Another first for us: we spent the night parked in a cemetery! And it wasn’t at all creepy. It was quiet and dark, far enough from the main road. Full of people, yet no one bothered us.
Our destination was Big Bend National Park. We stopped in the tiny town of Marathon, TX. It was late. Sunset was an hour ago. We saw the sign pointing to the town cemetery and decided to take the advice of the RVer we met back in Sopchoppy, FL.
Nervous at first, we parked and put up the foil/bubble/foil window shades David made to block our interior lights (and for warmth in the winter). A dog barked in the distance but soon settled back down. Headlights on the road far outside the cemetery came and then went, passing us by.
Soon, in the cocoon of the Tramper, we settled in and slept that night like the residents all around us.
Sunrise view from the cemetery
We vowed to do this again. It’s free and, so far, easy. The downside? Well, it is “stealth” camping so I don’t get to indulge my interest in examining old headstones.
In the morning, we packed up and drove out of the cemetery at first light.
Luckily, Marathon recently got Internet. We stopped at a yummy cafe for breakfast and WiFi before hitting the road again, bound for Big Bend.
Cafe in Marathon, TX
David tried a Chicken Fried Steak for breakfast!
Austin’s bumper sticker says: “Keep Austin Weird”. We just had to drive in and visit. The highways leading in were large and ordinary. The traffic average. Cars looked normal, not even an unusual number of bumper stickers. Once in we found the hip SoCo district we parked the Tramper on a backstreet and walked a few blocks up and down. Colorful signs, cool cafe’s, and a hip young crowd confirmed our suspicions. …must be a college town somehow.
We found some cool vendors in old Airstream trailers and the local pet volunteers offering rent-a-dog sessions where you could get your fix of dog petting helping to socialize pups. Win-win. We found Amy’s Ice Cream and of course savored a few scoops. It was a bit cold outside, but neither Jane nor I turn down good ice cream when available.
As we left to get some more Westerly driving done, I stopped to apease the thirsty tank of the 4Runner. A gentleman looked over at the rig, noticing the kayak and heavy load of toys. “You’ve got your priorities straight”, he said. After a brief explanation of our voyage he told Jane as she emerged from the gas station, “your husband just made room in the backseat for me”. Some time and joking later, we bid each other a very pleasant farewell. I appreciated his “drive safe” in the way that continues to grow on me.
15 or twenty minutes later in westerly traffic, there was his truck. He motioned to me to roll down the window and offered,”how would you like to join me at my house for dinner?” As there was obviously no time for polite refusals, I yelled, “How can I say no to that?”
We followed him to Dripping Springs and had dinner with Andrew, Anne his wife and Audrey, their daughter who had all of three minutes warning of our arrival and joining them for dinner. All of us had some level of caution, yet curiosity ruled and there was a wonderful dinner and joyous talk into later evening. I almost ended up transferring to a Texas PT license to help out with a holiday staffing crisis at Anne’s facility. If it weren’t for the 3 day wait for Texas PT Board approval, I might be evaluating a patient right now. Wow. What a voyage. Such fabulous and wonderful people to meet, such humor and love in families. We celebrate our privilege and place to witness it all.