March 21, 2012

Photo Essay: On a Mission in the Santa Ynez Valley

Edith came to visit me from New York last weekend, and although I would've liked to have spent a bit more time in my hometown showing her around, we took a road trip up north.

We revisited Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley - the lower Central Coast of California - where I got into my first California car accident last year after only having my car for a month, where it rained so hard I had little desire to return.

A year later, the weather was more or less...the same.

But Edith and I were on a mission to explore. We were on a mission to outdrive the rain, overcome the rain, and in some cases, completely ignore the rain.

Despite threatening skies, we decided to drive to Lompoc to visit La Purisima Mission, a sprawling state park featuring a number of historic and restored adobe buildings that comprised the original compound, including the actual church...

....the Cuartel, quarters for unmarried soldiers who protected the mission...

... and various areas for workmanship including a blacksmith workshop, an oil press, and a tannery.

Outside, there's also a cemetery...

...and a ranch...

...featuring sheep, a burro, a bull...

...some turkeys...

...some cocks and an empty pigpen.

Farther afield from the animal yard, there are some restored Chumash Indian tule huts...

...and a Spring House, surrounded by several goopy cisterns.

There are actually 25 miles of trails around the Mission, so even though just a few minutes before it had been hailing while we sought shelter inside one of the buildings, we set afoot along dirt paths, across planks, and through trees.

I hate the rain so much that normally in LA, I would cancel all plans and just stay home. But Edith and I had arrived to the area through dense fog, and had started the day riding bikes through the rain, so we were already out.

And when we saw another storm in the distance, swiftly blowing towards us, we squealed "Get in the car!" and drove off, to our next destination.

Related Post:
Photo Essay: Past the Mission
Not What I Moved to California For

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