The Texas Trail
there and back again: a tale of Davis's Texas adventure
8 days. 8 cities. 4 regions. 1 RV. 1 heck of a good time. Here is my account of my road-trip across the greatest state in the country. My Texas trail has been blazed. Come see it.
Day 1: El Paso
Mt. Christo Rey
In El Paso, my day literally starts bright and early. Nicknamed the Sun City, El Paso averages over 300 days of sunshine. The El Paso climate makes for a nice, cool, desert morning. My first stop this morning is hiking up to Mt. Christo Rey (which means "Christ the King" in Spanish). Mt. Christo Rey is a specific mountain inside El Paso's Sunland Park. The mountain is famous for its sculpture of Jesus at the top. Built back in 1939, the 30 ft. tall statue of Jesus closely resembles a smaller version of the "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The mountain and sculpture is considered both a cultural and natural site. The ascension up the mountain to the sculpture is considered a religious pilgrimage for many Catholics in the area. Every Good Friday, thousands of pilgrims climb, or even crawl (!), up the mountain to visit the sculpture. As I trek up the mountain, I get a better view of both El Paso and Ciudad de Juarez. It is warm and the air is extremely dry but at least it beats the humidity in Coppell. Another thing I notice during my hike is how brown everything is. The dirt (no grass), plant life, and mountains are all a brown, earthy tone. Time to hurry down the mountain and head to my next stop: the Chamizal!
Chamizal National Memorial
Since 1848 at the signing of the Treaty of Hidalgo, the Texas-Mexico has been the Rio Grande River. However, I quickly learned during my trip to El Paso that the boundary is more complicated than I originally thought. The Rio Grande is not a river that stays in the same place. So the question rises: as the Rio Grande moves, does the border change? Residents of Mexico's Ciudad de Juarez (Juarez for short) argued with El Pasoans for 100 years over this issue. In the 1960's an agreement between the two countries was reached. They would allow joint ownership of land around parts of the Rio Grande, known as the Chamizal. As I ventured over to the museum I saw many American, Mexican, and Texas flags. The park and museum was created to honor the people on both sides of the border. I learned that every year the park hosts a festival with dances, art shows, and other cultural events to display the blend between Mexican and American cultures. Also, everything is written in both English and Spanish. This is a great example of 2 different nations living peacefully with each other! The following is a video that they showed in a small theater at the Chamizal National Memorial.
Chamizal Convention Remembered 50 Years Later