a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Mr Fox No.12 is On A Mission

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mr Fox No.12 is On A Mission

SUMMARY: San Juan Bautista, to be specific.

We were in the neighborhood, so thought we'd stop by. Had no idea that it was Fiesta Days.

Much fiesta-ing going on. Dancing, drumming.

Fiesta feathers.

Mr Fox No.12 enjoyed running up and down the colonnade, despite the heat. Said all that adobe made things pretty cool.

Human Mom was interested to know that its founding name was
La Misión del Glorios Precursor de Jesu Cristo, Nuestro Señor San Juan Bautista.
But that doesn't fit nicely on signs.

Mr Fox No.12 noted that, if he knew anyone with pets or even dogs, he'd mention the rules to them,
but was pretty sure he didn't know any.
There was something about the sign that made him feel that he truly was in California,
but he couldn't quite put his claw on it.
Human Mom noted that she was pretty sure that sign wasn't there the last time she spent hours rummaging around inside the buildings. Or maybe it was, and she just didn't care.

Mr Fox No.12 rests up on a comfy ledge against the pleasingly cool adobe.

Mr Fox No.12 said that it just looks like a church, so what's all this to-do about California missions?

He just wanted to see whether Jimmy Stewart was still hanging around the bell tower, suffering from Vertigo.

Human Mom read  the signs for Mr Fox, who was busy admiring the
stovepipe cacti as a possible addition to his garden back home.
4300, said Human Mom. Forty-frigging-three hundred. In just this one mission.
Bet that a lot more are Mission Indians than are Spanish or Pioneer settlers. Just sayin'.
"Offering to god." Maybe the missionaries did practice human sacrifice.
They were well-known cannibals.
(Preceding statement is a lie.  --Society for Pointing Out Inane Lies (SPOIL) )

Four thousand, three hundred. Cozy.

And this man, recently sainted by the Pope, played an outsized part in the near extinction of native Americans in California.  Oh, no, he just founded the missions, he was doing only what he thought was best for the poor naked heathen savages.
Wikipedia: "The Ohlone, the original residents of the valley, were brought to live at the mission and baptized, followed by Yokuts from the Central Valley."
Right. They had to go 2-3 days' travel to the Central Valley to bring in the Yokuts
because why? Maybe they ran out of Ohlone somehow? 

OK, says Human Mom. Enough already.  So we gaze out across the south end of Santa Clara Valley, admiring the agriculture and mountains. (North end is replete with Silicon Valley, so this is a nice respite.)

Wasn't clear whether Mr Fox No.12 provided the bilingual sign as a public service or just used it as a place to hang out while Human Mom took pictures of many dull things like statues and valleys.

Living History Days at the mission. This barley wagon (wheat wagon?) this friendly and interesting man built per published specifications for an 1844 wagon was driven probably 2,000 miles (3200 km) to California 5 years before Mr. Sutter's poor Mill was overrun by gold-seeking maniacs. The red part of the wagon is 1844 original.  

English Shepherds are authentic to 1844.  Mr Fox says they told him they really love the airflow in their handmade wooden crate on the cool soil on a day where the temps tickled 100 F (38 C).

Imagine traveling with your family cross-country in this, 6 months on the road, walking, keeping the oxen moving. Running low on water and food and hardly a speck of civilization for hundreds of miles.  Pioneering. Not for the faint of heart.

Across the street from the Mission.

Mr. Fox No.12 espied something of particular interest. Better than an old crumbling mission any day, he thinks.

Human Mom explained how this qualifies as a Very Old Building Indeed here in California,
which is why they display the date so proudly.
Mr Fox No.12 nodded politely and tactfully said nothing about his Cornwall homeland.

The town of San Juan Bautista is a nifty place to wander around.

Mr Fox learns about three key features of California: (1) Stop-and-go traffic on Sunday afternoons, (2) The Golden Hills of California (and you thought they meant 14K), and (3) windshield FasTrak transponders to automatically charge you when you zip across the bridges crossing the San Francisco Bay or ride in the pay-to-play lanes of the freeways.  "Free..." ways.
All in all, a most educational day, thinks Mr Fox No.12.

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