El Camino Real

Photo: Mission San Antonio
The Jan/Feb 2006 issue of True West Magazine will carry an article I wrote on the California Missions, called El Camino Real.
Visiting the missions was a real adventure, especially this one. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, sitting all alone. Of all the missions, it has the greatest sense of history and I felt as if I had stepped back into time.Reaching this mission is an adventure in itself. The signs are few and far between. The roads are good but truely California back roads and you’re lucky if you see another car. There are other ruins along the way that make for a great photo opportunities. There are few food or bathroom stops but that’s kinda nice, too. If you visit the mission using those back roads, you will see California as you have never seen it before.

Please pick up a copy of True West and read my story on the El Camino Real. I think you’ll be glad you did.

There are many books about the history of the California missions, which, in all honesty, I had never read until I got this assignment. It’s a sad history because it started out with such good intentions and ended up very badly for the Spanish fathers and for the California Indians. Yet, some good did come out of it. The missions made California exploration much easier and exploration brought people and commerce.

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