Unique Perspectives: Taos, Marfa and Lemmon

every once in a while as I travel I’ll
find little towns or communities that are unique they’re special there’s
something different about them and I’d like to tell you about three of them my
journeys for this trip will take me to a trilogy of unique locations Lemmon South
Dakota Taos New Mexico and Marfa Texas let’s travel to Marfa first. In true
Texas fashion I first had to ride out a dust devil, hit a few tumbleweeds until I
finally arrived at the welcome sign by high noon. The windmills and weathered
wood really add to the Western feel but when you pass this you’re forced to do a
double-take and see what it’s all about in 1956 a movie called “Giant” was filmed
in this location starring James Dean and Liz Taylor. It’s
the creation of artist John cerny on display five miles west of Marfa on
highway 90 unique to me it’s certainly a
masterpiece but let’s add a border patrol blimp in the background to make
it a truly unusual experience Marfa Texas is well-known as a haven for
artists and collectors of handmade crafts its a bright quaint little town
of about 2,000 people with plenty to explore but my attraction to the area
was based on rumors I’d heard of a unique phenomena that was known to occur east of the city. That took me out highway 92 a free pullover site called
Martha Lights Viewing Area There are plenty of places for cars trailers and RV’s however it’s not really a tenting area it was however the perfect spot for
me to set up my a-frame although the strong winds made it a
little bit of a challenge as you would expect from anything around the Marfa area the observation shelter is a work of art itself along with restrooms it
has an observation platform that includes seats windbreaks
and viewing binoculars I’m in the Marfa viewing area for the famous Marfa mystery lights don’t know what they are because it’s a mystery but in about an
hour or so the sun’s gonna go down hopefully some of those clouds will
clear up and I’ll get to see something or not who knows so I understand the
lights don’t occur during daytime but at least I can scout around for possible
sight points to the south is a vast desert plateau full of shrubs and grasses it was a former site of the Marfa Army Airfield which is now closed and fenced off except for a bird I didn’t see much but let me find out what exactly I’m supposed to see later on for that I visit the plaque at the entrance
of the viewing shelter and it reads: “The Marfa mystery lights are visible on many clear nights between Marfa and Pizano Pass As one looks towards Chanati mountains the lights may appear invarious colors as they move about split apart melt together disappear and reappear” it goes on with a little history and
possible explanations but it closes with some remarkable statements ” an explanation as to why the lights cannot be located is an unusual phenomenon similar to a miracle” whoa! However it’s that that last line that got me: “the mystery of these lights still remains unsolved” that to me sounds like a challenge shortly before dusk a woolly bear
caterpillar makes a run for it on cue the sky changes dramatically to one of the most eerie sunsets I’ve ever seen with the last flicker of red the Sun
disappears the night train glides down the tracks
as the campers form a line at the pulloff it’s just a matter of watching and
waiting eyes fixed on the Chinati mountain silhouette the first thing to light up were the
heavens above watching the cellphones glow was just as entertaining as the light show I have to admit I was quite distracted
by the bright starlight in the crisp dark skies I almost forgot to look at
the horizon but after fingers started pointing I fixed my gaze on the mountains what you see blinking is a
communications tower to the southwest at first nothing abnormal. a little later
however a couple of faint lights appear to the right next I tried to amplify the light by
using a more sensitive setting on my camera don’t worry about the creature in the
foreground it’s just the guy in the next trailer moving about watch the light on the right after it
disappears the light on the Left splits when the right light reappears the left
light splits the other way. Strange. to give some sense of scale I tried some
shots from inside my trailer if you look out my trailer door just to the left of me you should see the Marfa lights now, it’s open to debate as to what the
lights the source of the lights are some say they’re merely cars going down a
desert road but the big mystery of the Marfa lights is why they keep changing.
there’ll be three or four or a dozen in a row and then all of a sudden just like
that they’ll all disappear and then they’ll come back in twos or threes or different brightnesses or different colors that to me is the real mystery of
the Marfa lights however I wasn’t done yet. I had never seen anyone attempt a time-lapse video here since I had the
equipment why not try so here is mine with the camera speeded
up to compress 20 minutes into 15 seconds the source of the lights is
quite clear it’s the night time traffic on Highway 67 but let me clarify something. That only
explains the lights I saw who am I to judge what others might see on another day another direction in another circumstance it’s all about luck observation imagination and having an open mind so if you like things that
twinkle in the night I strongly recommend a visit to the Marfa lights
viewing area in West Texas my brief sleep was interrupted by a morning freight train it was time to head off on another quest
this one more about the future than the present and instead of tumbleweeds I counted roadkill Taos New Mexico is a high desert town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains it’s another art-based community
featuring many museums and galleries but nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I headed about 14 miles north on highway 64
