Across the lonely miles of the West Texas desert unique towns are scattered. Marathon is a quiet artist town a short 45 minutes from Big Bend NP. On the small main street there is James Evan’s black and white photos in one storefront, a variety of shops and a small selection of eateries. My three dogs, JJ (the cat), and myself have taken in lightening storms from our room at the Gage Hotel, a beautifully refurbished old brick building. A quiet weekend can be spent in this place with no televisions and a beautiful saltwater pool. A sort walk to the cozy spa is also one of my favorites visited while in this sleeper part of Texas.