Entering Texas

On our way to Las Cruces we saw large pecan groves and processing plants. I had no idea this area was a top producer! Just south of Las Cruces you are suddenly in the middle of the world’s largest family owned pecan orchard. The farm produces between 8 and 10 million pounds of nuts a year from over 180,000 trees, about 48 trees per acre. The Stahmanns own this. One son moved to Australia, made success with orchards, and they became the largest pecan producing family in the world!

We made our way towards the outskirts of El Paso. Ate at a local chain we had never heard of in Ohio, Don Carbon’s. They had such huge portions we ate leftovers for two days! I had chicken fajitas with rice and charro beans. The counter clerk could not explain the beans to me. Had never tried those beans so I took a chance. SPICY!!

It was my idea to see El Paso again. I did not remember passing through all those many years ago when we made our way from Fremont, California to Ohio. The next morning we visited the Keystone Heritage Center with desert botanical plants and a wetlands walkway. We so wished the plants had been identified better!


The portion of the “wall” we saw at the border was just as ugly as imagined. Rusty iron and so unwelcoming.

Not at all like the Statue of Liberty sentiment that I had grown up believing. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” taken from an 1883 sonnet by Emma Lazarus. I understand the need to welcome people legally. This wall looked to me as if we are no longer welcoming even the legal immigrants.

Actual border crossing area into Ciudad Juarez

When we got out of downtown and the road began to be elevated we could see the Rio Grande river and the many homes in Juarez. The many colors of the houses reminded me of Florida! As we left town we went through an immigration checkpoint.

Travel the rest of the day featured an area of scrubland where the main feature was the oil industry. Derricks, pumps, refineries, trucks and trains. We were glad to get to our hotel in Odessa. Our memory of driving Texas in 1971 was if we had a rope we could have fastened the steering wheel on the VW van to just drive along the straight boring road across the state. Pretty much the same now!

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