Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Travel Blogging

We had shirtsleeve weather today here in SoCal. We spent some time driving down and up US 101, the fabled El Camino Real or King's Highway, on a Valentine's Day shopping trip.

El Camino Real was originally the colonizing Spaniards' road up the coast which connected their missions. These were located roughly one day's march apart from San Diego north to San Francisco.

Our route today took us from roughly the vicinity of Mission Santa Inez over the pass to the coast, then south past Mission Santa Barbara to the viciniity of Mission San Buenaventura, aka Ventura. Coming back we detoured up the coast beyond Santa Barbara to Gaviota (seagull) Pass and on to Buellton before returning to the Santa Ynez vicinity.

If you notice I've spelled our vicinity both Santa Ynez and Santa Inez, it is because the town is spelled with a Y and the mission with an I. And no, I've never gotten an explanation for the discrepancy. It is pronounced the same either way, a long e sound, "ee-nez."

We've had a rainy winter so SoCal looks like it is upholstered in emerald felt, very pretty. This region is green in winter and brown is summer, the exact reverse of colder parts of the country. The local flora is adapted to grow while there's water, winter and early spring. Generally it isn't so cold as to freeze the plants.

We're in a part of CA that the Kingston Trio celebrated, singing about "south coast," "mountains in the ocean off the coast of California," and "Mission San Miguel." It is country I'd drive back and forth through going home from college in the Bay Area all those decades ago when they were popular.