Missions are the earliest remainders of “colonized California” that began with Spanish settlements. Friars converted native Americans to Christianity and taught them agriculture, farming and the skills around it. Being in Paso Robles, the quiet drive on a rural country road with beautiful scenery to Mission San Antonio de Padua was an obvious choice.
I’m not a big history buff (I think) nor am I a religious person, but it’s interesting to get a glimpse into California’s history. This mission was one of the earliest, the third one out of a total of 21 of these religious outposts (there were also civilian outposts, called pueblos, and military outposts, called presidios). If you’re interested, Wikipedia has a lot of good information on the Spanish missions in California.
Fortunately for the place and unfortunately for us, there are still a lot of repairs going on at Mission San Antonio de Padua – a part of the roof was tarped in, the earthquake retrofit is an ongoing project, and the drought has taken it’s toll on the gardens, where the larger trees and tall cypresses have been removed. It was a bit of a pity because it was hardly possible to get an angle for a photo where “construction stuff” could be avoided.
I find preserving the old missions and remembering their history a worthy cause. For this reason, I will donate any proceeds from the sales of the print “Olive Tree and Mission” to the Campaign for the preservation of Mission San Antonio de Padua.
With regards to our road trip, my original plan was to take Nacimiento-Fergusson Road to the Big Sur coastline and then drive south to Pismo Beach, our destination for the day. Since Shuwen read about the beauty of Highway 46 west however, we instead took Jolon Road to King City and had lunch there (on the way I had to stop and make a photo of the cute mule and white horse in the shade of a big Valley Oak – last two photos in the gallery below). After lunch, we continued back to Paso Robles on Highway 101 and then Highway 46, to find out whether those claims were true.
That will be covered in the next blog post. :-)
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