Road Trip: Marfa, TX

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.

marfa-prada-from-wikipedia

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Demolition Derby

Brian came to Austin to visit a few weeks ago! It had been more than a year since he was in Texas, so we didn’t waste much time getting right into the country spirit. This trip, that meant a demolition derby.

demo-derby-in-action

In case you weren’t aware, a demolition derby is an event where people fix up old cars to make them more structurally stable and then slam them into each other until only one is left running. But don’t worry, the drivers wear helmets.

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Longyearbyen, Svalbard

On the last day of the trip, we pulled back into port in Longyearbyen early in the day. We spent an hour or two at UNIS, the University Centre in Svalbard. Several groups presented their final projects from the week and we also heard a few of the UNIS faculty members talk about UNIS and their research. Following the presentations, we took a mini field trip to the UNIS carbon dioxide sequestration site.

carbon-sequestration-site
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Pyramiden, Spitsbergen

pyramiden

One day, we stopped in the nearly abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden. Named after pyramid-shaped mountains nearby, the town used to bustle with more than 1000 permanent residents. But it was abandoned in 1998, a few years after a terrible plane crash in Longyearbyen killed 141 on their way to the settlement.
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