Bart Smith Photography

​Walking Down a Dream

El Camino Real de los Tejas

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    Front Street, Natchitoches Historic District with Holiday decorations, LA.
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    Reconstructed replica of 1732 era Fort Jean Baptiste, an important outpost representing French colonial ambitions, Natchitoches Louisiana.
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    Trading post at reconstructed replica of 1732 era Fort Jean Baptiste, an important outpost representing French colonial ambitions, Natchitoches Louisiana. (Communications with the homeland could take over a year)
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    Trading post at reconstructed replica of 1732 era Fort Jean Baptiste, an important outpost representing French colonial ambitions, Natchitoches Louisiana.
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    Chapel at Fort Jean Baptiste, a French Outpost in Western Louisiana in present day Natchitoches.
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    Outline of the Spanish contolled Fort Adaes. In 1721 Spain designated Fort Adaes the capital of the Province of Texas. It was built in response to French encroachment into the area represented by Fort Jean Babtiste at Natchitoches roughly fifteen miles to the East. Louisiana
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    Slightly pessimistic sign along the way HW 6 in Western Louisiana.
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    Oak leaves. Taken during lunch break along HW 6 western Louisiana following the El Camino Real de Los Tejas trail.
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    Fort Jesup. Established by the U.S. Government in 1822 near Many Louisiana along The Old San Antonio Road. It was abandoned after the Mexican American War.
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    Kitchen/mess hall is the only original building remaining at Fort Jesup near Many LA. Fort Jesup State Historic Site
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    My location along the El Camino Real de Los Tejas west of the town of Many Louisiana along my 2011 journey.
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    Crossing from Louisiana into Texas along Toledo Bend Reservoir Bridge. I was fortunate that the traffic was minimal on this Sunday morning.
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    Awesome meal at Kelleys restaurant near Toledo Bend Reservoir. Texas.
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    Gift shop on the Texas border at the beginning of HW 21 which follows the general route of the El Camino Real De Los Tejas all the way to San Marcos.
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    El Camino Park in the tiny hamlet of Milam Texas.
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    Camp west of Milam Texas.
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    Palo Gaucho Bayou, a swampy region along the El Camino Real de Los Tejas in East Texas.
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    Abandoned gas station along HW 21 east of San Augustine, Texas.
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    The Old San Antonio Road often follows the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. East of San Augustine Texas.
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    Hawk feathers from "roadkill" along HW 21 east of San Augustine.
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    Hawk roadkill along HW 21 east of San Augustine. (Ironically predator birds tend to get so big from feasting on the bounty of roadkill, they themselves become victim)
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    Marker designating site of Mission Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de los Ais which was established by Spain in 1717 in orer to convert Ais Caddo Indians. San Augustine Texas.
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    Personal statement along HW 21 east of Nacogdoches Texas.
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    Old Stone Fort. Nacogdoches Texas. It was the first mercantile in Nacogdoches and was important to the Old San Antonio Road which shared much of the same route as the El Camino Real de Los Tejas
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    Forest west of Nacogdoches Texas.
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    Tombstone of the mother of the first Anglo-American born in Texas along HW 21 near Alto.
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    Colorful junk shop along the El Camino Real de Los Tejas southwest of Alto Texas.
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    Ceremonial Mound. Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site along HW 21 southwest of Alto. The Caddoans represented the western reaches of the Mississippi Mound Builders.
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    Archeological items on display at the Caddoan Mounds vistor center at the Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site near Alto Texas along the El Camino Real de Los Tejas Historic trail.
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    Pleasant road walking through Davy Crockett National Foret along the route of El Camino Real De Los Tejas north of Weches Texas.
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    Original Trace of El Camino Real de Los Tejas at Mission Tejas State Park. Davy Crockett National Forest Texas.
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    Representation of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, (established 1690) the first Spanish mission in the Province of Tejas, Mission Tejas State Park. Texas.
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    Interior view of the Rice Family log home and Stagecoach Inn. The Inn, built between 1828 and 1838, was used by travelers along the Old San Antonio Road. Mission Tejas State Park, Davy Crockett National Forest.
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    Brewer Park in the town of Crockett Texas.
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    Store window in Crockett Texas. (Taken Dec 21, 2011).
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    Rural store along HW 21 between Crockett and Midway Texas.
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    Along HW 21 along the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. A few miles east of Midway Texas.