but the architecture had changed as well not only was the terrain different, but the architecture changed as well. And it was a very dramatic change The sign says it all. “A Greater World Earthship Community”. it seemed right out
of a science-fiction movie there are around 75 strangely shaped
dwellings scattered across the horizon each one uniquely different from the
others. While not open to the public there was however a visitor center named
the Earthship Biotecture curiosity got the best of me so I went
inside for a tour what struck me first was the organic comfortable feeling of the interior design the main hall has several banners explaining the benefits of solar and wind electricity, thermal heating, building with recycled materials,
water treatment and food production The south-facing walls capture heat from the Sun which is in turn distributed to a thermal mass of the walls and floor. the
greenhouse not only provides a growing area for food but also acts as a buffer
in the colder months of the year yes, a greenhouse effect is actually a good
thing here the north side of the structures are buried in soil to assist in natural cooling through convection each roof has solar panels or wind
turbines generating electricity to be stored for future use. Perhaps the most
unique feature is how they collect and use rainwater. Captured on the roof, it is
then filtered and stored any gray water from sinks and showers is then recycled to feed the plants in the greenhouse the concept is certainly a noble one the
goal to provide true off-grid sustainable dwellings requiring little
more than what nature provides incorporating materials in the building
that society has cast away is something to commend. Surely a step in the right
direction however I suspect it needs a little tweaking especially in less ideal environments so if environmentally friendly living
appeals to you I definitely think it’s worth a visit to the Earthship near Taos
New Mexico but I had one more destination I wanted to make: from Taos to cows! The upper farmland in South Dakota and a little town called Lemmon
population 1227 now you might be familiar with lemon as it is where I did a video on Hugh glass grizzly survivor and adventurer supreme. the gentle
rolling hills provide land for cattle and field crops, plus a healthy population of deer and pronghorns in another time, other horned creatures
roamed this area but not with cowboys on their backs this is the Grand River Museum in Lemmon South Dakota the star attraction of this free museum
is the stunning sculpture by artist John Lopez depicting the Hugh glass encounter with a bear which in my opinion at least was far more creative than the Hollywood movie but there’s far more on display than just a front piece stroll through the halls and you’ll find interesting displays of cowboys ranch life plus a
good assortment of artifacts on Native American history but history is also on display through the extensive collection of fossils found in the area both North and South Dakota are well known for their paleontological discoveries unlike many other museums, this one has actual dinosaur bones and not just replicas made out of plaster perhaps that alone makes the display unique however there is one other reason if you read through many of the wall displays you’ll find one word that’s shown over and over again: Faith. And that’s a word I’ve seen
somewhere else recently Faith, South Dakota is a small town
just south of Lemmon and I’m sure faith was an essential part to the rough life out on a prairie however in this context it had another
meaning which came down to the four F’s: faith facts fossils and flood the faith plaque describes the debate
between two different philosophies on how life evolved one through the words
of the Bible and the other through the theory of evolution the second plaque is called Facts.
it basically acknowledges the difference between actual facts and theories but
this time it breaks it down to two :different ideas the evolutionary theory and the creation theory as for fossils both sides agree they are
fact once living organisms preserved in stone from a past era. but what appears to be debated is whether this process occurred over
millions of years or by a one-time catastrophic event the final F is for Flood which debates
whether the world formed slowly over millions of years or by a series of much
shorter catastrophic events such as the flood interpreted in the Bible. All four plaques end with the question: “What is your faith?” another display that really caught my eye was a scale model of the ark as a cargo ship captain Noah must have considered his choices based on buoyancy
weight and space and I see why throwing in a T-Rex or two may cause concern! and freeing up space is better for the camels and armadillos and hey why not
throw in a couple of Christmas trees! But I had to draw the line on this display.
It was a Mayan calendar stone that included the following statement: “This is
good evidence that the human race has always been intelligent and have not
evolved upward from ape-like to man” are you serious? look at the guy: he’s sticking his tongue out! not exactly the model for intelligence!!!
and the two ladies below are laughing hysterically! I for one have always debated the intelligence of the human race! but on a more serious note I have
no interest in debating those with religious beliefs against those with
scientific ones I actually applaud the museum for showing the world another side of the coin theories will always be theories, and having the freedom to enjoy your beliefs is one of the pleasures of living in this day and age I encourage anyone to visit Lemmon South Dakota take a tour of the Grand River Museum and decide for yourself so there’s my choices for three unique places in the US: one to ponder the past, one to experience the mysteries of the present, and one to plan for the future. I hope you enjoyed this video and you’ll check out my others as well

