Since my little post in airplane zombie mode at DFW, I’ve spent almost two full days with Ju in Texas.

Yesterday we spent the day driving around El Paso. We went to see the three missions on the El Paso mission trail, and they were surprisingly different from the missions in San Antonio.

Ysleta Mission

Ysleta Mission


What this little plaque doesn’t say is that this mission was destroyed at least once (my memory is fuzzy) so this building doesn’t actually date from the 1680s.

The Ysleta Mission was right on the edge of Native American territory, in the middle of El Paso. There were signs saying that we were entering trust territory of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.

Socorro Mission

Socorro Mission. Original built in 1691. This one built in 1843.

San Elizario Presidio Chapel

San Elizario Presidio Chapel

The last one there is part of a little historic village. It’s not actually in El Paso but about ten miles out of town, and we were about to give up on finding it when we finally saw the signs for it.


This last photo is from the exhibit at the Tigua Indian Cultural Center in El Paso.

Everything was closed though because it was a Sunday, so I can’t tell you much more than that.

Driving in the States has been interesting for Ju, and for me as his passenger. (Since the rental car is under his name, I let him drive.) Four way stops were a problem, since they don’t exist in France. And he finds it annoying that the major landmarks aren’t indicated by big signs all over like they are in France—so if you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t just follow the signs.

Today we went into Hueco State Park. Ju has hurt his wrist so he’s resting until a final effort on Wednesday (though we decided it wasn’t bad enough to go to an urgent care clinic). But he made me try a few different boulders, and I actually finished one, though not entirely without help.

Despite growing up in Texas, I’d never been west of the Hill Country. The landscape out here is totally different and fairly stunning, and very dry.


The view from the ranch


Dunes from the side of the road

From inside Hueco Tanks State Park:

Where some of the ancient native paintings are

Where some of the ancient native paintings are


Lots of little huecos (actually I'm not sure these qualify)

Lots of little huecos (actually I’m not sure these qualify as huecos)


Otherwise, all we’ve done is go grocery shopping, which was wonderful. Photos to come. So I’ll just leave you with this tiny bit of conversation from earlier today:

Looking at the different license plates in the park, Ju and I had already noticed a van from Vermont.

Ju (looking at a car): Et Ontario, c’est loin? (Is Ontario far away?)
Me: C’est au Canada. (It’s in Canada.)



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