West Texas is as far off the grid as you can get in America. Miles of brush, and no power or water lines.
The town of Marfa is an artistic and intellectual oasis. Well worth the trip, and now there is a new destination. El Cosmico,at 802 S. Highland Ave.in Marfa; (432-729-1950; www.elcosmico.com).
There are not enough places like this in the world -an incredible, romantic assemblage of yurts, safari tents, a tepee and meticulously restored vintage mobile homes. Land here is so cheap that privacy is easy. El Cosmico is on 18 acres at the edge of town.
Each yurt is 115 sq.ft. and has bamboo floors and weatherproof fabric walls, queen sized futons and lantern lighting, linens and towels.
Visitors are encouraged to explore and use the communal spaces on the land including an elm grove full of hammocks, a community lounge and mercantile, and an outdoor kitchen and dining space. El Cosmico offers wood fired Dutch hot tubs seasonally and, eventually a large pool and pavilion will lie at the Bedouin heart of the village
Be aware that bathtubs and showers are outdoors, to see the stars, but hard for the luxury-minded. You’ll also need to haul your own luggage out to your trailer in a little wagon.
Try the 1950 Branstrator, 27 feet long and at $90 a night one of the lowest-priced trailers. Everything you need, from cookware to blankets, is neatly stowed, and the trailer’s interior wood walls and cabinets are gorgeous.
While you are there – two other great places to stay in the area
Balmorhea State Park’s San Solomon Springs Courts (reservations and information: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ spdest/findadest/ parks /balmorhea; reservations only: 512-389-8900) are clean, simply furnished adobe motel rooms. Furnished with heavy, hand-carved furniture and Southwest-themed throws, the San Solomon occupies a peaceful property with an enormous spring-fed pool.
Davis Mountains State Park’s Indian Lodge (www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/ findadest/ parks /indian_lodge; reservations, 512-389-8982), part of which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is still a well-kept complex of white adobe walls and established campsites amid desert flora and fauna in Texas’ tallest mountains. (Note that Indian Lodge can get booked up for the entire year in January, when the operators begin taking reservations for the year to come.)