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    Howdy!
    Close up of a donkey snout. A few miles east of Midway Texas.
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    Former gas station in Midway Texas.
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    Walking into Madisonville Texas along my 2011 El Camino real de Los Tejas journey.
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    Close up of Armadillo plates. From along HW 21 a few miles west of Madisonville Texas.
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    Armadillo. From along HW 21 a few miles west of Madisonville Texas.
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    Flock of Grackles. Along HW 21 west of Madisonville Texas.
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    A very kind fellow who invited me into his shop during a down pour near the town of North Zulch Texas along my El Camino Real de Los Tejas journey.
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    Holiday decoration in Dime Box Texas.
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    Camp near Lincoln Texas.
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    Oak tree. Near Lincoln Texas.
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    Texas Longhorns, east of Bastrop, Texas.
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    Gas Station, Manheim Texas.
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    Burnt forest from severe forest fires which moved through this region several months prior. East of Bastrop Texas.
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    Burned residential property from severe forest fires which moved through this region several months prior. East of Bastrop Texas.
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    Granite marker designating the route of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. In front of a car dealership one mile west of Bastrop Texas.
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    Possum hollow Road along HW 21 walking the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. Between Bastrop and San Marcos Texas.
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    After witnessing the roll over I was the first person on the scene and was pleasantly shocked to see the driver eventually walk away from the wreck. (I helped him crawl out of the passenger side). A few miles east of San Marcos, Texas. (I was fortunate to be well off the road at the time of the accident)
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    Another stone marker placed by the Daughters of the Revolution designating the route of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. Along HW 21 east of San Marcos, Texas.
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    Ghost in the window. Abandoned shed and myself lit with a flashlight, Kinda creepy but all in good fun. Near Hunter Texas
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    Juxtaposition of the old and new on windless morning just outside San Antonio Texas.
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    Massive Oak Tree in Landa Park near Comal Springs (An important watering hole along the El Camino Real De Los Tejas). New Braunfels Texas
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    My traveling modus operandi at The Alamo along my 2011 walk of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. San Antonio Texas.
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    Myself at The Alamo along my 2011 walk of the El Camino Real de Los Tejas. San Antonio Texas.
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    The Emily Morgan Hotel also known as The Hotel of the Alamo. San Antonio
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    Mission San Jose. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. San Antonio Texas.
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    Elaborate stone carvings adorning the entry to Mission San Jose. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. San Antonio Texas.
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    Mission San Jose. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. San Antonio Texas.
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    Mission Espada Aqueduct. San Antonio Texas.
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    Mission Concepcion. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Texas
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    Sunrise from courtyard of San Juan Mission. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.
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    Mission Espada. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. San Antonio Texas.
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    Sabinal River. Near Sabinal Texas.
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    Autumn colors along Medina River south of San Antonio, Texas.
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    Myself at the U.S./Mexican Border at Eagle Pass Texas after completing the El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail. The 650 mile journey took 35 days.
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    A trace of the El Camino Real De Los Tejas is visible in the lime stone at Mckinney Falls State Park. Near Austin Texas.

Summary of the Trail




2004 - El Camino Real de los Tejas NHT

Measuring more than 2,500 miles in Texas and Louisiana, this braided trail carried missionaries, soldiers, and settlers who established presidios, missions, and settlements throughout Texas, right up to the edge of French influence in the early 18th century.  This network of routes commemorates the Spanish Royal Road that tied Mexico City to the northeast edge on the Spanish frontier in present day Louisiana.  The road impacted many peoples and cultures and served as an agent for cultural diffusion, biological exchange, and communication for many years.  According the NPS, "use of El Camino Real de los Tejas fostered a mix of Spanish and Mexican traditions, laws, and traditions with those of the United States, resulting in a rich legacy reflected in the people, natural and built landscapes, places names, languages, music, and arts of Texas and Louisiana today."  The Trail is administered by the National Park Service and is supported by El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association.

(See NPS website www.nps/elte)
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