On Saturday May 6th we visited two Missions. After we left Santa Ines (which we told you about in our last report) we rode about 24 miles farther north on Santa Rosa Rd. to Mission La Purisíma Concepción de Maria Santísma. On this 24 mile stretch we fought strong headwinds. During the spring in California strong winds blow from north to south along the coast. This makes traveling northwards by bike difficult. I guess we should have thought about this when we were planning our trip!
When we finally arrived at Mission La Purisima we were happily surprised. It is located in a state park where caretakers have tried to keep it looking like it did in the old days. Unlike the other Missions, there is no parking lot nearby, just a large field and a corral full of animals. We felt like we stepped back in time!
We were given special permission by a ranger to sleep inside the mission. This was very exciting because after 6:00 p.m. we had the whole place to ourselves. The ranger allowed us to cook our dinner next to the old iron pots and wood-fired ovens. This made it easy to imagine what preparing a meal was like for the Spaniards back in the 1800s.
After dinner, Matt chose to sleep in a room that belonged to the master weaver of the old mission. Little did he know that he wasn't alone. He woke up with a fright when a big black stink beetle decided to share his warm sleeping bag! With a flashlight in hand he made his way back to the staff room where Brian was sleeping. Now we know what a stink beetle smells like!
--Brian and Matt
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