Basking in all of the extra Grace
March 14, 2010
Let me start out by saying I am done with my mission impossible trip. I would have never thought it would take so long to get it done. The Franciscans could have built another mission in the time it has taken me to visit all 21 of the existing ones.
It was another beautiful Sunday which seems to be the only day of the week we can count on for decent weather. So I hopped on my three legged burro and headed towards Santa Cruz for the second time this week. I took the chicken way out and stayed on the more travelled freeways. There was not much traffic on a Sunday morning and there was no ice. I had had all of the excitement I wanted with ice earlier in the week.
I got over the Santa Cruz Mountains without incident and found Mission Santa Cruz without any trouble. This mission was started in 1797 and it had a good run with the local Indians for a while. There was pueblo right across the river from the mission and it became a center for gambling and smuggling and that pretty much spelled the end of the Indians interest in Christianity.
And then the pirate Bouchard threatened to attack the mission and I don’t think he was even a Somalia so he may have been a little ahead of this time. In any case the gamblers across the river offered to help protect the mission and ended up looting it instead. They too may have been a little ahead of their time but they probably could not wait for a hurricane to hit Santa Cruz. What was left of it pretty much was destroyed by an earthquake in 1857 and there is very little left of it today. Between the pirates, looters and earthquakes I think I would have given up too. Dang! I think I may have become a
Protestant. But there is a modern church next to the mission and it was busy on this Sunday morning.
Santa Cruz Church
Then it was off to the last on my list of missions, San Carlos Borromea Carmelo. (I hope I haven’t missed any of them). It was great ride along California Hwy 1 as it always is. This mission is located overlooking the Carmel Valley and it is one of the most extensive missions that I have visited.
It was founded in 1770 in Monterey and then moved to Carmel the following year. While it fell into disrepair, it was repaired in 1880 and then had a complete restoration in 1930. It is considered one of the most authentic landmarks in California and I tend to agree with this. There was a lot to see, do, and take photographs of. The church was between services so I got to visit it and all of the surrounding buildings that are part of the mission.
Carmel Mission Gate
And then I headed home taking whatever back road I could find. It has taken me a long time to finish what started out as a casual ride home about a month ago. Between problems with my bike and problems with my aching body this turned into more of a trek then I had intended it to be. But it got me out to see some of California’s rich history so I am not complaining.
Some time during the ride home I realized we had switched time zones during the night and I was going to have an additional hour of day light. Good deal. I need to get my scooter cleaned up because I intend to take off on my next journey pretty quickly. I am going to need all of the extra grace I have garnered from this trip on the next one.
Stay tuned. You never know what this crazy old man is going to do.