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And they swam and they swam………..

Old Fort Duncan sits above the Rio Grande which flows fairly deep and quickly at the divisive juncture of the U.S. and Mexico.

The population, 94% Hispanic/Latino, coupled with the presence of Piedras Negras and 195,000 Mexican residents just across the Rio, manage to give Eagle Pass an unusual flavor of American influenced Old World traditions and pace. Campesino music pours out of shops within a five minute walk of the International Bridge oozing foot and auto traffic between Texas and Mexico. The U.S. Border Patrol roars up and down the river in airboats looking for illegals making the hazardous crossing into the U.S.

I wandered into town on a whim and running from the boredom of another day in Carrizo Springs which lies roughly 45 miles to the east on highway 277. My first stop was at a Valero station/store/market touted by a co-worker as the place to find all things pepper related. WRONG! Never trust a yankee transplant to map out a pepper quest in South Texas.  I did buy a couple of cans of peppers that are readily available at HEB simply to justify my efforts.

On N. Celon/Business 277, I took photos of old houses with southern flair occassionally married to Mexican hacienda influences and pleasing not only my eye but my sense of when and where this all came together. After walking around with my camera impersonating the offspring of a peeping Tom crossed with a realtor and mated to paparazzi with architectural interests, I wandered in the general direction of the mall.

Passing up the opportunity to dine at San Miguels in search of new feeding grounds, I chose Captain Charles Seafood House and Pub where I ordered ribeye & shrimp along with a Margarita. The cocktail was ….hmmmm…ok. The food was good. It wasn’t great but it was good and the meal was $21 plus tip. I think I was the only Gringo among the roughly 50 other diners.

I left and drove the sixteen miles to El Indio and the Kickapoo Rez, home to the Lucky Eagle Casino where I threw away ten bucks hoping to break the bank on a one armed bandit. I then, very gingerly, drove my Caddy, Leaping Lena, down to the banks of the Rio Grande for a photo op and a pee. The river failed to rise appreciably in spite of my donation and so, happy and comfortable, I mounted up and pointed Lena’s snarling snout in the direction of home and hearth.

Eagle Pass is a worthwhile stop. It’s not memorable but it is interesting to a first time visitor and a good place to launch an investigative visit to Piedras Negras, across the Rio Grande. It’s another of those border towns which dot the southern boundary of Texas and speak of times past, present, and future.

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I need this house !