Oh, What The Wind Can Stir Up In The Desert!

Posted by on February 25, 2013

Yesterday we took the day and visited a few more spots here in El Paso as we will be leaving tomorrow.

Our first stop should have been a quick one (we ended up being there about 2 hours) as we were just going to visit the grave of John Wesley Hardin, an outlaw from the old west said to have killed 42 men by the time he was 23, the first being when he was 15.  Hardin is buried at Concordia Cemetery and little did we know that it is the oldest cemetery here in El Paso and it’s FILLED with interesting history!

A desert cemetery

A desert cemetery

Lots and lots of history in this old and sprawling place

Lots and lots of history in this old and sprawling place

I guess they wanted to keep him locked up?

I guess they wanted to keep him locked up?

There is  a ‘map’ in several areas of the cemetery pointing out notable graves.  We checked it out and found several we wanted to check out.  There are also different sections – Chinese  Catholic, Masons, Jewish, Muslim etc which we thought interesting.  Unfortunately, we picked one of the windiest days to be there…considering it was all sand.  By the time we left we had sand EVERYWHERE…ears, eyes, teeth, pockets, shoes.  An El Paso police officer, who monitors the cemetery stopped and chatted with us and gave us TONS of history and even showed us to several interesting graves.

The 'Map'

The ‘Map’

Chinese Cemetery - buried here are Chinese railroad workers

Chinese Cemetery – buried here are Chinese railroad workers

Interesting?

Interesting?

Michael & Ricardo, our self-appointed tour guide

Michael & Ricardo, our self-appointed tour guide

So much sand blowing around it was hard to see the mountains.

So much sand blowing around it was hard to see the mountains.

Patrick Durack - companion to Billy the Kid

Patrick Durack – companion to Billy the Kid

John Selman - killed John Wesley Hardin

John Selman – killed John Wesley Hardin

Jacob Erlich - known as the Texas Giant was the tallest man in the world at one time.  He stood 7 ft. 7 1/2 inches tall.

Jacob Erlich – known as the Texas Giant was the tallest man in the world at one time. He stood 7 ft. 7 1/2 inches tall.

The cemetery just after we left...wonder if it looked like that while we were in there...I couldn't tell ya as my eyes were closed when the wind blew!

The cemetery just after we left…wonder if it looked like that while we were in there…I couldn’t tell ya as my eyes were closed when the wind blew!

Next stop was a remodeled 1919 Vintage Gas Station (Roadside America) that sites at the junction of 3 streets and has been turned into a pocket park.  There wasn’t any information at the site so we didn’t stay long…however we did deploy a Munzee!

1919 Gas Station

1919 Vintage Gas Station

We have found that while searching for some Munzee’s we have been treated to some really cool things we wouldn’t have seen if not playing the game.  Today was no exception!  Our quest to find a Munzee took us to Scenic Drive.  It runs along the side of the Franklin Mountains and the views of El Paso & Juarez, Mexico are breathtaking!  Another must do in El Paso.

Deploying a Munzee along Scenic Drive

Deploying a Munzee along Scenic Drive

Going up

Going up

Just imagine the view on a non sandstorm kind of day!

Just imagine the view on a non sandstorm kind of day! 

We headed downtown in search of Dave’s – A Pawn Shop in search of Pancho Villa’s Trigger Finger…but unfortunately since it was Sunday the place was closed and the display windows we covered so we couldn’t see it as it is supposed to be displayed in the front window.  🙁   Oh…and by the way…it’s for sale for $9500.  There’s supposed to be all kinds of strange things inside…a mummy, a baby mermaid skeleton, and various other oddities.  I guess we’ll have to go back another time.

Dave's - A Pawn Shop

Dave’s – A Pawn Shop

We also visited ‘Alligator Park‘.  It’s located in downtown El Paso in what is actually San Jacinto Plaza.  Back in the 1880s there was a small pond that was filled with live alligator’s that entertained the people.  The live alligator’s are long gone but they have been replaced by a sculpture of a pile of alligator’s.

San Jacinto Plaza (Alligator Park)

San Jacinto Plaza (Alligator Park)

The inhabitants of Alligator Park

The inhabitants of Alligator Park

Our last ‘tourist’ stop for the day was at the Chamizal National Memorial – now a park that once was part of Mexico…a small ‘island’ in the middle of the US.  Back in 1963 after a 100 year land dispute Mexico gave the land to the US in exchange for some land to the west.

One of the original 19 600 pound markers that defined the international boundry

One of the original 19 600-pound markers that defined the international boundry

A replica of the international boundry that defined the US/Mexico border around what was then Cordova Island

A replica of the international boundry that defined the US/Mexico border around what was then Cordova Island

We decided to take the ‘long way home’ by going over the Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Road from the west to the east.  We were thinking of leaving this way tomorrow but since it goes over/through part of the Franklin Mountains we wanted to check it out first.  It was a fairly easy ride so we’ll take it tomorrow when we pull out…it saves us from having to go back into El Paso to hit I-10 and go down and around the mountain…and hopefully we’ll experience less traffic as well.

Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Rd.

Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Rd.

It was super windy all day and when we got home we found out just how windy it had been!  The slide awning on the door side of the coach had been ripped off, the satellite dish was on the ground and the sewer hose had been pulled out of the ground!  What to do but move forward!  We brought the slide in so that Michael could figure out what to do and reach the awning from the roof.  He rolled it up and fastened it with some velcro straps until we get somewhere that he can figure out the next steps.   When the wind ripped the awning off it must have picked up the entire slide as everything that was on the kitchen table (placemats, candles, napkin holder & salt and pepper) was shifted toward the center of the coach.  Wow!

Dang it!

Dang it!

Temporary fix

Temporary fix

The discombobulated dinner table

The discombobulated dinner table

It was so windy that sand was blown into the house…I think it came in through the heat pump when it came on as there was a fine coating of sanding over everything that was near the ac/heat pump.  Definitely not gonna miss the wind/sand of El Paso.  Why don’t I remember that from when we lived here back in the 80s??

Today has been a day of laundry, straightening, put things in their traveling homes, etc which has become our normal routine for the day before we travel.

 

 

 

 

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