Sunday, October 26, 2008

California Missions Tour: Mission San Juan Bautista (San Juan Bautista)

San Juan Bautista
Founded June 24, 1797 (15th mission)

The drive from Santa Cruz to San Juan Bautista was fantastic. I took the Pacific Coast Highway down to Watsonville, then crossed Highway 101 via 129 and 156. The route was filled with farmland, interspersed with rolling hills. Because I started so early, I arrived before the museum opened. The mission sits on top of a fair amount of land and is located smack dab in the middle of town. San Juan Bautista has the feel of a small, tourist-free town in Hawaii. The pace is very slow. Even when I had a stop sign, local motorists who had the right-of-way waved me through.

The mission faces several colonial-styled buildings, giving the whole place an old-timey feel. As I left, I almost ran over an errant rooster crossing the road, just like on Kauai.


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