El Paso and beyond including

Carlsbad and White Sands NM

with Jackie and Elston

December 2019
We spent our first morning of the trip wandering down Carlsbad Caverns. It is a one mile walk with a 700 elevation drop to the big
room. There is a large hole into the Cavern. In summer, crowds come to watch the bats emerge in the evening.
The path down is an easy
concrete walkway with rails.
December is a great time to visit as we practically had the cave to ourselves.
We spent a sunset and sunrise at Bitter Lake NWR just outside Roswell, NM.

Samdhill cranes at sunrise.
Snow Geese
We have never seen so many coots.
White Sands National Monument was everything we hoped for.
The Yucca Plants were awesome.
The winds left neat patterns in the sand.
All during the trip we saw the yellow leaves of fall. These trees were at the Hueco Tanks about an hour north of El Paso. The
"tanks" collect water from the rain run off from the rocks and the area was an oasis for indigenous people as well as the first stage
coaches coming through here in the mid 19th century.
El Paso was a very pleasant surprise. A clean city with many historic buildings. Also, a very safe place with many families walking
around the downtown at night. And street cars from the 1930's.
Below, Scottish Rite Temple. Right, Plaza Hotel built by Conrad
Hilton in 1929
San Jacinto Plaza was created in the mid nineties. For nine decades, alligators were maintained there for nine decades. Today, the
alligators are made of fiber glass.
The Kress Building on the plaza was
built in 1937 and was one of the most
profitable Kress stores until Kress went
bankrupt in 1980.
Below. Historic El Paso Street with small local
stores.
Ysleta Mission, just a few minutes southeast of El Paso,  was established in 1682. The church has been rebuilt several times, the
last time in 1907.
Soccorro Mission also near El Paso was founded in 1862. The present Soccorro church was built around 1840.
San Elizario Presidio Chapel was the third mission in the area. The current chapel was built in 1877.
We highly recommend visiting the El Paso area.