Queen Of The Missions: Santa Barbara

April 17, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Mission Santa BarbaraMission Santa BarbaraQueen of the Missions: Santa Barbara. As you drive up to the Santa Barbara Mission, the key part of State Street is no longer accessible to cars, so you won't be able to drive that full picturesque, historic route to get to your unforgettable location.

As you weave your way to the mission through suburban neighbhoods, it suddenly appears atop a small knoll in resplendent glory, especially in golden light that occurs before sunset. The mission is perfectly situated between the city and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

There is a lot to do at the mission, which was formally founded on Dec. 4, 1786 by Franciscan Order Father Fermín Lasuén. The mission, 10th out of the 21 built in what became California, was founed on Saint Barbara feast day.

Mission Santa BarbaraMission Santa BarbaraQueen of the Missions: Santa Barbara

Old Mission Santa Barbara (for official information, visit Old Mission Santa Barbara), as it is officially referred to, is "the longest-running active mission and is home to a community of Franciscan friars, including novices," according to the official mission website.

I was fortunate enough to live about 20 minutes away from this mission (1960s' drive time), before moving to a rural valley, Freshwater, on the extremely remote North Coast of California, where I grew up amid forests, some old-growth redwoods, fields, pastures filled with cows and a free-flowing, unpolluted creek.

Mission Santa BarbaraMission Santa BarbaraQueen of the Missions: Santa Barbara. Now I live in Carson City, Nev. My wife Kathleen is a Carson City native and most of her family are here in the city or surrounding area. It's quite different from the North Coast, but there is a lot of beauty in the desert. There is endless sky with cloud formations that dazzle and amaze, if you take the time.

California Trail photos by Glenn Franco Simmons.California Trail In Carson CityIn winter, the Carson City wetlands, set amid a desert environment provide a majestic view of the Sierra-Nevada (Slide Mountain; Mt. Rose, from Reno's side) and the western spur of the Virginia Mountain Range.


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