Marfa Lights-Part 2


Marfa Texas travelogue continued….

Almost forgot to mention the 2nd most famous thing about Marfa after Donald Judd,  and the Chinati Foundation. ( some people would argue the most famous thing about Marfa was that the movie “Giant” with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor)


Those so called Marfa Lights……..

Talked about by everyone, believed by most and seen by only a few. Without getting into the history of when the first time this phenomena was reported, lets just say a long time ago like 1880’s type of thing. Reports say that on a given dark moonless light you could be lucky enough to view   his ghostly display of twinkling colored lights , spinning, melting together, splitting apart disappearing and re- appearing!

This is such a big deal that on the outskirts of town ( should be mentioned that this particular part of West Texas has some of the darkest sky’s in the country. Isolated and remote free of the light pollution we are all used to here in LA) this little town has built a modern viewing area plaza/ building complete with telescopes and historical information. So of course, the combination of us being curious  and the fact that we really had nothing else to do… we drove to the outskirts of town at around 10pm.

Conditions were perfect, dark skies, no moon, a chill in the air, a flask of tequila. We arrive the visitors center and there a few other wanna-believers  sitting at  the telescopes, beers cracked open and no lights light’s yet. “ how long you been waiting I asked”

“ too long, and this is my last beer”

We left…..

Undaunted,  and not completely discouraged and now that we have been in town about 24 hours and feel like we know everyone, we started asking the locals.  “ Ever seen the lights?” Got lots of response to “yes, all the time” to “ their aint no dam lights”. One piece of  info that was consistent, was that we should avoid the visitors center viewing area, an instead look for a Nopales road about a mile or so before you reach the center. So off we trek again armed with new coordinates and feeling confident we would see the lights……

No lights…. Cold and desolate, pitch black, more afraid we would stumble upon a Meth lab, than encounter the paranormal, we head back. After the third attempt ( yes, we went out again, sure, we just didn’t go far enough!)

It suddenly occurred  to me was that WE MIGHT BE THE LIGHTS!

Since the locals are sending us out onto the dark Nopales road which by the way is probably visible in the distance from the viewing area, those bouncing red lights could have been our tail lights on the washboard road, and the white twinkling lights, our return trip and our flashing high beams…………!


There were no cars in the 1800’s

photo above taken through the end of an extruded aluminum piece by Donald Judd.   Would have been cool if the lights looked like that..huh?

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