16 July 2010

state of mind

"The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons. The stars make the night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light." - Mary Baker Eddy

The Marathon Basin is inspiring. Aside from hot, dusty remoteness, there are desert flowers that respond quickly to rain. Whitebrush/Beebrush is a fragrant distraction every time I open the gate at work. You can barely see that it really is a woody shrub, so covered in flowers as it is. Silver Sage is another lovely shrub, purple and pastel green with the silvery leaf that shimmers... poetry at 95 degrees.

As for the town itself, our first grocery run was to The French Grocer, where you can find everything but it will be pricey and the selection will be fairly limited. Their porch has been among our favorites for wifi. Our first "eating out" adventure was at Johnny B's, a little 'soda fountain' style place whose specialty is burgers. They're the only place regularly open. Ever. They're out on the main street, between the book store and the Gage Hotel. Front Street Books has a great variety of local books (and a location in Alpine), so we've found postcards there, but they do have some local honey and hiking type information. Our second eating adventure was at Shirley's Burnt Biscuit. Apparently the new owner used to cook for her and ended up buying it. It has moved two doors down and Matt says the place has really been spruced up - it has something of a cute retro theme. The breakfast burritos are fantastic, especially for an early lunch. Alas, by 11 am, they seem to be out of fried pies. So we consoled ourselves with a cookie.* But we returned the morning after our lunch burrito adventure and discovered that their fried pies have the best crust ever - and I'm not much of a crust fan. Apple and apricot were our choices, but blueberry and cherry were also options (maybe one other? peach?)

* The oatmeal raisin cookie was THE BEST oatmeal cookie I have EVER had. It was almost like a gingerbread cookie with oatmeal and raisins. Soft, chewy, the best texture and flavor combination I've found in an oatmeal cookie yet. And I'm a bit of a snob about them!

Our next scheduled investigation is The Famous Burro, a place that I've visited once before, in 2007 (ah, Fan-tailed Warbler chase). It is conveniently owned by our landlord, so we've been bringing our household trash to their dumpster since we got here, but the hours are infrequent enough that we've missed meal times. Eventually we may make it to the Oasis - I'm not sure if it's coffee or Mexican food (or both?) but we've not explored much of the west end of the main drag yet, nor is it often open. We have discovered the library and its internet, so there's not much left of the town for us to explore. But we like it. (Apparently 5-9 Weds-Sun? are the hours for FB)

Moving along... out on the site we had 2 javelina (collared peccary), then in town we had a fox trotting along the road. There's a family of raccoons that feeds along the shoulder of the highway every evening when we leave around 9:30 with at least two young. I guess most folks never cross paths with them, but there's rarely a day that passes without our little dung-rolling companions. So much to say about dung beetles, it's a shame that most folks don't give them much credit.

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