El Paso, Thanksgiving, El Camino Real
In 1598 the wealthy conquistador Juan de Oñate lead 500 colonists north out of Santa Barbara, Chihuahua, a village near Parral. They arrived at the Rio Grande and celebrated Thanksgiving two decades before the Pilgrims did. Then, on May 4, the crossed the river near what is now downtown El Paso. Oñate called the crossing "El Paso del Rio del Norte," "the Pass across the River of the North." At the end of his journey lay Santa Fe, in modern-day New Mexico. This journey was 1600 miles long and the trail that was blazed became "El Camino Real," The King's Highway. It was the longest road in North America, and for 200 years the commerce of empire flowed along its route, each journey bringing the merchants, traders, slavers, missionaries and other travelers through the site that is now El Paso, Texas.
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.