Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Road TrippinG to Marfa in some Mini Cooper Countrymen with some Great Friends

Is basically what I'm all about. Traveling the world with great friends and family in a comfortable and efficient car, yeah, that's really what I'm all about.

So imagine my excitement when my mans from Vice Magazine/VBS.TV hit me up to tell me that I had been chosen to come up with a special "Wanderlust" trip to wherever I wanted to go (within reason/Texas) in a fleet of Mini Coopers. And, I could take some friends.

No joke, I was kind of like "Um ok, sure, thanks, this sounds great. What?" So I came up with some ideas, and they were down for us to go to Marfa. MAJOR SCORE!

So we put it all together, I gathered up a group of my favorite bloggers/tastemakers/writers/artists in the city (as many as I could) and we hit the road in four brand new Mini Cooper Countrymen. The drive to Marfa is a clean 7 hours from Austin. More if you make some stops, and I suggest that you do. The bulk of the way the speed limit is 80 mph and that is about to go up to 85 mph so even the long drive is super fun. Speed limits are for those who can't police themselves. Word to Germany, home of the Autobahn and, Mini Cooper!

We stayed at El Cosmico, a surreal trailer park hotel of sorts. Its like, boutique living, semi-luxury and all the way hip, in the middle of a small West Texas town. I fell in love with the place immediately.

Because to me trailers represent freedom and tents represent the good life, and bbq grills represent good living and remote, quiet small towns, offer what I need in life at least once a month or so, solace. So yeah, it was all right up my alley.

This was the common area, where we cooked both nights and in the morning time, and all gathered together and shot the shit, and listened to Marfa Public Radio all night. (They play great jazz and blues. One of my favorite public radio station in the country now)

I stayed in this one, the Branstrator. Its a small trailer with a semi-full kitchen, a bed, some closets and a toilet, and a claw foot bathtub out on the porch. COME ON NOW. How dope.

Next time (and there will be a next time, soon) I'm gonna stay in a Safari Tent or a Yert though. These fly looking tents all had nice beds, with heated mattresses, cool lighting, tables, etc in them. Like a lil efficiency apartment under the stars in the middle of a mountain range. I fill dat.

Of course Ms. Magda Sayeg has been here before. Knitting her way across the universe. She also did a Mini Cooper Wanderlust Trip. Check out what SHE did!

Stephanie Williams of AustinKnightVintage was one of the participants in this trip. Seen here having some coffee. Went hard all weekend. See da proof here.

Brad Bunyea shot the official photos for Mini Cooper. Can't wait to see what he got. And big thanks to Mini Cooper for sending super cool folks with us. Couldn't have asked for a better guy to shoot us misfit Austoners all weekend.

Here's Alie, also from AustinKnightVintage but also from, who also accompanied us on the trip. The next post will be a collection of her highly superior photos. Or you can see them all here. She done kilt it.

But I got the taco shot. Also the breakfast Tecate shot.

And we got to go to a GHOST TOWN! Real talk thanks to Matt Mojo at Vice for sorting this out. I didn't even know about Shafter, TX and he took us right there. An old Mining town, that is now like, a temporary town for Mine workers, or some shit. All I know is they have a church, a creek, a cemetery and from what I have heard, an after hours spot. LEZ GO BACK SOON! Bring a yert.

Shafter had us WIDE OPEN, out in those wide open West Texas spaces. All of a sudden this lil spot pops up out of nowhere.

I can't wait to see everything Brad got out there.

Kydd came with us. He's the man, and on the serious come up. One of the stronger voices on the Texas hip-hop scene at them moment and I think he just might have next. Heard some stuff off his next disc, Sounds In My Head 2, and well, lets just say, HE BOUT FIN TA KILL IT. So look out for Kydd. He also is a great travel partner. He ain't trippin'.

Here's the grave yard. Graves from the late 1800's all the way up to the late 1970's from what I saw.

Just gorgeous.

Jamies from the SoLikeYeah blog was fillin' it too. Be sure to check their report as well!

This my girls right here! Alie Jackson and Stephanie Williams of AustinKnightVintage y mas! We rode hard in the streets of West Texas.

And they weren't trippin' off me taking ass shots.

As evidenced by these photos.

Sorry that's just what I do. I'm available to shoot weddings, whatever. I'll give you unique results.

Yay for whitey. This sort of thing tends to piss me off even when I'm chillin' like a mug. Fuck this dude. I'm on the Hostile Apache's side.

This is Aaron Berkowitz of Knuckle Rumbler. They make nice parties and concerts, constantly, and are KILLING THE GAME!

Here's Aaron and Rachel UP IN THE COOPER!

Man this Mini Cooper was like a damn Family Vacation vehicle with me as Clark W. Griswold, the ladies as 2011 Beverly D'Angelo's and Kydd as a dude way cooler than Randy Quaid's character, I TELL YOU WHAT.

ELEPHANT ROCK. I always wanted to see Elephant Rock I am not kidding.

Only thing about going to the ghost town was we had to roll back through the La Migre road block to get back to El Cosmico. I can't believe this check point it 60 miles from the Mexico border. It's wack. We rolled down to like 30 miles from the border, but still had to be stopped and talk to an official. Never mind the infinite miles of desert surrounding this place, where if I were a migrant, I'd be rolling through... anyway whatever. The cop was really nice. Nicer than I have ever experienced in a U.S. customs situation in my life. Which was great because honestly, usually the check points are worse than the border crossing. WHATEVER.

YOU need to one day go to Marfa and stay at El Cosmico. Its sooooooooo incredible. One of those places with special energy that you will never forget. It gets inside you. This is a place I will visit again, and again, and again. (Kydd, Niceguys and who else, coming soon to the Marfa Hip-Hop Camping and Chilling Weekend forthcoming soon than a mug. So yeah, I'ma have a reason for you to go to Marfa soon, and you should.

You can sit out front and gab like these ladies right here.

Word to Matt Mojo my bro

El Cosmico generally does not let cars back in the living area but they made an exception for us so we could get some clean shots.

And we may or may not have bribed them with food. (not, but I wish tho, we made SO MUCH great food!)

Kydd, Stephanie and Brad bout to go hard on some skewers!

This is Alie, Sun-Jue and Audra just before Audra had the bright (drunk) idea to call Marfa Public Radio and request the "Humpty Dance," and Sun-Jue executed said plan. Which turned in to a long convo with the DJ and resulted in a long shout out to Sun-Jue and us all, for being in their town and for having an incredible taste in music.

Anyway it really went down. The Mini Cooper Countryman was a really fun car to drive. I am 6'3" and 230 pounds and I fit nicely in the drivers seat and spent like 18 hours in said seat over the course of 3 days. No worries here. Was so amazing. You can go 80 mph on the highways of West Texas, and we did. Felt like we were floating on air. The Mini Cooper Countryman is definitely a possibility for me in the future, though I do like trunk space. I dunno. I got to think about this. I am still in a Wanderlust HAZE!

Big thanks to my bro Joseph Patel, Matt Mojo, Brad, Vice,, and everyone at Mini Cooper for the Wanderlust experience. It really twas, an experience!

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