[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
GBlist: Not a window post
Actually I do mention a window. Once.
Just returned from a fantastic mini-vacation to the Big Bend country in
If you have never been, it is indeed one of the places on this Earth that
you should make sure you visit before you die. I recommend visiting in
the Autumn or the Spring. Summer is too hot and the winter is pretty
harsh with cold winds.
Our trip included a stay at the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas
(built in 1927). Marathon was so named because it is a marathon trip
just to get there. The Gage hotel is truly unique as a hotel and as a
structure. It was built by a rich rancher name Gage (of course) who
really knew nothing about hotels. It is unique in that it is the
largest building within two hundred miles.
The building complex is constructed of native brick with flat roofs. Mr.
Gage created a brickyard specifically for the purpose of building his
hotel. The architecture attempts to be as classic as possible with the
cast iron and white globe exterior light fixtures, cast concrete lions at
the front entrance and wide arched doorways. Inside, the reception area
features classic wood beamed ceilings, glass paned french doors on the
north and south sides to allow for ventilation (pre-air conditioning),
steep staircases, rich hand made wood counters, adobe style fireplaces
and all the fixtures one would expect to see in the West, Texas and from
a ranching community. Upstairs one is reminded of the upstairs design of
a western saloon.
Down a long hallway of walnut stained doors one can book a room with bath
or without. There are also private quarters around the back and side
which are quite luxurious. Even the room with a bath (shower) is quite
small (about 15X15) with high ceilings. The beds are ranch style bunks
which means they are wooden frames with a mattress. Cotton sheets are
joined by native wool blankets (pretty but scratchy). The floors are
wooden slat with cow hide rugs. The interior walls are plaster and you
can still see the swipe marks of the builder's trowel on them. I
wondered if the wall was insulated.
What you won't find are some of the common amenities that we come to
expect from modern hotels. There is no TV, no phone, no thermostat.
There is electric lighting and one electric outlet socket in the room and
it was four feet off the floor (??). There is now central heat supplied
but if you get too hot at night you have to open a window that was
clearly hand made and absolutely beautiful craftsmanship.
As the Gage was built right across the road from the railroad stop you
also get to count the number of Southern Pacific runs that come through
the little town of Marathon each night.
The next day we drove through the Chihuahua desert to the park. When we
got to the park we backpacked in and primitive camped in the Alpine
region of the park. We hiked to the top of Emory Peak (7825') to enjoy
vistas that included stunning views across volcanic peaks and spires
shared between Texas and Mexico. Words cannot do justice, a camera
cannot capture nor come close to the natural ability of the human eye.
It was an absolute privilege to stand atop that mountain and see God's
handiwork all around. The silence was deafening and welcomed.
This greenbuilding dialogue is sponsored by CREST <www.crest.org>
Environmental Building News <www.ebuild.com> and Oikos <www.oikos.com>
For instructions send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.