San Eli is celebrating the "First Thanksgiving-1598" today when (in)famous Conquistador Juan de Onate and his entourage survived a Northbound crossing of the inhospitable Chihuahuan Desert, finally arriving at the wild freshwater Rio Bravo (Rio Grande to us on the Northern bank) del Norte. You can bet they were thankful, and the small community of San Elizario was born at the crossing. This historic district contains many authentic buildings, including the original adobe brick (quite exposed) jail from which Billy the Kid escaped, the Presidio (there is a difference between it and the other historic missions on the trail-you need to come and find out!), a wonderful plaza/courtyard/gazebo replete with numerous historical plaques, the Adobe Horsehoe eatery (currently closed), the Bandito Restaurant, art galleries, Cafe Madrid for INEXPENSIVE gourmet coffees/treats(8-8 daily, except Mondays, affable owner=Ricardo), Veteran's Walk Memorial ($30 for engraved red paver: Veterans Walk, POB 2009, SanElizarioTX79849), and a currently full irrigation canal to walk across. There is plenty of motorcar parking available, although you can also take a specialized escorted mission tour of what is probably the second oldest European habitations in the lower 48.
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