A Travellerspoint blog

Oct 14, 15 - El Paso, TX

Border Patrol, NM Highway 9, El Paso

sunny 34 °C

We headed out early from Bisbee. Our route took us into New Mexico, along Highway 9, which runs right along the border with Mexico. The Border Patrol presence was strong all along the route, with several stations and ominous looking installations that must be designed to watch for illegals crossing into the US. For much of this day we could see the border fence, not a wall just off to the side of the road.

There were two tethered balloons, which we understand carry high resolution cameras and other equipment to watch for illegals crossing the border. My hometown of Sarnia Ontario had an experience with one of these balloons hovering over the St. Clair River. Citizens were up in arms that the US government could see into their houses with the high tech cameras and eventually that balloon was removed. Perhaps it is one of the ones down here over the Mexico border.

We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant in Douglas NM, where we learned that the US government is beginning a construction project along the border...about $100 million for a 40 mile segment of wall. The restaurant owner says the project will make him rich, as there is very little other option to eat in Douglas. The food was pretty darn good in this place. As for the effectiveness of the wall, he has no idea if it will work at all.


El Paso is huge, with a population of about 1 million, which when added to the 1.5 million population of Juarez Mexico, just across the border creates a mega sized city, with the Rio Grande River forming the border between them.

We plan a day of sight seeing here before moving on to Carlsbad Caverns, and perhaps a stop in Roswell, NM, where a flying saucer is purported to have crashed on July 8, 1947, just two weeks before my birth. Perhaps I am an alien implant and my return to Roswell will trigger a return to pick me up :)

Oct 15 - It had been oppressively hot last night, but a cold front passed through overnight and this morning was a very pleasant 56F. The projected high for the day is just 72F, a big drop from yesterday's 99F.

A low key day is what we have planned. We started our tour with a drive to some local missions. The Socorro Mission dates to the 1680's.


On our drive across the city we came upon this building on the edge of a native housing project. A bit of a fixer-upper! :)


The mission is on the east side of the city and our next destination was the Magoffin Home in central El Paso. Magoffin was the Mayor of El Paso for 4 terms beginning in 1881. The house was built in 1875 and is a state historical site.


Courtyard Angel statue:


While we were at the Magoffin Home we talked with the two volunteer guides about immigration and what it is like to live in El Paso and its sister city Ciudad Juarez. The Rio Grande River forms the border here and every year people drown trying to cross into the US illegally. They also said that people also perish in the deserts of New Mexico.

They did say that many people cross daily to work in both countries and there is a system in place to make it easy for these people to cross, much like the Nexus system that Canada/US crossings utilize. There is a border patrol station that we passed on our drive back to our RV park that must have had 200 white/green pickup trucks of the border patrol. The border is serious business here in west Texas.


Our lunch was at the Ode Brewery in West El Paso. We each had a 12 oz beer and shared a deluxe grilled cheese sandwich. A good lunch.


We had planned on going out to a Mexican restaurant for supper, but neither of us was hungry enough to justify the expense of a dinner out, so we settled for some prepared food from the local El Super. This is a grocery chain that caters to Mexicans. It is a full service grocery store, and has a cafeteria style prepared food area. where you can order and eat at tables. Jenny had a burrito and I had a couple of flat tacos. Really good food and we spent less than $11 for supper.


We are on the downward end of our journey, and after Carlsbad intend to work our way over to Mission TX to visit with our travel buddies George and Karmen for a week or so until we begin our journey home to Nova Scotia.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 06:15 Archived in USA Tagged el_paso douglas_nm

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