Monday, March 1, 2010

Back in time

This foot bridge leads back in time nearly two hundred years to La Purisima Mission as it was in the 1820's.

What you can't see from this picture is how muddy the creek below the bridge is despite all the rain we've had this year.  I found this surprising as every other waterway in the area is running like gangbusters - even the dry ones.  It's easy to see why the Missions were made of adobe bricks.  The creek bed is thick with a sucking, muddy clay.  It practically looks like bricks already. 


La Purisima is quite picturesque.  I expected a Mission more typical of the others I've seen here in California:  a main church with attached rooms and perhaps an outbuilding or two.  Instead, I found an entire town of sorts, complete with a Chumash Indian village.


I was there as a chaperon on a field trip with Ben's 4th grade class. Seeing how much of the educational stuff was outside on the grounds I am particularly glad the rain held off until the evening.  

This is the Lavanderia.  The Chumash enjoyed bathing and used this lavanderia to wash their clothes and bathe.  The kids pointed out the face with the water spout in it's mouth.  I find that a little creepy.

La Purisima was a fully functional township.  There were shops selling the wares of the weavers, potters, candle makers, and leather workers as well as a blacksmith shop and livestock production.  It was really neat to have the docents dressed in period to really bring history to life for the kids (and me!!!).

For myself, I was fascinated by the craftmanship.  Each heavy wooden door was hand made and unique as were the locks.  There is so much beauty in handmade items. 

Mostly, I reveled in the bucolic setting unmarred by modern technology.  There wasn't a tractor or truck in sight...  Here are some of my favorite views.




Quiet solitude.  Perfect for meditation...  

The main church and cemetery.  Very anti-climactic after seeing the whole property.  But still lovely.

Here's my artsy shot.  I loved how the bull's horns framed the outbuildings.  And the sky just seemed so dramatic.  Very wild-westy.  

My favorite shot...

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