50. El Paso, El Paso County

All joking aside about my flaws when it comes to photography, I wish I had the skill to photograph a landscape of the city against the mountains. I’ve been through El Paso before on the way to other places but A) I always saw this place at high speed from a moving vehicle and B) it was always at night. I was thrown by the beauty of it. But I was on a mission. The first thing was getting downtown to the courthouse. I missed a chance at the historic courthouse across the street, but I was busy trying to get the shot and get out. Parking was nonexistent so I found a spot at a nearby driveway and hoped the holy fathers would forgive me my five minute transgression (hardly a sin and venial at best).

After an accidental side trip, I needed to find a cache in town. Here’s the thing… For the sake of the Texas County Challenge, I would be perfectly content with an LPC in every one of Texas’ 254 counties. For this purpose, quantity and ease far outstrips cache quality. But El Paso seems like a legit caching destination. There weren’t very many simple caches. In fact, there were a lot of challenging ones all around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. It looked like this town would be quite an experience if the sun wasn’t approaching the horizon and I wasn’t on a timetable of sorts. One of these days, when the greater project is accomplished, I may come back here for a day and see what I can find. But all this is beside the point. A cache needed to be found and, oh boy, did I find one. Had I found it in Austin, I would have devoted an entry to it alone. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to La Casa de Asucar, The House of Sugar.

The owner started in the 70’s and worked on it over 25 years ago, emulating the churches he saw in his youth. Eventually it surrounded the entire house and he has maintained it ever since.

In the time since, it’s become a folk art fixture of the city and has drawn attention from across the region. He still lives there and maintains it to this day. From what I’ve read subsequently, if you come during the day, sometimes he comes out and talks with people about himself and the various sections.

The cache itself is a nano across the street, but that’s no spoiler. It’s not meant to be difficult. It’s meant to bring you here. And I’m glad it did.

Wait a minute… What’s that? Do I feel water falling from the sky? There had been some sprinkles here and there along the trip, but nothing worthy of note. But now? This was starting to be something. I grabbed some dinner and took some time to think. Did I want to get a place to rest and get moving in the morning or did I want to moving tonight to my next location? I eventually decided to move on. If I stayed here, I’d have to get up really early (4am-ish) to get on the road. If I headed on tonight, I could sleep in until sunrise. Besides, I wasn’t feeling tired at all, even after all that driving and getting up at 4am. I’ve driven long trips before and have always been tired and sore after driving straight through for 8 hours or more. It seems that stopping every couple of hours for a walk makes long distance driving a lot easier and more enjoyable. I got back on the road through the intermittent rain, headed for…

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