Update [7:50pm ]: 15 hours 50 minutes later, we’re here!
Hard to believe it’s already been 3 weeks since my surprise trip to Amelia Island, FL.
We got back to Austin late, after a week on the road. A great trip overall but I was happy to be back in my own house. Brian was able to stay the weekend before he continued on to Florida.
To pass the time in Austin, I took Brian to see a PhD defense at the university. The defender was Dusty Schroeder, a member of my research group. He did a great job presenting and I’m happy to say his committee passed him with flying colors. Dr. Schroeder’s PhD thesis is titled “Characterizing The Subglacial Hydrology Of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica Using Airborne Radar Sounding”. If you’re intrigued, one of his papers related to the thesis can be found here.
After our visit to Carlsbad Caverns, it was time to set our sights on Austin. After a week on the road, I was ready to be back home. That didn’t stop me from instigating a detour on the way, though: Marfa, TX.
Marfa is a town in the Middle of Nowhere (sometimes known as West Texas). It’s become renowned for attracting minimalist art, including the now-defunct Marfa Prada store. In my opinion, it’s one of those places that’s not really worth a trip by itself since it’s so far from anything else, but I figured it would worth a gander while we were in the neighborhood. Brian was a good sport and agreed to take the scenic route to Austin.
On the way east from the Grand Canyon we dropped down to Flagstaff to have brunch with my cousin at La Bellavia cafe. Great food and great company, so much so that I was too busy to take pictures.
Before long we were on the road again for our longest day of driving yet: 10 hours to Carlsbad, NM. Hotels in Carlsbad are surprisingly expensive. Because we would be getting in late and leaving early the next day I reserved a relatively cheap motel for the night. There’s something about paying $200+ for a night at the Holiday Inn Express that I just couldn’t justify to myself. I’m glad we made a reservation in advance, though, because our motel was booked solid and we were the last guests to arrive for the evening when we finally pulled up at about 11pm.
The next morning we drove down to Carlsbad Caverns, about 30 miles south of its namesake town.