100 thoughts on “Unique Perspectives: Taos, Marfa and Lemmon

  1. Wonderful video. My wife and I are going to make a point to stop by and see this faith museum. We really like your videos because you always keep it fresh………..

  2. Really like your work. You bring the wilds of nature but show us some of man's more interesting creations. Although we'll never match nature's beauty or power as much as we try.

  3. Really enjoyed this video about the different towns. Kinda makes me want to get out there and see some of them. May I say I really like it that Slim never says "like and subscribe". I find it refreshing.

  4. evolution is a scientific theory which means its backed by evidence, creationism is a hypothesis which means it has zero evidence, they are not equal on the theory scale – whoever made this museum is blinded by religious agendas

  5. Excellent, excellent, excellent!! Your content is always professional and interesting. Such a refreshing change from most Youtubers. Good job, Slim!!❤️?❤️

  6. Creationism is not equivalent to evolution . creationism is a belief with no basis in fact. evolution is accepted by virtually every scientist and authority on the planet as the explanation for how we are here. the universe is 14 billion years old, the solar system 4 billion, and the history of humans 4 million. you can believe anything you want – including that the earth is 7500 years old – but it doesn't make it true.

  7. Religion is based on faith. Science is based on observation and the scientific method. Clearly, the folks who prepared the exhibit were indulging in what is called False Equivalency.

  8. I had bad food poisoning from a restaurant in Taos, missed a relative's funeral because of it. Lastly, I believe the facts, before the bible.

  9. There is a good show starring Kevin Bacon, on Amazon, that is set in Marfa. I thought it was a made up town. It's called "I love Dic*" Kevin Bacon's character is named Dick.

  10. Terrific video, as always, Slim. Re: Marfa lights… I don't think the first guy who saw them back in 1883 was looking at headlights on the highway. Hmmm.

  11. There were no car highways in 1883, so mystery remains unsolved. Or it was 1 time unexplained sighting and then highway lights conveniently took over…

  12. Thank you Slim. Its 3 am in the morning as you can see i dont sleep well. 4 years i survived a giant brain tumor andnow suffer risidual effects. Would love to meet you one day. Keep up the great work. Antthony W

  13. Yes, TX and NM have some unique places. Hope to stem the tide of people moving here though, it changes the character of the place

  14. Wow this video was very informative and amazing. Thanks for showing some of the smaller towns in the US! You should do the same up here in BC! Happy travels JK

  15. Lovely video Slim, but please don't promote the idea that science is based on faith. There are no supernatural beliefs required to prove the age of the earth or the natural selection of animal traits. We have enough anti-science rhetoric floating around with regards to climate change. We need to separate religion from science and not equate them.

  16. Awesome
    Earthship great way for all of us.
    Museum was a 1st with the 4 Fs.
    Faith was an interesting addition as I believe in evaluation.
    Safe travels

  17. I ALWAYS enjoy your videos. You bring bbn us interesting things usually those we might not have otherwise known of. In this case, only one was unfamiliar and you showed enough to save me the trouble of a visit. Your style of travel makes for fascinating watching & your photography along with sometimes poetic narratives keep me coming back.

  18. Another thoughtful and thought-provoking tour, Slim! This is why I love your channel, the unusual peek into places I've been and places I'll never see.
    BTW, I half expected the debut of a new trailer!

