A Pilgrimage to Marfa “You think they’re aliens?” asked Orbit, my best friend of eight years. It was a clear night in the desert. We huddled under layers of fleece blankets on the roof of our SUV. Clutching mugs of hot cocoa for warmth, we scoured the distant horizon for anything unusual. “Probably just some locals playing a prank on tourists,” I replied. She did not believe me. For Orbit, a road trip wasn’t complete without a mystery adventure. As an artist, she took great pride in organizing far-fetched escapades and turning skeptics into believers, if only for a brief moment. On this trip, we were hunting glowing mystery orbs. Our SUV whisked along a rollercoaster of a road. Hills rolled into canyons that opened up to prairies where cowboys on horseback were herding cattle. We were heading to Marfa, a town in the middle of nowhere known for being an artistic hub. The morning sun, like stage lighting fell upon the facades of modern minimalist homes. Even the cacti seemed to be curated and thoughtfully placed in this town. We made a day of hopping between galleries and artist studios. Finding food in Marfa proved to be a bit of a challenge. The businesses out here do not keep regular hours. Following a suggestion received earlier that day we found ourselves standing in front of a boarded up taco shack. The only other option for lunch is fast food. As I turned to leave, the doorway of a taco shack flung open. In it stood a tall, slim, James Dean coiffed character in a chef's apron and a fringed leather jacket. “We’ve been waiting to serve you,” he said as he handed us a three-ring binder containing the menu. It was vast and incomprehensible. "A cup of coffee, with BC headache powder, and four cigarettes for seven bucks" the menu read. Orbit ordered for both of us. Her change arrived in the form of Sacagawea dollars, and this delighted her more than the tacos. This too was art. At night we made our way to the Marfa Lights Viewing Area. We took turns peeking through binoculars and identifying the source of the lights. A campfire, car, tumbleweed? In Marfa, perceptions are constantly challenged as things are not what they seem. It's a town of cowboys, artists and dreamers. A pilgrimage destination for modern art lovers. A place rich in history, mystery and mythology. And man is it weird.