When Don, Jef, Collin and I were in New Mexico a couple years ago we fell in love with the hatch Chilli. I was stoked to learn that in Las Cruses we were only 30 miles away from the Chilli capital known as hatch. As the historical marker states, the Chilli was named after a commander.

A hatch Chilli can grow up to 12 inches long, with a plant that only grows two feet tall. These extra long chillies are called Big Jim. We have bought some big jim Chilli seeds and Jane and I are going to grow some. They make the best Chilli Rellenos. We know. Because we ate at the Pepper Pot in Hatch and sat at the table where Anthony Boudine, famouse chef known for his food travel show, sat and ate. Needless to say. He was a fan.

Chili fields, pinto beans, pecans as far as the eye can see

Couple if nice tractors there
I did some shopping

Ciudad Juarez Mexico

From Las Cruses we drove to El Paso to meet our guide Rich who took us across the boarder to tour the town.

Juarez is a tough city that has been devastated by the warring drug cartels. Blocks of empty buildings that have a look of post apocalypse. Rich walked was through the areas and showed us puctures of what the area looked like in better days.

He then took us to the better part of town and took us through the Tin Tan museum. He is a famouse comedian and actor

We then went to the Museum of Revolution in the Borderland. We spent a good amount of time there and he did a great job explaining it all to us. Pancho Villa and many others were discussed.

The museum
Venezuelan encampment with Trump wall to the right

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe which is attached to the old and still preserved Franciscan mission built in the 17th century

November 20 is Revolution Day in Mexico. It is celebrated annually marking the start of what became the Mexican Revolution which is what we learned about at the museum. We timed our visit well, there were all kinds if festivities occurring. Food, and music, and people out having a good time. We had burritos and beer.

Mescal with scorpians

Our tour guide, Richard, and Don both tried it. Me, no way. Gross.

When prohibition hit, distillers moved to Juarez and a trolley took people into Mexico from El Paso to embibe in the fruits of their labor. In here we had margaritas and tried Satol it was good.

This plaque roughly translated… a really juarezian knows that the Kentucky is not a place where they sell chicken. Are you a real juarezian?

This is where the margarita drink was born.

Getting ready to be back in states

Masilla New Mexico

This is a nice little very old town that is part of Las Cruces. So much history here. Many battles, outlaws and you name it. The US and Mexico both claimed it because of a map error so for a while it was called no man’s land. Some moved because they did not want to live in Mexico and some because they didn’t want to live in the US. It was resolved with the Gadsden Purchase. Two battles were fought here during the Civil War.

During the wild west era, Mesilla attracted such figures as Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and Pancho Villa.


After all the learning and stuff we were looking forward to our Texas BBQ. After researching we had chosen 225 Urban Smoke. We tried to go the night before but they were closed. While we sat in the truck deciding where else to go, we watched a stream of people arrive, see the closed sign, and walk away with a very disappointed look. We knew that would be the place to go. Yes, it was open!!!

I introduced us as being from Oregon and being over the top excited about experiencing real Texas BBQ. We talked a while telling them how we enjoyed the river walk downtown and seeing the missions. I was having a difficult time deciding what to order, so many tough choices. Well, we made our choices and sat down. Then the food came, and kept comming. Turns out they were they ownerss and wanted us Oregonians to get the whole experience. They gave us everything on the menue.

He was stoked





Chicken Wings


Potatoe salad

Corn on the cob

Dirty rice

Red beans and rice

Fried onion rings and jalapeños

Home made pickles and onions

Mac and cheese

We ate more than we should have and still had enough left for another dinner. It was all delicious 😋 What nice people.

History Lesson

San Antonio has a nice bike path that takes you along the river to 5 missions.

Espada Mission

San Juan Mission

San Jose Mission

Original artwork on wall and ceiling
This is what is left of what the outside looked like

Mission Concepcion

The Alamo.. Mission San Antonio de Valero

David Crocket and Don McCandless

Reading the history of these missions stirred a lot of emotions, anger and sadness mostly.

San Antonio

River Walk

The river walk is a nice stroll along a beautifuly manicured garden that runs a mile through downtown San Antonio. You walk along the rivers edge that is below the level of the city. You can’t hear any of the city sounds. Plenty of restaurants and pubs along the way.

We just got to town early enough to walk the river and decide where to eat bbq food tommorow. Looks like 225 Urban Smoke is it!

Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins

Pronounced boo-dan

Leaving New Orleans was hard, it is so bike friendly and delicious in every way. But. Driving along I see all this advertising for boudin and cracklins. Well, you know me!!!

Decided on Billy’s after checking local reviews. Not kidding, best stuff I have ever had. Don wanted to go in for a second round.

Don happily eating crawfish pie

Boudin is a sausage with the best ever seasonings. It is served as sausage or, of course the best way, is to remove the casing, roll it up, and deep fry…boudin balls. Then the cracklins. Where do I start. Lots of meat still left on. Hands down, best flavor yet this trip.

Jessica had a friend over while we were gone

Yep, gone for a while and she starts inviting all kinds of creatures. This bear I think was trying to get to the bird feeders. Climbed all the up to the top of the tree level with the third story deck!

Seems to be a regular. Probably the same one I ran into at the park!