David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Friday Night Light


tl;dr: It's Friday night. I saw a light. In Marfa.

Today was a long short day.

I checked out of my motel late and the spent another hour talking to a local named Richard at the front desk. Then I visited the laundromat. Then I ate too much at a Chinese buffet. I visited the local hardware store in hopes of finding a new sleeping pad (I didn't). Finally, I spent another hour or so on the edge of town under a party shelter reading.

Then I peddled the whole seventeen miles I needed to go today to get to the Marfa Lights Viewing Center. The Mysterious Marfa Lights don't come out until sunset (if at all), so I killed some more time reading every plaque in the park. Then I pulled my book out again. I still had several hours to go.

After a while other erstwhile seekers of the strange and unusual began to show up. And finally, it began to get dark.

And then nothing. Well, nothing exciting.

I played the part of wet blanket explaining in detail to a true believer lady that those lights were indeed cars going through the pass to Presidio. Beyond the many warnings I've read that said if a light looks like a headlight it's a headlight, that those were headlights was just beyond obvious. She could not be convinced. She pulled out her phone and made it strobe, while pointing it at the cars (which had to be forty miles away) and proclaimed, "see, they are blinking back! They are communicating!" Indeed they were, much as they had been, and much as they continued to do, much as car lights tend to blink when viewing them from a distance as they drive through brushy country.

We (saner folks) did get a little excited when we spotted a dim orange light that was far from the road. But it didn't dance or change color or do anything. Eventually I consulted my topo map and found a ranch, airport, and college research station all in that direction. Wet blanket strikes again.

A while later after there was some visitor turnover, a lady pointed out and said, there's something. I turned, saying, "oh, it's just that ranch..." But the light was red, and much brighter, and in a slightly different location, and then it was gone.

So I saw a light.

I stayed on the observation deck until almost 2 AM. Then I laid out my tarp way off in the corner of the park where nobody went after dark. The highway here is busy, and the roads are fenced in, so I had little choice but to stay here. Eventually I fell asleep and was immediately woke by some kids shining a flashlight in my face. They scampered away.

I bet I got a whole hour of sleep. I kept getting up and checking for lights. Around 4:30 AM, I went back to the deck and watched for lights until dawn. Nothing.

small mule deer

picnic area rest room I think

Marfa Mystery Lights

Marfa Lights Viewing Center

aliens will get you

good night Texas

folks waiting for dark

almost certainly not a mystery light

light from passing police car

vinegaroon (whipscorpion)

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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