When I was doing some planning last night I found out the aerial tram I’d planned on taking had ceased operations on September 13th due to an “overabundance of caution” as the result of some safety concerns. Kind of glad I wasn’t able to do it! That got me to thinking that perhaps I could do the things I wanted to do here in El Paso in one day rather than two. So I booked a room for tomorrow night at the TownePlace Suites I’m staying at in Albuquerque and told them here that I’d be checking out a day early.
First stop today was at the National Border Patrol Museum. This is what you would think…displays on origin and history, vehicles, communications, uniforms, processing detainees, etc. Seemed somewhat dated in that the history timeline ended in the 90s. It was similar to the police museum in Phoenix only a bit larger. Spent an hour plus here.
Next headed downtown to the Arts District. This area has apparently been redeveloped in the last 20 years or so. It has a convention center, a baseball stadium for the city’s AAA minor league team, a couple of theaters, and several museums. I unsuccessfully tried to find the visitor’s center which I knew was in this area. So I just went to the El Paso Museum of History which was free. There were 4 galleries. The first was travel related in the sense of what people generally take on a trip and how that related to the things people would have brought to El Paso as the cities was developing in the mid to late 1800s. The second gallery was about the Federal Reserve so I wasn’t quite clear how that fit into El Paso’s history. This may have been a temporary exhibit. On the second floor there was an oral history gallery and one w/ more traditional historical displays about the early times in the city, how the gold/silver rushes in the west brought people to El Paso, the railroad, etc. Spent an hour and a half or so here.
Next headed over to a shopping district a few blocks away that apparently caters to the Hispanic clientele. This section of town was fairly busy but was a bit rundown w/ vacant storefronts and buildings in need of some preventative maintenance. Walked around for a short while before heading back to my van which was parked next to San Jacinto Plaza.
It was only 3 o’clock at this point so I drove around downtown for a bit before heading back to the area of my hotel. Took Mesa Street all the way back from downtown. Had a late lunch at Village Inn, a Denny’s type of restaurant, made a quick stop at Wal-Mart, and grabbed a salad at Wendy’s for later before returning to the hotel.
Steps 8260/784905 Bike 0/104.6