El Paso, Texas

October 16-17; 7,064 miles and 91 days into the trip.
Mission RV Park

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We decided to stop in El Paso to plan our itinerary for the next week. We selected the Mission RV Park from the Trailer Life directory based on itís rating.

While we were setting up we noticed that there was an RV tour caravan being assembled on our end of the campground. It turned out to be Tracks RV Tours to Copper Canyon in Mexico. The Copper Canyon tour is the only tour we have ever been interested in. Unknown to us, this is the starting point for that tour. Everyone going on the tour meets here, attends meetings, have the tour Logo and RV number put on front and back of their RV, and learns all of the tour rules and details. This is the first tour of the season and is for 27 days, which includes the Baja Peninsula. The 22 RVís left real early so they could cross the border before the crowd. A border crossing is about 2 miles down the road from this campground.

Similar to the California Missions, El Paso has "The El Paso Mission Trail." Part of this trail was in Mexico but in 1829 the Rio Grande had a huge flood and changed it's course. Because the treaty with Mexico established the Rio Grande as the natural boundary, one of the missions, which was in Mexico before the flood, ended up in the US after. Because we always enjoyed touring the early missions we did tour the El Paso Mission Trail. Two of the three missions on the trail are being refurbished. One we could only see from the outside. Two of the missions are located on an indian reservation. The structures are over 300 years old and are the longest "continuously occupied" religious structures in the United States.

Mission Socorro
The Mexican-Americans and Indians are very proud of their missions.

A volunteer passing out literature and explaining some of the mission history.
This mission had one piece of history which was really extra interesting to us.

Saint Michael
In the early 1800ís this statue of Saint Michael was being transported from Mexico City to New Mexico by oxcart. It became mired in the mud at Socorro. The parishioners took this as a sign that Saint Michael wanted Socorro Mission as his home. They acquired the statue and placed it in the mission.
As you know, we have our own Saint Michael.

Staute of Saint Michael from the early 1800's.

Presidio Chapel San Elceario
This location also has a very interesting history. In 1598 a Spanish colonizer brought 600 pilgrims through the desert in northern Mexico. They traveled for 3 days without water and came upon the Rio Grande at this site. They celebrated the first (US) thanksgiving on April 20, 1598 after tanking possession of this land for God and King Philip of Spain.

Presidio Chapel San Elceario grotto.

Having a drink in the bar before dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
Notice the barber chairs. We had a very good Mexican meal here.
The day before we went to the Texas Cattlemenís Ranch and, like our last trip through Texas, had very poor steak dinners. They must export the good meat!

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