Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vidrios de Ojinaga

ride to Ojinaga with Don, James Jackson, and Bubba
I needed some windows cut, asked around, and the consensus was that the best and least expensive window cutters were right across the border in Ojinaga. And so yesterday we went.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

City Folk

the trail ends here

Whenever I get visitors out here, it is a great excuse to visit the National Park and other area sights and also put my visitors to work. Earlier in the week, my friend Chad from Austin made a return trip to scout out land in the area. He also helped for a day on the dome. Stuccoing is more fun with a friend. On the other days, I have MPR to keep me company as well as podcasts and Pandora.

Then on the weekend, my sister showed up with 3 friends. We went for a hike in the Chisos, and they didn't do too badly for city girls who were recovering from two nights in Marfa. I made sure that they were well hydrated. We had a grand old time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Big Bend Bugs

Today, I decided to install a bug screen on my front door. There are some unique (and large) bugs in the Big Bend area, but I don't like them crawling up my leg or jumping in my face.
A curious tarantuala examines my front porch 

A resident alien

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boquillas Singer

There is a promising rumor that the border at Boquillas will once again open be open to Americans and Mexicans who wish to explore each others' cultures. Until then, this man's voice reverberates back and forth between both countries, as he stands on the edge of the Rio Grande, singing at the top of his lungs, ignoring the perceived borders.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It was a fun but exhausting weekend. I decided to run the 10K portion of the Marathon 2 Marathon, a Boston qualifying event in Far West Texas. I drove up the night before, where there was a pre race dinner at the Gage Hotel. I asked the new entertainment coordinator if they were interested in having live music there this Fall Season being that I had some good gigs there earlier this Summer. We figured that right then and there would be a perfect occasion, so I set up there in the courtyard and played to a mostly fit crowd of spaghetti eaters.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Work Continues

Earth Language sunrise on 10-15-10
Don had the sniffles this week and so he stayed home to rest. Whenever he is under the weather, he diagnoses himself with distemper.

This past week, I have been working by myself, stuccoing the outside of the dome. It is like icing a cake compared to stuccoing the interior. Gravity has decided to be my friend. It is more than satisfying to see the rusty metal bars and wire erased from sight with each brush stroke. I have been staring at it for so long.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chinati 10-10-10

I drove up to Marfa to perform music at the historical Paisano hotel during the Chinati open house festival, Marfa's biggest weekend. I performed three sets on a beautiful Saturday evening to a packed courtyard of friendly art enthusiasts. They were kind to me. It is satisfying to play for a crowd interested in hearing original works rather than the familiar standards because that is what I do.

After the show, I was energized but tired at the same time. My neighbors in Terlingua let me stay at "Trailer Marfa", their Marfa getaway home. I was planning to take a short nap, but slept through the night, missed some potential drunken interactions, and woke up the next morning to meet up for breakfast with a couple of friends, which ended up morphing into lunch instead.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Yep, more stucco. We'll be stuck doing this for a little while longer as we round out the edges inside the dome. Don is quite the perfectionist when it comes to the details. It is labor intensive, but also meditative, and doesn't cost anything, so I don't mind. This building material should last 100 years at least. Once we get to the outside stucco portion, it will be easy because we will have gravity on our side. But on the inside, we are used to having stucco fall on our face and in our eyes.

the gift of heat and hygiene

 The UPS truck drove up to my dome yesterday with two unexpected packages, an indoor propane heater and a new solar shower bag. Some sneaky person sent me these couple of items off of my Amazon wishlist. I will get to the bottom of this and find out exactly who it was. In the meantime, thank you for these two luxuries. It might save my life this winter. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Work Trade

Now that I am back from tour, the weather is good, and I have some time, it is back to building. Yesterday, I helped Mr. Don Bryant with an adobe project at his place. It is good to see the old guy excited about working with earth materials instead of cement and metal for a change. With adobe, one doesn't have to worry about getting cement powder in the pores of your skin or in your lungs, as well as not needing to clean off your tools at the end of the day. We acknowledged how much faster the work goes with two people instead of one. Depending on the chemistry, it is usually more than twice as fast, which is why it is helpful to form work trades as much as possible.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Exploring the Big Bend

Having a friend visit is always a good reason to go exploring Big Bend. This last Summer, I traveled through a half dozen National parks, including Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon, and Glacier National Park, and I must say that Big Bend holds its own when compared to these more well known parks. Big Bend is the least visited National Park in the country, but has the highest percentage of return visitors. Those who make it all the way here, come back for more. The last few days, I did a lot of hiking, including 14 miles in the Chisos within 24 hours. The 14 miles included my first venture up Emory Peak, the highest summit in the Big Bend. Here are some photos:

a glimpse into the window