The Alamo isn’t the only old Spanish Mission in Texas. It’s not even the only one in the San Antonio area. It’s only the most famous.
El Paso, too, is home to some very old Spanish Missions — three of them, in fact. These three missions are on a fun little drive starting called the Mission Trail. These three missions are the Ysleta Mission (originally built in 1680; current structure built in 1851), Presidio Chapel of San Elizario (present structure dating back to 1877), and Socorro Mission (built in 1840 on a Franciscan site dating back to 1682). Heading southeast from El Paso along Mission Trail you’ll first hit Ysleta Mission in southeast El Paso, Texas; Socorro Mission in Socorro, Texas; and finally Presidio Chapel of San Elizario in San Elizario, Texas (and home of the First Thanksgiving Feast back on April 30, 1598 — predating the Pilgrim version by some 23 years!).
Unfortunately, the rains did not abate on this past warm Sunday, so Ursula and I got a late start in the roadster. As such, we bypassed Ysleta Mission in favor of the farthest two. One of the reasons for this bypass was because we wanted to visit the numerous art galleries springing up in the burgeoning art community in San Elizario, which happens to also be home of the gallery of one of my favorite painters — Alberto Escamilla — a modern master of the early French Impressionist style (even Alberto’s dog is named “Monet“).
And, since this is Thanksgiving weekend (in the U.S.), we’ll be spending this week touring this area in photos. After all, it’s way past time to expose those Johnny-come-lately Pilgrims for the Thanksgiving frauds that they are.