The unexpected is the Tao of adventure…
The sun on the Canyon floor ended in a dark march 12 hours later with an ice-storm in hot pursuit. Leaving The Grand Canyon the next morning, we skated the west side of the storm and ducked into Jerome. Three days later we caught-up with the storm in West Texas. Every fence post, wire, and blade of prairie grass was iced.
The perfect surreal weather of the past 8 days had finally gone bad and couldn’t have picked a more appropriate place in time. Van Horn—home of the original Chuy’s, Diesel Fried Chicken, and El Capitan.
Every town’s “got that something” but it’s not always apparent at first glance. Van Horn’s something is not Diesel Fried Chicken or even Chuy’s—it’s the El Capitan Hotel. Restored by a couple from Fort Davis, they did it for love and $2.5M. It’ll never be profitable but the best things in life have nothing to do with profit. It’s the finest hotel on I-10 from Jacksonville to Santa Monica.
The El Capitan was a surprising end to a shocking adventure in Arizona in the Winter of 2014. We got to the hotel and its restaurant bar just in time for the Super Bowl coin-toss. After a great meal we quickly lost interest in the game and wandered off in different directions to explore the hotel…and our rooms.
Jeff and I left Van Horn that morning in a subdued reflective mood. Our strange adventure was coming to an end. We headed back to Austin and for a while things were quiet – a momentary interval of reason. Soon the truck was filled with the familiar claptrap of bogus insights on politics, life, and love…our mouths watering for Hill Country brisket, Shiner Bock, old flames, Asleep At The Wheel, and those priceless chimps in the Texas Legislature…they may be chimps, but they’re our chimps.
There’s something about Texas that always brings me home.
At the El Capitan Hotel in Van Horn, Texas – Winter 2014