Arriving well after dark, the first thing my wife and I saw was a lighted maze of walking paths illuminated by solar lights, which evoked the brilliant constellations and Milky Way overhead and the famous Marfa Lights. Pulling an oversized version of a Radio Flyer wagon full of our luggage, supplies, and food, we made our way across the uneven paths until finding our home for the next two nights: a bright-green-and-white, 1951 Royal Mansion travel trailer. Inside, we found the 35-foot refurbished trailer to be quite spacious and loaded with charm—from the warm-toned vintage, birch-veneer paneling to the porthole-style windows on the doors to the recycled-tire chair.
We were in El Cosmico, ground zero for the eclectic, artsy, bizarre, tiny, desert community of Marfa, Texas. And what a place to stay. With its quirky DIY combo of Burning Man, Mad Max, and electro-hippie styles, mixed with Mexican flair and chic touches, El Cosmico is the perfect microcosm of the community. The property is a hotel and campground with renovated vintage trailers, yurts, a teepee, safari tents, and tent camping sites. There is a large art installation constructed from telephone poles, and recycled materials are used in the landscaping, outdoor showers, and outlying buildings. El Cosmico regularly hosts bands making the long haul between El Paso and Austin through the Far West Texas desert, as well as art installations and music festivals such as the annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Love and Music.