La Purisima Mission on the outskirts of present day Lompoc, CA, offers a wealth of riding trails and occasional glimpses of the past in the form of preserved buildings that date to the days of the California Missions.
Nine riders assembled on a breezy day with hot sunshine, a fine combination for a stroll past the Mission grounds, up the central valley to the Mesa and then back down through sandy trails.
Sometimes the trail passes through ancient oak forests, hung with Spanish moss and sentinel to the passage of time.
Up the road to the Mesa, traveling at 3MPH, the speed of the Mission Days.
Overhead a kettle of vultures circled.
Not sure where there might have been something dead.... and we did NOT slow down.
We descended from the Mesa on the sandy trails through the chaparral, very dry now, encouraging the animals to maintain social distancing so as not to choke on the airborne dust.
And, as is my habit and pleasure, I took portraits of everyone who participated.
Stormy Knight and Pico her Arabian endurance star
Jamie Buse and her Mosca the Horse Fly Thoroughbred
Jo Benko and JohnBoy Mule
Noe Alvares and Marcos the Andalusian stallion
Roxy Douglass-Wolfrom on her mustang
McKennet Douglass-Wolfrom on her quarterhorse
Barbara Winter on her Paso
Mr Winter on his new Rocky Mountain horse
and of course
Pat Fish and Tobe the Rocky Mountain Mule
A fine time was had by all.
Inscription on Mr. John "The Duke" Wayne's headstone:
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes in to us at midnight very clean.
It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learnt something from yesterday."
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