couches. It’s seriously just so dreamy.
I love the idea of staying in one of these decked-out campers. They’re funkily furnished inside, have a deck and some even come with a shower outside (like the one pictured above. I think one of my favorite parts about the campers is that they have nicknames – this beauty is Spartan Manor.
Meet Kozy Coach
This is Little Pinky – be still my heart
Branstrator is his name.
Their yurts look unbelievably dreamy as well. I think when Matt and I come back we just might have to stay in a different “room” each night.
The bath house is simple, but surprisingly nice. This is the place to wash up, shower & use the toilet for the complex. Even on cool mornings it’s not so bad because they have little space heaters warming the seats up for you.
The office – where wifi is available & there are loads of tables to congregate under the cozy lights.
Even if the nights dip down below freezing, you will definitely be warm. The beds have electric blankets on the bottom and these glorious fire pits in the middle of the teepee.
Up before the dawn and having a blast already.
The camper beauties
Inside the lobby is a nice communal space. Coffee is offered in the mornings from 8 – 10 and a gift shop. Be sure to pick up an El Cosmico tee or other trinkets. This lobby is decorated so hippie-ish and inspired me. Aside from a fun place to stay, El Cosmico also has “happenings” that range from concerts, to classes to retreats. I would love to attend one sometime. Although this wasn’t my typical budget option (the teepee was $150 – prices vary through the year) it was well worth the money to have this unique experience and I can’t wait to do it again! Well, are you convinced? It’s time to follow me to El Cosmico!
The Mysterious Marfa Lights
When we checked into El Cosmico, I asked the girl at the desk if she had seen the Marfa Lights. She told me that she loves going to look at the lights and each time is different. She explained to us that they aren’t like the northern lights or anything like that (which a lot of people expect), instead they’re orbs of light that sometimes hover & go out or will shoot across the landscape. I lean a bit more on the skeptical side of things, but I decided to be a believer. My dad and I bought our pizza from Pizza Foundation and drove out toe the Marfa Lights Viewing Center where we parked our car and looked for the lights. For a while we didn’t see anything but the lightening of the storm rolling in and what we both thought maybe might have been small lights popping up in the vegetation, but we never saw the same light. Suddenly, and from seemingly nowhere this big red orb appeared over the mountains. Hovering silently. Then rising a bit. Falling a bit. After 20 seconds or so it suddenly went out. My dad and I finally stopped ferociously pointing at it to verify if the other had seen it and looked at each other. We had just seen a Marfa Light. We were glued to the horizon. It took some waiting but by the end of the night we saw just shy of a dozen different orbs illuminate. Some hovering peacefully near the same spot, some darting across the sky, some red, some a whilte-blue color.
We researched them a bit and found that scientists recently stated that they were just the reflection off the passing cars behind us, but I’m not buying it and there are three reasons why: 1 – the lights appeared and stayed even without traffic passing by. 2 – the lights didn’t all shoot across the sky, which is how I imagine they would move if following lights from a car, instead most hovered in the sky for as short as 20 seconds & as long as 4 minutes. 3 – these sightings have been happening since 1883 – that’s three years before the first automobile was created in Germany. I’m not saying I know what they are, but I’m not skeptical anymore. [Click here for photos on the Marfa Lights official website]
Marfa is simply a place to feel free. Free to open up a restaurant, or not. Free to sleep in a teepee or a safari tent. Free to relax. Free to explore. Free to be inspired. Free to believe.
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