We went to bed earlier last night after a tiring, windy drive yesterday and were slow to get out of bed this morning. We left the campground around 10:00 to get a firsthand look at Trump’s Wall. We drove through the neighborhood to find the spot where they said we could the best look. Most of the homes were surrounded by stone walls.
Some of the businesses even had barbed wire at the top of their wall to protect what was inside.
We saw this huge charging station along the way.
We drove about 5 miles through the neighborhoods to Shawver Park where we could see the Wall. It’s quite impressive!
We parked and looked at it for quite awhile. In doing so, we noticed these huge gates that appear at periodic intervals in the wall.
Also, there were smaller doors along the wall in different places.
Another thing we noticed is that there is a chain-link fence built inside the Trump Wall on the US side with barbed wire facing the US. At a couple areas, the wall dips down for no apparent reason.
We drove on the highway that paralleled the wall for many miles.
At one point the design of the wall changed and it became a more solid structure. It even had parts with razor wire on top.
It changed again after awhile to a mesh structure design.
We learned that there is 131 miles of wall in the El Paso area. It is 18-30 feet high depending on where it is. It is buried 7 feet in the ground and has sensors and lights that go off with motion. The wall contains anti-scaling plates on it to prevent people from climbing the wall. For most of the wall that we saw today, it was not a solid wall, but allowed us to see through it to the city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on the other side. From what we saw today, I would think that El Paso has nothing to worry about when it comes to illegals crossing the border because of the wall.
As we traveled down the interstate, we couldn’t miss this giant, red sculpture. It stands taller than the Statue of Liberty and is called the Monumento a la Mexicanidad, or Monument to the Mexican People. Locals call it “The X”. The land where the X stands used to be part of the US until the channel of the Rio Grande River shifted, sparking a border dispute. The US ceded the land back to Mexico in 1964.
Our next stop was the Border Crossing Station at the Zaragoza International Bridge.
The line for trucks was all backed up to go over the bridge, but the car lanes were empty.
We parked in the lot of a duty-free store near the entrance so Bob could walk over and talk to one of the agents that was monitoring people walking over the border after shopping.
Bob wanted to know if our new enhanced driver’s licenses could be used to go across the border. The agent said they could. He also said we should go across to the town because they have great food, the drinks are cheap, and the women are beautiful. Bob told him he had his wife along, so the guy said, “Well, just go over for the food and drinks, but don’t mess with the police over there. They are all corrupt.” We had other plans, so we left to go to our next stop. We were going to the famous Scenic Drive of El Paso. We had to hop back on the interstate and got more views of the wall and downtown El Paso.
We also saw our first view of the Franklin Mountains where the Scenic Drive would take us.
We exited on Rim Road which would put us on the Scenic Drive.
Scenic Drive skirts around the east side of the mountains. The road is cut along the edge of the mountains and transverses the southern tip.
One side of the winding road is lined by beautiful stately homes.
The other side of the road features views of El Paso.
The higher we climbed, the more we could see. Scenic Drive is 2 miles long and is narrow with a short guardrail made of stone.
Once we got to the top of the Scenic Drive at the Overlook, we parked.
It was very breezy at the top as you can see by the flags.
The Scenic Drive has a long history and was created to provide visitors with a panoramic view of the area.
I walked down the stairs to the lower viewing area.
The staircase was lined with locks of all colors and sizes.
I learned that these are “love locks” where sweethearts attach a lock to a fence, gate, etc. to symbolize their love.
I looked through the power binoculars at El Paso. There were plaques placed around the area to explain what we were looking at.
We could see so much in all directions.
From the top, I could see the wall and where the path of the Rio Grande River was redirected.
The view was amazing! Across the border in Juarez, I could see this painted on the side of the mountain.
The top of the Scenic Drive was also the Mt. Franklin Scenic Point with an elevation of 4222 ft.
We hung out at the top and ate our lunch. From there, we headed back down the way we came up. We had great views of the mansions perched on the hillsides.
On the drive down, we got a better view of some of the lovely estates that we missed on the drive up.
Looking back, we could see the road we had traveled on which was cut into the mountain.
Back at the bottom, we noticed that this street was used by cable cars with the overhead wires and tracks in the street. We haven’t seen those in awhile.
To avoid the toll road, we took a different route back to I-10 which took us into the Rio Grande Historic District.
It was comprised of older, smaller homes. Some had been redone and others needed work.
The highways in El Paso have some lovely artwork designs on them.
We even passed Texas Tech University.
We bought gas for the Jeep on the way home for $4.08/gal. That was cheap! Back at the bus, Auggie got some outside time. The temp only got up to 94 today, but the breezes was cooling and it was very pleasant! We searched and searched online, but could not find any restaurant that served Navaho fry bread tacos, so we ended up getting takeout from Whataburgers. We saw so many of those places everywhere we went, that we said we had to try them before we left Texas! The burgers were huge and delicious. We’ll still have to hunt for those special tacos. The wind was still blowing 20 mph at 8:00 as the sun went down. Tomorrow we leave for Alamagordo, NM and White Sands National Monument. We’ll try to get an earlier start since we have to pick up some fuel before we get to the campground.