Saturday, July 12, 2008

Visiting the Missions of California

"On a dark desert highway
cool wind in my hair
the warm smell of colitas
rising up in the air,
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
my head grew heavy and my
sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night.
There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bells and
I was thinking to myself
This could be heaven or this
could be hell.

(lyrics of Hotel California by the Eagles)

Visiting the Missions of California is definitely more like a slice of Heaven than Hell. The Missions, which are spaced along the California coast a day march apart were comprised of churches made of adobe and stone, but soon became wide spreading structures and miniature cities teeming with activity that housed, fed, clothed, and occupied Indians by the hundreds. The story of these missions stretches back over two hundred years when the first shelter was established in San Diego in 1769.

Father Sierra, designated Father-President of the Missions

Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA

The display of missions in the local elementary school project.

Mission Santa Inez, 40 miles northeast of Santa Barbara, founded September 17, 1804. it was the Nineteenth mission and was favored with fertile lands excellent for crops and grazing.

The bells of Santa Inez Mission

Mission Santa Inez settled now resides in the city of Solvang, but was once a thriving community.

The mission are still known for their grounds and the rich variety of flowers, trees and plants.

Purple flowers in the gardens at Santa Inez Mission in Solvang, California

White flowers in the gardens at Santa Inez Mission in Solvang, California

At one time before the cars and airplanes, the railroad was the only way to get close to the mission and then passengers took the stagecoach for the rest of the journey to the friendliest places in California.

~Valley Girl~


Dorothy Thompson said...

Wow, you Californians are so lucky!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Two years ago I did the Mission Run on my motorcycle. All 21 missions in 3 days. It was my first "road trip" on my Harley. We started in Sonoma and ended in San Diego. A great trip and very interesting!!

AG in NV