Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mission Santa Ines Solvang,CA

27 November 2012

After visiting Mission La Purisima we drove the 15 miles to Solvang to visit Mission Santa Ines founded in 1804 and named after Saint Agnes. The spelling has been changed by the Spanish to Ines and later by the Americans to Ynez. The mission overlooks the Santa Ynez Valley and is an active parish administered by Capuchin Franciscan order.
Mission Santa Ines

Chapel Altar

Church Altar

View of Santa Ynez Valley



Rose Garden

Rose Garden

The mission has withstood natural disasters, political turmoil and financial hardships to emerge as the most successful of the southern California missions. It is dependent on private donations.

The museum has a collection of vestments,artwork, documents and artifacts.

Their website has a most interesting history and suggest you read more about the mission. http://www.missionsantaines.org.

We then visited a bakery in Solvang for some Danish treats. Solvang is a quaint Danish community founded in 1911 with a present population of 5,000.

Main Street

Clock Tower

One of several windmills

La Purisima Mission SHP Lompoc,CA

27 November 2012

This is a 10 mile drive from campsite and one of the better restored missions we have visited with a very nice visitor center.
Visitor Center and some Exhibits

Scale Model of Life in the Mission

The mission was founded in 1787 by Father Fermin Lasuen and was the 11th of the 21 missions accompanied by a small group  of Spanish and Mexican soldiers,craftsmen and Christianized Indians. This is the second location as the first was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1812.The first location was south on F street in Lompoc. In 1834, the Mexican government sold the missions to  private owners and La Purisima became a ranch and eventually abandoned later to be rebuilt by the CCC starting in 1934 and completed in 1941. The men rebuilding the Mission earned $30 a month and were required to send $25 home.


The visitor center features exhibits depicting the rebuilding, what life was like in the early days, history of the Chumash who were a gentle people who loved music and games. The restored buildings feature displays of life in the mission.

The mission featured a pottery shop, grist mill,kitchen, residence building, blacksmith shop,cemetery,tallow vats,springhouse,Indian apartments,gardens,livestock pens,church,girls dormitory,infirmary,soldiers quarters and shops.

For more information http://www.lapurisimamission.org.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mission San Luis Obispo

26 November 2012

The mission was founded in 1772 by Father Serra. The local Chumash Indians helped build the first structures and as the community grew, permanent structures were constructed to house workshops, soldiers' barracks and an infirmary.

As with most of the missions,the goal was to turn Indians into citizens of the Spanish empire and into self-governing towns to be completed in 10 years. These goals were not fulfilled in California.

In 1848 when California became a state, Archbishop Alemany petitioned the government for return of mission land. Since then this Mission has functioned as a parish church for the city of San Luis Obispo.
Mission Church



Mission Grounds

Hibiscus in Bloom

Sculpture In Front of Mission

We also made a photo stop at the famous "Madonna Inn" in San Luis Obispo. It has been for over 50 years a popular resort featuring a spa, different themed rooms. www.madonnainn.com

Arrival Vandenberg AFB

25 November 2012

A long drive today down 101 to our campsite #38. We will be here until the 1st before heading to Point Mugu NAS near Point Hueneme.

Vandenberg is home to the 30th Space Wing and Department of Defense space and missile testing base placing satellites into polar orbit and supporting the Minuteman III ICBM. The base encompasses 98,000 acres between Lompoc, Santa Maria and the coast.

Wikipedia has a more comprehensive history of the base if you are interested.

Our campsite #38 for $20/day is a real bargain..concrete pads,full hookups and I've been told there are many deer and coyotes. So far have not seen any deer,but have heard coyotes at night. Staff very friendly and when we arrived and inquired about washing  motorhome, were told we could by the dump station. So before settling into site, John did the chore as it was in need of washing.

Hard to get overall photo of campground,so just took of our area.

Visit to Golden Gate National Recreation Area

24 November 2012

The purpose of visiting the park was for John to get a private tour of Battery Townsley at Fort Cronkhite, built in 1937 as a coastal defense fort to protect San Francisco and the Bay during WW II.
John with Guide, John Martini

View of Battery Townsley from Below

When we were here visiting the different forts in 2009 the battery was closed for public access. The hike up to the battery was a mile up hill. Destiny and I made it halfway. Guess John's new heart plumbing helped him make it to the top. Notice peak in picture as the location of battery.
Fort Cronkhite

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area covers over 8,000 acres and is the most visited NP in the system. Ocean Beach which is the parking area for the fort features a very nice beach. There are many hiking, biking and visitor attractions. We then drove up to the vista point for view of the bridge and SF. The park is located on the northside of the Golden Gate Bridge near Sausalito.
View of Bay from Fort

View on Hike

Never Miss a Deer Photo

Bridge and SF

On the way home we stopped at The Aurora Cafe for lunch in Sausalito.
Lunch at Aurora Cafe

Tomorrow we leave for Vandenberg AFB near Lompoc,CA and 325 miles.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Visiting Missions

23 November 2012

Such a pretty day that we decided to tour some missions within 150 miles of campsite. Our drive took us to Fremont, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz,Monterey and San Juan Bautista.

From the early 1500's until the mid 1800's, the missions were the primary means the Spanish taught Catholicism and lifestyle to the Native Americans. A developed mission was self-sustaining occupied by local natives, soldiers, artisans and priests.

Mission San Jose in Fremont was founded in 1797. By 1831 the Mission Indians numbered about 1886 comprised of the peaceful Ohlone tribe.

Our next stop on the campus of Santa Clara University was Mission Santa Clara the 8th mission in the chain of 21 founded in 1777 on the Guadalupe River. Flood,fire and earthquakes saw five locations before being moved to the present site in 1822. It was also the first to bear the name of a woman, St Claire of Assisi.It was later turned into a college becoming the first of higher learning in California.

Continuing on to Santa Cruz Mission which was founded in 1791 as the 12th mission on the Camino Real. The State Historic Park in back of the church has the only remaining adobe structure built between 1822 and 1824 that served as housing for native people who joined the mission.

In Monterey we toured the Monterey Presidio Museum overlooking Monterey Bay and San Carlos Cathedral also known as "The Royal Presidio Chapel". The chapel has served the people of Monterey since 1770.

On the grounds of the museum, a Native American village existed some 5,000 years ago. In 1792, Spanish troops constructed a fortification on the hill to fend off attacks from the sea. During the Mexican-American War of 1846, US troops claimed California and built a fortress on the hill named Fort Mervine. In 1898 as the US entered war with Spain the post was reactivated and named Presidio of Monterey and remained an active post through WWII. Today it provides intensive training in language and is known as the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Our final stop was at San Juan Bautista Mission founded in 1797 and the 15th of the 21 missions. In 1803 the cornerstone was laid for the church. With three aisles, it became the widest of all mission churches. There are animal prints in the floor tiles that were left outside to dry during the making. The present gift shop was home for the Breem family in 1847 who survived the Donner Party tragedy. www.san-juan-bautista.ca.us

It was a long day covering some 300  miles. A beautiful sunset ended the day.