As we are still catering to my mule's healing hind hoof, today's route was a circular one, primarily following a dirt road on the Western plateau of the Mission property that circumscribes a large loop.
First stop, a portrait of each rider with the Mission Padre sign:
We do not have the option of going through the historic buildings. We obey the rules! Although, as I must always insist, Tobe is not a horse.
California State Parks website says "The only California mission not
organized around a quadrangle, Mission
La Purísima was built in a linear fashion. The mission leaders choose
the linear layout to avoid flooding patterns and because the mission
leaders felt the docile Chumash did not need to be contained within the
typical fortress like quadrangle."
I am forbidden access while astride, so I cannot document that part of the property. But Googling provides this historic perspective:
This building is labeled as the Blacksmith's workshop.
All we on equines care about is that some eager tourist's child doesn't come plunging out of the doorway at high speed.
One of the buildings had this mountain lion warning sign posted.
Years ago I was riding here and Tobe kept sniffing the ground like a tracking hound, and acting concerned. After my ride I was told by a park employee that there had been numerous mountain lion sightings that week.
The trail system is nicely marked, but I confess that, as always, I rely on my and Tobe's sense of direction and only care about the map afterwards, to show where we have been.
The Cuclillo de Tierra Trail seemed to have been the whole loop we rode.
We did make one wrong turn, and went up a side trail (visible as a spur off the track in the map) where we came to a water trough. Too slimy for Tobe's taste.
Nor was I fast enough to capture the family of quail running across here.
We often hear quail more than we see them. They chatter in the bushes, discussing us as we go by. Then sometimes they burst forth and scurry in a line across the road ahead of us.
We had a good laugh about it.
“You should always be taking pictures,
if not with a camera then with your mind.
Memories you capture on purpose
are always more vivid than the ones you pick up by accident.”