Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Three California Missions, and more...

Mission San Juan Bautista

After our visit to Joshua Tree NP, we left 29 Palms Golf & Rv Resort Wednesday morning, Feb 2nd and headed for Edwards AFB near Rosamond, CA.  It was an uneventful 24 hours till Thursday morning, except that it was 17 degrees when we woke up.  It has been unusually cold this winter in the Southwest.  We couldn't wait to get away and head on over to the coast.  So we packed up and headed for Paso Robles. 
When we arrived in PR, we were greeted with temps in the mid sixties.  Finally!  We stopped at the local Walmart and as we always do, Nancy went in and asked permission, as some do not allow overnighting.  We got the permission.  So, we settled in and and tucked in as we were really bushed, having drove over 400m the day before and 250 today.  So, we crashed and at exactly 1215 AM we had a knock at the door.  Who could this be?  Santa Claus?  No, it was one of Paso Robles' finest, telling us that they have an ordnance against overnighting.  We explained to him that we asked and recieved permission.  Of course when he asked for the name of the person, we didn't catch her name.  We will from now on though.  He let us slide, and I assured him we would be up and gone by sun up.  It took us a while to back to sleep, as this was pretty unsettling.
Well, we were up and gone by 6:30 and headed for Monterey and the RV Park at the Navy Post Graduate School, right next to a beautiful golf course.  We checked in at 1030 and had set up everything in an hour or so.  It was only about 100m up highway 101, so we did a little driving around, got some groceries and made plans to go see a few of the California Missions on Saturday within 40 or 50 miles. 
We drove the 30 miles over to our first mission, San Juan Bautista, just south of Gilroy, CA (acclaimed to be the garlic capital of the world).   
Mission San Juan Bautista is the largest of the Spanish missions in California.[9] The mission was used in the 1958 Hitchcock film Vertigo.  It was founded on June 24, 1797.

Main sanctuary of the San Juan Mission

Porch or portico of the mission (siesmograph down at the end)
The Mission showed signs of disrepair, and in fact had been rebuilt more than once since original construction.  We had a pleasant walk-around.  This mission was destroyed by earthquake once, as it lies on the San Andreas fault.

Two meat cooking pits

The garden of the mission was rather small, but organized. 

Main street of the small town of San Juan

We left here and drove to Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad , in Soledad.  The mission was founded on October 9, 1791.   It was the thirteenth of the Spanish missions founded by the Franciscan Order.  This mission was out in the middle of a large (many large) complex of agriculture, ie, vegetables and vineyards.  The mission was much smaller than San Juan Bautista and obviously operated on a shoestring budget.  I must also let you know that all three missions we visited today were still very much active in their communities and had mass each Sunday, as well as weddings, meetings and local use for special events.

Mission Soledad sanctuary

Part of the garden at Mission Soledad

Off we went to see our last mission and it would be about an hour drive to Mission San Antonio.

Mule deer on our way to Mission San Antonio

All that's left of the old Dutton Hotel (formerly part of William Randolph Hearst ranch)

We came upon a pack of Mule deer and remnants of an old hotel on our way to the Mission San Antonio.  The deer, hotel and the mission itself all are on an Army base, Fort Hunter Ligget, a very large training base. 

Mission San Antonio de Padua 

Located on eighty pristine acres on what was once the Milpitas unit of the sprawling Hearst Ranch, Mission San Antonio de Padua sits within the “Valley of the Oaks” on California’s scenic Central Coast.  This was by far the most impressive of the three we visited today.  Well maintained and well used.  It was also the largest.  It was more than double the size of Soledad and just larger than San Juan. 

 Mission San Antonio de Padua 

Part of the little aquaduct into the mill from the mission's resevoir

Porch of the San Antonio Mission



There were too many items to photograph here and I couls add many more.  To see the entire album, visit my album page on line here.

Well, off we went out the back gate of the Fort Hunter Ligget.  Nancy had seen a sign about a mile back that pointed to the west and said, Route 1:  14 miles.   So we figured, how rough can it be over the Santa Lucia mountains to the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).  This is a very big base. 

PCH way down there

We finally made it over to the PCH.  Wow, what a drive to this point.  Remember all the rain California had about six weeks ago?  Well, when it rains a lot here, things fall and crumble down.  The PCH was in total repair and one lane in many stretches.  But oh what a view everywhere. 

PCH looking south


End of a great day

Well, it was now around 6 and we had 55 miles of PCH to go to Monterey, and we were hungry.  We stopped at the Big Sur River Inn and had a nice dinner and got back to the MH around 830.  We slept good.  Well, tomorrow is Church at Pacific Grove and I think I'll just spend a Super Day close to the MH and see if I can find a football game on TV tomorrow.  Till the next time, Joe & Nancy