  19. NOTE FROM SLIM: The whole theme of this video is having an open mind, however some chose to disregard this and started insulting my viewers. Those posts and chains have been removed. Please be respectful to ALL before posting any inappropriate comments. Thanks! SP

  20. Another well done video. Thanks for letting us know about that wonderful museum. I would love to visit there sometime.

  21. Shame on them. Your downloads are among the best! You are a 'True' nomad and your effort is much appreciated with every video and commentary.

  22. I hope you got to stop at Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside of Taos. I think it's before Biotecture. I remember pulling over and putting my longest lens on my camera for a few pics. My wife is reminded of Star Wars by the design of some of the homes there. Thanks, Slim!

  23. Another great video! I really enjoy the excellent camerawork, thoughtful story telling, and folksy narrative you bring to your productions. Keep up the good work!

  24. Thank you for your thoughtful and beautifully crafted view of North America. You have my respect and admiration.

  25. I have seen the Marfa Lights. I can't tell you what they are, but I can tell you what they are not. They are not campfires, headlights, or swamp gas, all of which the scientists have declared to be the source of the lights.

  26. Slim you are correct when you say that as a moderator you have a tacit duty to keep discussion along a decorum standard appropriate for this channel. We're not here to do battles of personal principles, y'all. We're hitchhikers aboard a vehicle that explores places we can't go on our own and to meet people we probably won't even care to greet if we ran into them out in the wilderness. Slim is the driver and we're all in the backseat with the freedom to jump out anytime. That said, I do believe the only thing we shouldn't tolerate is intolerance of others.

  27. Your video editing skills are getting so good. I can really see you put a lot of work into this one. I love the transitions, the funny interjections, and the way you weave your story together. I really feel like I get to see these places in your videos. I am not in the position to travel right now so it's fun to watch and imagine.

  28. Every time I watch your video's you give me another point of view Slim. I always look at things from different way's what if' how' what do others see. I don't judge a person from one meeting or action they earn what I think of them over time. With you I have seen nothing wrong with any of your video's well the beer cooler for the Jackery was a bit much Shorting yourself on beer to house a power station I would just warp it in a towel lol. No hard feelings about your choice. You have always done good video's from my point of view and so far haven't let me down so don't let the remarks of others get to you you can't please everyone. That's just how the world work's if everyone was the same maybe it would be a better place but I do know with everyone doing their own thing sure makes for a lot of laughs from my eyes anyway.

  29. I always look forward to your next video. Always learn something new! Thanks, SP. ( I enjoyed your earlier Hugh Glass video).

  30. Thank you so much for your videos! I truly appreciate the work and creativity you put into these videos. Such a breathe of fresh air! I especially like your do more with less attitude and not participating in nonsense. The world needs more of you!

  31. LOVE the animated map. LOVE the music. LOVE the night timelapse. Good stories, well told, as usual. Happy trails, Slim.

  32. The alien t shirt made me chuckle. Nice touch. The time lapse was also fitting. What a fun video. You presented two sides to each place you visited. Well done.

  33. Having an open mind before knowledge is one thing but after knowlege has been hard won an open mind and an empty, limited, frightened one is indistinguishable.

  34. The video was fine until the last part about the four faiths.

    I am sorry Slim but I cannot in good faith approve of your implied advise to have an "open mind" when it comes to comparing and contrasting religious dogma verses scientific fact.
    This approach is ultimately damaging to so many who strive for truth, knowledge and guidance but are demonized and repressed by those who believe we should place our faith in a religious book of text.

  35. If I’m ever able to get on the road Taos and Lemmon will definitely be on my list. You kind of ruined Maria for me. Lol.

  36. Slim, I've got to say I'm military (US Air Force) on deployment and watch your videos and love them. They help me escape when I can't. Thanks for all you have done.

  37. When once at a lighthouse in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the most easterly point in North America, the tour guide pointed out a spec of white on the oceans horizon. He explained that it was an iceberg. Strange thing though was that it was simply too far away to see, due to the curvature of the earth. We were seeing a reflection that only appeared when the layers of different densities in the atmosphere allowed us to see a reflection of the iceberg. Cool stuff.

  38. Wow really interesting places and how you presented them without judgement. Your right they are interesting places, love the Hugh Glass sculpture!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *