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Title: On Sunset Highways: A Book of Motor Rambles in California

Author: Thos. D. Murphy

Release date: July 25, 2018 [eBook #57580]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Melissa McDaniel and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive. The map and cover are courtesy of the
California History Room, California State Library,
Sacramento, California.)


Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.



Each in one volume, decorative cover, profusely illustrated

By George Wharton James $6.00
NEW MEXICO: The Land of the Delight Makers
By George Wharton James $6.00
By Thomas D. Murphy $6.00
A WONDERLAND OF THE EAST: The Mountain and Lake Region of New England and Eastern New York
By William Copeman Kitchin, Ph.D. $6.00
By Thomas D. Murphy $6.00
By Nevin O. Winter $6.00
By George Wharton James $6.00
By Mae Lacy Baggs $6.00
By Thomas D. Murphy $6.00
By Nevin O. Winter $6.00
SUNSET CANADA (British Columbia and Beyond)
By Archie Bell $6.00
By Agnes Rush Burr $6.00
By George Wharton James $6.00
By Thomas D. Murphy $6.00
VIRGINIA: THE OLD DOMINION. As seen from its Colonial waterway, the Historic River James
By Frank and Cortelle Hutchins $5.00


53 Beacon Street Boston, Mass.

From Original Painting by M. De Neale Morgan

Title Page

On Sunset

A Book of Motor Rambles
in California

New and Revised Edition








The publishers tell me that the first large edition of "On Sunset Highways" has been exhausted and that the steady demand for the book warrants a reprint. I have, therefore, improved the occasion to revise the text in many places and to add descriptive sketches of several worth-while tours we subsequently made. As it stands now I think the book covers most of the ground of especial interest to the average motorist in California.

One can not get the best idea of this wonderful country from the railway train or even from the splendid electric system that covers most of the country surrounding Los Angeles. The motor that takes one into the deep recesses of hill and valley to infrequented nooks along the seashore and, above all, to the slopes and summits of the mountains, is surely the nearest approach to the ideal.

The California of to-day is even more of a motor paradise than when we made our first ventures on her highroads. There has been a substantial increase in her improved highways and every subsequent year will no doubt see still further extensions. The beauty and variety of her scenery will always remain and good roads will give easy access to many hereto almost inaccessible sections. And the charm of her romantic history will not decrease as the years go by. There is a growing interest in the still existing relics of the mission days and the Spanish occupation which we may hope will lead to their restoration and preservation. All of which will make motoring in California more delightful than ever.

I do not pretend in this modest volume to have covered everything worth while in this vast state; neither have I chosen routes so difficult as to be inaccessible to the ordinary motor tourist. I have not attempted a guide-book in the usual sense; my first aim has been to reflect by description and picture something of the charm of this favored country; but I hope that the book may not be unacceptable as a traveling companion to the motor tourist who follows us. Conditions of roads and towns change so rapidly in California that due allowance must be made by anyone who uses the book in this capacity. Up-to-the-minute information as to road conditions and touring conveniences may be had at the Automobile Club in Los Angeles or at any of its dozen branches in other towns in Southern California.

In choosing the paintings to be reproduced as color illustrations, I was impressed with the wealth of material I discovered; in fact, California artists have developed a distinctive school of American landscape art. With the wealth and variety of subject matter at the command of these enthusiastic western painters, it is safe to predict that their work is destined to rank with the best produced in America—and I believe that the examples which I show will amply warrant this prediction.




In making acknowledgment to the photographers through whose courtesy I am able to present the beautiful monotones of California's scenery and historic missions, I can only say that I think that the artistic beauty and sentiment evinced in every one of these pictures entitles its author to be styled artist as well as photographer. These enthusiastic Californians—Dassonville, Pillsbury, Putnam, and Taylor—are thoroughly in love with their work and every photograph they take has the merits of an original composition. I had the privilege of selecting, from many thousands, the examples shown in this book and while I doubt if thirty-two pictures of higher average could be found, it must not be forgotten that these artists have hundreds of other delightful views that would grace any collection. I heartily recommend any reader of the book to visit these studios if he desires appropriate and enduring mementos of California's scenic beauty.

Detailed maps covering any proposed tour can be had by application to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The Author.



From Original Painting by Helen Balfour

On Sunset Highways


California! The very name had a strange fascination for me ere I set foot on the soil of the Golden State. Its romantic story and the enthusiasm of those who had made the (to me) wonderful journey to the favored country by the great ocean of the West had interested and delighted me as a child, though I thought of it then as some dim, far-away El Dorado that lay on the borders of fairyland. My first visit was not under circumstances tending to dissolve the spell, for it was on my wedding trip that I first saw the land of palms and flowers, orange groves, snowy mountains, sunny beaches, and blue seas, and I found little to dispel the rosy dreams I had preconceived. This was long enough ago to bring a great proportion of the growth and progress of the state within the scope of my own experience. We saw Los Angeles, then an aspiring town of forty thousand, giving promise of the truly metropolitan city it has since become; Pasadena was a straggling village; and around the two towns were wide areas of open country now teeming with ambitious suburbs. We visited never-to-be-forgotten Del Monte and saw the old San Francisco ere fire and quake had swept away its most distinctive and romantic features—the Nob Hill palaces and old-time Chinatown. 2

Some years intervened between this and our second visit, when we found the City of the Angels a thriving metropolis with hundreds of palatial structures and the most perfect system of interurban transportation to be found anywhere, while its northern rival had risen from debris and ashes in serried ranks of concrete and steel. A tour of the Yosemite gave us new ideas of California's scenic grandeur; there began to dawn on us vistas of the endless possibilities that the Golden State offers to the tourist and we resolved on a longer sojourn at the first favorable opportunity.

A week's stay in Los Angeles and a free use of the Pacific Electric gave us a fair idea of the city and its lesser neighbors, but we found ourselves longing for the country roads and retired nooks of mountain and beach inaccessible by railway train and tram car. We felt we should never be satisfied until we had explored this wonderland by motor—which the experience of three long tours in Europe had proved to us the only way to really see much of a country in the limits of a summer vacation.

And so it chanced that a year or two later we found ourselves on the streets of Los Angeles with our trusty friend of the winged wheels, intent on exploring the nooks and corners of Sunset Land. We wondered why we had been so long in coming—why we had taken our car three times to Europe before we brought it to California; and the marvel grew on us as we passed out of the streets of the city on to the perfect boulevard that led through green fields to the western Venice by the sea. It is of the experience of the several succeeding weeks 3 and of a like tour during the two following years that this unpretentious chronicle has to deal. And my excuse for inditing it must be that it is first of all a chronicle of a motor car; for while books galore have been written on California by railroad and horseback travelers as well as by those who pursued the leisurely and good old method of the Franciscan fathers, no one, so far as I know, has written of an extended experience at the steering wheel of our modern annihilator of distance.

It seems a little strange, too, for Southern California is easily the motorist's paradise over all other places on this mundane sphere. It has more cars to the population—twice over—and they are in use a greater portion of the year than in any other section of similar size in the world and probably more outside cars are to be seen on its streets and highways than in any other locality in the United States. The matchless climate and the ever-increasing mileage of fine roads, with the endless array of places worth visiting, insure the maximum of service and pleasure to the fortunate owner of a car, regardless of its name-plate or pedigree. The climate needs no encomiums from me, for is it not heralded and descanted upon by all true Californians and by every wayfarer, be his sojourn ever so brief?—but a few words on the wonders already achieved in road-building and the vast plans for the immediate future will surely be of interest. I am conscious that any data concerning the progress of California are liable to become obsolete overnight, as it were, but if I were to confine myself to the unchanging in this 4 vast commonwealth, there would be little but the sea and the mountains to write about.

Los Angeles County was the leader in good roads construction and at the time of which I write had completed about three hundred and fifty miles of modern highway at a cost of nearly five million dollars. I know of nothing in Europe superior—and very little equal—to the splendid system of macadam boulevards that radiate from the Queen City of the Southwest. The asphalted surface is smooth and dustless and the skill of the engineer is everywhere evident. There are no heavy grades; straight lines or long sweeping curves prevail throughout. Added to this is a considerable mileage of privately constructed road built by land improvement companies to promote various tracts about the city, one concern alone having spent more than half a million dollars in this work. Further additions are projected by the county and an excellent maintenance plan has been devised, for the authorities have wisely recognized that the upkeep of these splendid roads is a problem equal in importance with building them. This, however, is not so serious a matter as in the East, owing to the absence of frost, the great enemy of roads of this type.

Since the foregoing paragraph was first published (1915) the good work has gone steadily on and despite the sharp check that the World War administered to public enterprises, Los Angeles County has materially added to and improved her already extensive mileage of modern roads. A new boulevard connects the beach towns between Redondo and Venice; a marvelous scenic road replaces 5 the old-time trail in Topango Canyon and the new Hollywood Mountain Road is one of the most notable achievements of highway engineering in all California. Many new laterals have been completed in the level section about Downey and Artesia and numerous boulevards opened in the foothill region. Besides all this the main highways have been improved and in some cases—as of Long Beach Boulevard—entirely rebuilt. In the city itself there has been vast improvement and extension of the streets and boulevards so that more than ever this favored section deserves to be termed the paradise of the motorist.

San Diego County has set a like example in this good work, having expended a million and a half on her highways and authorized a bond issue of two and one-half millions more, none of which has been as yet expended. While the highways of this county do not equal the model excellence of those of Los Angeles County, the foundation of a splendid system has been laid. Here the engineering problem was a more serious one, for there is little but rugged hills within the boundaries of the county. Other counties are in various stages of highway building; still others have bond issues under consideration—and it is safe to say that when this book comes from the press there will not be a county in Southern California that has not begun permanent road improvement on its own account.

I say "on its own account" because whatever it may do of its own motion, nearly every county in the state is assured of considerable mileage of the new state highway system, now partially completed, 6 while the remainder is under construction or located and surveyed. The first bond issue of eighteen million dollars was authorized by the state several years ago, a second issue of fifteen millions was voted in 1916, and another of forty millions a year later, making in all seventy-three millions, of which, at this writing, thirty-nine millions is unexpended. Counties have issued about forty-two millions more. It is estimated that to complete the full highway program the state must raise one hundred millions additional by bond issues.

The completed system contemplates two great trunk lines from San Diego to the Oregon border, one route roughly following the coast and the other well inland, while lateral branches are to connect all county seats not directly reached. Branches will also extend to the Imperial Valley and along the Eastern Sierras as far as Independence and in time across the Cajon Pass through the Mohave Desert to Needles on the Colorado River. California's wealth of materials (granite, sand, limestone, and asphaltum) and their accessibility should give the maximum mileage for money expended. This was estimated by a veteran Pittsburgh highway contractor whom I chanced to meet in the Yosemite, at fully twice as great as could be built in his locality for the same expenditure.

California was a pioneer in improved roads and it is not strange that mistakes were made in some of the earlier work, chiefly in building roadways too narrow and too light to stand the constantly increasing heavy traffic. The Automobile Club of Southern California, in conjunction with 7 the State Automobile Association, recently made an exhaustive investigation and report of existing highway conditions which should do much to prevent repetition of mistakes in roads still to be built. The State Highway Commission, while admitting that some of the earlier highways might better have been built heavier and wider, points out that this would have cut the mileage at least half; and also that at the time these roads were contracted for, the extent that heavy trucking would assume was not fully realized. Work on new roads was generally suspended during the war and is still delayed by high costs and the difficulty of selling bonds.

At this writing (1921) the two trunk lines from San Diego to San Francisco are practically completed and the motorist between these points, whether on coast or inland route, may pursue the even tenor of his way over the smooth, dustless, asphalted surface at whatever speed he may consider prudent, though the limit of thirty-five miles now allowed in the open country under certain restrictions leaves little excuse for excessive speeding. It is not uncommon to make the trip over the inland route, about six hundred and fifty miles, in three days, while a day longer should be allowed for the coast run.

In parts where the following narrative covers our tours made before much of the new road was finished, I shall not alter my descriptions and they will afford the reader an opportunity of comparing the present improved highways with conditions that existed only yesterday, as it were.

Road improvement has been active in the 8 northern counties for several years, especially around San Francisco. I have gone into the details concerning this section in my book on Oregon and Northern California, and will not repeat the matter here, since the scope of this work must be largely confined to the south. It is no exaggeration, however, to say that to-day California is unsurpassed by any other state in mileage and excellence of improved roads and when the projects under way are carried out she will easily take first rank in these important particulars unless more competition develops than is now apparent. Thus she supplies the first requisite for the motor enthusiast, though some may declare her matchless climate of equal advantage to the tourist.

If the motor enthusiast of the Golden State can take no credit to himself for the climate, he is surely entitled to no end of credit for the advanced state of affairs in public highway improvement. In proportion to the population he is more numerous in Southern California than anywhere else in the world, and we might therefore expect to find a strong and effective organization of motorists in Los Angeles. In this we are not disappointed, for the Automobile Club of Southern California has a membership of more than fifty thousand; it was but seven thousand when the first edition of this book was printed in 1915—a growth which speaks volumes for its strides in public appreciation. Its territory comprises only half a single state, yet its membership surpasses that of its nearest rival by more than two to one. It makes no pretense at being a "social" club, all its energies being devoted 9 to promoting the welfare and interests of the motorist in its field of action, and so important and far-reaching are its activities that the benefits it confers on the car owners of Southern California are by no means limited to the membership. Practically every owner and driver of a car is indebted to the club in more ways than I can enumerate and as this fact has gained recognition the membership has increased by leaps and bounds. I remember when the sense of obligation to become a member was forced upon me by the road signs which served me almost hourly when touring and this is perhaps the feature of the club's work which first impresses the newcomer. Everywhere in the southern half of California and even on a transcontinental highway the familiar white diamond-shaped signboard greets one's sight—often a friend in need, saving time and annoyance. The maps prepared and supplied by the club were even a greater necessity and this service has been amplified and extended until it not only covers every detail of the highways and byways of California, but also includes the main roads of adjacent states and one transcontinental route as well. These maps are frequently revised and up-to-the-minute road information may always be had by application to the Touring Department of the club.

When we planned our first tour, at a time when road conditions were vastly different from what they are now, our first move was to seek the assistance of this club, which was readily given as a courtesy to a visiting motorist. The desired information was freely and cheerfully supplied, but I 10 could not help feeling, after experiencing so many benefits from the work of the club, that I was under obligations to become a member. And I am sure that even the transient motorist, though he plans a tour of but a few weeks, will be well repaid—and have a clearer conscience—should his first move be to take membership in this live organization.

We found the club an unerring source of information as to the most practicable route to take on a proposed tour, the best way out of the city, and the general condition of the roads to be covered. The club is also an authority on hotels, garages and "objects of interest" generally in the territory covered by its activities. Besides the main organization, which occupies its own building at Adams and Figueroa Streets, Los Angeles, there are numerous branch offices in the principal towns of the counties of Southern California, which in their localities can fulfill most of the functions of the club.

The club maintains a department of free legal advice and its membership card is generally sufficient bail for members charged with violating the speed or traffic regulations. It is always willing to back its members to the limit when the presumption of being right is in their favor, but it has no sympathy with the reckless joy rider and lawbreaker and does all it can to discourage such practices. It has been a powerful influence in obtaining sane and practical motor car legislation, such as raising the speed limit in the open country to thirty-five miles per hour, and providing severer penalties against theft of motor cars. One of the most valuable services of the club has been its relentless pursuit 11 and prosecution of motor car thieves and the recovery of a large percentage of stolen cars. In fact, Los Angeles stands at the head of the large cities of the country in a minimum of net losses of cars by theft and the club can justly claim credit for this. The club has also done much to abate the former scandalous practices of many towns in fixing a very low speed limit with a view of helping out local finances by collecting heavy fines. This is now regulated by state laws and the motorist who is willing to play fair with the public will not suffer much annoyance. The efforts of the club to eliminate what it considers double taxation of its members who must pay both a horse power fee and a heavy property tax were not successful, but the California motorist has the consolation of knowing that all taxes, fines and fees affecting the motor car go to the good cause of road maintenance.

Another important service rendered by the club is the insurance of its members against all the hazards connected with operation of an automobile. Fire, theft, liability, collision, etc., are written practically at cost. The club also maintains patrol and trouble cars which respond free of cost to members in difficulty.

Besides all this, the club deserves much credit for the advanced position of California in highway improvement. It has done much to create the public sentiment which made the bond issues possible and it has rendered valuable assistance in surveying and building the new roads. It has kept in constant touch with the State Highway Commission and its superior knowledge of the best and shortest routes 12 has been of great service in locating the new state roads.

My story is to deal with several sojourns in the Sunset State during the months of April and May of consecutive years. We shipped our car by rail in care of a Los Angeles garage and so many follow this practice that the local agents are prepared to receive and properly care for the particular machines which they represent and several freight-forwarding companies also make a specialty of this service. On our arrival our car was ready for the road and it proved extremely serviceable in getting us located. Los Angeles is the logical center from which to explore the southern half of the state and we were fortunate in securing a furnished house in a good part of the city without much delay. We found a fair percentage of the Los Angeles population ready to move out on short notice and to turn over to us their homes and everything in them—for a consideration, of course.

On our second sojourn in the city we varied things by renting furnished apartments, of which there are an endless number and variety to choose from, and if this plan did not prove quite so satisfactory and comfortable as the house, it was less expensive. We also had experience on several later occasions with numerous hotels—Los Angeles, as might be expected, is well supplied with hotels of all degrees of merit—but our experience in pre-war days would hardly be representative of the present time, especially when rates are considered. The Alexandria and Angelus were—and doubtless are—up 13 to the usual metropolitan standards of service and comfort, with charges to correspond. The Gates, where we stopped much longer, was a cleanly and comfortable hotel with lower rates and represents a large class of similar establishments such as the Clark, the Stillwell, the Trinity, the Hayward, the Roslyn, the Savoy, and many others. One year we tried the Leighton, which is beautifully located on Westlake Park and typical of several outlying hotels that afford more quiet and greater convenience for parking and handling one's car than can be found in the business district. Others in this class are the Darby, the Hershey Arms, the Hollywood, and the Alvarado. Los Angeles, for all its preeminence as a tourist city, was long without a resort hotel of the first magnitude, leaving the famous Pasadena hostelries such as the Green, Raymond, Maryland and Huntington, to cater to the class of patrons who do not figure costs in their quest for the luxurious in hotel service. This shortage was supplied in 1920 by the erection of the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard—one of the largest resort hotels in the world. The building is surrounded by spacious grounds and the property is said to represent an investment of $5,000,000. It is one of the "objects of interest" in Los Angeles and will be visited by many tourists who may not care to pay the price to become regular guests. After our experience with hotels, apartments and rented houses, we finally acquired a home of our own in the "Queen City of the Southwest," which, of course, is the most satisfactory 14 plan of all, though not necessarily the cheapest.

Prior to the Great War Los Angeles had the reputation of being a place where one could live well at very moderate cost and hotels and restaurants gave the very best for little money. This was all sadly changed in the wave of profiteering during and following the war. The city acquired a rather unenviable reputation for charging the tourist all the traffic would bear—and sometimes a little more—until finally Government statistics ranked Los Angeles number one in the cost of living among cities of its class. The city council undertook to combat the tendency to "grab" by passing an ordinance limiting the percentage of rental an owner might charge on his property—a move naturally contested in the courts. At this writing, however, (1921), the tendency of prices is distinctly downward and this may reasonably be expected to continue until a fair basis is reached. It is not likely, however, that pre-war prices will ever return on many items, but it is certain that Los Angeles will again take rank as a city where one may live permanently or for a time at comparatively moderate cost.

Public utilities of the city never advanced their prices to compare with private interests. You can still ride miles on a street car for a nickel and telephone, gas and electric concerns get only slightly higher rates than before the war. Taxes have advanced by leaps and bounds, but are frequently excused by pointing out that nowhere do you get so much for your tax money as in California. 15

Naturally, the automobile and allied industries loom large in Los Angeles. Garages from the most palatial and perfectly equipped to the veriest hole-in-the-wall abound in all parts of the town. Prices for service and repairs vary greatly but the level is high—probably one hundred per cent above pre-war figures. Competition, however, is strong and the tendency is downward; but only a general wage lowering can bring back the old-time prices. Gasoline is generally cheaper than in the East, while other supplies cost about the same. The second-hand car business has reached vast proportions, many dealers occupying vacant lots where old cars of all models and degrees brave the sun—and sometimes the rain—while waiting for a purchaser. Cars are sold with agreement to buy back at the end of a tour and are rented without driver to responsible parties. You do not have to bring your own car to enjoy a motor tour in California; in fact this practice is not so common as it used to be except in case of the highest-grade cars.

Another plan is to drive your own car from your Eastern home to California and sell it when ready to go back. This was done very satisfactorily during the period of the car shortage and high prices for used cars following the war, but under normal conditions would likely involve considerable sacrifice. The ideal method for the motorist who has the time and patience is to make the round trip to California in his own car, coming, say, over the Lincoln Highway and returning over the Santa Fe Trail or vice versa, according to the time of the year. The latter averages by far the best of the 16 transcontinental roads and is passable for a greater period of the year than any other. In fact, it is an all-year-round route except for the Raton Pass in New Mexico, and this may be avoided by a detour into Texas. This route has been surveyed and signed by the Automobile Club of Southern California and is being steadily improved, especially in the Western states.

Although California has perhaps the best all-the-year-round climate for motoring, it was our impression that the months of April and May are the most delightful for extensive touring. The winter rains will have ceased—though we found our first April and a recent May notable exceptions—and there is more freedom from the dust that becomes troublesome in some localities later in the summer. The country will be at its best—snow-caps will still linger on the higher mountains; the foothills will be green and often varied with great dashes of color—white, pale yellow, blue, or golden yellow, as some particular wild flower gains the mastery. The orange groves will be laden with golden globes and sweet with blossoms, and the roses and other cultivated flowers will still be in their prime. The air will be balmy and pleasant during the day, with a sharp drop towards evening that makes it advisable to keep a good supply of wraps in the car. An occasional shower will hardly interfere with one's going, even on the unimproved country road.

For there is still unimproved country road, despite all I have said in praise of the new highways. A great deal of our touring was over roads seldom good at their best and often quite impassable during 17 the heavy winter rains. There were stretches of "adobe" to remind us of "gumbo" at home; there were miles of heavy sand and there were rough, stone-strewn trails hardly deserving to be called roads at all! These defects are being mended with almost magical rapidity, but California is a vast state and with all her progress it will be years before all her counties attain the Los Angeles standard. We found many primitive bridges and oftener no bridges at all, since in the dry season there is no difficulty in fording the hard-bottom streams, and not infrequently the streams themselves had vanished. But in winter these same streams are often raging torrents that defy crossing for days at a time. During the summer and early autumn months the dust will be deep on unimproved roads and some of the mountain passes will be difficult on this account. So it is easy to see that even California climate does not afford ideal touring conditions the year round. Altogether, the months of April, May, and June afford the best average of roads and weather, despite the occasional showers that one may expect during the earlier part of this period. It is true that during these months a few of the mountain roads will be closed by snow, but one can not have everything his own way, and I believe the beauty of the country and climate at this time will more than offset any enforced omissions. The trip to Yosemite is not practical during this period over existing routes, though it is to be hoped the proposed all-the-year road will be a reality before long. The Lake Tahoe road is seldom open before the middle of June, and this delightful trip can not be taken during 18 the early spring unless the tourist is content with the railway trains.

Our several tours in California aggregated more than thirty thousand miles and extended from Tia Juana to the Oregon border. The scope of this volume, however, is confined to the southern half of the state and the greater part of it deals with the section popularly known as Southern California—the eight counties lying south of Tehachapi Pass. Of course we traversed some roads several times, but we visited most of the interesting points of the section—with some pretty strenuous trips, as will appear in due course of my narrative. We climbed many mountains, visited the endless beaches, stopped at the famous hotels, and did not miss a single one of the twenty or more old Spanish missions. We saw the orange groves and palms of Riverside and Redlands, the great oaks of Paso Robles, the queer old cypresses of Monterey, the Torrey Pines of La Jolla, the lemon groves of San Diego, the vast wheatfields of the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys, the cherry orchards of San Mateo, the great vineyards of the Napa and Santa Rosa Valleys, the lonely beauty of Clear Lake Valley, the giant trees of Santa Cruz, the Yosemite Valley, Tahoe, the gem of mountain lakes, the blossoming desert of Imperial, and a thousand other things that make California an enchanted land. And the upshot of it all was that we fell in love with the Golden State—so much in love with it that what I set down may be tinged with prejudice; but what story of California is free from this amiable defect? 19


When we first left the confines of the city we steered straight for the sunset; the wayfarer from the far inland states always longs for a glimpse of the ocean and it is usually his first objective. The road, smooth and hard as polished slate, runs for a dozen miles between green fields, with here and there a fringe of palms or eucalyptus trees and showing in many places the encroachments of rapidly growing suburbs. So seductively perfect is the road that the twenty miles slip away almost before we are aware; we find ourselves crossing the canal in Venice and are soon surrounded by the wilderness of "attractions" of this famous resort.

There is little to remind us of its Italian namesake save the wide stretch of sea that breaks into view and an occasional gondola on the tiny canal; in the main it is far more suggestive of Coney Island than of the Queen of the Adriatic. To one who has lost his boyish zeal for "shooting the shoots" and a thousand and one similar startling experiences, or whose curiosity no longer impels him toward freaks of nature and chambers of horror, there will be little diversion save the multifarious phases of humanity always manifest in such surroundings. On gala days it is interesting to differentiate the types that pass before one, from the countryman from the inland states, "doing" California and getting his first 20 glimpse of a metropolitan resort, to the fast young sport from the city, to whom all things have grown common and blase and who has motored down to Venice because he happened to have nowhere else to go.

With the advent of prohibition the atmosphere of the place has noticeably changed—the tipsy joy-rider is not so much in evidence nor is the main highway to the town strewn with wrecked cars as of yore. But for all this, Venice seems as lively as ever and there is no falling off in its popularity as a beach resort. This is evidenced by the prompt reconstruction of the huge amusement pier which was totally destroyed by fire in 1920. It has been replaced by a much larger structure in steel and concrete—a practical guarantee against future conflagrations—and the amusement features are more numerous and varied than of yore. It is still bound to be the Mecca of the tourist and vacationist who needs something a little livelier than he will find in Long Beach and Redondo.

But to return from this little digression—and my reader will have to excuse many such, perhaps, when I get on "motorological" subjects—I was saying that we found little to interest us in the California Venice save odd specimens of humanity—and no doubt we ourselves reciprocated by affording like entertainment to these same odd specimens. After our first trip or two—and the fine boulevards tempted us to a good many—we usually slipped into the narrow "Speedway" connecting the town with Ocean Park and Santa Monica. Why they call it the Speedway I am at a loss to know, for it is 21 barely a dozen feet wide in places and intersected with alleys and streets every few feet, so that the limit of fifteen miles is really dangerously high. The perfect pavement, however, made it the most comfortable route—though there may be better now—and it also takes one through the liveliest part of Ocean Park, another resort very much like Venice and almost continuous with it. These places are full of hotels and lodging-houses, mostly of the less pretentious and inexpensive class, and they are filled during the winter season mainly by Eastern tourists. In the summer the immense bathing beaches attract crowds from the city. The Pacific Electric brings its daily contingent of tourists and the streets are constantly crowded with motors—sometimes hundreds of them. All of which contribute to the animation of the scene in these popular resorts.

In Santa Monica we found quite a different atmosphere; it is a residence town with no "amusement" features and few hotels, depending on its neighbors for these useful adjuncts. It is situated on an eminence overlooking the Pacific and to the north lie the blue ranges of the Santa Monica Mountains, visible from every part of town. Ocean Drive, a broad boulevard, skirts the edge of the promontory, screened in places by rows of palms, through which flashes the blue expanse of the sea. At its northern extremity the drive drops down a sharp grade to the floor of the canyon, which opens on a wide, sandy beach—one of the cleanest and quietest to be found so near Los Angeles.

This canyon, with its huge sycamores and 22 clear creek brawling over the smooth stones, had long been an ideal resort for picnic parties, but in the course of a single year we found it much changed. The hillside had been terraced and laid out with drives and here and there a summer house had sprung up, fresh with paint or stucco. The floor of the valley was also platted and much of the wild-wood effect already gone. All this was the result of a great "boom" in Santa Monica property, largely the work of real estate promoters. Other additions were being planned to the eastward and all signs pointed to rapid growth of the town. It already has many fine residences and cozy bungalows embowered in flowers and shrubbery, among which roses, geraniums and palms of different varieties predominate.

Leaving the town, we usually followed the highway leading through the grounds of the National Soldiers' Home, three or four miles toward the city. This great institution, in a beautiful park with a wealth of semi-tropical flowers and trees, seemed indeed an ideal home for the pathetic, blue-coated veterans who wandered slowly about the winding paths. The highway passes directly through the grounds and one is allowed to run slowly over the network of macadam driveways which wind about the huge buildings. At the time of which I write, there were some thirty-five hundred old soldiers in the Home, few of whom had not reached the age of three score and ten. Their infirmities were evidenced by the slow and even painful manner in which many moved about, by the crowded hospitals, and the deaths—which averaged 23 three daily. True, there were some erect, vigorous old fellows who marched along with something of the spirit that must have animated them a half century ago, but they were the rare exceptions. Visitors are welcomed and shown through all the domestic arrangements of the Home; the old fellows are glad to act in the capacity of guides, affording them, as it does, some relief from the monotony of their daily routine. So perfect are the climatic conditions and so ideally pleasant the surroundings that it seems a pity that the veterans in all such homes over the country might not be gathered here. We were told that this plan is already in contemplation, and it is expected, as the ranks of the veterans are decimated, to finally gather the remnant here, closing all other soldiers' homes. It is to be hoped that the consummation of the plan may not be too long delayed, for surely the benign skies and the open-air life would lengthen the years of many of the nation's honored wards.

We passed through the grounds of the Home many times and stopped more than once to see the aviary—a huge, open-air, wire cage filled with birds of all degrees, from tiny African finches half the size of sparrows to gorgeous red, blue, green, and mottled parrots. Many of these were accomplished conversationalists and it speaks well for the old boys of the Home that there was no profanity in the vocabulary of these queer denizens of the tropics. This and other aviaries which we saw impressed upon us the possibilities of this pleasant fad in California, where the birds can live the year 24 round in the open air in the practical freedom of a large cage.

Returning from the Home one may follow Wilshire Boulevard, which passes through one of the most pretentious sections of the city, ending at beautiful Westlake Park; or he may turn into Sunset Boulevard and pass through Hollywood. A short distance from the Home is Beverly Hills, with its immense hotel—a suburban town where many Los Angeles citizens have summer residences. A vast deal of work has been done by the promoters of the town; the well-paved streets are bordered with roses, geraniums, and rows of palm trees, all skillfully arranged by the landscape-gardener. It is a pretty place, though it seemed to us that the sea winds swept it rather fiercely during several of the visits we made. Another unpleasant feature was the groups of oil derricks which dot the surrounding country, though these will doubtless some time disappear with the exhaustion of the fields. The hotel is of a modified mission type, with solid concrete walls and red tile roof, and its surroundings and appointments are up to the famous California standard at such resorts.

Hollywood is now continuous with the city, but it has lost none of that tropical beauty that has long made it famous. Embowered in flowers and palms, with an occasional lemon grove, its cozy and in some cases palatial homes never fail to charm the newcomer. Once it was known as the home of Paul de Longpre, the flower painter, whose Moorish-looking villa was the goal of the tourist and whose gorgeous creations were a never-failing 25 wonder to the rural art critic. Alas, the once popular artist is dead and his art has been discredited by the wiseacres; he was "photographic"—indeed, they accuse him of producing colored photographs as original compositions. But peace be to the painter's ashes—whether the charge of his detractors be true or not, he delighted thousands with his highly colored representations of the blooms of the Golden State. His home and gardens have undergone extensive changes and improvements and it is still one of the show places of the town.

The Hollywood school buildings are typical of the substantial and handsome structures one sees everywhere in California; in equipment and advanced methods her schools are not surpassed by any state in the Union.

No stretch of road in California—and that is almost saying in all the world—is more tempting to the motorist than the twenty miles between Los Angeles and Long Beach. Broad, nearly level, and almost straight away, with perfect surface and not a depression to jolt or jar a swiftly speeding car, Long Beach Boulevard would put even a five-year-old model on its mettle. It is only the knowledge of frequent arrests and heavy fines that keeps one in reasonable bounds on such an ideal speedway and gives leisure to contemplate the prosperous farming lands on either side. Sugar beets, beans, and small grains are all green and thriving, for most of the fields are irrigated. There is an occasional walnut grove along the way and in places the road is bordered with ranks of tall eucalyptus trees, stately and fragrant. Several fine suburban homes 26 adjoin the boulevard and it is doubtless destined to be solidly bordered with such.

Long Beach is the largest of the suburban seaside towns—the new census gives it a population of over 55,000—and is more a place of homes than its neighbor, Venice. Its beach and amusement concomitants are not its chief end of existence; it is a thriving city of pretty—though in the main unpretentious—homes bordering upon broad, well-paved streets, and it has a substantial and handsome business center. You will especially note its churches, some of them imposing stone structures that would do credit to the metropolis. Religious and moral sentiment is strong in Long Beach; it was a "dry" town, having abolished saloons by an overwhelming vote, long before prohibition became the law of the land. The town is pre-eminently the haven of a large number of eastern people who come to California for a considerable stay—as cheaply as it can possibly be done—and there are many lodging-houses and cottages to supply this demand. And it is surprising how economically and comfortably many of these people pass the winter months in the town and how regularly they return year after year. Many others have become permanent residents and among them you will find the most enthusiastic and uncompromising "boosters" for the town—and California. And, indeed, Long Beach is an ideal place for one to retire and take life easy; the climate is even more equable than that of Los Angeles; frost is almost unknown and the summer heat is tempered by the sea. The church and social activities appeal to many and the seaside amusement features 27 are a good antidote for ennui. There are not a few old fellows who fall into a mild dissipation of some sort at one or the other of the catch-penny affairs along the promenade. I was amused at one of these—a grizzled old veteran, who confessed to being upwards of seventy—who could not resist the fascination of the shooting galleries; and I knew another well over eighty who was a regular bather in the surf all through the winter months.

A little to the east of Long Beach is Naples, another of the seaside towns, which has recently been connected with Long Beach by a fine boulevard. It gives promise of becoming a very pretty place, though at present it does not seem much frequented by tourists. About equally distant to the westward is San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles, and really a part of the city, a narrow strip some two miles wide connecting the village and metropolis. This was done to make Los Angeles an actual seaport and to encourage the improvement of San Pedro Harbor. The harbor is largely artificial, being enclosed by a stone breakwater built jointly by Government appropriations and by bond issues of the citizens of Los Angeles. The ocean is cut off by Catalina Island, which shelters San Pedro to some extent from the effects of heavy storms and makes the breakwater practicable. It is built of solid granite blocks of immense size, some of them weighing as much as forty tons each. It is a little more than two miles long and the water is forty-five feet deep at the outer end where the U. S. Lighthouse stands. There is no bar, and ocean-going vessels can go to anchor under their own 28 steam. There are at present about eight miles of concrete wharfage and space permits increasing this to thirty miles as traffic may require. Improvements completed and under way represent an investment of more than twenty million dollars. The World War put San Pedro on the map as a great ship-building point; there are two large yards for construction of steel ships and one for wooden vessels. These will be of great interest to the tourist from inland states. A dry dock of sufficient capacity for the largest ocean-going steamers is under construction and will afford every facility for repairing and overhauling warships and merchant vessels. All of which indicates that Los Angeles' claim as an ocean port of first magnitude has a substantial foundation and that its early fulfillment is well assured. A broad boulevard now joins the widely separated parts of the city and a large proportion of the freight traffic goes over this in motor trucks, which, I am told, give cheaper and quicker service than the steam railroad.

Aside from the shipyards, San Pedro has not much to interest the tourist; there is a pretty park at Point Fermin from which one may view some magnificent coast scenery. A steep descent near at hand takes one down to an ancient Spanish ranch house curiously situated on the water's edge and hidden in a jungle of neglected palms and shrubbery. On an eminence overlooking the town and harbor is located Fort McArthur with several disappearing guns of immense caliber. There are also extensive naval barracks and storehouses on the 29 wharf and usually several United States warships are riding at anchor in the harbor.

The new boulevard from San Pedro to Redondo, however, has quite enough of beauty to atone for any lack of it on the way to the harbor town from the city, especially if one is fortunate in the day. In springtime the low rounded hills on either side are covered with verdure—meadows and grain fields—and these are spangled with great dashes of blue flowers, which in some places have almost gained the mastery. The perfect road sweeps along the hillsides in wide curves and easy grades and there is little to hinder one from giving rein to the motor if he so elects. But we prefer an easy jog, pausing to gather a handful of the violet-blue flowers and to contemplate the glorious panorama which spreads out before us. Beyond a wide plain lie the mountain ranges, softened by a thin blue haze through which snow-capped summits gleam in the low afternoon sun. As we come over the hill just before reaching Redondo, the Pacific breaks into view—deep violet near the shore and shimmering blue out toward the horizon.

We enter the town by the main street, which follows the shore high above the sea and is bordered by many pleasant cottages almost hidden in flowers. It is one of the most beautifully situated of the coast towns, occupying a sharply rising hill which slopes down to a fine beach. On the bluff we pass a handsome park—its banks ablaze with amethyst sea moss—and the grounds of Hotel Redondo, (since closed and falling into decay) elaborately laid out and filled with semi-tropical plants and flowers, 30 favored by the frostless climate. The air is redolent with fragrance, borne to us on the fresh sea-breeze and, altogether, our first impressions of Redondo are favorable indeed—nor has further acquaintance reversed our judgment.

There are the customary resort features, though these are not so numerous or extensive as at Venice. Still, Redondo is not free from the passion for the superlative everywhere prevalent in California, and proudly boasts of the "largest warm salt-water plunge on earth and the biggest dancing pavilion in the state." There is a good deal of fishing off shore, red deep-sea bass being the principal catch. Moonstones and variegated pebbles are common on the beach and there are shops for polishing and setting these in inexpensive styles. If you are not so fortunate as to pick up a stone yourself, you will be eagerly supplied with any quantity by numerous small urchins, for a slight consideration.

Redondo is not without commercial interest, for it is an important lumber port and a supply station for the oil trade. There are car shops and mills of various kinds. Another industry which partakes quite as much of the aesthetic as the practical is evidenced by the acres of sweet peas and carnations which bloom profusely about the town.

In returning from Redondo to the city we went oftenest over the new boulevard by the way of Inglewood, though we sometimes followed the coast road to Venice, entering by Washington Street. These roads were not as yet improved, though they were good in summer time. Along 31 the coast between Redondo and Venice one passes Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches and Playa del Rey, three of the less frequented resorts. They are evidently building on expectations rather than any great present popularity; a few seaside cottages perched on the shifting sands are about all there is to be seen and the streets are mere sandy trails whose existence in some cases you would never suspect were it not for the signboards. We stuck closely to the main streets of the towns which, in Manhattan, at least, was pretty hard going. It is a trip that under present conditions we would not care to repeat, but when a good boulevard skirts the ocean for the dozen miles between these points, it will no doubt be one of the popular runs. (The boulevard has since been built, enabling one to follow the sea from El Segundo to Redondo with perfect ease and comfort.)

I have written chiefly of the better-known coast towns, but there are many retired resorts which are practically deserted except for the summer season. One may often find a pleasant diversion in one of these places on a fine spring day before the rush comes—and if he goes by motor, he can leave at his good pleasure, should he grow weary, in sublime indifference to railroad or stage time-tables. A Los Angeles friend who has a decided penchant for these retired spots proposed that we go to Newport Beach one Saturday afternoon and we gladly accepted this guidance, having no very clear idea ourselves of the whereabouts of Newport Beach.

We followed him out Stevenson Boulevard 32 into Whittier Road, a newly built highway running through a fertile truck-gardening country to the pleasant village founded by a community of Quakers who named it in honor of their beloved poet. One can not help thinking how Whittier himself would have shrunk from such notoriety, but he would have no reason to be ashamed of his namesake could he see it to-day—a thriving, well-paved town of some eight thousand people. It stands in the edge of a famous orange-growing section, which extends along the highway for twenty miles or more and which produces some of the finest citrus fruit in California. Lemon and walnut groves are also common and occasional fig and olive trees may be seen. The bronze-green trees, with their golden globes and sweet blossoms, crowd up to the very edge of the highway for miles—with here and there a comfortable ranch-house.

We asked permission to eat our picnic dinner on the lawn in front of one of these, and the mistress not only gladly accorded the privilege, but brought out rugs for us to sit upon. A huge pepper tree screened the rays of the sun; an irrigating hydrant supplied us with cool crystal water; and the contents of our lunch-baskets, with hot coffee from our thermos bottles, afforded a banquet that no hotel or restaurant could equal.

Further conversation with the mistress of the ranch developed the fact that she had come from our home state, and we even unearthed mutual acquaintances. We must, of course, inspect the fine grove of seven acres of Valencias loaded with fruit about ready for the market. It was a beautiful 33 grove of large trees in prime condition and no doubt worth five or six thousand dollars per acre. The crop, with the high prices that prevailed at that time, must have equaled from one-third to half the value of the land itself. Such a ranch, on the broad, well-improved highway, certainly attains very nearly the ideal of fruit-farming and makes one forget the other side of the story—and we must confess that there is another side to the story of citrus fruit-farming in California.

The fine road ended abruptly when we entered Orange County, a few miles beyond Whittier, for Orange County had done little as yet to improve her highways, and we ran for some miles on an old oiled road which for genuine discomfort has few equals. One time it was thought that the problem of a cheap and easily built road was solved in California—simply sprinkle the sandy surface with crude oil and let it pack down under traffic. This worked very well for a short time until the surface began to break into holes, which daily grew larger and more numerous until no one could drive a motor car over them without an unmerciful jolting. And such was the road from Fullerton to Santa Ana when we traversed it, but such it will not long remain, for Orange County has voted a million and a quarter to improve her roads and she will get her share of the new state highway system as well. (All of which, I may interject here, has since come to pass and the fortunate tourist may now traverse every part of the county over roads that will comfortably admit of all the speed the law allows).

Santa Ana is a quiet town of fifteen thousand, 34 depending on the fruit-raising and farming country that surrounds it. It is a cozy place, its wide avenues shaded by long rows of peppers and sycamores and its homes embowered by palms and flowers. Almost adjoining it to the northeast is the beautiful village of Orange—rightly named, for it is nearly surrounded by a solid mass of orange and lemon groves. In the center of its business section is a park, gorgeous with palms and flowers. The country about must be somewhat sheltered, for it escaped the freeze of 1913 and was reveling in prosperity with a great orange and lemon crop that year.

Just beyond the mountain range to the east is Orange County Park, which we visited on another occasion. It is a fine example of the civic progress of these California communities in providing pleasure grounds where all classes of people may have inexpensive and delightful country outings. It is a virgin valley, shaded by great oaks and sycamores and watered by a clear little river, the only departure from nature being the winding roads and picnic conveniences. There are many beautiful camping sites, which are always occupied during the summer. Beyond the park the road runs up Silverado Canyon, following the course of the stream, which we forded many times. It proved rough and stony but this was atoned for many times over by the sylvan beauty of the scenes through which we passed. The road winds through the trees, which overarch it at times, and often comes out into open glades which afford views of the rugged hills on either hand. We had little difficulty in finding our 35 way, for at frequent intervals we noted signs, "To Modjeska's Ranch," for the great Polish actress once had a country home deep in the hills and owned a thousand-acre ranch at the head of Silverado Canyon. Here about thirty years ago she used to come for rest and recreation, but shortly before her death sold the ranch to the present owners, the "Modjeska Country Club." It is being exploited as a summer resort and is open to the public generally. A private drive leads some three or four miles from the public road to the house, which is sheltered under a clifflike hill and surrounded by a park ornamented with a great variety of trees and shrubs. This was one of Modjeska's fads and her friends sent her trees and plants from every part of the world, one of the most interesting being a Jerusalem thorn, which appears to thrive in its new habitat. The house was designed by Stanford White—an East-Indian bungalow, we were told, but it impresses one as a crotchety and not very comfortable domicile. The actress entertained many distinguished people at the Forest of Arden, as she styled her home, among them the author of "Quo Vadis," who, it is said, wrote most of that famous story here. The place is worth visiting for the beauty of its surroundings as well as its associations. A great many summer cottages are being built in the vicinity and in time it will no doubt become a popular resort, and, with a little improvement in the canyon road, a favorite run for motorists.

Leaving "Arden," we crossed the hills to the east, coming into the coast highway at El Toro, a rather strenuous climb that was well rewarded by 36 the magnificent scenes that greeted us from the summit. The wooded canyon lay far beneath us, diversified by a few widely separated ranch-houses and cultivated fields, with the soft silver-gray blur of a great olive grove in the center. It was shut in on either side by the rugged hill ranges, which gradually faded into the purple haze of distance. The descent was an easy glide over a moderate grade, the road having been recently improved. At the foot of the grade we noticed a road winding away among the hills, and a sign, "To the silver mines," where we were told silver is still mined on a considerable scale.

I have departed quite a little from the story of our run to Newport Beach, but I hope the digression was worth while. From Santa Ana a poor road—it is splendid concrete now—running nearly south took us to our destination. It was deserted save for a few shopkeepers and boarding-house people who stick to their posts the year round. There was a cheap-looking hotel with a number of single-room cottages near by. We preferred the latter and found them clean and comfortable, though very simply furnished. The meals served at the hotel, however, were hardly such as to create an intense desire to stay indefinitely and after our second experience we were happy to think that we had a well-filled lunch-basket with us. The beach at Newport is one of the finest to be found anywhere—a stretch of smooth, hard sand miles long and quite free from the debris which disfigures the more frequented places. We were greeted by a wide sweep of quiet ocean, with the dim blue outlines 37 of Santa Catalina just visible in the distance. To the rear of the beach lies the lagoon-like bay, extending some miles inland and surrounding one or two small islands covered with summer cottages. Eastward is Balboa Beach and above this rise the rugged heights of Corona Del Mar. A motor boat runs between this point and Newport, some five or six miles over the green, shallow waters of the bay. We proved the sole passengers for the day and after a stiff climb to the heights found ourselves on a rugged and picturesque bit of coast. Here and there were great detached masses of rock, surrounded by smooth sand when the tide was out, and pierced in places by caves. We scrambled down to the sand and found a quiet, sheltered nook for our picnic dinner—which was doubly enjoyable after the climb over the rocks and our partial fast at the hotel. Late in the afternoon we found our boat waiting at the wharf at Corona and returned to Newport in time to drive to Los Angeles before nightfall.

Newport is only typical of several retired seaside resorts—Huntington Beach, Bay City, Court Royal, Clifton, Hermosa, Playa del Rey, and others, nearly all of which may be easily reached by motor and which will afford many pleasant week-end trips similar to the little jaunt to Newport which I have sketched.

And one must not forget Avalon—in some respects the most unique and charming of all, though its position on Santa Catalina, beyond twenty miles of blue billows, might logically exclude it from a motor-travel book. There are only 38 twenty-five miles of road in the island—hardly enough to warrant the transport of a motor, though I believe it has been done. But no book professing to deal with Southern California could omit Avalon and Catalina—and the motor played some part, after all, for we drove from Los Angeles to San Pedro and left the car in a garage while we boarded the Cabrillo for the enchanted isle. We were well in advance of the "season," which invariably fills Avalon to overflowing, and were established in comfortable quarters soon after our arrival. The town is made up largely of cottages and lodging-houses, with a mammoth hotel on the sea front. It is situated on the crescent-shaped shore of a beautiful little bay and climbs the sharply rising hill to the rear in flower-covered terraces.

There is not much to detain the casual visitor in the village itself, especially in the dull season; no doubt there is more going on in the summer, when vacationists from Los Angeles throng the place. The deserted "tent city"—minus the tents—the empty pavilion, the silent dance hall and skating-rink, all mutely testify of livelier things than we are witnessing as we saunter about the place.

But there is one diversion for which Catalina is famous and which is not limited to the tourist season—here is the greatest game fishing-"ground" in the world, where even the novice, under favorable conditions, is sure of a catch of which he can boast all the rest of his life. Our friend who accompanied us was experienced in the gentle art of Ike Walton as practiced about the Isle of Summer, and 39 before long had engaged a launch from one of the numerous "skippers" who were lounging about the pier. We were away early in the morning for Ship Island, near the isthmus, where the great kelp beds form a habitat for yellowtail and bass, which our skipper assured us were being caught daily in considerable numbers. Tuna, he said, were not running—and he really made few promises for a fisherman. Our boat was a trim, well-kept little craft, freshly painted and scoured and quite free from the numerous smells that so often cling about such craft and assist in bringing on the dreaded mal de mer. Fortunately, we escaped this distressing malady; by hugging the shore we had comparatively still water and when we reached our destination we found the sea quiet and glassy—a glorious day—and our skipper declared the conditions ideal for a big catch. Our hooks were baited with silvery sardines—not the tiny creatures such as we get in tins, but some six or eight inches in length—and we began to circle slowly above the kelp beds near Ship Rock. Before long one of the party excitedly cried, "A strike!" and the boat headed for the open water, since a fish would speedily become entangled in the kelp and lost.

There are few more exciting sports than bringing a big yellowtail to gaff, for he is one of the gamest of sea fighters, considering his size. At first he is seized with a wild desire to run away and it means barked knuckles and scorched fingers to the unwary fisherman who lets his reel get out of control. Then begin a long struggle—a sort of see-saw play—in which you gain a few yards on your 40 catch only to lose it again and again. Suddenly your quarry seems "all in," and he lets you haul him up until you get a glimpse of his shining sides like a great opal in the pale green water. The skipper seizes his gaff and you consider the victory won at last—you are even formulating the tale you are going to tell your eastern friends, when—presto, he is away like a flash. Your reel fairly buzzes while three hundred yards of line is paid out and you have it all to do over again. But patience and perseverance at last win—if your tackle does not break—and the fish, too exhausted to struggle longer, is gaffed and brought aboard by the skipper, who takes great delight in every catch, since a goodly showing at the pier is an excellent advertisement for himself and his boat.

By noon we had three fine yellowtails and a number of rock bass to our credit and were quite ready for the contents of our lunch-baskets. We landed on the isthmus—the narrow neck of land a few hundred feet in width about the center of the island—and found a pleasant spot for our luncheon. In the afternoon we had three more successful battles with the gamey yellowtails—and, of course, the usual number "got away." Homeward bound, we had a panorama of fifteen miles of the rugged island coast—bold, barren cliffs overhanging deep blue waters and brown and green hills stretching along dark little canyons running up from the sea. In rare cases we saw a cottage or two in these canyons and in places the hillsides were dotted with wild flowers, which bloom in great variety on the island. At sunset we came into the clear waters 41 of Avalon Harbor and our skipper soon proudly displayed our catch on the pier.

After dinner we saw a curious spectacle down at the beach—thousands of flying fish attracted and dazzled by the electric lights were darting wildly over the waters and in some instances falling high and dry on the sands. On the pier were dozens of men and boys with fish spears attached to ropes and they were surprisingly successful in taking the fish with these implements. They threw the barbed spear at the fish as they darted about and drew it back with the rope, often bringing the quarry with it. The fish average about a foot in length and, we were told, are excellent eating. They presented a beautiful sight as thousands of them darted over the dark waters of the bay, their filmy, winglike fins gleaming in the electric lights.

Besides fishing, the sportsman can enjoy a hunt if he chooses, for wild goats are found in the interior, though one unacquainted with the topography of the island will need a guide and a horse. The country is exceedingly rugged and wild, there are few trails, and cases are recorded of people becoming hopelessly lost. We had no time for exploring the wilds of the interior and perhaps little inclination. On the morning before our homeward voyage we went out to the golf links lying on the hillsides above the town, not so much for the game—on my part, at least, for I had become quite rusty in this royal sport and Avalon links would be the last place in the world for a novice—as for the delightful view of the town and ocean which the site affords. Below us lay the village, bending around 42 the crescent-shaped bay which gleamed through the gap in the hills, so deeply, intensely blue that I could think of nothing so like it as lapis lazuli—a solid, still blue that hardly seemed like water. After a few strokes, which sent the balls into inaccessible ravines and cactus thickets, I gave it up and contented myself with watching my friend struggle with the hazards—and such hazards! Only one who has actually tried the Avalon links can understand what it means to play a round or two of the nine holes; but, after all, the glorious weather, the entrancing view, and the lovely, smooth-shaven greens will atone for a good many lost balls and no devotee of golf who visits the island should omit a game on the Avalon links.

Many changes have been wrought in the state of things in Catalina since the foregoing paragraphs were first written. Formerly the island belonged to the Bannings—an old Los Angeles family—who declined to sell any part or parcel of the soil until 1918, when they disposed of their entire interests to a Chicago capitalist. The new owner began a campaign of development and freely sold homesites in the island to all comers. A fine new hotel, the St. Catherine, was built to replace the old Metropolitan, which burned down, and many other notable improvements have been made. Great efforts have been made to attract tourists to the island and to sell sites to any who might wish a resort home in Avalon. A new million-dollar steamer, the "Avalon," makes a quicker and more comfortable trip than formerly and we may predict that the popularity of Catalina will wax rather than wane. 43


Our rambles described in the preceding chapter were confined mainly to the coast side of the city, but there is quite as much to attract and delight the motorist over toward the mountains. Nor are the mountains themselves closed to his explorations, for there are a number of trips which he may essay in these giant hills, ranging from an easy upward jog to really nerve-racking and thrilling ascents. Remember I am dealing with the motor car, which will account for no reference to famous mountain trips by trolley or mule-back trail, familiar to nearly every tourist in California. Of our mountain jaunts in the immediate vicinity of Los Angeles we may refer to two as being the most memorable and as representing the two extremes referred to.

Lookout Mountain, one of the high hills of the Santa Monica Range near Hollywood, has a smooth, beautifully engineered road winding in graceful loops to the summit. It passes many wooded canyons and affords frequent glimpses of charming scenery as one ascends. Nowhere is the grade heavy—a high-gear proposition for a well-powered car—and there are no narrow, shelf-like places to disturb one's nerves. The ascent begins through lovely Laurel Canyon out of flower-bedecked Hollywood, and along the wayside are many attractive spots for picnic dinners. At one of these, 44 fitted with tables and chairs, and sheltered by a huge sycamore, we paused for luncheon, with thanks to the enterprising real estate dealer who maintained the place for public use.

From Lookout Point one has a far-reaching view over the wide plain surrounding the city and can get a good idea of the relative location of the suburban towns. The day we chose for the ascent was not the most favorable, the atmosphere being anything but clear. The orange groves of Pasadena and San Gabriel were half hidden in a soft blue haze and the seaside view was cut off by a low-hanging fog. To the north the Sierras gleamed dim and ghostly through the smoky air, and the green foothills lent a touch of subdued color to the foreground. At our feet lay the wide plain between the city and the sea, studded with hundreds of unsightly oil derricks, the one eye-sore of an otherwise enchanting landscape. Descending, we followed a separate road down the mountain the greater part of the distance, thus avoiding the necessity of passing other cars on the steeper grades near the summit.

Near the close of our second tour we were seized with the desire to add the ascent of Mount Wilson to our experiences. We had by this time climbed dozens of mountain roads and passes and had begun to consider ourselves experienced motor mountaineers. We had often noted from Foothill Boulevard the brown line of road running in sharp angles up the side of the mountain and little anticipated that this ascent would be more nerve-racking than Arrowhead or St. Helena. We deferred the 45 trip for a long time in hopes of a perfectly clear day, but perfectly clear days are rare in California during the summer time. Dust, fog, and other conditions combine to shroud the distance in a soft haze often pleasing to the artistic sense but fatal to far-away views. The Mount Wilson road had been opened to motor cars only a short time previous to our ascent. It had been in existence some time as a rough wagon trail, constructed to convey the materials and instruments for the Carnegie Observatory to the summit. A private company rebuilt the trail and opened a resort hotel on the summit. The entrance is through a tollgate just north of Pasadena and the distance from that point to the hotel is about nine and one-half miles. As the mountain is about six thousand feet in height, the grade averages ten per cent, though in places it is much steeper. The roadway is not wide enough for vehicles to pass, but there are several turn-outs to each mile and when cars meet between these, the one going up must back to the nearest passing-place.

Entering through the tollgate, we ran down a sharp declivity to a high bridge across the canyon, where the ascent begins; and from that point to the summit there is scarcely a downward dip. A narrow shelf, with barely a foot or two between your wheels and the precipice—pitching upward at a twenty per cent angle—greets you at the very outstart. The road runs along the edge of the bald, bare cliffs which fling their jagged points hundreds of feet above and fall sheer—not infrequently—a thousand or more beneath. Every few rods it makes a sharp turn, so sharp that sometimes we had to back 46 at these corners to keep the outer wheels from the edge—a difficulty greatly increased by our long wheel base. Our motor, which usually runs quite cool, began to boil and kept it up steadily until we stopped at the summit. A water supply is found every two or three miles, without which few cars could make the ascent. It will be low-gear work generally, even for powerful motors—not so much on account of the grade as the frequent "hairpin" turns. And we were more impressed that no one should undertake the climb without first being assured that his car is in first-class condition throughout—particularly the tires, since a change would be a pretty difficult job on many of the grades.

As we continued our ascent we became dimly aware of the increasing grandeur of the view far below us. I say dimly aware, for the driver could cast only furtive glances from the road, and the nervous people in the rear seat refused even to look downward from our dizzy perch. So we stopped momentarily at a few of the wider turns, but we found—as on Lookout—the blue haze circumscribed the distant view. Just beneath us, a half mile or more downward, stretched a tangle of wooded canyons and beyond these the low green foothills. Pasadena and the surrounding orange-grove country lay below us like a map, the bronze-green trees glistening in the subdued sunlight. Los Angeles seemed a silver-gray blur, and the seacoast and Catalina, which can be seen on the rare clear days, were entirely obliterated. Not all of the road was such as I have described. About midway for a mile or two it wound through forest trees and 47 shrubbery, the slopes glowing with the purple bloom of the mountain lilac.

There was little at the summit to interest us after we completed our strenuous climb. Visitors were not admitted to the Carnegie Solar Observatory, as to the Lick institution on Mount Hamilton; and the hotel, having recently burned, had been replaced temporarily with a wood-and-canvas structure. Plans were completed for a new concrete building and we were told that practically all the material would be brought up the trail on burros. The view from the summit was largely obscured by the hazy condition of the atmosphere, but near at hand to the north and east a wild and impressive panorama of mountain peaks and wooded canyons greeted our vision. The night view of the plain between the mountains and sea, we were told, is the most wonderful sight from Mount Wilson. Fifty cities and towns can be seen, each as a glow of light varying in size and intensity, from the vast glare of Los Angeles to the mere dot of the country village.

We did not care to remain for the night and as we ate our luncheon on the veranda of the makeshift hotel, we were anxiously thinking of the descent. We had been fortunate in meeting no one during our climb; would we be equally lucky in going down? Only one other car had come up during the day, a big six-cylinder, steaming like a locomotive; the driver removed the radiator cap and a boiling geyser shot twenty feet into the air. A telephone message told us the road was clear at the time of starting and we were happy that it remained 48 so during the hour and a quarter consumed in the nine-mile downward crawl. It proved as strenuous as the climb and the occupants of the rear seat were on the verge of hysterics most of the time. Brakes were of little use—the first few hundred yards would have burned them up—and we depended on "compression" to hold back the car, the low gear engaged and power cut off. All went well enough until we came to sharp turns where we must reverse and back up to get around the corner. It was a trying experience—not necessarily dangerous (as the road company's folder declares) if one exercises extreme caution, keeps the car in perfect control, and has no bad luck such as a broken part or bursting tire. Down we crept, anxiously noting the mileposts, which seemed an interminable distance apart, or furtively glancing at the ten-inch strip between our outer wheels and "a thousand feet in depth below," until at last the welcome tollgate hove in sight with the smooth stretches of the Altadena Boulevard beyond.

"I hope you enjoyed your trip," cheerily said the woman who opened the gate.

"No, indeed," came from the rear seat. "It was simply horrid—I don't ever want to come near Mount Wilson again as long as I live!" and relief from the three-hours' tension came in a burst of tears.

But she felt better about it after a little as we glided along the fine road leading through Altadena into the orange groves and strawberry beds around Glendale, and purchased a supply of the freshly gathered fruit. But even to this day I have never 49 been able to arouse a spark of enthusiasm when I speak of a second jaunt up Mount Wilson, for which I confess a secret hankering.

The road has been vastly improved since the time of our trip, which was only two months after it was opened to the public. The turns have been widened, more passing points provided, and no one need be deterred from essaying the climb by the harrowing experiences of our pioneer venture.

While not a mountain trip in the sense of the ascent of Mount Wilson, the road through Topango Canyon will furnish plenty of thrills for the nervously inclined—at least such was the case at the time we undertook the sixty-eight mile round by the way of Santa Monica and Calabasas, returning by the San Fernando Boulevard. At Santa Monica we glided down to the beach and for some miles followed the Malibu Road, which closely skirts the ocean beneath the cliff-like hills. It was a magnificent run, even though the road was dusty, rough, and narrow in places, with occasional sandy stretches. It was a glorious day and the placid, deep-blue Pacific shimmered like an inland lake. The monotone of color was relieved by great patches of gleaming purple a little way out from the shore, due to beds of floating kelp, and by long white breakers which, despite the unwonted quiet of the sea, came rolling in on the long sandy beaches or dashed into silvery spray on the frequent rocks. We passed a queer little Chinese fisher village—which has since disappeared—nestling under the sandy cliffs; most of the inhabitants were cleaning and drying fish on the beach, the product, we 50 were told, being shipped to their native land. We were also astonished to meet people in fantastic costumes—girls with theatrical make-up, in powder and paint; men in strange, wild-west toggery; and groups of Indians, resplendent in feathers and war-paint. All of which puzzled us a good deal until we recalled that here is the favorite field of operation of one of the numerous moving-picture companies which make Los Angeles their headquarters.

They have since constructed several sham villages along this beach road and in the near-by hills. One of these make-believe hamlets we can testify bears a very passable likeness to many we passed through in rural England.

We followed the road to the entrance of Malibu Rancho, a bare tract stretching many miles along the sea and controlled by a company which vigorously disputes the right of way through the property. There is a private club house on the ranch and no doubt the members do not care to be jostled by the curious motorists who wander this way in great numbers on Sundays. Threatening placards forbade trespassing on the ranch, but a far stronger deterrent to the motorist was a quarter-of-a-mile stretch of bottomless sand just at the entrance. Two or three cars just ahead of us attempted to cross, but gave it up after a deal of noisy floundering. Malibu Rancho had little attraction for us, in any event, and our only temptation to enter its forbidden confines was doubtless due to the provoking placards, but it was not strong enough to entice us into the treacherous sand. So we turned about, 51 retracing our way three or four miles to the Topango Canyon road.

I might add here in passing that the county has since secured the right to build a public highway through Malibu Rancho after a long legal warfare following condemnation proceedings. It is to constitute a link in the proposed ocean highway between Los Angeles and Ventura.

It was Sunday and hundreds of cars thronged the beach, raising clouds of dust, and we frequently had close work in passing those we met. We agreed that Sunday was a poor day for Malibu Beach road, as contrasted with the quiet of a former week-day run. The Canyon road branches abruptly to the right, ascending a sharp hill, and then dropping to the bed of a clear little creek, which it follows for a considerable distance. Some twenty times we forded the stream winding in and out among a tangle of shrubbery and trees. There were many grassy little glades—ideal spots for picnic dinners—some of which were occupied by motor parties.

Leaving the creek, the road ascends the Santa Monica Mountains, crossing three ranges in steep, winding grades. Much of the way it is a narrow, shelf-like trail with occasional turn-outs for passing. At the steepest, narrowest part of the road over the western range, we met a car; the panicky passengers were walking down the hill, while the driver was yelling like a madman for us to get out of his way. We cautiously backed down the grade to the nearest turn-out and let him crawl past, with his passengers following on foot—a sample of sights we saw more than once on California mountain 52 roads. Such people, it would seem, would do well to stick to the boulevards. Crossing the wooded valley between the ranges, we came to the eastern grade, which proved the steeper of the two. How our panicky friends ever got over it puzzled us. In the valley we saw a few lonely little ranches and the ubiquitous summer-resort camp.

The ascent of the second grade was not so steep as the descent, which was terrific, portions of it being not less than twenty-five per cent. The sharpest pitch is just at the summit, and we were told that dozens of cars stalled here—many for lack of gasoline. Here we met another car, passengers on foot and the driver trying to coax his engine up the hill. After several futile attempts he got it going, scraping our car with his fender as he passed—we had turned out as far as possible and were waiting for him. One of the ladies declared that they had been touring California mountains for two months and this was the first grade to give trouble. Later we came over this grade from the east, finding it an exceedingly heavy, low-gear grind, but our motor was on its best behavior and carried us across without a hitch.

But if the climb is a strenuous and, to some people, a nerve-racking one, the view from the summit is well worth the trouble. To the east stretches the beautiful San Fernando Valley, lying between the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Ranges. It is a vast, level plain, rapidly being brought under cultivation; the head of the valley just beneath is studded with ranch houses and here and there in the great grainfields stand magnificent oaks, the monarchs 53 of California trees. Summer clouds have gathered while we were crossing the hills and there is a wonderful play of light and color over the valley before us. Yonder is a bright belt of sunshine on the waving grain and just beyond a light shower is falling from the feathery, blue-gray clouds. Still farther, dimly defined, rise the rugged peaks of the Sierras, gleaming with an occasional fleck of snow. On our long glide down the winding grade the wild flowers tempt us to pause—dainty Mariposa lilies, blue larkspur, and others which we can not name, gleam by the roadside or lend to the thickets and grainfields a dash of color.

The new road, since completed, roughly follows the course of the old, but its wide, smooth curves and easy grades bear no resemblance to the sharp angles and desperate pitches of the ancient trail, now nearly vanished. The driver as well as the passengers may enjoy the wide views over the fertile San Fernando Valley and the endless mountain vistas that greet one at every turn. There is some really impressive scenery as the road drops down the canyon toward the ocean. The beach road has also been greatly improved and now gives little hint of the narrow dusty trail we followed along the sea when bound on our first Topango venture.

The little wayside village of Calabasas marked our turning-point southward into the valley. Here a rude country inn sheltered by a mighty oak offers refreshment to the dusty wayfarer, and several cars were standing in front of it. California, indeed, is becoming like England in the number and excellence 54 of the country inns—thanks largely to the roving motor car, which brings patronage to these out-of-the-way places. Southward, we pursued our way through the vast improvement schemes of the San Fernando Land Co. The coming of the great Owens River Aqueduct—which ends near San Fernando, about ten miles from Calabasas, carrying unlimited water—is changing the great plain of San Fernando Valley from a waste of cactus and yucca into a veritable garden. Already much land has been cleared and planted in orchards or grain, and broad, level, macadam boulevards have been built by the enterprising improvement companies. And there are roads—bordered with pines and palms and endless rows of red and pink roses, in full bloom at this time—destined some day to become as glorious as the famous drives about Redlands and Riverside. Bungalows and more pretentious residences are springing up on all hands, many of them being already occupied. The clean, well-built towns of Lankershim and Van Nuys, situated in this lovely region and connected by the boulevard, make strong claims for their future greatness, and whoever studies the possibilities of this fertile vale will be slow to deny them. Even as I write I feel a sense of inadequacy in my descriptions, knowing that almost daily changes are wrought. But no change will ever lessen the beauty of the green valley, guarded on either side by serried ranks of mighty hills and dotted with villages and farmhouses surrounded by groves of peach, apricot, and olive trees. On this trip we returned to the city by Cahuenga Pass, a road which 55 winds in easy grades through the range of hills between the valleys and Hollywood.

Another hill trip just off the San Fernando Valley is worth while, though the road at the time we traversed it was rough, stony, and very heavy in places. We left the San Fernando Boulevard at Roscoe Station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, about four miles beyond the village of Burbank, and passing around the hills through groves of lemon, peach, and apricots, came to the lonely little village of Sunland nestling beneath its giant oaks. Beyond this the narrow road clings to the edges of the barren and stony hills, with occasional cultivated spots on either hand, while here and there wild flowers lend color to an otherwise dreary monotone. The sweet-scented yucca, the pink cactus blooms, and many other varieties of delicate blossoms crowded up to the roadside at the time of our trip through the pleasant wilderness—a wilderness, despite the proximity of a great city.

A few miles brought us to the projected town of La Crescenta, which then had little to indicate its existence except numerous signs marking imaginary streets. Its main boulevard was a stony trail inches deep in sand and bordered by cactus and bayonet plants—but it may be different now, things change so rapidly in California. Beyond this we ran into some miles of highway in process of construction and had much more rough going, dodging through fields, fording streams and arroyos, and nearly losing our way in the falling twilight. Now a broad, smooth highway leads down Verdugo Canyon from La Canada to the pleasant little town 56 of Glendale—a clean, quiet place with broad, palm-bordered streets—into which we came about dusk.

To-day the tourist may make the journey I have just described over excellent concrete roads, though he must make a short detour from the main route if he wishes to pass through Sunland. He may continue onward from Sunland following the foothills, crossing the wide wash of the Tujunga River and passing through orange and lemon groves, interspersed with fields of roses and other flowers grown by Los Angeles florists, until he again comes into the main highway at San Fernando town. Though the virgin wilderness that so charmed us when we first made the trip is no longer so marked, this little run is still one of the most delightful jaunts in Los Angeles County.

Los Feliz Avenue, by which we returned to the city, skirts Griffith Park, the greatest pleasure ground of Los Angeles. Here are more than thirty-five hundred acres of oak-covered hills, donated some years ago by a public-spirited citizen and still in the process of conversion into a great, unspoiled, natural playground for people of every class. A splendid road enters the park from Los Feliz Avenue and for several miles skirts the edge of the hills hundreds of feet above the river, affording a magnificent view of the valley, with its fruit groves and villages, and beyond this the serried peaks of the Verdugo Range; still farther rise the rugged ranks of the Sierras, cloud-swept or white with snow at times. Then the road plunges into a tangle of overarching trees and crosses and recrosses a bright, 57 swift stream until it emerges into a byway leading out into San Fernando Boulevard.

This road has now been extended until it crosses Hollywood Mountain, coming into the city at the extreme end of Western Avenue. It is a beautifully engineered road, though of necessity there are some "hairpin" turns and moderately steep grades. Still, a lively car can make the ascent either way on "high" and there is everywhere plenty of room to pass. No description of the wonderful series of views that unfold as one reaches the vantage points afforded by the road can be adequate. These cover the San Fernando Valley and mountain ranges beyond, practically all of the city of Los Angeles and the plain stretching away to the ocean—but why attempt even to enumerate, since no motorist who visits Los Angeles will be likely to forget the Hollywood Mountain trip.

The crowning beauty of Griffith Park is its unmolested state of nature; barring the roads, it must have been much the same a half century ago. No formal flower beds or artificial ponds are to be seen, but there are wild flowers in profusion and clear rivers and creeks. There are many spreading oak trees, underneath which rustic tables have been placed, and near at hand a stone oven serves the needs of picnic parties, which throng to Griffith Park in great numbers. One day we met numerous auto-loads of people in quaint old-time costumes, which puzzled us somewhat until we learned that the park is a favorite resort for the motion-picture companies, who were that day rehearsing a colonial scene. 58

While Griffith Park is the largest and wildest of Los Angeles pleasure grounds, there are others which will appeal to the motorist. Elysian, lying between the city and Pasadena, is second largest and affords some splendid views of the city and surrounding country. A motor camp ground for tourists has recently been located in one of the groves of this splendid park. Lincoln—until recently Eastlake—Park, with its zoological garden, lies along El Monte Road as it enters the city, while Westlake is a little gem in the old-time swell residence section now rapidly giving way to hotels, apartments and business houses. A little farther westward is the old-time Sunset Park, unhappily rechristened "Lafayette" during the war, a pretty bit of gardening surrounded by wide boulevards. Sycamore Park, lying along Pasadena Avenue between Los Angeles and Pasadena, is another well-kept pleasure ground and Echo Park, with a charming lake surrounded by palms and trees, is but a block off Sunset Boulevard on Lake Shore Drive. Hollenbeck Park on Boyle Heights in the older residence section east of the river, is very beautiful but perhaps the least frequented of Los Angeles playgrounds. A small tree-bordered lake set in a depression on the hill is crossed by a high arched bridge from which one has charming vistas on either hand.

Exposition Park on Figueroa Street, contains the city museum and picture galleries and offers to the public opportunity for many kinds of open-air recreation. The greatest interest here, however, is the wonderful collection of bones and complete 59 skeletons of mighty prehistoric animals that once roamed the tropic plains of Southern California. These were discovered in the asphalt pits of Rancho La Brea, which lies near the oil fields along Wilshire Boulevard just west of the city. Remains of the woolly mammoth, the imperial elephant, larger than any now living, the giant ground sloth, the saber-toothed tiger, and many other strange extinct animals were found intermingled in the heavy black liquid which acted at once as a trap and a preservative. Great skill has been shown in reconstruction of the skeletons, which are realistically mounted to give an idea of the size and characteristics of the animals. After the visitor has made a round of the museum and read the interesting booklet which may be had from the curator, he may wish to drive out West Wilshire Boulevard and inspect the asphalt pits, which may be seen from this highway.

Nor should one forget the famous Busch Gardens in Pasadena, thrown open to all comers by the public-spirited brewer. If you can not drive your car into them, you can at least leave it at the entrance and stroll among the marvels of this carefully groomed private park. And if a newcomer, you will want to drive about the town itself before you go—truly an enchanted city, whose homes revel in never-ending summer. Is there the equal of Orange Grove Avenue in the world? I doubt it. A clean, wide, slate-smooth street, bordered by magnificent residences embowered in flowers and palms and surrounded by velvety green lawns, extends for more than two miles. In the past two decades the city has grown from a village of nine 60 thousand people to some five times that number and its growth still proceeds by leaps and bounds. It has four famous resort hotels, whose capacity is constantly taxed during the winter season, and there are many magnificent churches and public buildings. Its beauty and culture, together with the advantages of the metropolis which elbows it on the west, and the unrivaled climate of California, give Pasadena first rank among the residence towns of the country.

And if one follows the long stretch of Colorado Street to the eastward, it will lead him into Foothill Boulevard, and I doubt if in all California—which is to say in all the world—there is a more beautiful roadway than the half dozen miles between Pasadena and Monrovia. Here the Baldwin Oaks skirt the highway on either side—great century-old Spanish and live oaks, some gnarled and twisted into a thousand fantastic shapes and others the very acme of arboreal symmetry—hundreds of them, hale and green despite their age.

I met an enthusiastic Californian who was building a fine house in the tract and who told me that he came to the state thirty years ago on his honeymoon and was so enamored with the country that he never returned east; being a man of independent means, he was fortunately able to gratify his predilection in this particular. With the advent of the motor car he became an enthusiastic devotee and had toured in every county in the state, but had seen, he declared, no spot that appealed to him so strongly as an ideal home site. Straight as an arrow through the beautiful tract runs the wide, 61 level Foothill Boulevard, bordered by oak, pepper, locust, and walnut trees until it reaches the outskirts of Monrovia, where orange groves are seen once more.

About midway a road branches off to Sierra Madre, a quiet little village nestling in the foothills beneath the rugged bulk of Mount Wilson. It is famous for its flowers, and every spring it holds a flower show where a great variety of beautiful blooms are exhibited. Just above the town is a wooded canyon, a favorite resort for picnic parties, where nature still revels in her pristine glory. Mighty oaks and sycamores predominate, with a tangle of smaller trees and shrubbery beneath, while down the dell trickles a clear mountain stream. It is a delightful spot, seemingly infinitely remote from cities and boulevards—and it is only typical of many such retreats in the foothills along the mountain range which offer respite to the motorist weary of sea sands and city streets. 62


It seems anomalous that our Far West—the section most removed from the point of discovery of this continent—should have a history antedating much of the East and all of the Middle West of our country. When we reflect that Santa Fe was founded within a half century after Columbus landed, and contests with St. Augustine, Florida, for the honor of being the oldest settlement within the present limits of the United States, the fact becomes the more impressive.

About the same date—June 27, 1542, to be exact—the Spanish explorer, Juan Cabrillo, sailed from the port of Navidad on the western coast of Mexico with two small vessels and made the first landing of white men within the limits of California at San Diego, in the month of September. A few days later he sailed northward to the Bay of San Pedro, and landed within the present boundaries of Los Angeles to obtain water. Indeed, if he climbed the hills overlooking the harbor, he may have viewed the plain where the main part of the city now stands. But he did not linger here; by slow stages he followed the coast northward as far as the present site of San Francisco, but did not enter the magnificent bay. On the homeward voyage he died near Santa Barbara in 1543, and the expedition returned to Mexico. 63

Thirty years later Sir Francis Drake sailed along the coast, but there is no record of his landing anywhere in the south. In 1602 Philip of Spain despatched a second expedition under Viscaino, who covered much the same ground as Cabrillo, though there is nothing to show that he visited the vicinity of Los Angeles. In his account of his voyage to the king he declared that the country was rich and fertile, and urged that he be made the head of a colonization expedition, but his death in 1606 brought his plans to naught.

For one hundred and sixty years afterwards no white man visited the present limits of California, though it was still counted a possession of the king of Spain. Not until the revival of Spanish colonization activities under Philip II did California engage the attention of Europe, and being—nominally at least—a Spanish possession, the king, with the co-operation of the pope, undertook to establish a series of Catholic missions along the coast. The enterprise was put in charge of Junipero Serra, a Franciscan monk of great piety and strength of character, and after long delay and much hardship, he arrived at San Diego in July, 1769. Missions had already been founded in the lower peninsula and upon these Father Serra planned to draw for priests and ecclesiastical equipment necessary in the establishments which he should locate in his new field of work. He did not proceed northward in regular order, for the second mission was founded at Monterey and the third at San Antonio.

This brings us to the point to which the foregoing 64 is but the barest outline—the founding of the Mission of San Gabriel Archangel near the city of Los Angeles on September 8, 1771. Twenty-six years later to a day the second mission within easy reach of the city was established—San Fernando Rey de Espana, being the seventeenth of the twenty-one Franciscan religious houses on the California coast. The two missions near the city—San Gabriel, six miles to the east, and San Fernando, twenty miles northwest—will be among the first attractions to the motorist in roving about Los Angeles, and we visited both several times before undertaking our tour of the King's Highway. Each has much of interest and may well serve to create a desire for an acquaintance with the remainder of these romantic memorials of early days in the Golden State.

San Gabriel is a little, dust-browned hamlet nestling under giant pepper and eucalyptus trees, lying a half mile off the splendid boulevard that bears the same name. It has but a few hundred people and is quite unimportant in a business way. It is a quiet place, surrounded by the wide sweep of orange groves, and would attract little notice were it not for the plain, almost rude, structure that rears its heavy buttressed walls directly by the roadside. It is a long and narrow building of large square bricks, covered with stucco which has taken the hue of old ivory from the long procession of years that have passed over it. Along the top of the front wall is a row of moss-green bells, each in its arched stone niche, which still chime melodious notes at vesper time and which lend a peculiarly 65 picturesque appearance to the unique facade. True, the mission has been much restored since the adobe walls of the original structure were reared in 1771. The winter rains, earthquakes, and hostile Indians, all wrought havoc on the building; the arched roof was thrown down by the quake of 1812 and was replaced by one of beams and tiles, which was later superseded by the present shingle covering. The elaborate ceiling was erected in 1886, but seems somewhat out of keeping with the severe simplicity of the original design.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

It has been a parish church since the American conquest in 1846, though its old-time glory vanished and for a period it was almost forgotten. But the troops of tourists who came yearly to California rescued it from oblivion. The coming of the electric car, which clangs past its door, brought crowds daily; and when the motor arrived on the scene, old San Gabriel became a shrine of pilgrimage such as it never was in its palmiest days. Now a brown-robed priest welcomes you at the door, collects a modest fee—to be devoted to maintenance and restoration—and conducts you about every part of the ancient building. He leads you to the roof and shows you the bells at close range, and you may as a special favor be allowed to test their musical qualities. They are Spanish bells, older than the mission, and are looked upon by the fathers with a pride that verges on reverence. Then you will be shown the curios, the relics, paintings, vestments, old manuscripts, and books, some of doubtful value and authenticity and others of real antiquity and importance. You will be given a glimpse into the 66 quiet burying ground, where many of the fathers are at rest and beyond which is the sheen of orange groves and the blue peaks of the Sierras. The monster grapevine that supplied the cellars of the old padres will not be overlooked and many rude utensils of early days may be seen scattered about the place. It is all very quaint and interesting, this bit of old-world mediaevalism transplanted to the new world by the western sea and about which has grown up one of the most enlightened and prosperous communities in the whole country.

You will be told as much of its story as you may wish to hear; how one time this fertile plain about the mission was tilled by the Indians whom the padres had instructed and partially civilized—at one time as many as five thousand of them. They raised vast herds of cattle, estimated from eighty to one hundred and twenty thousand, and twenty thousand horses and forty thousand sheep were numbered in their possessions at the height of their prosperity. Allowing for probable exaggeration, the wealth of the mission was undoubtedly great, reaching two million dollars in 1842. Shortly after, this was confiscated by the Mexican Government and the ensuing war with the United States marked the end of San Gabriel's prosperity.

When the town of Los Angeles was founded during the palmy days of the mission, a chapel was built there by the fathers and it stands to-day, time-stained and demurely unpretentious, in the midst of the bustling metropolis that has grown up around it.

But San Gabriel to-day has an added interest—the 67 result of one of the happy inspirations which come periodically to Frank Miller of Riverside—in the Mission Play first given in the winter of 1910. It occurred to this loyal Californian that the romantic zeal and self-sacrifice that led to the foundation of the missions and the wealth of historic incident connected with their active career would furnish splendid material for a play—or, more properly, a pageant. The idea was presented to Mr. John S. McGroarty of Los Angeles, editor of the Pacific Coast Magazine, who combined the necessary qualities of historian and poet. He entered zealously into the plan and in due time the libretto was written. A playhouse was built—somewhat crude and cheaply constructed, it is true—directly opposite the old mission. It was not, however, inharmonious with the idea and spirit of the play and was surrounded by an open-air corridor or ambulatory containing small models of the twenty-one missions as they appeared in their most prosperous days. The actors were mostly local people who, during the performance, lived in the cottages of the village or near-by towns.

The play—or pageant—has but little plot, depending on scenic effect, rich in life and color, and on a wealth of interesting incident. We saw it during the first week of its performance and our only disappointment was the clearly inappropriate ending—but evidently the writer recognized this defect, for when we visited the play next season, the last act had been rewritten more in harmony with the spirit of the subject.

Before the play begins you are at liberty to 68 saunter about the ambulatory to gain some idea of the subject with which it is to deal; the clang of a mission bell hanging over the stage will call you to your seat when the performance commences. Three figures pass like shadows in front of the darkened curtain before it rises—a crouching, fearful Indian, a fully accoutered and gaudily dressed soldier, representing the Spanish conquistador, and, lastly, the brown-robed priest bearing his crucifix—symbols of the three human elements with which the play is to deal. It proves more of an historical pageant than a miracle play—but, after all, what is Oberammergau but an historical pageant?—though it seldom occurs to us in that light.

The curtain rises on False Bay, San Diego—a piece of scene-staging that would do credit to any metropolitan playhouse. A little group of monks and soldiers sit disconsolately in their camp in the foreground; they are awaiting the arrival of Portola, their leader, who has gone northward to explore the coast and whose return they momentarily hope for. They have suffered from disease and hunger; hostile Indians have continually harried them and shown no signs of being converted to Christianity, despite the efforts of the monks. The soldiers are quite ready to re-embark in the crippled little San Carlos, lying temptingly in the harbor, and to return to Mexico for good. Here enters the hero of the play, Father Serra, and his influence is at once apparent, for complaint ceases and the rough soldiers become respectful. He addresses cheerful words to the dejected men—speaking like a hero and prophet—and to some extent rouses 69 their depressed spirits. But the gloom is doubly deep when Portola staggers on the scene with the wretched remnant of his band of explorers—unkempt, footsore, starving, many of them sick and wounded—and declares that the port of Monterey has not been found—that all is lost. They must return to Mexico and when Father Serra insists that if all go he will remain here alone, Portola tells him he will not be allowed to do so. They will compel him to board the ship. The priest pleads for one more day of grace; he is to baptize his first native—an Indian child—and this may be the turning point of their fortunes. In the midst of the ceremony the savage parents become terror-stricken, snatch the babe from Serra's arms and flee to their retreat in the mountains. The sad outcome of the ceremony only confirms Portola in his determination to sail on the following morning; the San Antonio, which was despatched months ago for relief supplies, has never been heard of—she must have been lost at sea—there is no hope! The sooner they sail the greater the chance of reaching home—all are ordered to prepare for embarking. Serra raises his hands to heaven in deep contrition; it was his pride and vain glory, he laments, over his promise of success that has been punished—it is just; but he pleads in desperation with the soldier not to turn his back on God's work—to wait one more day; God may yet work a miracle to prevent the overthrow of the plans to save the heathen. His words fall on deaf ears, but while he pleads the watch sets up a joyful cry—a light is seen rounding Point Loma—the good ship San Antonio comes—the 70 spirits of all revive—the mission is saved! It is indeed a thrilling and dramatic climax; the ship glides into the harbor in a truly realistic manner and the denouement is creditable alike to author and stage director.

The second act pictures the court of San Carlos at Monterey fourteen years later. It is rich with the semi-tropical splendor of that favored spot; green trees, waving palms, and flowers lend color and cheeriness to the gray cloisters through which the brown-robed figures march with solemn decorum. It is the great day when all the mission fathers—nine in number at that time—have assembled at Monterey to make report of progress of their respective stations to the president, the beloved Junipero. He has aged since we saw him last; hardships and wounds have left their furrows on his face, but it still glows with the old-time zeal. His strength of character comes out in one of the opening incidents—the military captain of the presidio comes to carry off a beautiful half-breed girl to whom he has taken a fancy, but the soldier's arrogance speedily fades before the stern rebuke of Father Serra, his sword is wrested from him by the athletic young "fighting parson" of San Luis Obispo, and he is ignominiously ejected from the mission.

In the second act it seems to me that the influence of Oberammergau can be seen in opulence of color and picturesque effects. The fathers gather about a long table and Serra listens with pious approbation to the optimistic reports of his subordinates. As an example of the fervent and self-sacrificing 71 spirit of the aged president, as illustrated by the play, we may quote from Serra's address on this memorable occasion:

"Francisco, my beloved brother, and you, my brethren, all bear me witness that I have never sought for world honor; I have asked only to serve God in the wilderness, laboring to bring the light of Christ to the heathen. I would gladly be forgotten when I lie down with death in this poor robe of our Franciscan brotherhood, my hands empty, and rich only in the love of God and my fellow-man. But oh, California is dear to me! It is the country of my heart. It were sweet to be remembered here by the peoples which shall some day crowd these golden shores and possess these sweet valleys and shining hills that I have loved so well. My feet have wandered every mile of the way between the great harbor of St. Francis and San Diego's Harbor of the Sun so many, many times! and on this, my last journey which I have just taken, I stopped often amid the oaks and cypress, kissing the ground in loving farewell. I have looked down from the hilltops and embraced in my soul every vale carpeted with poppies and aflame with wild flowers as the mocking bird and the linnet sang to me on the way. To be remembered in California—ah, God grant that I shall not be forgotten in this dear and lovely land."

After this the pageantry begins—there is a church procession and the fathers with approving interest inspect the examples of handiwork proudly exhibited by the Indian pupils of San Carlos. The festivities begin; the spectators and performers, 72 some scores in all, are artistically grouped on the stage. There are Indian and Spanish dances and the dark, gaudily dressed senoritas who perform the latter never fail of an encore—the rather high-stepping hilarity affording a pleasing relief from the more serious and even somber parts of the play. The young women have become adepts in these roles; in many cases they are of Spanish descent and take with natural aptitude to the fandango and castanets. The Indians, as well, have their dances and ceremonies—all carefully studied—and I doubt not that the second act of the play gives a fair idea of the peaceful, industrious, and yet joyous life that prevailed at many of these missions in their halcyon days. The entertainment wanes, the crowd breaks up and melts away, just as in real life, and finally Father Junipero alone remains on the scene, his features fairly beaming with satisfaction and devotion in the waning light. Finally, overcome by the labors and excitement of the day, he falls asleep at the foot of the cross in the mission court, after having offered the following beautiful and touching prayer:

"Hear, oh Lord, Thy servant Junipero, whose days upon the earth are about to close, even as the day has now closed upon this scene. Bring to the foot of Thy cross these wild gentiles of the plains and hills. Bless this dear and lovely land of California, its white peaks of glory and its sunlit valleys, where the wild flowers are ever blooming. Bless California now and in the centuries to come when newer peoples shall crowd her golden shores. This is the prayer, O Lord, of Junipero, Thy servant, 73 who is old and worn and who soon must say farewell. Amen."

From Photograph by Father St. John O'Sullivan

The third scene, as I have already intimated, was rewritten for the second year and much improved, though the staging remained practically unchanged. In the first draft the heroine falls a victim to the bullets of American soldiers, who fire upon the helpless Indians coming to bury their dead priest in the ruined cloisters of San Juan Capistrano. She had spurned the love advances of the captain, who rushes into the ruin only to find her breathing her last. All of which seemed incongruous and left a painful recollection with the audience; but on our second visit to San Gabriel playhouse we were delighted by a happy change in the ending of the play.

The new version shows the ivy-covered ruins of Capistrano seventy years later than the time of the second act. Confiscation by the Mexican Government has ruined the property of the missions and American occupation still further hastened their dissolution and decay. An old Indian shepherd is telling his story to a youth and declares that he was the first Indian child baptized by the sainted Serra. He is interrupted by the entrance of Senora Yorba, a lovely, devout Spanish lady who grieves over the destruction of the old regime and comes at times to muse and pray at the deserted altar, and in a graceful monologue she laments the downfall of the mission and the cessation of its beneficent work. While she is at her devotions a small company of wretched Indians enter the ruin, bearing the dead body of the padre, who ministered to them in their 74 retreats in the hills; they would bury him in the consecrated ground of the old mission. Senora Yorba mourns with the Indians and joins them in laying the body to rest. In the folds of the dead priest's robe she discovers the golden chalice, richly bejeweled, which he had rescued from the ruined church and which the loyal natives—though they knew its value—would have interred with him. In the closing scene of the play the Senora, with a look of rapt devotion, raises the golden cup aloft and solemnly promises that she will lay it on the altar of Santa Barbara, the nearest mission still unforsaken.

The curtain falls on the melancholy scene; we pass out into the May-day sunlight and gaze reverently on the gray old mission across the way. The play has given to it new meaning, just as Oberammergau on another May day gave us a new conception of the old story that has never lost its interest to humanity. I am very sure that there are few people who witness either the famous and very ancient play of the Bavarian peasants or the very recent and less pretentious production of the artists of San Gabriel, who are not spiritually elevated and benefited thereby.

Within easy reach of the city, either by trolley or motor, is San Fernando, the next link in the mission chain to the north of San Gabriel. We made our first journey thither on a showery April day, following a steady downpour for nearly twenty-four hours. The country was at its best, as it always is in California after a spring rain. We edged our way out of the city, along the wide sweep of 75 Sunset Boulevard to Los Feliz Avenue, which soon brought us into the San Fernando road at Glendale. From here a straight-away dash of twenty miles to the northwest takes one to the mission—one of the easiest and most delightful runs in the vicinity of Los Angeles.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

It was a brilliant day, despite a dark cloud-curtain whose fringes hovered over the peaks of the rugged mountains in the north toward which we were rapidly coursing. We swept along the narrow valley—then a desert, cactus-studded plain—reaching on our left to low, green hills which stood in sharp outline against the deep azure of the sky. On the right, closer at hand, were low foothills, dominated by the distant mountains—their summits white with snow and touched in places by clouds of dazzling brilliance. Directly in front of us we saw the glistening phalanx of a summer shower, which rapidly advanced to meet us, giving us barely time to raise our cape top before it was upon us. Such a rain in our home state would have meant liquid roads and constant danger, but on this perfect highway it only heightened our enjoyment as our steadily purring engine carried us along the smooth wet surface. The green hills to the left and the cloudless sky above them seemed doubly glorious through the crystal curtain of the falling raindrops.

By the time we reached the village of San Fernando, the rain had ceased and we paused to inquire the whereabouts of the mission. We saw about us at the time a straggling, unsubstantial-looking hamlet which bore little resemblance to the smart, well-improved town that greeted us a year 76 later—but so it often is in California. Then a new double boulevard with a parked center stretched away to the southeast—the work of an enterprising land company—with the inviting sign, "Speed limit one hundred miles per hour," but we were content with a fraction of this generous figure. The mission is about a mile out of the town and is best approached by the new boulevard, since this gives the advantage of a little distance for the front view, which the public road, directly passing, does not allow. Before you see the building itself you will note the two giant palms, over a century old, and perhaps a hundred feet high—all that remain of the many planted by the monks.

The structure is long, low, solid-looking—utterly devoid of artistic touches save the graceful, rounded arches of the long "portello" and the simple grille-work of wrought iron that still covers a few of the windows—work of the rude artisans of a hundred years ago. The old tile roof is the glory of San Fernando; the huge, semicircular tiles are time-stained to a color combination to delight the eye of an artist. Moss greens, silver grays, dull reds, and soft browns predominate, blending together in a most pleasing manner. Back from the mission extends a row of old-time living apartments, now little more than shapeless heaps of adobe, while the huge church, a little farther to the rear, seems approaching the final stages of dissolution. It was once a massive structure, built as well as loving care and endless industry could do—walls five or six feet in thickness, bound together at the top by heavy beams perhaps fifteen inches square. 77 Traces of the ancient decorations appear, though they are nearly effaced by the weather, to which they have been long exposed. Apparently the earthquake began the work of ruin and long neglect has done the rest.

One enters the church with some trepidation, for it seems as if the cracked and crazy structure may stagger to shapeless ruin at any moment. What a pity that the material of California's missions was not enduring stone, like the English abbeys, rather than the quickly disintegrating adobe! Back of the church is a pathetic little burying ground where wooden crosses and simple memorials indicate that the present parishioners of San Fernando are the poorest of the poor,—probably a few wretched Mexican families such as the one we found in charge of the mission.

I have anticipated, perhaps, in describing the church before the mission itself, but, after all, the church is a part of the exterior with which I have been dealing. On our first visit we found a Mexican family living in two or three of the damp, cavernous rooms of the old building. They could speak but little English, but it was easy to see that visitors were welcome, and gratuities no doubt afforded their means of livelihood. When we returned a year later, another family was in possession and had reduced sightseeing to a business basis. We were required to pay "two bits" entrance fee and an extra charge was assessed for a peep into the ruinous church, all doors and rents in the wall having been religiously boarded up. Each member of our party was given a lighted lantern—a wise precaution, 78 it proved, for there were dilapidated and broken stairways and unsound floors in the dimly lighted building. There was little enough to see; only a series of prison-like cells with tiny windows piercing the massive walls, with earthen floors, and rude beamed ceilings—surely life at best was hard and comfortless at San Fernando, and the fathers had little advantage over their Indian charges. There was one large room, apparently for assembly purposes, on the second floor. Our Mexican guide grinned gleefully as he pointed out a little conduit in the wall through which wine flowed from the presses to vats in the ample cellars; evidently the fathers made a plentiful supply of the genial liquor to counteract the hardships they must have endured.

One need explore but a corner of the mission; he will find it typical of the whole huge structure, perhaps two hundred feet in length. There is a pathetic little chapel—the altar covered with tinsel and gewgaws—where services are held at long intervals. As a whole, the building is in fair condition and a little intelligent repair and restoration would insure its preservation for many years to come. It is, in some respects, one of the most typical of the missions; except for decay, which has not impaired the structure or interior arrangement to any great extent, it stands to-day much as it did one hundred years ago and gives an excellent idea of the domestic life of the padres and their converts. A narrow stairway led to a platform on the roof and coming out of the dimly lighted interior into the broad sunlight—for the rain had ceased—we 79 were struck with the remarkable beauty of the situation.

The mission stands in the center of the wide plain at the head of the valley, around which sweeps a circle of green hills and mountains, their rounded tops and rugged peaks lending infinite variety to the skyline. On one hand blue vapors softened the snowy summits; on the other, the sky bent down, crystal clear, to the gently undulating contour of the hills. The fertile plain was being rapidly brought under cultivation—dotted with fruit-tree groves and ranch-houses, with here and there a village—and this was before the coming of the waters of the great Owens River Aqueduct. It would take a bold flight of the imagination to picture the future of the San Fernando Valley—anything I might write would be ancient history before my book could get to the press. The whole plain will become a garden of wondrous beauty; only the mountains and hills will abide unchanged.

The history of the old mission which has been engaging our attention was not important as compared with many of its contemporaries. And, speaking of history, I have been wondering whether I should burden my pages with dates and incidents concerning these ancient memorials, but perhaps a short sketch, given in as few words as may tell the bare outlines of each mission as we visit it, will be of service to pilgrims who follow us.

San Fernando was seventeenth of the California missions in order of founding, and was considered a necessity by the padres to fill in the gap between San Gabriel and Ventura, being about 80 thirty miles from either. Padre Lasuen performed the dedicatory ceremonies on September 8, 1797, and by the end of the year, fifty-five neophytes had been enlisted. These, in three years, had increased to three hundred, and the record reads that they possessed five hundred horses and about as many sheep, and harvested a crop of one thousand bushels of grain. The first church, built in 1802, was almost destroyed by the great quake of 1812, which left its impress on nearly every mission of the entire chain. The church was repaired and its shattered remnants are what we see to-day.

San Fernando never prospered greatly, though at one time there were nearly a thousand Indians on its rolls. It was cramped for want of productive land and its decline began many years before the act of confiscation by the Mexicans. This occurred in 1834, when the Government agent computed the wealth of the mission at around one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, of which the "liquors" represented more than seven thousand. In January, 1847, General John C. Fremont took possession of the scanty remains of the property and the active history of San Fernando was ended. Mr. George Wharton James, to whose interesting book, "The Old Missions of California," I am indebted for much of the foregoing information, tells of an important incident in San Fernando's history as follows:

"Connected with the mission of San Fernando is the first discovery of California gold. Eight years before the great days of '49, Francisco Lopez, the major-domo of the mission, was in the canyon of 81 San Feliciano, which is about eight miles westerly from the present town of Newhall, and, according to Don Abul Stearns, 'with a companion while in search of some stray horses about midday stopped under some trees and tied their horses to feed. While visiting in the shade, Lopez with a sheath knife dug up some wild onions, and in the dirt discovered a piece of gold. Searching further he found more. On his return to town he showed these pieces to his friends, who at once declared there must be a placer of gold there.'

"Then the rush began. As soon as the people in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara heard of it they flocked to the new 'gold fields' in hundreds. And the first California gold dust ever coined at the government at Philadelphia came from these mines. It was taken around Cape Horn on a sailing vessel by Alfred Robinson, the translator of Boscana's 'Indians of California,' and consisted of 18.34 ounces, and made $344.75, or over nineteen dollars to the ounce.

"Davis says that in the first two years after the discovery not less than from $80,000 to $100,000 was gathered. Don Antonio Coronel, with three Indian laborers, in 1842 took out $600 worth of dust in two months."

No doubt this discovery and others which followed had a far-reaching effect on the destinies of California. The influx of Americans who were attracted by the love of gold was beyond question a strong factor in bringing about the annexation of the state to the American Union by the treaty of 1849. 82


There may be a more delightful drive in the world than the sixty miles between Los Angeles and the Riverside country following Foothill Boulevard on an ideal California April day, but it would take an ocular demonstration to make us believe it! On such a day we made our first run over this road and perhaps the peculiarly favorable conditions for first impressions may have unduly prejudiced us, though many subsequent trips never dispelled the charm.

Leaving the city by the Broadway Tunnel and pursuing the broad curves of Pasadena Avenue to Orange Grove—which we could never traverse too often—we turned into the long stretch of Colorado Street, which leads directly into the broad oak-bordered Foothill Boulevard. Here we came into the first open country, some dozen miles from the center of Los Angeles, and until we reached the outposts of Monrovia, we ran between the sylvan glades of the Baldwin Oaks. To the left rose the rugged bulk of Mount Wilson, and peak after peak stretched away before us to the white summit of Old Baldy—as Mount San Antonio is popularly known—which rises to an altitude of more than ten thousand feet. It was a mottled spring day, rich in gorgeous cloud effects such as are not common in California; blue-gray cumulus clouds rolled 83 above the mountains, occasionally obscuring Old Baldy's white pate and showing many entrancing phases of light and color. Beneath, a blue haze stole softly down the slopes to the tender green of the foothills. The sky above was peculiarly beautiful—pearl gray, deep blue and snowy white, all shading into each other, with lucent patches of pale blue breaking through here and there.

We paused at the Seven Oaks Inn in Monrovia and were delighted with its artistic "atmosphere" and cleanly, appetizing service. It is modeled on the higher-class English country inn—just a hint of the Lygon Arms at Broadway or the Red Horse at Stratford. Its main room had an immense fireplace with many cozy chairs, a most inviting place to spend a dull evening, and its windows looked out on pleasant gardens whose shady nooks had an equally strong lure for the daytime. We only regretted that our plans did not admit of a longer acquaintance with the attractive Seven Oaks.

We glided slowly through the broad, shady streets of the trim little town and just as we left it we turned a corner at an ivy-covered stone church that awakened recollections of England. Then we were away again on the long stretches of the boulevard, which here for a few miles runs through desert country—desert indeed, but no doubt quite the same as that now covered by the orange groves about Azusa must have been a few years ago. Out of Azusa for miles and miles the orange and lemon groves crowded up to the roadside, their golden globes glowing through the green sheen of the leaves. The air was heavy with the perfume of 84 the blossoms, which lent an added charm to the sensuous beauty of the day and scene.

At Claremont we left Los Angeles County and at the time of our first trip the road was rough and inferior from that point, though plans for its improvement were already made and may be completed by this time. But the orange groves continued, alternating with huge vineyards which were just beginning to send forth green shoots. Near Upland we passed one of more than four thousand acres, said to be the largest single vineyard in the world, and near it was a huge concrete winery. A vineyard in this country in springtime presents a strange sight to a newcomer—a stretch of sand studded with rows of scraggly stumps two or three feet high—for the vines are cut back to the stump after the bearing season. Few of the vineyards are irrigated and one marvels that nature can produce the luscious clusters from the arid sands.

And here I may pause to remark upon the peculiar and unexpected result of national prohibition upon the California grape growers. For years the threat of state prohibition had been their bugbear and it was uniformly defeated in their interests whenever the issue came before the people of the state. When they were finally overwhelmed in the tide of National Prohibition originating in the war, they resigned themselves as lost and a few vineyards were pulled up to replant the ground in fruit trees. But, strange to say, while the wails of distress were still sounding, there came a sudden and unexpected demand for dried grapes of any kind or quality—even those which, before the war, would 85 have been thrown away as spoiled sold for more than the top quality did in old times. Unprecedented prosperity settled down upon the vineyard men and I am told that at this time (1921) grapes are selling for from two to three times as much per ton as they brought from the wineries in pre-war days. New vineyards are now being planted in many sections of the state.

Just before we came to San Bernardino we passed the Fontana Orchards, a tract of seventeen thousand acres of young citrus trees recently planted by an improvement company. Rows of newly planted rose bushes and palm trees on either hand will, in a few years, add still further to the charm of the boulevard—another instance of the determination everywhere present in California to beautify as well as improve.

On our first trip to San Bernardino we stopped, for personal reasons, at the comfortable Stuart Hotel, though the majority of motorists will probably wend their way to Riverside's Mission Inn. San Bernardino is a lively town of nearly twenty thousand people and has gained fame as a prosperous railroad and jobbing center. Its name is pretty much of a mouthful and the traveling fraternity generally has abbreviated it to San Berdoo—a liberty which gives offense to every loyal San Bernardinian, and I saw a card posted in public places with the legend, "Please call it San Bernardino; it won't hurt you and it pleases us."

No matter what you call it, San Bernardino is a lively place and has a good deal to interest the wayfarer if he can find some kindly disposed native 86 to point it out. The town is well-built, with numerous handsome public buildings. It has a remarkable number of hotels for its size—but I might add here that one never knows the size of a California town; before the census figures can be compiled they are often ancient history. The water supply of the town comes from artesian wells and is practically unlimited. There are many fine drives in the vicinity, though the county had as yet done little in the way of permanent roads. Since our first visit, however, a bond issue of two million dollars has made possible an excellent county road system. I recall my record "coast" over the fine stretch leading down from Mill Creek Canyon towards Redlands, where, with engine dead, our odometer showed a distance of seven and one-half miles before we came to a standstill.

One of our drives took us to the oldest orange grove in the section. The trees are fifty years old and a foot in diameter; they are hale and strong, bearing profusely. No one, as yet, can say how long a California orange tree may live. Near this grove a few shapeless heaps of adobe may be seen, remains of the branch founded here by padres from San Gabriel shortly after the establishment of that mission. The country about the town is beautiful and productive—a wide, level plain encircled by mountains, some of which are usually snow-capped except in midsummer. Near the town is Arrowhead Mountain—so called because of the strange outline of a great arrowhead upon the side next the valley. Formerly it was quite plain, though a recent forest fire to some extent obliterated the sharp 87 definition of the outlines. Just beneath the point of the arrow is the famous spring, the hottest known, with a temperature of one hundred and ninety-six degrees, and a large, well-appointed resort hotel formerly offered comfortable quarters to visitors throughout the year. Since the war, however, the Government has leased the Arrowhead Hotel as a sanitarium for disabled war veterans, especially those who suffer from nervous disorders, and from our knowledge gained by a month's sojourn at this pleasant inn, we would declare it ideal for this worthy purpose.

Arrowhead Mountain is about four thousand feet high and it is said that the temperature at the summit averages twenty degrees cooler than in the valley. It is not strange that it is a popular resort, and a well-engineered road leads up its slopes. The grades are fairly heavy—up to fifteen per cent; there are many "hairpin" curves and the road often runs along precipitous declivities. It is, however, nearly everywhere wide enough for vehicles to pass and presents no difficulties to a careful driver.

For some distance after leaving the hot springs we followed a clear mountain stream through a wooded canyon. From this we emerged into the open, ascending the mountain slopes in sharp upward zig-zags. We had many magnificent views of the wide plain beneath, with its orange groves, ranch-houses, towns and villages, intersected by the sinuous white line of the river washes. Frequently there was scarce a shrub between the road and a sheer precipice—a downward glance gave some of our passengers a squeamish feeling, which, after 88 all, was purely a psychological phenomenon, for with ordinary care the ascent is as safe as a drive on a boulevard. The day was warm and the engine sizzled a good deal, but, fortunately, there are means of replenishing the water at frequent intervals. Near the summit there was much fine forest, though some of it was badly injured by the big fire of 1910.

A winding drive along the crest for a mile or two brought us to Squirrel Inn—a rustic lodge named from Frank Stockton's story—the property of a San Bernardino club. Through the courtesy of a friend we had luncheon here and admired the fine situation at our leisure. The lodge, built of logs and stones, is surrounded by pines and firs, and near it are vantage points for wide views over the valley. Among the mementos of the inn is an autograph letter from Mr. Stockton, expressing his appreciation of the compliment offered in the name. In the vicinity are a number of cottages which are in great demand by local people during the heated season, for the summer is hot in the valley, sometimes reaching one hundred or even one hundred and ten degrees in the daytime, though invariably cool nights greatly relieve the situation.

The Arrowhead Road, which Californians are fond of designating as "The Rim of the World Drive" continues from Squirrel Inn to Big Bear Lake, a distance of about twenty miles. It winds through magnificent pines, which fortunately escaped the conflagration, and just beyond Strawberry Flats a detour of a few miles takes us to Arrowhead Lake, an artificial reservoir about a mile 89 in diameter, surrounded by pines which crowd almost to the water's edge. The road winds through these around the pretty little lake, which gives slight hint of its artificiality. It is famous for its trout and being some twelve hundred feet lower than Big Bear, is usually accessible much earlier in the season. Returning to the main road, we pursue our way along the mountain crests, soon crossing Strawberry Peak, the hoary patriarch of the range. We pass out of the pine forest into a denuded section where the ravages of the axe are sadly apparent, with every evidence of the wanton waste that destroys with no thought of the future. At Green Valley the road begins to rise rapidly and passes some of the finest scenery of the trip. There are points where one's vision reaches over the orange-grove studded plain to the ocean, a hundred miles away, or turning eastward sweeps over the dun stretches of the Mohave Desert.

Coming in sight of the lake, we realize that though in common parlance it is only a dam, it is none the less a beautiful and very respectable body of water. In contemplating its rugged natural surroundings and the splendid groves of pines that line its shores, we quite forget that it is man-made; it seems almost as much a child of the ages as Klamath or Tahoe. It is six or seven miles long, with an average width of almost a mile and in places it attains considerable depth. It is usually snowbound from December to May, though of course this varies considerably. The road executes a sharp turn around the eastern extremity of the lake and just beyond the bend are located the various camps and 90 cabins that furnish quarters for the tourists, vacationists and fishermen who visit Bear Lake in great force during the summer season. There are also numerous privately owned summer cottages, belonging principally to Los Angeles business men. The lake is well stocked with fish and record catches are often reported early in the season.

The return trip of the "Rim of the World Drive" is made by the way of Santa Ana and Mill Creek Canyons over a road which has been greatly improved in the last few years but which still furnishes plenty of thrills for any but the most seasoned mountain driver. The highest point attained, 7950 feet, is opposite the western extremity of the lake and an inspiring panorama spreads out beneath Lookout Point, near the summit of the range. The road descends rapidly from this point in a series of "switch-backs" which require extreme vigilance on part of the driver. From Clark's Ranch the descent is easier, ending in the long smooth stretches of Mill Creek Canyon road. It was on this road, as mentioned elsewhere, that we made our record "coast" of seven and one-half miles. Big Bear Valley may also be reached from Victorville, crossing the range over the El Cajon Pass. This road is open practically the year round and affords access to the lake when the Arrowhead route is closed by snow. Stages make the "Rim of the World" trip regularly during the summer and if one does not care to pilot his own car he can still make the journey easily and comfortably as a passenger in one of these vehicles.

Riverside is one of the Meccas of California 91 which every tourist must visit, and if he does not care to pay the price at the Glenwood Mission Inn, he is bound to find some excuse for dropping into this unique and delightful hotel, just to say he has been there. One visit will not suffice for many people; in the course of our three springtime sojourns in California we gravitated to Riverside a dozen times or more, often going out of our way to pass the night at the Glenwood. On our first trip we followed the Crest road from Redlands and enjoyed another fine view of the valley with its towns and encircling mountains from the grade which crosses the hills northeast of Highgrove.

Riverside we found a clean, handsome town with wide, well-paved streets bordered with trees, and lawns and gardens bright with flowers and palms. Within its limits are one hundred and sixty miles of graded streets, a large part of which is paved or macadamized, while out of the town are two of the most famous drives in California—Magnolia and Victoria Avenues. The former, bordered with double rows of pepper trees—there are a few magnolias among them—under which were mammoth rose bushes in full bloom, was lovely beyond description. It passes Sherman Institute, a government Indian school, where the rising generation of red men—and ladies, for that matter—are being trained in the ways of civilization. Surely, the location and surroundings are nearly ideal, and the whole institution seemed like a far echo of mission days, for the buildings are mainly of mission type and the students—neophytes?—are educated in 92 arts and crafts; but the padres are supplanted by Uncle Sam's trained teachers.

There are many other drives about the town, which is almost completely surrounded by orange groves, and one may see all phases of the orange-producing industry if he has the time and inclination. The first naval oranges were developed here and the parent tree still flourishes, hale and green, in the court of the Mission Inn.

But whatever the visiting motorist at Riverside may elect to do, he will probably place first on his program the ascent of Rubidoux Mountain. This is a rugged hill to the west of the town which commands a wide view of the surrounding valley and whose summit may be reached by one of the easiest mountain roads in California. It ascends in long loops, following the edge of the hill, and a separate road provides for the descent, thus avoiding the annoyance and danger of passing on the grades. So easy is the ascent that a powerful car can jog upward most of the way on "high," though care must be taken in rounding the frequent loops.

From the boulder-strewn summit the view of the semi-tropical valley beneath will hardly be surpassed, even in California. The dominant note is the shimmering bronze-green of the orange groves, which surround the mountain on every hand. It is broken here and there by emerald-green alfalfa fields and by frequent towns and villages. Around the valley sweeps a wide circle of snow-capped peaks whose rugged outlines are softened by the blue haze of distance. Just below lies Riverside, half hidden in palms and pepper trees, with here 93 and there a dash of color from the masses of flowers; San Bernardino is plain in the distance, while a little to the right, Redlands nestles at the foot of the mountains. Through the center of the valley runs the wide sandy bed of the Santa Ana River, with a gleaming thread of water coursing through it.

It was the conservation of this river and other mountain streams that has had everything to do with the beautiful and prosperous scene beneath us. It is indeed difficult to conceive that fifty years ago this green, thriving plain was an arid desert, but such has been the history of more than one prosperous locality in California, and in the future many other seeming deserts will burst into bloom under the magical touch of water. Much of the water in the valley comes from artesian wells and when these began to fail from increasing demands, it occurred to some resourceful mind to divert water from the river during the flood time to the vicinity of the wells. Sinking into the earth, it greatly augmented the subterranean supply and it is hoped in the future to conserve the surplus water in this way.

On the highest point of the mountain stands a tall cross with a tablet to the memory of Father Serra, and a huge bell has been erected on one of the boulders as a memento of California mission days. On Easter morning a large part of the population of Riverside repairs to the summit of the mountain to join in an open-air song-service as the sun rises. On this occasion the winding drive, as well as the parking-place, is lined with hundreds of 94 cars, showing how completely the automobile has become the accepted means of transportation in Sunset-land.

More recently, however, the crowds have so increased—fifteen to twenty thousand people attending the services—that parking on the road or mountaintop is prohibited. The cars must quickly discharge their passengers at the summit and immediately descend. Many people, therefore, make the ascent on foot.

The time has slipped away rapidly while we have been admiring the prospect from Mount Rubidoux or clambering over the huge boulders to get vantage points for our camera. Luncheon hour is at hand and with pleasant anticipations we glide down the winding descent and through the broad streets to Frank Miller's Mission Inn, of which we have heard so much and—I may say—expect so much. After this and many subsequent visits to this unique hotel we can frankly say that our expectations have been more than fulfilled; it would be hard from any description that one might read or hear to get any true conception of this charming retreat for the discriminating tourist. Standing as it does in the business part of the city and being confined to a single block, one can not conceive of the air of quiet and restfulness with which Mr. Miller has invested his delightful inn. Once past its arched portals it seems as if we have entered some secluded retreat miles and miles away from the turmoil of the workaday world. Our car is left in the court with a dozen others and we are welcomed as though we were expected guests. 95

Our rooms are on the second floor, for the Glenwood is no sky-scraper. Everything is plain but substantial and homelike, a basket of California fruit stands invitingly on the table. The lattice windows open upon a little balcony above the court, with its flowers, climbing vines, palms and orange trees; in the center is the quaint adobe tea-house, and around it run corridors reminiscent of mission cloisters. It is a cool, pleasant retreat, quite atoning for the absence of large grounds surrounding the hotel. Luncheon is served by young women in spotless attire; I like the girl waiters of the California resort hotels—Coronado, Del Mar, Del Monte, Santa Barbara, and Riverside—they are more attentive, prompter, and pleasanter to look upon than their brothers of the greasy tuxedo in evidence in so many hotel dining-rooms.

One does not find the time hanging heavily upon his hands at the Mission Inn. It will be long ere he has explored the interior of the great rambling building to his satisfaction, from the curious collection of bells on the roof to the dim mysteries of the cloistered chapel. A building so redolent of the ancient missions would of course be incomplete and unsatisfying without its chapel, and most fittingly has Frank Miller supplied this need. A large, dimly lighted apartment with heavily beamed ceiling, high oaken pews, and antique chairs; with stained-glass windows and figures of saints and prophets and supplied with a magnificent organ, is certainly an ideal chapel for the Mission Inn. Its principal window, "St. Cecilia," is a Tiffany masterpiece, but even more appropriate seem the 96 huge sepia-brown photo-graven negatives of western wonders of forest, mountain and stream. Here we delighted to linger, listening to the musical recitals which occupy a good part of the afternoon and inspecting the costly furniture, rugs and curios which form a part of a collection from all over the world. Some of these were "For Sale," at figures well beyond the reach of common persons like ourselves; but there is a little shop just off the chapel with a stock of books, pictures, and Indian work, in basketry, and trinkets of silver and bronze, where a modest purse has a fair show. From this one can wander away into subterranean apartments furnished like a dream of old Spain and lighted with the subdued glow of many-colored lamps. Altogether, it is strangely romantic and effective; it has an oriental savor as well as the atmosphere of mission days.

The collection of bells in a nook on the roof always interests the guests and you can hear the mellow notes at all times of the day. There are bells from California missions, bells from old England, bells from Spain, bells from China and Japan—and Heaven only knows from what other corners of the earth. There are antique bells, hundreds of years old, and bells with queer histories. Altogether, it is a remarkable collection and in keeping with the characteristics of the inn.

If one grows weary of indoors, the court invites him to muse amidst its semi-tropical trees and flowers, to lounge in the vine-laden pergolas, or to wander through the long vistas of arched arcades, listening to the murmuring of fountains and warbling 97 of the birds. He will catch glimpses of Moorish towers against the blue sky and with the chiming of the vesper bells one might indeed imagine himself in one of the old-time missions—Santa Barbara, San Juan Bautista, San Antonio—a hundred years ago.

A notable new addition was completed in 1915, containing many de luxe suites and a remarkable picture gallery, a replica of a hall from a grand old Spanish palace. The ceiling is unique, being formed by loosely hung folds of cloth of gold. The walls are decorated with notable paintings, ancient and modern, and many interesting objects of art are scattered about. It is a notable apartment in which one might spend hours and yet wish to come again. This addition is constructed of steel and concrete, making it absolutely fire-proof.

On one of our later visits I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mr. Frank Miller, the Master of the famous Inn, and to learn from him personally something of the founding and progress of this unique institution. His father came to Riverside when the surrounding country was a cactus-studded desert and was a pioneer in shaping the marvelous development which we see to-day. The Millers, among other enterprises, kept a small tavern, the Glenwood Inn, which was the precursor of the great establishment of to-day. No one who knows Frank Miller will wonder that he has achieved such great success; he is a perfect dynamo—full of energy, keen, alert, with a remarkable quickness of decision which enables him to rapidly dispose of the multitude of details that come to his 98 attention daily and he seldom makes an error in such cases. He has been most fortunate in choice of his aides, it is true, but that only exhibits another side of his genius. Elbert Hubbard's dictum that "every great institution is the lengthened shadow of some man" is surely exemplified in the instance of Frank Miller and his Riverside Mission Inn.

We find enough to detain us for several days in the vicinity of Riverside. One should not miss the charming town of Redlands, over towards the mountains, and it may be viewed from Smiley Heights, overlooking the low foothills on which the town stands. These gardens are ornamented with all manner of flowers and semi-tropical trees and intersected by a splendid drive which wends its sinuous course along the hill-crest on which they are situated. They are lovingly and scrupulously cared for by the owners, and thrown open to visitors as freely as a public park. Not only the gardens are worth a visit, but the view from the heights is an inspiring one. Just below lies the beautiful town with green foothills beyond, dotted here and there with cultivated fields. Above these, seemingly very near, the mightiest of the southern Sierras fling their gleaming summits into the deep azure of the heavens. Indeed, it seems as if I may have already wearied my reader with mountain-top views—though my book is only begun. But, after all, the best part of a motor tour of California is the series of wide visions from hills and mountains, glorious and inspiring beyond any description; if my random notes shall induce others, even though but few, to a like pilgrimage, it is enough! 99

Redlands is the home of many wealthy people and there are several pretentious residences near the entrance to Smiley Heights. In this regard it easily surpasses the better-known Riverside—and Riverside may thank the Mission Inn for its wider fame. On a hill near the Heights is an unfinished residence—begun on an immense scale by a copper magnate—which was to surpass in size and glory everything else in the whole section. The ambitious builder failed in business when the work was about half done. It stands in pathetic ruin and neglect and no one else has cared to undertake the completion of the pretentious structure.

Near Redlands is the village of Highlands, where a famous brand of oranges is packed, and through the courtesy of a mutual friend we were admitted to the establishment, which handles several carloads of fruit daily. Here we saw the operations of grading and sorting the oranges, which is done mainly by automatic machinery. The baskets are emptied into hoppers and the oranges forced along a channel with holes of different size through which the fruit falls according to bulk. In this way boxes are filled with nearly uniform sizes. The boxes are made by a wonderful machine which assembles the boards and drives the nails at a single operation. We found the highest grade of oranges remarkably cheap at the packing house—less than half the price we paid at home for a poorer quality.

The most direct inland route from Los Angeles to San Diego is by the way of Pomona, Corona and Elsinore, but those who do not care to drive the two hundred or more miles in a day will break the 100 journey at Riverside, and it was from Riverside that we started on this glorious mountain trip. A few miles southeast of the town—following Eighth Street—the smooth white road swings over the easy stretches of Box Springs grade through undulating hills to Perris, and from thence through the wide valley to Elsinore, in all, a distance of about thirty miles. This is the route of the state highway and by now the road is doubtless near perfection—though much of it was rough and stony when we first traversed it. But what an inspiring jaunt we found it on that bright May day! Far away rose the silvery summits—among them San Gorgonio and San Jacinto, the highest peaks in Southern California—and nearer at hand the undulating outlines of the green foothills. Green is only the prevailing tone, however, for the hills and valley are splotched and spangled with every color of the rainbow. In yonder low-lying meadow are lakes of living blue and white; on yonder hillside flame acres of the burning gold of the California poppies and beneath them a wide belt of primrose yellow. What an entrancing view there was from some of the hill-crests!—wonderful vistas that will linger with us so long as life shall last. Out beyond the vivid belts of color that dash the green hills lies an indefinite ocean of mountain ranges, fading gradually away into a deep purple haze. Here and there some glittering peak rises like a fairy island in this ill-defined sea, crowning and dominating everything. Not less entrancing is the scene near at hand. Along the road gleam many strange blooms which I wish I were botanist enough to name. We 101 knew the brilliant red Indian paint-brush and the orange-gold poppy, but that was about all. A hundred other varieties of blossoms smiled on us from the roadside, but though the impression of their beauty still lingers, they must remain unnamed. In all this country there is but little cultivated land and habitations are few and far between. Probably the short water supply and the fact that it is often quite cold in winter will preclude profitable farming to any extent.

Elsinore is a quiet little town deep in the hills, situated on Lake Elsinore—the only natural lake of any consequence in Southern California. This is an exceedingly variable body of water, a difference of sixteen feet being recorded in its levels, and at the time of our visit a prolonged drouth had reduced it to the minimum. There are numerous hot springs in the vicinity and these are doubtless responsible for the several hotels—the Elsinore, Bundy and Lakeview—which advertise the advantages of the locality as a health resort. Duck shooting on the lake also brings wayfarers during the hunting season.

On our first visit to the town we stopped there for luncheon and have no very pleasant recollections of our repast; the next time we ran through Elsinore we brought our lunch from Riverside and ate it in a shady nook by the roadside, making comparisons to the disadvantage of hotels in general. In fact, we became more and more partial to such open-air luncheons while knocking about the highroads of California. It saved time and money and had such a delightful flavor from the great glorious 102 out-of-doors in this favored clime. We never failed to find a pleasant spot—by a clear stream or under a great oak or sycamore—and we can heartily commend the practice of carrying a lunch basket and a couple of thermos bottles filled with hot coffee while touring.

On another occasion we followed the road which leads around the lake and found the side opposite the town by far the most beautiful. Here is a fine tract of farm land with many olive groves and peach orchards, some of which run down to the rippling water which gleamed through the serried trunks as we coursed along. A large olive-oil mill indicated one of the chief industries of the community. The road is level and well improved and the run will delight anyone who has the opportunity of making it.

Out of Elsinore the San Diego road strikes straight away to the southeast for a good many miles. Here we are reminded that we are in the Ramona country, for the little village of Temecula figures in the book. Here is supposed to have been the home of the Indian hero, Alessandro, who returns after his elopement with Ramona to find his people driven out and his own humble cottage occupied by a drunken American and his family.

There is little now in Temecula but a general store, whose proprietor is an expert on Indian baskets, of which he had a really fine collection. We especially admired some examples of the work of the Pala Indians, but the prices asked by the shopkeeper were not so much to our liking. We would 103 go to Pala and perchance get baskets at first hand at figures more in keeping with our purse.

Beyond Temecula the road enters the hills and winds through a maze of trees and shrubbery. We passed under mighty oaks and here and there around huge granite boulders, which at some time had plunged down from the heights. In the shadow of one of these—a huge block of red granite fifty feet in diameter—we paused for our luncheon, a very simple repast with the plebeian sandwich as the principal course, but the delightful surroundings and a sharp appetite made it seem a banquet fit for a king! A famished dog and two hungry-looking children stole out of a cabin a few rods distant to investigate and there was plenty left to make them happy, too.

From this point we began the ascent of Red Mountain grade over a new county road which flings itself around the giant hills in graceful curves and easy gradients. There were wonderful views as we ascended, of deep yawning canyons and wooded hill ranges tinged with the pale violet of the mountain lilac, and fading away into the purple shadows of the distance. At the crest of the hills we passed through the great olive groves of Red Mountain Ranch. There are several thousand fine trees which crowd closely to the roadside for perhaps a mile. A real estate placard declared this region to be "frostless," and it seems to have vindicated this claim very well, for it showed no trace of the disastrous freeze of 1913, which sadly blighted much of the surrounding country.

Gliding down the long smooth descent for several 104 miles, we came to Bonsal—the existence of which we should never have discovered had it not been for the signboard—where we left the main road for Pala. For a dozen miles we followed a sinuous road along the San Luis Rey River, bordered by trees and shrubbery in endless variety, until we found ourselves in the streets of the queer little Indian town. Before us rose the whitewashed walls and quaint bell-tower of the much-restored mission, surrounded by the wooden huts, each very much like every other. Each had its tiny garden patch, showing in most cases infinite care, and, as we learned, requiring infinite labor, for all the water had to be pumped or carried from the river for irrigation. We were told, however, that the government was building a pipe line and that on its completion in a few months Pala would speedily spring into verdure.

While we were getting our bearings the ladies of our party made a hurried round of several of the cottages, fully expecting to find Pala baskets in unlimited quantities at bargain prices. It was with considerable chagrin that they reported not a basket to be found in the town; an old Indian declared that no baskets were now made—the women and girls of the village were learning lace-making, which they hoped would be easier and more remunerative. Indeed, from all we could learn, basket-making is becoming a lost art among the California Indians. Contact with civilization seems to have killed the infinite care and patience necessary to produce the finer examples of this work, which is now done in a very small way by the older women. 105

A year later we came to Pala again and hardly recognized the place, so great was the improvement wrought by the completion of the water supply work. The cottages were surrounded by flowers and the little garden patches looked green and thriving. The government schoolhouse had been completed and we saw a score or more of well-mannered and intelligent-looking children at their studies. The lace-making school was also in this building and the authority of our party declared the work really fine and the prices very low. We felt the more willing to make a small purchase of the laces when the matron assured us that every sale was of material help to the poor people of the community. The women and girls are willing to work diligently if they can earn only a few cents a day, but they have the greatest difficulty in disposing of their product.

We found the mission in charge of Father Doyle, a kindly and courteous gentleman and a fellow-motorist, since he visits his few charges by means of his trusty Ford. He lives in the old mission building in very plain—even primitive—quarters; clearly, his work is a labor of love and faith, since what else could induce a young and vigorous man to lead such a comfortless and exacting life? He told us the history of the mission—how Pala was founded about a hundred years ago by Padre Peyri as an "assistancia" to San Luis Rey, about twenty miles away. It prospered at the start, its conversions numbering over a thousand in two years. The chapel was built shortly after—a long, narrow adobe twenty-seven by one hundred and 106 forty-four feet, with roof of characteristic mission tiles. As a result of the secularization by the Mexican government, Pala rapidly declined and when it came into the possession of the Americans, it was already falling into ruin. It was finally deeded to the Landmarks Club, which agreed that it should revert to its proper ownership, meaning, doubtless, the Catholic Church. When Father Doyle came here, it was in a sad state of decay, but with untiring zeal and energy he has restored the chapel and rebuilt the quaint campanile or bell-tower. Father Doyle pointed out his work on the chapel—the restoration of the walls and old tile roof—but little has been done to the interior, which still has its original floor of square tiles and rude, unhewn beams supporting the roof. The priest who preceded him for a short time evidently had little sentiment, for he had ruthlessly covered up the ancient Indian decorations with a coat of whitewash. Father Doyle had removed it carefully in places, exposing the old frescoes, and hoped it might be possible to complete this work some time. In the chapel are two odd wooden statues from Spain, gaudily colored and gilded, of the Virgin and San Luis Rey, which the father declared were highly venerated by his Indian parishioners. He also showed us with much pride a few vestments used by the early padres, and a fine collection of baskets—mostly given him by the makers—of the different tribes among which he had worked.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

The most distinctive and picturesque feature of Pala Mission is the quaint campanile, of which our picture will be far more descriptive than any 107 words. The present structure is largely a restoration by Father Doyle, who also rescued and hung the two large bronze bells now in the niches of the tower. The dormitory building is quite ruinous—with the exception of the priest's quarters and a portion occupied by a small general store, it has almost vanished.

The Indians now living in Pala are not the descendants of the original inhabitants of the village when the mission was founded. These were ousted after the American occupation and scattered in the surrounding hills, having now practically disappeared. The present population is made up of the Palatingwa tribe, which was evicted from Warner's Ranch some twenty miles away and given a home here by the Government. An effort is now being made to improve their condition and it is to be hoped that tardy justice will make some amends for all that the red men about Pala have suffered at the hands of their white brothers.

We inquire the road to Escondido and Father Doyle tells us that the shortest route is to cross the river and strike over the hills to Lilac and Valley Center. It may be the shortest route, but a rougher, steeper, stonier byroad is not common, even in California. It winds along the hill-crests with sharp little pitches and short turns that will compel any driver to attend carefully to business. It would have been better to follow the river to the junction with the main road, though the distance is a few miles farther. At Valley Center—which is only a ranch-house—we came into a fairly good highway which steadily improved as we approached 108 Escondido. It was on this fine road that we spied a huge rattlesnake basking in the afternoon sun, too lazy or too defiant to make much effort to get out of the way of our wheels, which passed over him. A blow from a rock finished him, and his twelve-jointed rattle was added to our trophies. It seemed a pity to leave his beautifully marked sepia-brown skin, but we had no facilities for removing and caring for it.

Escondido means "hidden," a name probably suggested by the location of the little town deep in the mammoth hills. It is, however, the best town on the inland route between Riverside and San Diego, and though small, it is apparently an energetic community. The main street was being macadamized and improved for some distance out of the town, and a large hotel and handsome schoolhouse testified to its enterprise. For some miles to the south of the town the road is straight and level; then we re-enter the hills and begin the ascent of the finely engineered Poway grade. The road swings up the giant hills in long, easy loops and as we near the summit the whole grade lies before our eyes as we look backward down the canyon. From the crest there is another wonderful view of hills touched with the declining sun and wooded canyons shrouded in the amethystine haze of evening. To the right a road cuts across the hills to La Jolla by the sea and we followed this on one occasion. It is a narrow, little-used road running along the hill-crests or clinging precariously to their sides, but it proved smoother and easier than we anticipated. It passes through Miramar—the great country 109 estate of a millionaire newspaper man—comprising many thousands of acres. Some of the land was cultivated, but the great bulk of it is in cattle ranges. For miles we saw no human habitation and had some difficulty in keeping the right road. We came into the main coast road a few miles north of La Jolla and hastened to Del Mar—of which more anon—where we preferred to pass the night rather than at San Diego.

On our first trip, however, we continued on our way to the city and gliding down Poway grade we came to a fork in the road with a sign informing us that one branch led to San Diego by Murphy Canyon and the other by Murray Canyon. We chose the former, believing, for obvious reasons, that it must be the best, and soon came into the new-old town on the quiet, land-locked harbor, where the white man's work in California had its beginnings. 110


If one wishes to stop within the city of San Diego, he will find the U. S. Grant Hotel equal to the best metropolitan hostelries and when he comes to settle his bill, will also learn that the best metropolitan establishments "have nothing on" the Grant in the way of stiff charges. It is a huge, concrete structure—"absolutely fire-proof," of course—and its interior appointments and furnishings are in keeping with its imposing exterior. It is justly the pride of San Diego and, despite the marvelous growth of the town, it will be long before it outgrows this magnificent hotel.

There is much for the tourist stranger to see about San Diego—the oldest settlement of the white man in California. The motor car affords ideal means for covering the surrounding country in the shortest time and with the assistance of the excellent maps of the Auto Club of Southern California, one can easily locate the points of interest in the immediate vicinity outside the limits of the city.

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

The old mission will usually be the first objective, and more especially it appeals to ourselves, who have already determined to traverse the entire length of the King's Highway to visit all the decaying monuments to the work of the zealous Franciscan padres. It has a special significance as the earliest 111 Spanish settlement in California and as the beginning of a movement that has widely influenced the history and architecture of the state. The story of its founding I have already told in brief; its history in a general way was much the same as that of San Gabriel. Our outline of the mission play in a preceding chapter gives a true conception of its earliest days; owing to the distrust of the natives it was long before converts were made in considerable numbers. The region about was well peopled, but only seventy-one converts had been secured by 1774, six years after Serra's landing. A year later the mission was attacked by a horde of savages, variously estimated at from five to eight hundred, who burned the rude brush-roofed building to the ground and murdered Father Jayme, one of the priests. When news of the disaster reached Father Serra, who had gone northward to Monterey, he rejoiced in the martyrdom of his friend. "God be praised!" he cried. "The soil is now watered," thus accepting the calamity as a presage of victory to come. The troubles with the natives continued until 1779, when they were pacified by some of their number being made officials in the society, Alcades and Regidores, as they were styled. These dignitaries administered justice to their own people under the direction of the padres and from this time the progress of the mission was rapid. In 1800 it was the most populous of the missions, its neophytes numbering fifteen hundred and twenty-three. More substantial buildings had been erected and an extensive scheme of irrigation had been begun, remains of which astonish the beholder to-day. 112 The great dam is in a gorge about three miles above the mission. It was built of gray granite twelve feet thick and stands as firm and solid as ever, though it is now nearly filled with sand.

The mission's prosperity continued, with occasional interruptions on account of differences with the natives, until the secularization in 1833. After this the Indians were gradually scattered and were decimated in frequent clashes with the Spanish soldiers. Eleven years later an official report showed but one hundred natives connected with the mission as against more than fifteen hundred in its palmy days—a fact which needs no elucidation to show the results of Mexican confiscation. The buildings were reported by a United States officer to be "in good preservation" in 1852, and were then occupied by American troops.

To-day only the "fachada" of the old church remains. It stands on a hillside about five miles northeast of the city and overlooks the beautiful valley of the San Diego River. The avenue leading to it from the main road passes between long rows of eucalyptus trees and the ruin itself presents a picturesque effect in its setting of palms and black and silver-gray olives. A large dormitory near by houses several priests, who courteously receive the visitor and tell him the story of the mission. There is little to show, but one who is interested in the romantic history of the Golden State will find himself loath to leave the time-mellowed fragment of, perhaps, her most historic building. And his reveries will be saddened by the thought that the precious old structure is rapidly falling into decay, which 113 will mean its ultimate extinction unless energetic measures are adopted to restore and protect it. Surely the earliest relic of the beginning of civilization on our great Pacific Coast is deserving of loving and conscientious care.

On our return to the city we left the main highway a short distance from the mission and pursued a mountain road to Lakeside Inn, then a much-advertised resort. This road—a mere shelf cut in the side of the hills—closely follows the course of the San Diego River, usually far above it, with a cliff-like declivity at the side. It is quite narrow in places and there are many sharp turns around abrupt corners—a road not altogether conducive to peace of mind in nervous people. The scenery, however, makes the trip worth while—the river boiling over its boulder-strewn bed and the wooded hills on every hand combining to make a wild but inspiring picture.

The inn was an immense wooden structure, since destroyed by fire. Handsome grounds did much to make up for the rather shabby appearance of the building. The lake was an artificial pond—about the only kind of lake to be found in the vicinity of San Diego. The excellent dinner was the strong point in the Lakeside's favor, and this was doubtless the attraction which brought several cars besides our own, as nearly all left shortly after the meal. We lounged about the grounds for awhile and then followed suit, taking a different road—by the way of El Cajon and La Mesa—an easier though less spectacular route than that by which we came. 114

This passes Grosmont, a great conical hill some twelve hundred feet high, and a well-engineered roadway leads to the summit. Of course we must make the ascent, though the steep appearance of the grades caused the occupants of the rear seat some uneasiness. The ascent did not prove so difficult as we anticipated at first glance, though the pitch just before one comes to the summit is enough to worry any careful driver a little. The view from the hill is advertised as "the grandest panorama in the world; one that simply beggars description," and "Fighting Bob" Evans is quoted as having said, "Of all the beautiful views in the world, give me Grosmont; nothing that I have ever seen can beat it." It may have been that the bluff admiral climbed Grosmont after an extended voyage at sea and any land was bound to look good to him. Lillian Russell, the actress, is quoted by the guide-book in a similar strain, but while Lillian is an accepted authority on personal pulchritude, I do not know that she can claim the same distinction with reference to scenic beauty. In any event, while the view from Grosmont is truly grand and inspiring, I am very sure that we saw many nobler ones from California mountain peaks. Indeed, we saw one still more glorious the next day—of which more anon. The view, however, is well worth the climb to anyone fond of panoramas and free from nervous qualms on mountain roads.

Of course everyone who comes to San Diego must see the Coronado, whose pointed red towers have become familiar everywhere through extensive advertising and whose claim as the "largest 115 resort hotel in the world" has not been disputed, so far as I know. It is situated on the northern point of the long strip of sand that shuts in the waters of San Diego Bay and which widens to several hundred yards, affording extensive grounds for the hotel as well as sites for numerous private residences and a small village. It may be reached by ferry from the city or one may drive around the bay—a distance of twenty-one miles, and when we undertook it a very rough road for the greater part of the way. The drive is not very interesting; the shore is flat, and there is little opportunity to get a view of the bay. It is the kind of trip that one cares to make but once, and on subsequent visits to Coronado we crossed by the ferry, which carried our car cheaply and satisfactorily.

The "season" having passed, we experienced no difficulty in getting accommodations at the Coronado, not always easy to do "off hand" in the winter months. The rates glibly quoted by the genial clerk jarred us a little but we consoled ourselves with the reflection that we wouldn't pay them for a very lengthy period. That was before the war, however, and in retrospect the figures do not loom so large by any means!

Our rooms were worth the money, however; they were large and airy; the big casement windows opened on one side upon the sunset sweep of the Pacific, and on the other we came into a corridor overlooking the tropic beauty of the great court. The Coronado is on such a vast scale that it takes one some time to get his bearings, and though the hotel can accommodate upwards of a thousand 116 guests at a time, the public rooms and grounds never seem crowded. Its most distinctive interior feature is the great circular ball-room, perhaps two hundred feet in diameter, and covered by an open-beamed pavilion roof. But the interior is of less consequence to the average Eastern guest than the outside surroundings—the climate of eternal unchanging summer, the tropical foliage and flowers, and the never-ending roll of the blue ocean on the long sandy beach. Here is the most equable temperature in the United States, if not in the world, the winter mean being fifty-six degrees and the summer sixty-eight. Frost has never been known on the little peninsula; even the freeze of 1913 did not touch it. It is not strange, then, that it glows with the brilliant color of numberless flower-beds and that almost every variety of these is shown in the collection of many hundreds in the Coronado court. Here, too, is one of those delightful features of Southern California, an open-air aviary, where hundreds of songsters and birds of brilliant plumage are given practical freedom in a great cage. There are several miles of fine driveways about the hotel and village, and one can explore the place in a short time by motor. He will learn a fact that many people do not know—that the hotel is not all of Coronado, by any means. Here is a good-sized village with many handsome residences. There are also several cheaper lodging-houses and one can live as economically as he chooses in the "tent city" during the season.

Coronado would never appeal to such nomads as ourselves as a place to stay for any length of 117 time—even forgetting the "freight," if we were able to be so happily oblivious to a matter of such moment to us. After a saunter about the grounds, indescribably glorious in the tempered sunlight, and a drive about the village, we were ready for the road again. Like nearly every stranger who comes to San Diego, we were hankering for an excursion into Old Mexico—just to be able to declare we had been there—and the short jaunt to Tia Juana served this very useful purpose. The trip was doubly sensational since Tia Juana had recently been the seat of genuine war, and you could see bullet holes in the wretched little hovels. It was even guarded by a "fort," which chanced to be deserted at the time of our incursion. The village lies only two or three miles across the border-line, beyond which the road was simply execrable. It meandered in an aimless fashion across the wide plain and was deep with dust and full of chuck-holes that wrenched the car unmercifully. And after we arrived we found nothing but a scattered hamlet made up of souvenir stores, saloons, and a few poor little cottages. Evidently the place depends for its existence on the troops of tourists from across the border, and Tia Juana—which, being interpreted, means "Aunt Jane"—welcomes them as cordially as her limited means permit.

While the ladies ransacked the counters of the souvenir store for bargains—principally, no doubt, for the satisfaction of carrying a little "contraband" over the border—we endeavored to interview some of the native loafers on the status of the revolution, but got only a "No sabe" for our pains. A few 118 minutes of Tia Juana will generally satisfy the most ardent tourist and we were not long in turning the "Forty" U. S.-ward. The customs official waved us a nonchalant salute—he did not even give us the courtesy of a cursory glance into the car; evidently he knew that one would find nothing in Tia Juana worth smuggling into the country. We bade farewell to the land of the greaser with a feeling of double satisfaction; we had been in Mexico—quite as far as we cared to go under conditions then existing—and we were glad to get off the abominable road.

A vast change has come over the once stupid and harmless Tia Juana since the advent of the prohibition laws. As might be expected, it affords an easily reached and very welcome oasis for bibulously inclined tourists from the United States, hundreds of whom daily cross the border to enjoy their "personal freedom" in the now lively town. Not only does liquor flow freely there, but gambling, race-track betting and other still worse vices flourish unchecked. A vigorous agitation is being made in San Diego—which is used as a rendezvous by a host of undesirable individuals connected with the Tia Juana resorts—to restrict greatly the issuing of passports, without which one can not cross the border. The new Mexican government has also promised to make an effort to suppress the rampant vice in the town, but little in this direction has been accomplished at the present writing.

No one will wish to leave San Diego without a visit to the Old Town, for here is the identical spot where Father Serra first landed and began his work 119 of converting and civilizing the natives. Here was really the first mission, though afterwards it was removed to the site which we had already visited. Here General Fremont hoisted the stars and stripes in 1846—less than a century after Serra's coming. Here is the old church with its mission bells brought from Spain in 1802; the earliest palm trees in the state; the old graveyard, with its pathetic wooden headboards; the first brick house in California (another may also be seen in Monterey); the foundation of the huge Catholic church, projected many years ago but never completed; and the old jail "built by the original California grafter," as the prospectus of the enterprising proprietor of "Ramona's Wedding Place" declares.

The Old Town adjoins the city just where the Los Angeles road leaves the bay for the north. Perhaps this is not strictly correct, for the limits of San Diego extend northward nearly to Del Mar, taking in a vast scope of thinly populated country which no doubt the enthusiastic San Diegans expect to be converted into solid city blocks before long. There are many ancient adobe houses in the Old Town, the most notable of which is the Estudillo Mansion, popularly known as Ramona's Wedding Place. It was doubtless the house that Mrs. Jackson had in mind when she brought her Indian hero and his bride to old San Diego after their flight from Temecula, where they had expected to be married. This is, of course, purely fictional, but the house is an excellent type of the ancient Spanish residence of the better class. It was burned in 1872, but the solid adobe walls still stood and a few years 120 ago the house was restored. It is now a museum and curio store, and the proprietor is an enthusiastic antiquarian and an authority on mission history. The house covers nearly a city block; it is built in the shape of a hollow square, open on one side, and around the interior runs a wide veranda surrounding a court. This is beautiful with flowers and shrubbery and to one side is a cactus garden containing nearly every known species of this strange plant. The collection of paintings, antique furniture, and other relics relating to early days in California is worth seeing and one can learn something of the history and romance of the missions from the hourly lecture delivered by the proprietor. He will also take pleasure in telling you about the Old Town and his experience with the Indians, from whom he purchases a large part of his baskets, silver trinkets, and other articles in his shop. One can easily put in an hour here, and if time does not press, the garden is a pleasant lounging-place for a longer period.

A motor tour of San Diego must surely include the drive over the splendid new boulevard that follows the sinuous length of Point Loma to the old lighthouse standing on the bold headland which rises at the northern entrance of the harbor. It is a dilapidated stone structure, only twenty or thirty feet high, but from the little tower we saw one of the most glorious views of all those we witnessed during our thirty thousand miles of motoring in California. The scene from Grosmont is a magnificent one, but it lacks the variety and color of the Point Loma panorama. Here ocean, bay, green 121 hills with lemon and olive groves, and distant snow-clad mountains combine to form a scene of beauty and grandeur that it is not easy to match elsewhere. Almost at our feet swell the inrolling waves of the violet-blue Pacific, which stretches away like a symbol of infinity to the pale sapphire sky that meets it to-day with a sharply defined line. The harbor is a strange patchwork of color; gleaming blues—from sapphire to indigo—and emerald-greens nearer the shores, flecked here and there with spots of purple, and the whole diversified with craft of every description. Across the strait is a wide, barren sand flat and a little farther the red towers of Coronado in its groves of palm trees. Beyond the harbor the city spreads out, wonderfully distinct in the clear sunlight that pours down upon it. Still farther lie the green hills and beyond these the mountains, growing dimmer and dimmer with each successive range. Here and there in the distance, perhaps a hundred miles away, a white peak gleams through the soft blue haze. Nearer at hand you see the rugged contour of Point Loma itself; the tall slender shaft that marks the graves of the victims of the explosion on the Cruiser Bennington a few years ago; the oriental towers of the Theosophical Institute, and down along the water line the guns and defenses of Fort Rosecrans. It is a scene that we contemplate long and rapturously and which on a later trip to San Diego we go to view again.

As we returned to the city some evil genius directed our attention to a sign-board pointing to a little byroad down the cliff but a short distance from 122 the lighthouse and bearing the legend, "To Fort Rosecrans." We wished to see Fort Rosecrans and decided to avail ourselves of the handy short cut so opportunely discovered, and soon found ourselves descending the roughest, steepest grade we found in California. A mere shelf scarce six inches wider than our car ran along the edge of the cliff, which seemingly dropped sheer to the ocean far beneath. The grade must have been at least twenty-five per cent and the road zigzagged downward around the corners that brought our front wheels to the verge of the precipice at the turns. Both brakes and the engine were brought into service and as a matter of precaution the ladies dismounted from the car. We should have been only too glad to retreat, but could do nothing but keep on, creeping downward, hoping fervently that we might not meet a vehicle on the way. At last the road came out on the beach and we drove into the main street of the village near the fort, where people stared at us in a fashion indicating that few automobiles came by the route we had followed.

There was little to see at Fort Rosecrans and our nerves were too badly shaken to leave room for curiosity, anyway. We went on into the main highway, resolving to be more cautious about short cuts in the future. When we came again to Point Loma some months later, the sign that led us down the cliff had been replaced with a mandate of "Closed to autos," and we wondered if we were responsible for the change!

On this latter trip we paused before the Roman gateway of the Theosophical Institute and asked 123 permission to enter, which was readily given for a small consideration. Autos are not admitted to the grounds and we left our car by the roadside, making the ascent on foot. As we came near the mysterious, glass-domed building, we met a studious young man in a light tan uniform and broad-brimmed felt hat, apparently deeply absorbed in a book as he paced to and fro. To our inquiries for a guide he responded courteously, "I will serve you with pleasure myself," and conducted us about the magnificent grounds. In the meanwhile he took occasion to enlighten us on the aims and tenets of his cult.

"Many people," he said, "think that there is something occult or mysterious about the Institute, but the fact is that it is a school open to everyone under twenty-one who will comply with our regulations. We prefer to take young children and train them from the very beginning, which our experienced teachers and nurses can do better than their mothers," but noticing the looks of indignant protest which came to the faces of the ladies of our party, he quickly qualified his statement with—"perhaps."

"The tuition," he went on, "is a thousand dollars per year, which includes everything—and the pupils never leave these grounds until they have completed our course. Thorough education is our first object; doctrine is secondary—we do not even ask them to accept our tenets unless they wish to do so. There is nothing secret or occult about our institution; we do not keep the public from our buildings because of anything mysterious there, but 124 because sightseers would interfere with the work. We have more than three hundred children in the schools at present and in some cases their parents live in the houses on our grounds. No, it is not a 'community' in any sense of the word, and the statement often made that people who join with us must give us their property and surrender themselves to our control, is absolutely false. There is no time to tell you of our peculiar teachings, but you will receive booklets at the gate-house that will enlighten you on them. Reincarnation, as you would style it, is one of our fundamentals and Katherine Tingley, who founded the Institute, is from our point of view the spiritual successor of the famous Russian teacher, Madame Blavatsky." I was surprised to learn later that the foundress of the cult, despite her obviously Russian name, was an English woman by birth. She was a famous world traveler and on one of her journeys married a Russian nobleman. One must admit, I am bound to say, that her published works show an astounding amount of research and curious knowledge, whatever we may think of her doctrines.

Regardless of our attitude on Mrs. Tingley's teachings and beliefs, one can not question her soundness and success in a business and aesthetic way. Everything about the establishment speaks of prosperity and it would be hard to imagine more beautiful and pleasing surroundings. The buildings are mainly of oriental design, solidly built and fitting well into the general plan of the grounds. Among them is a beautiful Greek theatre where plays open to the public are sometimes given. The 125 grounds evince the skill of the landscape-gardener and scrupulous care on part of those who have them in charge. Flowers bloom in profusion and a double row of palms runs along the seaward edge of the hill. Through these gleams the calm deep blue of the ocean, which seldom changes, for there are but few stormy or gloomy days on Point Loma. The outlook to the landward is much the same as we beheld from the old lighthouse—a panorama of green hills and mountain ranges, stretching away to the snow-capped peaks of San Bernardino, nearly one hundred and fifty miles distant. It is a glorious spot, well calculated to lend glamour to the—to our notion—fantastical doctrines of the cult which makes its headquarters here. Indeed, my friend—whose religious ideas are in a somewhat fluid state—was deeply impressed and after reading the pamphlets which we received on leaving, intimated that the doctrines of Theosophy looked mighty good to him—though I believe this is as far as he ever got in the faith. 126


The infinite variety of California will be more and more impressed upon the tourist as his travels take him farther from the beaten track. It is, truly, a land of contrasts; and only one who goes from the green valley of the Sacramento to the arid sands of the Imperial Desert will know how sharply marked the contrasts may be. The former will remind him not a little of the green and prosperous farm lands of the Middle West and the agricultural methods pursued are not widely dissimilar, but where else in the world can a parallel be found for the strange valley that lies beyond the rugged mountain ranges eastward from San Diego?

Twenty-five years ago this weird, sun-blistered desert seemed the most unlikely spot on earth to become a place of incredibly productive farms and thriving towns. The arid bed of a long-vanished inland sea, lying from a few inches to three hundred feet below sea level, with a temperature varying up to one hundred and thirty degrees in summer and less than an inch of annual rainfall, surely gave little promise of ever becoming an agricultural bonanza. It was even more typically a desert, says one authority, than any part of the Sahara of which we have record. To the ordinary layman passing through on the Southern Pacific, nothing would 127 have seemed farther from the range of possibility than that this counterpart of Death Valley should ever become a green and fertile land.

There were, however, a few thoughtful pioneers who knew of the possibilities of the desert when water could be brought to it and who were aware that within a comparatively short distance the great Colorado River coursed through its channel at an altitude higher than the floor of the Valley. Here was water, practically unlimited, which needed only direction into an irrigating system to change the desert's sandy wastes into fertile fields. Dr. Wozencroft of San Bernardino was the first to take practical steps towards this great work, about fifty years ago. He endeavored to obtain from Congress a grant of land upon which he might carry out his project, but the idea was not taken seriously by the lawmakers, who dismissed it with a few jocular flings at the promoter's expense. The experts declared the plan not impractical, but the politicians could not be induced to take favorable action upon it. The immediate outcome was that the enthusiastic promoter lost his fortune in his fruitless efforts and died a disappointed man, but he had directed public attention to the possibility of reclaiming the Valley and various attempts were made by others to carry out his plans.

No considerable headway was made until the organization of the California Development Company in 1896 for the purpose of reclaiming what was then first styled the Imperial Valley. This was a water corporation whose purpose was to construct an irrigating system to serve some five hundred 128 thousand acres of desert land then open to occupation by settlers under the national homestead acts. The profits of the company were to come from the sale of water service, since it did not own or control the land. The contour of the country made it necessary to bring the main supply canal through Mexican territory for a distance of forty or fifty miles, and the canal now serves some two hundred thousand acres in Mexico. An old river bed which resulted from an overflow many years ago carried the water a considerable part of the distance and greatly minimized the labor necessary to complete the canal. Still, it was a stupendous task, requiring several years' time and a large expenditure of money. The seepage and overflow from the irrigating system was to be conveyed to the lowest part of the Valley, the Salton Basin, now occupied by the Salton Sea, a shallow lake two or three hundred square miles in extent.

This lake originated in a sensational manner, which engaged the attention of the country for many months. During the summer of 1904 the development company undertook to increase the supply of water from the Colorado by cutting a new outlet which was to be controlled by flood gates. Before the work was completed an unprecedented rise washed away the controlling works and threatened to turn the whole volume of the river into the Valley. A tremendous channel was soon torn in the sands by the raging flood—which was known as New River—and the waters coursed through the Valley to Salton Basin, which filled rapidly. Efforts made by the company to check 129 the torrent were without avail; its means and facilities were too limited to cope with the serious situation.

In the meanwhile the existence of the Valley, with its farms and towns, was threatened; if unchecked, the flood would eventually restore the inland sea that filled the basin in prehistoric times. The settlers were greatly alarmed and appealed to the Government for assistance. Congress was not in session and President Roosevelt, with characteristic resourcefulness, called upon the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to undertake the task of curbing the river, assuring the officials of the road that he would recommend an appropriation by Congress to reimburse them for money expended in the work. The railroad company consented and after several months of almost superhuman effort and an expenditure of two million dollars, the flood was curbed and the vast empty chasm of New River left to tell the story of its wild fury.

But Congress refused to make the appropriation and the Southern Pacific "held the sack" for the enormous sum spent in protecting the Valley. The people likewise declined to issue bonds to reimburse the railroad company, which considered itself the victim of bad faith on part of both the Government and the citizens of the Valley. We heard an echo of the controversy when we visited El Centro—another break was imminent on account of high water in the Colorado and the railroad was called upon for assistance. The officials notified the owners of the threatened lands that when a sufficient sum of money to guarantee the cost of 130 the work was deposited in a Los Angeles bank, they would hurry a force to the scene of the trouble—and the cash was forthcoming without delay.

The story of the flood forms the framework of Harold Bell Wright's recent novel, "The Winning of Barbara Worth," and while the narrative does not by any means adhere to historic fact, it has served to bring the Imperial Valley to the attention of many a reader who had scarcely heard of it before.

Prosperity has usually prevailed in the Valley; money has been made so easily and surely that the disadvantage of the climate was readily overlooked by the inhabitants, many of whom actually profess to enjoy it. But a climate that is hot in winter and superheated in summer, rainless, and with almost incessant high winds that stir up clouds of dust and occasional sand storms, has its drawbacks, we must admit. Rainfall, however, is neither needed nor wanted. The farmer turns the water on at the proper time and there need be no excessive moisture or protracted drought.

Under such conditions the productiveness of the land is almost incredible. Six or eight heavy crops of alfalfa are harvested from a single field during the year. Barley, oats, and other small grains flourish and at present are cut mostly for forage. Cotton, under normal conditions, is the most valuable crop, about one hundred and forty thousand acres being planted in 1920, with an estimated value of $25,000,000. The quality rivals the sea-island product and the yield is large, averaging more than a bale to the acre. Vegetables and 131 berries flourish in endless variety and truck-gardening for the Los Angeles and San Diego markets is profitable because the season for everything is ahead of the rest of California. Citrus fruits of finest quality thrive wonderfully, but as yet little has been done in orchard-planting. Figs are readily grown and it is said that the date palm will flourish and produce an excellent quality of fruit in the Imperial though it has not been a success elsewhere in California. Cattle-raising and dairying are leading industries—the butter product alone is worth several million dollars yearly. Taking the country over, however, the Imperial Valley is probably more famous for its cantaloupes than for any other single product. Each year it produces several thousand cars of this succulent melon and they are on the market from Boston to San Francisco before the Rocky Fords are in blossom.

Until quite recently the Valley could be reached only by the main line and branches of the Southern Pacific Railroad and by one or two inferior wagon trails which meandered through the great hills and over the sands. The desirability of a motor highway led the business men of San Diego to raise by subscription sufficient funds to complete the road through the mountains from Mountain Spring on the San Diego County line to the floor of the Valley, where it continues for a dozen miles through sands not quite heavy enough to stop progress if one keeps on the beaten trail. Beyond Coyote Wells an attempt had been made to improve the road by freely oiling the sand. The older portion was broken and rough, though for some 132 distance out of Dixieland there is as fine a boulevard as one could wish. In San Diego County the stage road is part of the magnificent new highway system, of which I shall have more to say later.

Another highway to the Valley comes down from San Bernardino through Beaumont, Banning, Palm Springs and Indio, continuing along the northern side of the Salton Sea to Brawley. Pavement of this road is now so well advanced that it will very likely be completed by the time this book comes from the press. In any event, it will be so nearly finished that this run, once the terror of motorists, can be made easily and comfortably, and, revealing as it does so many interesting phases of California, it is sure to be immensely popular. The new route misses by a few miles the towns of Coachella and Mecca, but these may be reached by a detour over the old road if any one's interest is strong enough to lead him from the comforts of the new pavement. Palm Springs, however, will surely claim a pause for lunch at the well-ordered Desert Inn and a visit to Palm Canyon, a few miles away. Here we may see the palm in its native state and some authorities assert that these palms are the progenitors of this particular species in California. The larger ones are several centuries old, and there is an Indian tradition that they provided seed for the palms planted by the Mission fathers.

From Original Painting by H. H. Bagg

The canyon itself would be worth visiting, even without the added interest of the palms. It is a rugged ravine several hundred feet deep, with a clear stream rippling among boulders or losing itself beneath the tangled undergrowth. It is about sixteen 133 miles in length, and the palms extend the entire distance, ranging from scattered sentinels to jungle-like thickets. Some of them are perhaps one hundred feet high. The trunks of the larger ones are blackened by fire, due to the practice of the Indians in building fires around them to cause the fall of the seeds, which they consider a great delicacy. Strange to say, the palms seemed none the worse for this severe treatment. They did not endure so well the onslaught of a moving-picture outfit which, to make a sensational scene, blew up some of the rocks and palms with dynamite. There was an insistent demand for punishing these vandals, which we hope attained its end. One can drive to the edge of the canyon and from an elevated point get a very good general view, but most visitors will wish to make the descent and proceed a greater or less distance up the gorge on foot.

From Palm Springs to El Centro is an easy day's run, allowing time for a visit to the date plantations of the Coachella Valley, where Arabian date palms have been imported and successfully cultivated, producing fruit superior and more valuable than the imported article. For some miles this road runs in sight of the Salton Sea, a remarkable body of water about twenty-five miles long by ten in width, lying more than two hundred feet below the sea level.

The standard motor route from San Diego to El Centro—the capital of the Valley—runs by the way of the Potrero grade through the tiny villages of Jamul and Dulzura. One does not have to own a car—or even to hire one—to motor in state over 134 this wonderful highway, for a half dozen automobile stages make the trip each way daily, the fare averaging about five dollars for the one hundred and twenty miles.

An alternate road as far as Campo, about forty miles from San Diego, goes by the way of Lakeside and Descanso and takes one through some of the most picturesque hills and vales of the "Back Country." It is nearly twenty miles longer than the stage road, but it has no serious grades and has been designated as the route of the new state highway. We found it well improved as far as Lakeside, but beyond it became a winding trail, meandering through canyons heavily wooded with oak and sycamore.

On the recommendation of a fellow-motorist just returned from the Imperial we chose this route on our outward trip. We left San Diego about ten o'clock, advertising our destination to the public generally by the five-gallon canvas water-bag that dangled from our car. Most cars for the desert carry this useful adjunct and there are conceivable predicaments where it might be very serviceable. Beyond Lakeside we entered the hills and saw much delightfully picturesque scenery, though the country seemed likely never to be of great value to mankind except for scenic beauty. There were one or two villages and occasional ranch-houses in the cultivated spots in the valleys, but the rugged hills rising on every hand gave little promise of future productiveness. This section is already famous as a vacation resort and several of the ranchers are prepared for campers and summer boarders. Many 135 of these ranches are ideally located in grassy, tree-fringed vales watered by clear mountain streams. The coming of the state highway will bring prosperity to these villagers and resorts and greatly assist in the development of the scanty resources of the country. The Viejas grade near Descanso is the only considerable ascent and this is easy and well-improved.

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

At Campo we came into the stage road and pursued our way for some miles through rolling, oak-studded hills. A band of gypsies camped by the roadside stopped us with many gesticulations and were immensely disgusted when we declined to wait for fortune-telling. They presented a picturesque sight in their brightly colored, oriental-looking costumes and at a distance some of the women looked pretty—though as they crowded up to the car a near view quickly dispelled this illusion.

Warren's Ranch, a few miles beyond Campo, is the regular stopping-place in both directions for luncheon, and a substantial farm dinner is served at a moderate price. There were perhaps fifty guests on the day of our visit and the proprietor said that it was a "little slack" as compared with the usual run of travel; that on the previous Sunday one hundred and twenty cars had passed and most of them halted at the ranch for refreshments.

A few miles beyond Warren's we entered the great hill range that cuts the Valley from the coast and jogged up the splendidly engineered road with little effort. We saw some wild, rough scenery during the climb, but nothing to prepare us for the stupendous spectacle that burst on our vision as 136 we reached the summit. It would be no exaggeration to say that we fairly gasped with astonishment as we brought the car sharply to a stand-still, for beneath us lay a vast abysm that reminded us more of the Grand Canyon than anything else we had seen. It seemed as if the red granite mountains had been rent in twain by some terrific cataclysm, leaving a titanic chasm stretching away until lost in the purple haze of the distance. Its walls were bare—save for an occasional cactus—and the reddish tinge of the granite was intensified in the declining sun. The great boulders tumbled discordantly about, the isolated peaks springing from the floor of the canyon, and the endless array of mighty cliffs and precipices all combined to give a rare effect of wild and rugged grandeur. As we descended the winding road we saw the majestic spectacle from many viewpoints, each one accentuating some new phase of its impressive beauty.

At Mountain Spring, a supply station just beyond the summit, we crossed into Imperial County. From this point the road was built by popular subscription and a wonderful road it is. It winds around the great precipices, which rise far above or drop hundreds of feet below, and crosses yawning canyons, yet it maintains easy grades and avoids difficult turns to an extent seldom seen under such conditions. The smooth wide surface offers temptations to careless drivers and despite the perfect engineering several accidents have happened on the road. A car went off the grade shortly before our passing and a collision occurred near the summit on the following day. 137

At the foot of the grade we encountered the sandy wash leading down into the valley. For several miles we fairly wallowed through heavy sand, the car pitching and rolling like a boat on a rough sea. Had the sand been an inch deeper—so it seemed—we should have been hopelessly stalled—a fate which often overtakes a car departing from the beaten track. We scrambled along with steaming engine and growling gears and were glad indeed when a forlorn little ranch-house hove in sight. A windmill tower indicated water and we took occasion to replenish our supply.

Coyote Wells shows on the map as a post office, but our conception of a village was dashed as we approached the spot by the tiny clapboard shack which greeted our sand-bleared vision. A rudely painted sign, "General Store, Gasoline and Oil," apprised us of the chief excuse for the existence of Coyote Wells. The wells are there, too; eleven feet under the burning sands is an unlimited supply of water. We paused a few minutes and looked around us—which we had scarcely done before, the plunging car and the clouds of sand driven by a forty-mile wind being quite enough to distract our attention. In every direction stretched the yellow sands, dotted with sage brush and cacti. Some of the latter were in bloom, their delicate blossoms, yellow, carmine, and pink, lending a pleasing bit of color to the drab monotone of the landscape. And yet we were told that this sandy waste needs only water to metamorphose it into green fields such as we should see a little later.

A few miles beyond Coyote Wells the road 138 had been oiled, but it had broken into chuck-holes and become unmercifully rough. It was not until we entered the confines of the cultivated lands a short distance from Dixieland that we found a fine boulevard, which continued for several miles. Dixieland is the western outpost of the Valley, situated in the edge of the present irrigation district. It is a substantially built village, most of the business houses being of brick and cement. The coming of the new railroad, already within a few miles, will probably bring a great boom for Dixieland.

A paragraph may be fitly introduced here concerning the present status (1921) of the roads we traversed on our tour to the Imperial some six years earlier. The most trying sections have been improved; the heavy sand where we wallowed about so helplessly and the broken, oiled road between Dixieland and Coyote Wells—in fact, the whole stretch between the foot of the mountain grade and El Centro—is a first-class boulevard now. There is also pavement from Campo to the summit of the range, and the descent, while not paved, is in good condition. Only a fraction of the two routes we pursued in San Diego County—the northern, via Descanso, and the southern over the Potrero grade—has been paved, but the funds for this work have been provided and it is to proceed as rapidly as possible. Taken altogether, the roads to-day average good and the run between San Diego and El Centro may be easily made by the shorter of the routes (122 miles) in five or six hours.

While bowling along just beyond Dixieland one of our party cried, "Look at the sunset!" and 139 we brought the car to a sudden stop. I have seen gorgeous sunsets in many parts of the world, but nothing that could remotely approach the splendor of the scene that greeted our admiring vision. The sky was partly clouded—rather unusual, we learned—and this accounted for much of the glorious spectacle. The whole dome of the heavens showed a marvelous display of light and color—lucent silver slowly changing through many variations to deep orange-gold, and fading slowly to burnished copper as the sun declined. The clouds lent endless variety to the color tones. Their fantastic shapes glowed with burning crimson or were edged with silvery light. The sky eastward was of a deep indigo-blue; westward, above the sun, it burned with ethereal fire. The summits of the dimly defined mountains in the distance were touched with a fringe of golden light and their feet were shrouded in a pale lavender haze—the effect of the sun on the drifting sand. The weird and ghostly appearance of the Superstition Range, a dozen miles to the north, seemed suggestive of the name. Surely the desert gnomes and demons might find a haunt in the rocky caverns of these giant hills set down in the wide arid plain surrounding them on every side. The more distant mountains faded to dim and unsubstantial shadows and were finally obscured by the falling twilight.

When we were able to take our gaze from the heavens we became conscious of the marvelous greenness of the grain and alfalfa fields about us, then accentuated by the weird light of the sunset, and we learned later the scientific cause of the gorgeous 140 Imperial sunsets. Evaporation from the irrigation system and Salton Sea, together with the fine dust constantly in suspension in the dry desert air, are the elements responsible for spectacular effects such as I have tried to describe.

A half dozen miles from Dixieland we crossed New River, a great gulch twenty-five feet deep and several hundred yards wide. This was the channel cut by the terrible flood of 1904-6 and gives some conception of the danger that threatened the Valley when practically the whole volume of the Colorado tore through the yielding sands. There is now no running water in the river, the road crossing on its dry bed.

The roads throughout the Valley are generally unimproved and a clever plan has been adopted to keep down the dust, which would become almost unbearable in this rainless region. The wide roadways are divided in the center by a ridge of earth; and the sides are alternately flooded with water from the irrigating ditches, a plan which keeps the dust pretty well in control. But woe to the motorist who attempts to drive across a "wet spot" before the road has thoroughly dried—the soil usually partakes of the nature of quicksand; the car speedily settles to the running boards and a stout team is about the only remedy for the predicament.

We reached El Centro after dusk and repaired to the Oregon Hotel, a fairly comfortable inn, though not good enough to satisfy the ambitions of this live town, for the Barbara Worth, a hundred-thousand-dollar steel-and-concrete structure, was building. El Centro has a population of about six 141 thousand and is a live place commercially, being the capital and banking center of the Valley. It is substantially built and we noted there has been developed a type of architecture designated to mitigate the intense heat. The business buildings have arcades with balconies along the streets and some of the houses and public buildings have double roofs. Every sign pointed to the prosperity of the town and it doubtless offers numerous opportunities to enterprising business men.

A favorite trip out of El Centro is to Calexico, eight miles distant on the Mexican frontier, and the streets were thronged with Ford cars bearing the legend, "Auto Stage to Calexico." At the time of our visit, California state troops occupied this border town to forestall a possible attack by the Mexican army in Mexicali, just across the line. There was considerable uneasiness in the Imperial country in view of the fact that the canal carrying the water supply passes through Mexican territory.

This situation necessarily creates an element of uncertainty as to the future of the Valley and a strong agitation is being made for the construction of an all-American canal. So far little has been accomplished in this direction, owing to the difficult terrain to be crossed and the vast cost of such an enterprise. There is a feeling, however, that such a canal must and will come in time.

The country about El Centro is typical of the whole Valley. As a resident of the town said, "When you've seen one corner of the Imperial Valley you've seen all of it—a flat, sandy plain cut up by irrigation canals and covered in the cultivated 142 parts with rank vegetation a good part of the year." In the northern part of the Valley new lands were being opened to the public and Nilands, a boom town, had sprung up almost overnight. The "opening day" saw hundreds of people on hand eager to purchase lots and many of them came to stay, for they brought their household goods, which were piled promiscuously on the sand, often without even the protection of a tent. The first move of the promoters was to found a bank and a newspaper and to begin the erection of a fifty-thousand-dollar hotel and a commodious schoolhouse. And so Nilands took its place on the map and when the arid sands about it begin to produce it will no doubt repeat the history of Holtville, Brawley, and other thriving Imperial towns.

Motorists who come only on a sightseeing excursion will not care to spend much time in the Valley. A round of twenty-five miles will take in Imperial and Calexico and give a general idea of the thousand or more square miles of reclaimed desert land. Touring conditions are far from pleasant—rough roads, intense heat, and high winds with blinding clouds of dust, being the rule. One can easily imagine what a commotion a fifty-mile wind stirs up in this dry, sandy region, where it is frequently necessary to stop until the dust blows away in order to see the road. There is little to vary the monotony of the country, and it is not strange that the average motorist is soon satisfied and longs for the shady hills of the San Diego "Back Country." And so, after a hasty survey, we retraced our way through the sands—and narrowly missed "stalling" 143 while incautiously passing a car laid up for repairs—to the mountain wall which shuts in the Valley on the west.

I do not remember of ever having been in a fiercer wind than that which swept down to meet us as we ascended Mountain Spring grade and at the summit it almost seemed as if the wild gusts would sweep the car from the road.

"It is sure some wind," said a native at the little supply shack. "Very unusual, too. I've been in the Valley seven years and never saw it blow like this before."

"Very unusual" is the stock phrase of every loyal Californian for any unpleasant phenomenon of nature—excessive rain, heat, cold, fog, or wind are all "very unusual" when so marked as to call forth comment from the Eastern visitor.

Beyond Campo we followed the stage route to San Diego—mostly a down-hill coast; it was scarcely necessary to use the engine on the eight miles of the Potrero grade. This is part of the new San Diego County system and a wonderful piece of road engineering it is. Though it skirts the edge of the mountain from summit to foot, there are no steep pitches and but few sharp corners; even the driver of the car could enjoy the wonderful panoramas visible during the descent. The forty miles between Campo and San Diego presents a series of wooded hills and sylvan glades which more than once invited us to stop and rest in the shade of the great oaks overarching the road. Such scenes made us anxious to see more of the famous "Back Country," and when we once entered on this delightful 144 tour we were not satisfied until we had covered all the main roads of the county.

From Del Mar on the following day we glided through winding byroads to Escondido, which we had visited several times previously in course of our rambles. It is a pretty little town of two thousand people, in the center of a fertile valley exploited as the "Garden Spot of Southern California"—a claim which might be quite correct if limited to San Diego County. The valley is seven hundred feet above the sea, surrounded by a circle of rugged hills with huge granite boulders jutting from the dense green chaparral that clothes their sides. It produces small grain, alfalfa, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and berries of all kinds. There is much truck-farming for the San Diego markets, and cattle and sheep raising are carried on to a limited extent.

Out of this pleasant valley we followed the course of San Pasqual River toward Ramona, and recalled that in this canyon a fight took place in 1846 between the Mexicans and Americans during the wild dash of Kit Carson's rangers to summon aid from San Diego. The road was a quiet one, winding among splendid trees and passing an occasional ranch-house surrounded by fruit orchards in full bloom. Along the clear little river were grassy glades carpeted with myriads of wild flowers—poppies, Mariposa lilies, primroses, delicate bluebells, and others nameless to us. Crossing the magnificent San Pasqual grade to Ramona we had a glorious retrospect down the valley. It was typical of a large number of valleys in the Back Country which constitute the agricultural resources of San 145 Diego County, and we could not help being impressed with the small proportion that the tillable land bears to the rugged hills. The city of San Diego can hardly base its hope of greatness on the country lying behind it—always excepting the Imperial Valley.

Beyond Ramona to Santa Ysabel and Warner's Hot Springs the characteristics of the country were quite the same. We pursued our way through pleasant valleys between great oak-studded hills clothed with lawnlike verdure to the very summit. Nowhere did we see larger or more symmetrical oaks and in places our road ran under their overarching branches. Every mile between Ramona and Warner's presented some phase of scenic beauty; the road winds through virgin forests, courses through wide, flower-spangled meadows and follows a clear stream for many miles. A lonely ranch-house occasionally reminded us that we were still in the confines of civilization. The only village, Santa Ysabel, is a little supply station for the Indian reservation of the same name. The natives here seemed prosperous and happy and we noticed a little vine-covered church surmounted by the Catholic emblem, which told of their religious preferences.

Warner's Hot Springs proved to be only a country store and post office with a dozen or two adobe cottages which serve as guest-rooms. Substantial meals were served in country style in a large central dining-hall and if accommodations were primitive, charges were correspondingly low. The springs have a good flow of mineral-impregnated 146 water at a temperature of one hundred forty-eight degrees and strong claims are made for their medical properties. It is a very quiet, rural spot and from our cottage veranda we had a fine view of the sunset mountains beyond the wide plain of Mesa Grande. The air was vocal with the song of birds—the trees about our cabin were alive with hundreds of strawberry finches.

They told us that the country about the springs was once a famous hunting-ground and though there is still sport in season, it does not compare with that of a few years since. The beautiful California quail are still numerous, but they have become so shy that it is difficult to bag them. Water fowl are plentiful on the lakes of Warner's Ranch and deer and antelope may be found in the mountains. Fishing is good in the neighboring streams and these attractions bring many sportsmen to Warner's during the season.

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

For the average motorist, whose chief mission is to "see the country," the attractions of the resort will be quite exhausted in a night's sojourn; indeed, were there a first-class hotel within easy reach he might be satisfied with even a shorter pause. There is nothing nearer northward than Hemet, fifty miles distant, and Riverside is eighty-five miles away. There is a direct road leading through the rugged hills to these points, a third "San Diego route," little used and unknown to motorists generally. It goes by the way of Oak Grove and Aguanga—and the traveler is quite likely to pass these points in blissful ignorance of their existence if he does not keep a sharp lookout. The road is a 147 mere trail winding through sandy river washes, fording streams and finally taking to rugged hills with many steep, rough grades. The signs of the Southern California Auto Club will see you safely through; though there are many places where one would be in a sad quandary were it not for their friendly counsel. The wild beauty of the country, the wide panoramas from the hill crests, the infinite variety and color of the flowers along the way, the giant oaks in the canyons, the stretches of the desert with cactus and scrub cedar, the variegated meadows, and other interesting natural phenomena, will atone for the rough roads and heavy grades, though it is a trip that we would hardly care to make a second time. Beyond Hemet a perfect boulevard to Riverside gave opportunity to make up for time lost in the hills.

Hemet and San Jacinto, two clean little towns about four miles apart, are situated in a lovely valley beneath the snow-crowned peak that gives its name to the latter village. Alfalfa meadows, grain fields and fruit orchards surround them and give an air of peace and prosperity to the pleasant vale. But when we visited the towns a few years later, most of the brick buildings had been leveled to the ground by an earthquake shock—an experience the same places had undergone about twenty years before. It was a sad scene of desolation and destruction, but as the shock occurred on a Sunday, when the brick buildings which suffered most were unoccupied, there was no loss of life. It was noted that concrete and frame structures were little injured and the towns have been rebuilt in such a 148 manner as to be nearly proof, it is believed, against future quakes.

But we were not yet through with the Back Country. They told us at Warner's that there was no more beautiful road in the county than the one following the San Luis Rey River between Pala and Santa Ysabel. It was closed by the landslide at the time, but a few days later we again found ourselves in the quiet streets of Pala, intent on making the trip. We had come direct from Temecula over the "big grade," a little-used road across the great hill range between the Santa Margarita and San Luis Rey Valleys. In all our wanderings I doubt if we found a dozen miles of harder going than our climb over the Pala grade. A rough, narrow trail, badly washed by recent rains, twisted around boulders and among giant trees and pitched up and down frightful grades, often along precipitous slopes. There were several stony fords to be crossed and a wide stretch of heavy sand on the western side of the range. It is a route to be avoided by people inclined to nervous qualms or who dislike strenuous mountain work. No wonder the regular route to Pala runs by way of Fall Brook and Bonsal, though the distance is greater by thirty or forty miles.

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

The San Luis Rey river road presented a repetition of much scenery such as we saw on our Warner's Hot Springs trip. It does not leave the stream for any considerable distance, often pursuing its course through a tangle of forest trees. At times it comes out into the open and affords picturesque views of the mountains that guard the 149 valley on either hand. A few miles from Pala a road branches off to Mount Palomar, from whose summit, about four thousand feet high, may be seen on clear days one of the famous panoramas of San Diego County. We were deterred from the ascent by the lowering day, which shrouded the peak in heavy clouds. There is a long though easy climb over the hill range on the edge of "Valle de San Jose," from which we had a glorious outlook over a long succession of ranges stretching away to the red glow of the sunset. For the sun had struggled through the mists which obscured it most of the day and was flooding the breaking clouds with deep crimson. Far below us lay the valley with its patchwork of cultivated fields and red-roofed ranch-houses at wide intervals. Beyond the crest of the grade the road again descends to the river, which we followed to Santa Ysabel. From here we pursued our way over familiar roads to San Diego, experiencing no little satisfaction in having covered all the main highways—and many of the byways—of the county. 150


Like many a pious pilgrim of old, we set out on the King's Highway—the storied Camino Real of the Golden State. We shall follow in the footsteps of the brown-robed brothers of St. Francis to the northernmost of the chain of missions which they founded in their efforts to convert and civilize the red men of California. Not with sandals and staff, nor yet with horse or patient burro shall we undertake the journey, but our servant shall be the twentieth century's latest gift to the traveler—the wind-shod motor car. And we shall not expect a night's lodging with a benediction and Godspeed such as was given the wayfarer at each link in the mission chain as he fared forth in days of old. We shall behold loneliness and decay at these ancient seats of hospitality and good cheer. But we are sure that we shall find in the crumbling, vine-covered ruins a glamour of romance and an historic significance that would make our journey worth while even if it did not take us through some of the loveliest and most impressive scenery in the world.

When to beauty of country and perfection of clime are added the touch of human antiquity and romantic association, the combination should prove attractive to even the most prosaic. The memory of human sacrifice and devotion, and the wealth of historic incident that lends such a charm to England's 151 abbeys, is not wanting in these cruder remnants of the pious zeal and tireless industry of the Spanish padres to be found in so many delightful nooks of the Sunset State. The story of the Franciscan missions is a fascinating one, despite its chapters of strife, heavy toil, and ultimate failure. From their inception in weakness and poverty and their rise to affluence, to the time of their decadence and final abandonment, these offshoots of the old religious system of Europe, transplanted to the alien soil of the New World, afford a colorful chapter of American history. The monk, always in the vanguard of Spanish exploration and civilization, came hither, as we have already seen, a little after the middle of the eighteenth century. The Franciscan order had received from the Castilian throne a grant of certain properties in California. Junipero Serra, a monk of true piety and energetic character, gladly accepted the hard and laborious task of founding missions in this new field. How he finally succeeded we have already told. Others followed him and between the years of 1769 and 1823 twenty-one missions were established within the present limits of California, extending along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Sonoma, about seventy-five miles north of San Francisco.

Like the English monks, the Spanish padres when locating their establishments always selected sites with pleasant surroundings and commanding views of beautiful scenery, always in the most fertile valleys and adjacent to lake or river. Many of the California missions are within a short distance of the Pacific, whose blue waters are often visible 152 through the arcades, lending a crowning touch of beauty to the loveliness of the semi-tropical surroundings. And in sight of many of them snow-capped mountains rear their majestic forms against a sky matched only by that of Italy itself. Surrounding the buildings were fertile fields, with flowers, fruit trees, and palms, usually watered by irrigation as well as by winter rains, and, indeed, the Arcadia of the poets was well-nigh made a reality under the sway of the California padres. The missions were located, presumably, a day's journey apart, so that the traveler might find entertainment at the close of each day, for the hospitality of the Franciscan fathers never waned.

I shall give a short sketch of each of the missions as we reach them in course of our pilgrimage, and will therefore omit further historic details here. The building, as a rule, was done solidly and well; adobe, hard-burned brick, hewn stone, heavy timbers, and roof tiles being so skillfully combined that many of the structures are still in fair state of preservation in spite of winter rains, earthquake, and long neglect.

No doubt the equable climate has been a factor in retarding their decay. Adobe structures have naturally suffered most, but even these were so massively built that had it not been for earthquakes nearly all would still stand almost intact. This agency more than any other contributed to the ruined condition of the mission buildings. Several have been more or less restored and are in daily use, and it is to be hoped that all which are not past rehabilitation 153 will finally be rescued from the fate which threatens them.

The old notion that the red man will not perform hard manual labor is contradicted in the history of mission building. The work was done by the natives under the direction of the padres—and hard work it was, for the stone had to be quarried and dressed, brick and tiles moulded and burned or dried in the sun, and heavy timbers brought many miles, often on the men's shoulders. Just how heavy some of these oaken beams were is shown by several in the San Fernando chapel, fifteen inches square and thirty or forty feet long. Some of the churches were roofed with arched stone vaults which must have required great labor and not a little architectural skill, though the latter was no doubt supplied by the monks.

The Indians were generally reduced to a mild state of peonage, but it seems that the padres' policy was one of kindness and very seldom was there rebellion against their rule on the part of converted Indians. The missions suffered, of course, from attacks by savages who refused to come under their sway, but the priests had few difficulties with the neophytes who worked under them. Taken altogether, there are few other instances where white men had so little trouble with Indians with whom they came in daily contact for a considerable period.

The priests not only looked after the religious instruction of their charges, but taught them to engage in agriculture and such arts and manufactures as were possible under the conditions that then existed. The chief occupation was farming and, 154 considering the crude implements at their disposal, the mission Indians did remarkably well. The plough was composed of two wooden beams—one of them shod with iron; the soil was merely scratched and it was necessary to go over a field many times. A large bough, dragged over the soil to cover the seed, served as a harrow. The carts were primitive in the extreme—the heavy wheels were cut from a single block of solid oak and the axle and frame were of the same clumsy construction. Grain was harvested by hand-sickles and threshed on hard earth by driving oxen over the sheaves. Flour was ground by the women with pestles in stone mortars, though in a few cases rude water-wheels were used to turn grinding-stones.

Live stock constituted the greater part of the mission's wealth. Horses, cattle, and sheep were raised in large numbers, though these were probably not so numerous as some of the ancient chroniclers would have us believe. The Indians were exceedingly skillful in training horses and very adept in the use of the "riata," or lariat. They became efficient in caring for and herding cattle and sheep, a vocation which many of their descendants follow to-day. The mild climate made this task an easy one and the herds increased rapidly from year to year.

Vineyards were planted at most of the missions and the inventories at the time of secularization showed that the fathers kept a goodly stock of wines, though this was probably for their own consumption, the natives being regaled with sweetened 155 vinegar-and-water, which was not intoxicating. The mission grape first developed by the padres is to-day one of the most esteemed varieties in California vineyards.

The missions were necessarily largely dependent on their own activities for such manufactured products as they required and, considering their limited facilities, they accomplished some wonderful results in this direction. Brick, tile, pottery, clothing, saddles, candles, blankets, furniture, and many other articles of daily necessity were made under the padres' tutelage and such trades as masonry, carpentry, blacksmithing, tanning, spinning, and weaving were readily acquired by the once ignorant and indolent Indians.

Under such industry and businesslike management, the mission properties in time became immensely valuable, at their zenith yielding a total revenue estimated at not less than two million dollars yearly. This prosperity was greedily watched by the Mexican government, which in its straits for funds conceived the idea of "secularization" of the missions, a plan which ultimately led to confiscation and dissolution. Shortly after this came the American conquest and the conditions were wholly unfavorable to the rehabilitation of the old regime, which speedily faded to a romantic memory. The once happy and industrious natives were driven back to the hills and their final extinction seems to be near at hand. The story of their hardship and desolation and the wrongs they suffered at the hands of the American conqueror 156 forms the burden of Mrs. Jackson's pathetic story of "Ramona."

Justice may never be done to these bitterly wronged people—indeed, most of them have passed beyond reach of human justice; but of later years there has come a deeper realization of the importance of the work of the California missionary and a greater interest in the crumbling relics of his pious activities. It has awakened a little late, you may say, but the old adage, "Better late than never," is doubly applicable here. We who have traversed the length and breadth of Britain have seen how lovingly nearly every ancient abbey and castle is now guarded—though in many cases it was painfully apparent that the spirit was too long in coming. Many a noble pile had nearly vanished from neglect and vandalism ere an enlightened public sentiment was created to guard and preserve its scanty remnants. And I fear that this sentiment was more the result of selfish interest than of any high conception of altruistic duty—the strangers who came to see these ancient monuments and left money behind them probably did more to awaken Britons to the value and importance of their storied ruins than any strong sense of appreciation on their own part. California should be moved by a higher motive than mere gain to properly care for and preserve her historic shrines. They represent the beginning of her present civilization and enlightenment, which has placed her in the forefront of the states. Her history, literature, and architecture have been profoundly affected by the Franciscan missions and their great influence in this direction 157 is yet to come. They should be restored and preserved at public cost, even though they continue in charge of the Catholic Church. Their claims as historic monuments far outweigh any prejudice that may exist against contributing to any secular institutions and if the Catholic Church is willing to occupy and guard them, so much the better. It insures that they will be kept open to the public at all times and that visitors will be gladly received and hospitably treated. In all our journey along the King's Highway we experienced nothing but the utmost courtesy and kindness from the Catholic priests who may now be found at many of the missions. The padre acts as custodian and guide and can always tell you the story of the mission in his charge. These men have already done much to restore several of the missions and to reclaim them from complete destruction. The church is struggling to carry this work still farther, but she has not the means at her disposal to accomplish it before some of the landmarks will have entirely vanished. And I may say here that although not a Catholic myself, I believe that the Catholics deserve commendation and assistance in this great work.

And if California is not influenced by the higher consideration we have enumerated, selfish reasons are strong for the preservation of the missions. Already they are proving an attraction to a great number of discerning tourists and with the increasing prevalence of the motor car, El Camino Real will become one of the most popular routes in the world. People will bring their cars from the Eastern States—instead of taking them to Europe—and 158 will pass their vacations in California. They will spend money freely and many will become enamored of the country to the extent of becoming permanent residents. The missions are one of the greatest attractions to bring the tourist class to California—she can not afford to allow them to disappear. They form a valuable asset in more ways than one and now is the time to awaken to the fact.

Perhaps I have lingered too long on this subject, but it seems to me like a necessary preface to a trip over the King's Highway. We left San Diego in the late afternoon and reached the beautiful suburb of La Jolla just as the declining sun was flooding the broad expanse of the ocean with golden glory. The town is situated on a promontory beneath which there is a lovely little park and one can enter several caves from the ocean which, under favorable conditions, are almost as beautiful as the Blue Grotto of Capri. Here is a favorite resort of artists and a permanent colony has been established, the vicinity affording never-ending themes for their skill. One of these is to be seen a few miles farther on the road—the group of Torrey pines on a headland overlooking the sea. Here is the only spot on this continent where these weird but beautiful trees are to be found, and our illustration gives some idea of their picturesque outlines against the sky. They were named for one of our earliest naturalists, John Torrey, who was the first to describe them in a scientific way. The few wind-swept patriarchs of this rare tribe straggle over the bold headland or crouch on its edges in fantastic 159 attitudes. At this point the road leaves the cliff which it has traversed for several miles and descends by a long winding grade to the seashore. There is a fairly steep pitch just at the top, but for most of the descent the gradient is easy, though sharp turns and blind corners make careful driving necessary.

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

Twilight had fallen when we reached Del Mar—our objective for the night. Previous experience had taught us that the Stratford Inn was one of the most comfortable and satisfactory in California—with the added attraction of moderate rates. It is a modern building, in Elizabethan style, situated on the hillside fronting the wide sweep of the Pacific. It is surrounded by lawns with flowers and shrubbery in profusion and there is a wide terrace in front with rustic chairs, a capital place to lounge at one's ease and view the sunset ocean. Inside everything is plain and homelike—in fact, "homelike" best describes the greatest charm of Stratford Inn.

After dinner—which was more like a meal in a well-ordered private home than the usual hotel concoction—I inquired about the roads of the vicinity of a young man whose conversation showed him familiar with the country. He readily gave the desired information and, learning that we were tourists from the East, he put the universal first question of a Californian,

"And how do you like the country?"

"Very much, indeed," I rejoined. "In fact, it seems to me that anyone who isn't satisfied with 160 California isn't likely to be thoroughly satisfied any place short of the New Jerusalem."

"And that's too—uncertain," he replied. "California is good enough without taking any chances. In the ten years I've been here I've never had any hankering to return to the East, where I came from."

"But honestly, now," I said, "aren't there some people from the East who get sick of California and are anxious to get back home?"

"Yes," he admitted. "I know of several who said it was too monotonous here—that they were going back to God's country and stay there; but in the course of a year I saw them here again; after one good dose of Eastern winter they came back to California and forever after held their peace. Have you been about Del Mar and up to the top of the hill?" he went on. "No? Then I want you to drive about with me a short time in the morning and let me show you the prettiest seaside town and one of the grandest views in California." He was so sincere that we acquiesced and he said he would be on hand with his car at the appointed hour.

Returning to our rooms, which fronted on the sea, we were soon lulled to sleep by the long, rhythmic wash of the waves on the beach. It would be hard to imagine a lovelier or more inspiring scene than that which greeted us through our open windows on the following morning. An opalescent fog—shot through by the warm rays of the rising sun—hovered over the deep violet ocean; but even as we looked it began to break and scatter, the azure heavens gleamed through, and the sea in the 161 distance took on a deep steely blue, shading into lighter tones nearer the shore, and finally breaking into a long line of snow-white spray. A light rain had fallen in the night and everything was indescribably fresh and invigorating—and the irresistible lure of the out-of-doors, always so strong in California, seemed doubly potent this glorious morning.

We hastened down to breakfast—which proved quite as different from the ordinary hotel meal as the dinner of the evening before—and at the appointed hour our friend appeared with his car. This chance acquaintance proved fortunate—for us, at least—since our guide knew all about the place and most of the people who lived there. Some of these are well known in business, literature, and art circles and, drawn by the charm of Del Mar, spend a good part of their time there. The contour of the site afforded remarkable opportunities for the landscape-gardener, and very successfully has he seized upon them. The hill is cut through the center by a deep erosion; along its edges are numerous shelf-like places which make unique building sites, some of which have already been occupied. Straight lines have been tabooed in laying out the streets, which circle hither and thither among the Torrey pines and eucalyptus trees. The houses and gardens conform to the artistic irregularity of the streets and, altogether, Del Mar, both in charm of natural situation and good judgment in public and private improvements, is quite unique even in California.

But the marvel of Del Mar is the view from the summit of the great hill which towers above the 162 village and which may be reached by a comparatively easy road. I find a description given in a small booklet issued by the Stratford Inn that is genuine literature—in fact, the literary style of the booklet so impressed me that I spoke of it to a Los Angeles friend. "Not strange," said he. "It was written by John S. McGroarty, who is interested in Del Mar." In any event, it is worthy of Mr. McGroarty's facile pen, as is proven by the following description of the scene from Del Mar hill:

"From its pinnacles you can hear the ocean crooning in long, rolling breakers against gleaming shore lines, or see it leap into geysers of spray against majestic headlands for an eye-encompassed distance of forty miles, swelling in from the magic isles of Santa Catalina and San Clemente, and the curtain of the sky far beyond them all. But from the same pinnacles, landward, you shall look down from your very feet into the dream-kissed vale of San Dieguito, serpentined with natural canoe-ways that have crept in from the great waters. And from the San Dieguito meadows there are trails that lead into the valleys of Escondido and San Luis Rey and many other valleys. Eastward are the peaks of the lake-sheltering Cuyamacas and Mt. Palomar. Lift up your vision yet again and you shall behold, all crowned with snow, the hoary heads of old San Antonio, Mount San Bernardino and San Jacinto—the kingly outposts of the royal Sierras. Back of those white serranos is the desert, only fifty miles from where you stand. And it is these two—the desert and the sea—that make Del Mar what it is.

"The Del Mar which the traveler beholds from 163 the car window as the railroad train glides along the beach on that wonderful journey south from San Juan Capistrano, is a vast hill rising from between two estuaries of the ocean, with Encinitas headland to the north and Torrey Pine Point to the south. But one gets no idea at all of what the hill or Del Mar really is by looking up to it from the railway. Its appearance from such a fleeting view would be much the same as the view of many another coast hill; and it would perhaps pass without special notice from the railway traveler were it not for the fact that it is heavily wooded and that a strikingly beautiful and large building in the Elizabethan style of architecture instantly attracts an admiring eye.

"That Del Mar hill is wooded is owing both to the generosity of nature and to the poetic enterprise of the 'boomers' who, in those still remembered days of empire-building, planted the bare spaces to gum, acacia, and other trees. The trees that are indigenous to Del Mar and that have been there for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years are the cypress and the Torrey pine, both of which are favorites with artists and all nature lovers. And they are both rare, the cypress being found hardly anywhere else on the California coast except at Monterey, while the Torrey pine is absolutely unknown on the face of the earth except at Del Mar and La Jolla, a few miles farther south. But there is, besides the scattered Torreys at Del Mar, a whole grove of these five-needled pines—a grove famed among tree-lovers the world over. As to the Elizabethan building, which fastens the traveler's curiosity 164 from his flying window, he is informed that it is an inn called 'The Stratford,' and well named at that. It was designed by the English architect, Austin, who must have put a good deal of heart into his work, for his inn is a thing of beauty. Nor is it just a thing of outward show. You will think of what rare Ben Jonson said as you sit at its plenteous board and slip away into dreamland from its cool, clean beds, with the deep melody of the sea in your ears: 'There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.'"

I would beg pardon of my reader for having quoted so much at length from an advertising booklet were it not that the quotations themselves render it unnecessary. Doubly fortunate is Del Mar, not only in the charms which she possesses, but in having an admirer who can herald them to the world in such pleasing language and imagery.

We are late in leaving Del Mar—we always were on each of our several visits. But the lure of the road on such a glorious day is too strong for even the attractions of Del Mar and its pleasant inn. The purr of the motor and the long white road winding down to the seashore and disappearing in the distant hills is a combination to rouse all the wanderlust in our natures and waving adieu to our kindly hosts we are on the King's Highway again. Occasionally snowy clouds float lazily through the deep azure sky, serving to give variation to the scene; they darken the sun at intervals and the lapis-lazuli blue of the ocean changes to dull silver for a moment. Sunshine and shadow chase each 165 other over the low green hills to the landward and brighten or obscure the distant mountain ranges. Beyond Encinitas, about ten miles from Del Mar, the road follows a magnificent beach. Here the waves have piled up a long ridge of rounded stones, from which a wide stretch of hard sand slopes down to the sea. It is sprinkled with millions of golden particles, giving a peculiarly brilliant effect in the sunlight which may have roused the hopes of more than one early adventurer in his search for El Dorado. The smooth, shining sand tempts us to leave the car by the road to wander up and down the beach, gathering shells and seaweed or watching the long white line of waves creep landward and recede in glittering ripples. Each comes nearer and nearer until one flings its white spray over us and drives us toward the great cobblestone dike stretching along the shore. Near this are myriads of yellow and pink sand-flowers with queer waxen leaves and delicate silken petals. Some day, no doubt, as California's millions increase, this beautiful beach will become a popular resort.

(Before Restoration)
From Photograph by Pillsbury

A few miles beyond this we pause in a sheltered canyon and spread our noonday lunch under a vast sprawling sycamore—if I should make a guess at its dimensions I might lay myself open to the charge of exaggeration, which some insinuate is the universal California failing. Out of Oceanside the road soon takes to the highlands again and runs through fields of yellow mustard and purple-pink wild radish blossoms—sad pests, they tell us, for all their glorious color.

Oceanside is a quiet little place with a large 166 hotel down towards the beach, and her El Camino Real has departed from its olden course, for the mission of San Luis lies some four miles inland. Just out of the village we descend a winding grade into a wide green valley, and far to one side under a sheltering hill we catch the gleam of whitewashed walls surmounted by the characteristic mission tower. We soon draw up in front of the building, which has lately been restored—much to its artistic detriment, we are told. This is an almost inevitable result of restoration, it is true, but without restoration it would be impossible to preserve the crumbling fragments of these old adobe structures. San Luis Rey is considered by many good authorities to have been the finest of all the missions in its palmy days—a claim well borne out by the description of Dahant Cilly, a French traveler who visited it in 1827, when it was in the height of its glory. He wrote:

"At last we turned inland and after a jaunt of an hour and a half we found before us, on a piece of rising ground, the superb buildings of Mission San Luis Rey, whose glittering whiteness was flashed back to us by the first rays of the day. At that distance and in the still uncertain light of dawn, this edifice, of a very beautiful model, supported upon its numerous pillars, had the aspect of a palace. The architectural faults can not be grasped at this distance, and the eye is attracted only to the elegant mass of this beautiful structure.... Instinctively I stopped my horse to gaze alone, for a few minutes, on the beauty of the sight.

(Before Restoration)
From Photograph by Dassonville

"This building forms a large square of five 167 hundred feet on each side. The main facade is a long peristyle borne on thirty-two square pillars supporting round arches. The edifice is composed, indeed, of only a ground-floor, but its elevation, of fine proportions, gives it as much grace as nobleness. It is covered with a tile roof, flattened, around which reaches, as much without as within the square, a terrace with an elegant balustrade which stimulates still more the height. Within is seen a large court, neat and levelled, around which pillars and arches similar to those of the peristyle support a long cloister, by which one communicates with all the dependencies of the mission."

We see before us now a huge, dormitory-like building adjoining the ancient church, which is also undergoing repair and restoration—an adobe structure with a beautiful tower which is about the only exterior remnant of the mission's ancient glory. A brown-robed, bare-footed Mexican priest responds to the bell and offers to guide us about the building. He conducts us to the church—a long, narrow apartment with high beamed ceiling, resplendent in the bright colors of the ancient decorations recently restored. The beautiful mortuary chapel—the finest in the whole chain of missions—was still in ruins when we first visited San Luis Rey, but two years later we found it restored in solid concrete. Its artistic beauty was sadly impaired by the improvement, but the preservation of the chapel is assured. We are glad, though, that we saw it when the crumbling remnants were covered with grasses and wall-flowers, and it was still redolent of memories of mission days. The quaint old cross in the 168 cemetery has undergone like treatment, its rough brick foundation having been smoothly coated with cement and decorated with bright red stripes at the corners. About the only part of San Luis still in its original state, save for the destructive effect of time and weather, are the arches of the ancient cloisters, which stand in the enclosure to the rear of the dormitory and keep alive the sentiment always awakened by such memorials.

Our guide told us something of life at the present time in the mission, which is now a training school for monks of the Franciscan order. There are eight brothers in residence who do all the work, each one having some particular trade, our guide being the tailor. They did much of the work of restoration, though, of course, some assistants had to be hired, mainly from the sixty parishioners of the church, most of whom are Indians. For his courtesy we offered him a gratuity, but he declined.

"The brothers must not receive gifts," he said. "I will take you to Father O'Keefe if you wish to give anything to the work."

And so we met the kindly old Irishman who has done so much for the restoration of the California missions. He was of portly stature, unshaven for several days and clad in the brown robes of his order. He came to San Luis Rey in 1902 from Santa Barbara and all the restoration had been done since then. He had raised and expended more than twenty thousand dollars in the work, besides the labor of the monks themselves, who receive no pay.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

"I will accept your contribution," said Father 169 O'Keefe, "for this work; the Franciscan fathers take nothing for themselves; and will you write your name in our visitors' book?" I did as requested and Father O'Keefe declared, "That name looks good anywhere—it has a genuine flavor of the Ould Sod about it."

And we fell to talking of the Emerald Isle, which the kindly old priest never expected to see again. He was greatly interested when he learned that we had made a recent motor tour through the hills and vales of the Ould Countrie, which he still loves as a loyal son. He bade us adieu and before departing we paused on the cloistered porch to admire the beauty of the scene before us. The mission overlooks a pleasant green vale shut in on every hand by low hills, through which we caught a fleeting glimpse of the sea. It was a prosperous scene—as it no doubt was in the days of old—with ranch-houses, cattle, and cultivated fields—another instance of the unerring eye of the early monk in choosing a site for his mission home.

San Luis Rey was one of the later foundations, dating from June 13, 1798. From the very start the mission was prosperous. In 1800 there were three hundred and thirty-seven neophytes, and twenty-six years later it had reached its zenith with twenty-eight hundred and sixty-nine. It had then great holdings of live stock and harvested a crop of over twelve thousand bushels of grain. From this time it began to decline and at its secularization in 1834 its net worth was but a fraction of its former wealth. So indignant were the Indians over the decree that, it is recorded, they slaughtered twenty 170 thousand head of cattle to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Mexicans. In 1843 the property was restored to the church, but its spoilation had been accomplished and barely four hundred poverty-stricken Indians remained. In 1847 General Fremont took possession and later the building and site were returned to the church.

Beyond Oceanside there was much fine scenery along the road and everything was at its best on this glorious May afternoon. It was a clear, lucent day, with only a slight purplish haze in the far distance. The sea was as transcendently beautiful as this warm soft southern sea can be in its loveliest mood—a deep, dark, solid blue flecked with purple seaweed and shading to pale green near the shore, upon which the long white line of the breakers swept incessantly. At times we ran at the foot of desert hills covered with cacti and scrub cedars, but relieved from monotony by the orange flame of the poppies. Again we passed through wide meadows starred with wild flowers—the delicate daturas, dahlias, poppies, and a hundred others spangled the hillsides everywhere. Along the beaches gleamed the pink verbenas and yellow sand-flowers. Birds were numerous; the clear, melodious note of the meadow lark and the warble of the mocking bird were heard on every hand. In places we ran along the shore on a headland high above the sea and again we dropped down to a sandy beach. Much of the road was dusty, rough, and poor—sand and adobe that must have been well-nigh impassable in wet weather. Need I say that it has been improved since the new state highway 171 follows the course of El Camino Real south of Los Angeles?

From Photograph by Dassonville

After closely following the beach for many miles the road rounds a huge cliff and turns sharply inland—we saw no more of the ocean. Dana mentions the coast just above the point in "Two Years Before the Mast," as a spot where the ship's people landed to trade with the natives, whose merchandise consisted chiefly of skins and furs. Climbing to the summit of a pass through the hills, we caught a distant glimpse of the crumbling walls and red tiles of another of the old-time retreats of the fathers of St. Francis.

I find in my "Log-Book of a Motor Car," set down on the spot, "Capistrano is really the most picturesque of all the missions we have seen"—a judgment which I am still willing to let stand after having visited every link in the ancient chain. Perhaps this impression is partly due to the fact that the restorer's hand has so far dealt lightly with San Juan Mission and partly because the town of Capistrano itself is so redolent of ancient California. Indeed, this scattered hamlet must have looked very much the same fifty years ago as it does to-day, and as yet it shows little sign of waking from its somnolence and catching step with the rapid march of California's progress. The population is mostly Mexican and half-breed—a dreaming, easy-going community that seems quite content with its humdrum life and obvious poverty. There is a good-sized wooden hotel which in numerous roadside signs makes an earnest bid for the patronage of 172 motorists, and looks as if it might be fairly comfortable for a brief sojourn.

To see Capistrano, the motor which takes you away when you are ready to go, is the means par excellence. The charm of the place is the mission, which you can see to your satisfaction in an hour or two, though you will doubtless desire to come again. It stands at the edge of the village in the luxuriant green valley, guarded by the encircling hills so omnipresent in California. Someone has styled it the Melrose Abbey of the west, but it is quite as different from Melrose Abbey as California is unlike Scotland. We enter the grounds and look about some time for a guide, but find no one save a dark-eyed slip of a girl in a broad sombrero, placing flowers on the altar of the diminutive chapel. She leads us to the quarters of the padre and we hear him chanting a Latin prayer as we approach. He is a tall, dark, ascetic-looking young fellow, who greets us warmly and asks us to step into his study until he is ready to go with us. It is a bare, uncomfortable-looking room, which from the outside we would never have suspected to be occupied. He is Father St. John O'Sullivan, a young Kentuckian of Irish descent and one can soon see that he is at San Juan Capistrano because his heart is in his work. He tells us little of the story of the mission, for he has written a booklet covering that—which we gladly purchase, and also a number of the beautiful photographs which he himself has taken. Like every other mission priest whom we met, his heart is set on the restoration and preservation of his charge and every dollar that he gets by contribution 173 or the sale of his pictures or souvenirs is hoarded for that purpose.

From Photograph by Dassonville

And who can look about the beautiful ruin and not be impressed that his purpose is a worthy one? For here, beyond question, was one of the largest establishments and the finest church of all the twenty-one missions of California. Our pictures must be the best description of the ruin—but they can give little idea of the impressive ensemble. The inner court was surrounded by arched cloisters, part of which still remain, though time-stained to a mellow brown and covered with vines and roses. A tiny garden now relieves the wide waste of the ancient enclosure, fragments of whose walls are still to be seen. The original tiles still cover the roof, giving that rich color combination of dull reds, silver-grays, and moss-greens which one seldom sees elsewhere. The ruins of the great church are the most impressive and melancholy portion—doubly so when one learns that the earthquake of 1812 tumbled the seven stone domes of the roof upon the congregation while at mass, crushing out forty lives. Traces of the carvings and decorations still remain which show that in rude artistic touches Capistrano church surpassed all its compeers. A little nondescript campanile with four bells remains, whose inscriptions and history are given in Father O'Sullivan's "Little Chapters." Here, also, he gives one or two pleasing traditions of the bells, which are worth repeating here:

"Of the mission bells there are many traditions known to all the older people of San Juan. One of these relates to the good old padre, Fray Jose 174 Zalvidea. Of all the mission padres, he more than the others, still survives in the living memory of the people and his name is the 'open sesame' to the treasure caves of local tradition.

"Adhering to the ancient custom of his brethren, he always traveled afoot on his journeys to other missions, or on calls to the sick. Once while returning from a visit to a rancheria in the north, the story runs, he was overtaken near El Toro, some twelve miles away, by the other padre of the mission, who rode in a carreta drawn by oxen. On being invited to get in and ride, he refused and answered pleasantly.

"'Never mind, my brother, I shall arrive at the mission before you to ring the Angelus.'

"The other father, respecting Padre Jose's desire to proceed afoot, did not urge him further, but continued on his way in the carreta.

"Now in those days El Camino Real came into San Juan from the north, not as it does now, along the level side of the Trabuco Valley, but some rods to the east, over the rolling breasts of the lomas. From the mission patio one may still see the depression in the hill-top to the northwest of the mission, where the roadway came over the swelling ground there, and gave the weary traveler from the north a first full view of the mission. When the father in the carreta reached this point on the King's Highway, it was just the hour for the Angelus, and promptly on the moment the bells rang out the three-fold call to prayer. Wondering who could have rung the Angelus in the absence of both fathers, he hastened forward and found that Father 175 Zalvidea, true to his word, had reached the mission before him; but how he did so to this day remains a mystery.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

"Another of the traditions is as follows: There lived with her parents near the mission an Indian maid named Matilda, who was very gentle and devout and who loved to care for the sanctuary and to keep fresh flowers upon the altars. She took sick, however, and died just at the break of day. Immediately, in order to announce her departure, the four bells all began of their own accord, or rather, by the hands of angels, to ring together—not merely the solemn tolling of the larger ones for an adult nor the joyful jingling of the two smaller ones for a child, but a mingling of the two, to proclaim both the years of her age and the innocence of her life. Some say it was not the sound of the mission bells at all that was heard ringing down the little valley at dawn, but the bells in heaven which rang out a welcome to her pure soul upon its entrance into the company of the angels."

This church was built of hewn stone and lime mortar, though most of the other buildings are of adobe.

Capistrano has many interesting relics. There are several statues, including one of San Juan Capistrano in military-religious habit, and of the Blessed Virgin. In the library are numerous illuminated books done by the old-time monks, who always ended their work with a flamboyant "Laus Deo." There are numerous old paintings of doubtful value and several beautiful silver candlesticks.

The story of the mission is soon told, for it 176 was very much like that of every other. It was founded in November, 1776, Father Serra himself taking part in the ceremonies. Ten years later there were five hundred and forty-four Indians under the padres, who had made good progress in the cruder arts and manufactures as well as agriculture. The beautiful church was consecrated with great ceremony in 1806 and was destroyed just six years later. It was the first of all to be "secularized." "The administration of the mission," writes Father O'Sullivan, "passed from the fathers into the hands of salaried state officials and it was only a short time until the lands and even the buildings themselves were sold off and the Indians sent adrift. Some years later, 1862, smallpox appeared among them and almost entirely wiped them out of existence, so that to-day not half a dozen San Juaneros remain in the vicinity of the mission." Even this pitiful remnant has disappeared since the foregoing words were written. On our last visit, Father O'Sullivan told us that on that very day he had buried the last descendant of the once numerous San Juan Mission Indians. "Surely," said he, "the day marks the end of an era in the history of San Juan Capistrano Mission, since it witnesses the utter extinction of the race of people for whose welfare this mission came into existence."

It was a lowering evening as we left after our first visit. The sky had become overcast by a dark cloud rolling in from the sea and raindrops began to patter on the ruin about us. "I am sorry to have the weather interfere with your pleasure trip," said Father O'Sullivan, "but I know that you yourselves 177 would welcome the rain if you understood how badly it is needed here." And so we cheerfully splashed over the sixty miles of wet roads, reaching Los Angeles by lamplight.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

We made other pilgrimages to San Juan Capistrano under more favorable weather conditions, for the road is a lovely one. I have already told of a trip through the charming country to Santa Ana through the orange, lemon, and walnut groves that crowd up to the road much of the way. Beyond Santa Ana there are fewer fruit trees; here grain fields and huge tracts of lima beans predominate. The latter are a Southern California staple, and it was some time before we learned what they were planting with wheeled seeders the latter part of May. The beans usually mature without rain or irrigation—a crop that seldom fails. The country in the main is flat and uninteresting between Santa Ana and Capistrano, but there is always the joy and inspiration of the distant mountains. On one shimmering forenoon we saw a remarkable mirage in this vicinity—the semblance of a huge lake with trees and green rushes appearing in the distance. It receded as we advanced and finally faded away. Its startling distinctness forcibly recalled the stories we had read of travelers being deceived and tormented by this strange apparition in waterless deserts. 178


San Gabriel and San Fernando we had already visited in our rambles out of Los Angeles. The next link in the chain is Ventura, seventy-two miles to the north. From there we planned to follow El Camino Real beyond the Golden Gate to Sonoma, where San Francisco de Asis, the last and remotest of all, passed its short existence—and it proved in all a journey of nearly two thousand miles before we returned to the City of the Angels. A day or two was spent in preparation, studying our maps, packing our trunks, and tuning up the car for the rough roads and stiff grades that it must soon encounter. We were in high anticipation of a glorious trip, for had we not already felt the lure of the open road in California?—and when an old-time friend and his charming wife accepted our invitation to accompany us, our cup of happiness was full.

It is not necessary to say that it was a beautiful day when we finally set out; all California days are beautiful after the first of May and call for no special remark. Leaving Hollywood, with its gorgeous banks of bloom, we crossed over Cahuenga Pass into San Fernando Valley. Of this I have written elsewhere, but it looked even better than when we visited it last; the barley fields were maturing and the olive and apricot groves promised 179 a generous crop. Along the road the roses were in bloom and here and there new houses were going up. Lankershim and Van Nuys are clean, modern towns joined by the splendid new boulevard and show many signs of making good the numerous sweeping claims which they advertise on billboards near at hand. Beyond Calabasas we entered the hills and pursued a winding course through a maze of wooded canyons. On either hand were magnificent oaks, which often overarched the road. Under one of the noblest of these—four or five feet in diameter, with a spread of perhaps one hundred and fifty feet—we paused for our noonday lunch, while the birds among the branches furnished a concert for our benefit. This hill country was but thinly populated and the little ranches which we occasionally passed had anything but a prosperous look. It has shown a marked improvement in many ways since the completion of the new state highway, work on which began shortly after the time of which I write.

The long easy loops of the Canejo Pass led us from the hills to the beautiful Santa Clara Valley, affording an unrivalled view as we descended. This grade is four miles long and, while not very steep at any point, is dangerous because of its many turns and precipitous sides, which in places drop almost sheer for hundreds of feet. A notice at the top restricts speed to four miles per hour, which, if obeyed, would require just an hour for the descent—an example of the ridiculous extremes of many of the "speed limits." A Ventura garage man told me that a few years ago a driver made a 180 wager that he could "do the Canejo" at thirty miles an hour—a piece of folly that resulted in his death as well as that of a companion who was riding with him. We ourselves had ocular demonstration that the descent might be dangerous, for we saw parts of a wrecked car near the middle of the grade and also the tackle used for hauling it up the steep bank down which it had tumbled. The Canejo has since been paved and the grades and sharp turns so greatly reduced that one may do twenty-five miles per hour with far less risk than twelve under the old conditions.

In the valley the road was straight and level for many miles and bordered much of the way by giant eucalyptus trees. The eucalyptus, so common in Southern California, is a wonderfully quick grower and serves some very useful purposes, especially for piles in sea water, since the teredo will not attack it. On either side of the road were vast fields of lima beans; one tract, we were told, comprising more than four thousand acres. Here again we saw a distant mirage—waves of the sea apparently sweeping over the low, level ground before us. We soon came in sight of the ocean and caught a glimpse of Oxnard—the beet-sugar town—a few miles off the main road.

There are two alternate routes which every tourist should take should he make subsequent trips between Ventura and Los Angeles. One of these follows the San Fernando Boulevard to San Fernando town. Here one takes the road past the old mission—about a mile from the town—and leaves the valley a few miles farther through the Santa 181 Susana Pass over a moderate grade—practically the only unimproved section of this road. The highway continues through the wayside hamlets of Simi, Moorpark and Saticoy, running through a well-improved and fertile valley and joining the state road a few miles south of Ventura.

The other route follows the San Fernando Boulevard through Newhall Tunnel past Saugus to Castaic, where it branches to the left. It takes us through the fine fruit-growing and farming country of the Santa Clara Valley and the well-improved towns of Fillmore and Santa Paula. Near Camulos Station on the S. P. R. R. is the famous old Spanish ranch house of the same name which served Helen Hunt Jackson as the prototype of the early home of Ramona. It is said to be the best example extant in Southern California of the hospitable home of the old-time Spanish grandee and one may read a very accurate description of it in Mrs. Jackson's novel. It was formerly freely shown to tourists, but frequent acts of vandalism led the owner to close the house to practically all comers.

The Santa Clara Valley road is now all improved and is bordered with some of the finest fruit ranches in Southern California. It has been very interesting to the writer to note how the improvement of the highways to which I have just referred has been followed by the improvement of the country and villages through which they pass. We made our first runs through these valleys when there was little but sandy trails to guide us and our impression of the towns and ranches was far from favorable. No stronger argument could be made 182 in favor of highway improvement than to cite the rapid strides made in these valleys immediately following the coming of better roads.

Our first impression of Ventura, with its broad streets and flower-girded cottages, was wholly favorable, nor have we any occasion to alter it after several visits. It is a quiet, prosperous town of over four thousand people according to the census—which rapidly becomes inaccurate in California—and depends mostly on the productive country about it, though it is gaining some fame as a resort. The new county courthouse, a white stone palace fronting the sea from the hillside above the town, is of classic design and cost, we were told, a quarter of a million dollars. It would be an ornament to a city ten times the size of Ventura and is a fine illustration of the civic pride of these California communities. The situation of the town is charming indeed—on a slight rise overlooking the shimmering summer sea and just below a range of picturesque hills.

The chief historic attraction is the old mission of San Buenaventura, which gives its name to the town and which was founded by Father Serra himself in 1782. It reached the zenith of prosperity in 1816, when the neophytes numbered thirteen hundred and thirty. The result of secularization here was the same as elsewhere: the property was confiscated and the Indians scattered. In 1843 it was restored to the padres, who eked out a moderate living until the American occupation.

All the buildings of the mission have disappeared except the church, which lately was restored 183 and renovated quite out of its ancient self. The interior is now that of a rather gaudy Catholic chapel and most of the relics of early days have been lost. It is situated in the midst of the town and the priest's house and garden adjoin it. In the latter is a fig tree which has survived since the mission days. Taken altogether, San Buenaventura is one of the most modernized and least interesting of the entire chain. Its redeeming feature is the beautiful bell-tower, though the old-time bells are gone. The church is now in daily use and had a great display of wooden figures and lighted candles when we saw it.

Leaving the town we took the new Rincon "cut off" road following the coast to Santa Barbara and avoiding the Casitas Pass—long a terror to motorists. We took the Casitas route on another occasion and while the road was narrow, rough and steep in places, with many sharp turns, we have done so many worse mountain trails since that the recollection is not very disquieting. Just across the river we passed through a beautiful wooded park, the gift of a public-spirited citizen now deceased. Beyond this we began the ascent of the first hill range—East Casitas—which is rather the steeper of the two. But all the disadvantages of the road are atoned for by the shady nooks, the wild flowers and the magnificent outlooks from frequent vantage points, especially from the eastern summit. Here one looks for miles over wooded hills abloom with the pale lavender of the wild lilac and fading away, range after range, into the blue and purple haze of the distance. West Casitas is practically 184 a repetition of East so far as the climb and descent are concerned; in all there were about seven miles of moderately heavy grades before we came into the level roads through the walnut and lemon groves on the western side. We agreed that Casitas Pass was well worth doing once or twice, but generally the Rincon road is to be preferred.

The coast road was opened in the summer of 1912, and was made possible by the construction of more than a mile of plank causeway around cliffs jutting into the sea and over inlets too deep to fill. The county of Ventura contributed fifty thousand dollars to the work and an equal amount was raised by subscription. It closely follows the shore for the whole distance and is about nine miles shorter than the mountain route. It was quite unimproved at the time we first traversed it, and really rougher than the Casitas road.

The Rincon Route, as it is called, has since been paved and now carries practically all traffic between Ventura and Santa Barbara. It affords a glorious drive along a sea of marvelous light and color and the long shelving boulder-strewn beach is a popular camping and play ground. This route may lack the thrills and rugged scenery of the Casitas Pass road, but its smooth level stretches appeal to the average motorist and the usually bad condition of the Casitas is another deterrent to its frequent use.

From Photograph

Both routes converge at Carpinteria, about twelve miles south of Santa Barbara. This little village has two distinct settlements. The site of the old Spanish settlement was visited by the Monterey 185 expedition as early as 1769 and was named "Carpinteria"—carpenter's shop—because some Indians were building a canoe at the spot. The newer American community is more thriving and up-to-date.

A little to the northwest of the village is a monster grapevine famed throughout the section as the Titan of its class. It is near a farmhouse just off the main road and we turned in to view it. The enormous trunk is ten feet in girth and the vines cover a trellis one hundred feet square. Its maximum crop, said the farmer, was fourteen tons a few years ago—enough to make a big carload. One single cluster, of which he showed us a photograph, weighed no less than twelve pounds. The average yearly crop is ten to fifteen tons. Legend has it that it was first planted in 1809, in which case it would be a little more than a centenarian. It is of the mission variety and shows no signs of decay. A comparison of the trunk with the old man shown in our picture should substantiate at least one "tall California story."

A year or two later we paused to view it again, only to find the dead trunk remaining as a sad witness of its former glory. The immense crop of fruit that it had borne the previous year had so sapped its vitality that it withered and died.

At Summerland, a few miles farther, is the curious phenomenon of large oil derricks standing in the ocean. Here are prolific oil wells beneath the water and the oil gives the surface an opalescent appearance for some distance from the shore. The place was originally founded as a spiritualist 186 colony, but for lack of the promotive genius of a Madame Tingley, it never throve. Possibly the creaking oil pumps and pungent odors of the vicinity had something to do with the disappearance of mediums and their ghostly visitants.

On reaching Santa Barbara we decided on the new Arlington Hotel, an imposing structure of solid concrete and dark red brick, the design following mission lines generally. The towers are beautiful copies of those of the Santa Barbara Mission and the roof is of dark red tiling modeled after the antique pattern of the padres. The plainness of the mission, while carried throughout, is everywhere combined with elegance and comfort. The interior of the public rooms is decidedly unique, the finish being dark brown brick and cement, without wood trimming of any kind. Our rooms were furnished plainly but comfortably; the doors were of undressed lumber stained dark brown and furnished with heavy wrought-iron hinges, latches and locks. In such a land of plenty and variety of food products as California, it is not strange that the better hotels are famous for their "cuisine," as the handbooks style it. The Arlington is no exception to the rule, and the quiet and attentive young waitresses add to the attractiveness of the dining-room.

The first query of the stranger in Santa Barbara is for the mission and no sooner had we removed the stains of travel—and they are plentiful when you motor over the dusty roads of California—and arrayed ourselves in fresh raiment than we, too, sought the famous shrine. An electric car leads almost to its door; or, one will find the walk 187 of a mile a pleasant variation after several hours on the roads.

From Photograph by Dassonville

You have the impression of being familiar with Santa Barbara Mission even before you have seen it, for I doubt if there is any other object in California that has been photographed and illustrated in greater variety. Its position is a superb one, on a hillside looking down on the town and fronting the glorious channel. From its tower balconies you may have one of the finest views to be seen in a land of magnificent views and you can not but admire the wisdom of the old padres in selecting the site when Santa Barbara was nothing but a collection of Indian hovels. Directly in front of the mission is the ancient fountain and below it a huge tank in which the natives washed their clothes—a practice to which they were little addicted before the padres came.

Entering the heavy oaken doors, we found system here for handling the troops of tourists who come almost daily; the guide had just gone with a party and we must wait his return. In the meanwhile we found plenty to interest us, for there were many old paintings, books, and other objects on exhibit. Our guide soon arrived—a spare-looking old priest who spoke with a German accent; he was very courteous and kindly, but not so communicative as we might wish a guide to be in such a place. He led us first to the church, a huge apartment forty by one hundred and sixty-five feet, gaudily painted in Indian designs. It is built of stone with enormously heavy walls—six feet thick—supported by buttresses nine feet square. Its 188 predecessor was destroyed by an earthquake and it would seem that in the new structure the fathers strove to guard against a second disaster of the kind. The interior had been modernized and the decorations reproduce as nearly as possible the original Indian designs. There are numerous carved figures and paintings brought from Spain and Mexico in an early day. One of the paintings is a remarkable antique, representing the Trinity by three figures, each the exact counterpart of the other. A stairway leads to one of the towers and as we ascended we noted the solidity of the construction, concrete and stone being the only materials employed. We were shown the mission bells, two of which are one hundred years old, suspended by rawhide thongs from the beams on the roof. There is a magnificent view from the tower, covering the town and a wide scope of country and extending seaward to the islands beyond the channel. Descending, we were conducted into the cemetery garden where, the guide told us, were buried no less than four thousand Indians during mission days. It is a peaceful spot now, beautiful with flowers and shrubbery and affording a quiet retreat for the monks. There are many rare trees and shrubs and we were especially interested in a giant datura as old, perhaps, as the cemetery. In one corner is a mausoleum where the fathers have been buried since the founding of the mission. Some thirty have been laid to rest here and only five crypts remained unoccupied at the time of our visit.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

In the court on the opposite side of the church is the garden which, according to an ancient rule, 189 no woman may enter save the "reigning queen," though after the American conquest this was extended to include the wife of the President, and the priest told us with pride that Mrs. Benjamin Harrison availed herself of the privilege. By a somewhat wide interpretation of the "reigning queen" rule, Princess Louise, wife of the Governor-General of Canada, was also admitted once upon a time. We recall a similar rule in Durham Cathedral and it seems that the monks of the Old World and New did not always feel proof against feminine charms. One of the old Franciscan fathers, however, took quite a different view of the matter.

"It seems," he said, "that since our Mother Eve, through her fatal curiosity brought upon her daughters the curse of expulsion from Eden, the Franciscan order does not subject any other woman to similar temptation."

While not permitted to enter the garden ourselves, we were able to get a very satisfactory "bird's-eye" view of it from the tower balcony.

The mission now is a Franciscan college for monks and at the time of our visit there were forty-nine brothers in all. It is a center of Catholic learning in California, having a valuable library which contains most of the sources of mission history. Among these Father Zephyrin Engelhardt labors daily upon his great work on "The Franciscan Missions of California." Of this he has already published three large volumes which are recognized as a valuable contribution to American history, and a fourth is soon to follow. There are also illuminated 190 missals from Spain and Old Mexico and other rare volumes of considerable value.

The fathers and their students do all the work necessary to keep up their establishment and its gardens. Each one learns some particular trade or work and does not shrink from the hardest physical labor. The buildings and grounds are being improved and beautified each year and Santa Barbara seems to be the one mission where ideal conditions prevail for the care of the property and the preservation of the traditions of early days. Very appropriately it still remains in charge of the Franciscans, a rather uncommon distinction shared with San Luis Rey alone.

Santa Barbara was founded in 1786, four years after Father Serra's death. The present church was completed in 1820 and is described by Father Engelhardt as "probably the most solid structure of its kind in California." The Indian population of the mission was at its maximum in 1803, numbering seventeen hundred and ninety-two souls. The secularization decree took place in 1834, at which time the property was valued at a little in excess of one hundred thousand dollars. So notably was the Mexican program a failure at Santa Barbara that ten years later the property was restored to the padres; but the Indians were scattered, the wealth dissipated, and the building in a sad state of disrepair. Less than three hundred natives remained and these gained a living with difficulty. Three years afterwards the governor sold the property to a private party for seventy-five 191 hundred dollars; but after the American occupation it was returned to the church.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

The arcade fronting the sea, the cloisters partly surrounding the garden, and a few other portions of the original buildings remain, but the present dormitory is modern. The decree authorizing the college was issued by Rome more than fifty years ago and the restoration work proceeded but slowly, being done largely by the fathers and their students. Father O'Keefe, the kindly old priest whom we met at San Luis Rey, directed much of the work and pushed it to completion. His excellent record here resulted in his transfer to the southern mission where, as we have seen, he was also singularly successful.

Before we departed we purchased a copy of Father Engelhardt's history and left our modest contribution as well, for the Franciscan fathers, who have so faithfully labored to restore and protect this beautiful old mission and who show such courtesy to the visiting stranger, have no source of income except voluntary gifts.

Coming out, we paused awhile to admire the sunset bay from the arcade and then wended our way along flower-bordered walks to our hotel.

There is no other town of the size in California—or scarcely of any size, for that matter—that has about it such a wonderful series of drives and walks as Santa Barbara.

At the time of our first visit some of these were closed to motors and as a guide seemed almost a necessity, we decided to abandon the car for the novelty of a horse-drawn vehicle. We had no 192 trouble at all in finding one for there were a host of Jehus on the street who recognized us as tourists at sight and eagerly hailed us as possible customers. We chose the oldest fellow of all, partly out of sympathy and partly because we liked his face, and it proved a more fortunate selection than we suspected at the time. He was an old-time Californian, having crossed the plains with his parents in 1854, when a child of six. He had an adventurous career, beginning with that time, for he was stolen from the camp by a band of Indians and recovered two days later by the pioneers after a sharp fight. He had been in the midst of the mining maelstrom and was rich and poor half a dozen times—poor the last time, he declared, and now the condition had become chronic. He had lived in Santa Barbara thirty years and not only knew every nook and corner of the town and vicinity, but could tell who lived in the houses and many bits of interesting history and gossip as well.

In the forenoon he took us among the fine homes of the millionaire residents, some of which reminded us not a little—though of course on a smaller scale—of great English estates we had visited. But in Santa Barbara they have the advantage of shrubs and trees which flourish the year round and from nearly all there is a perennial view of summer sea, always beautiful and inspiring. The grounds of many of these places are open to visitors and some are marvelously beautiful; the climate admits of great possibilities in landscape-gardening in the free use of semi-tropical shrubs, palms, flowers, and fruit trees. 193

Our guide then took us through the grounds of the Miramar Hotel Colony, if I may so describe it. Here a wooded hill on the shore is covered with a group of cottages, which are rented by guests who get their meals at a central building—a plan that affords the advantages of privacy and outdoor life without the cares of housekeeping.

Of course we visited the Gillespie house and gardens—"El Furiedes," which may be roughly translated as "pleasure garden"—which, after the mission, is probably the most distinctive attraction of Santa Barbara. The gardens cover about forty acres and contain a great variety of rare flowers, shrubs, and trees from all parts of the world. In places these form tangled thickets where one might easily lose himself if not familiar with the winding paths. Quiet pools play an important part in the decorative scheme, and these were beautified with rare water plants, among them the Egyptian lotus. In the center of the grounds is the house, built along the lines of a Roman villa. It is not open to visitors, but our guide declared that it contains a costly collection of antiques of all kinds. The main doors are remarkable examples of carving, dating from about 1450, and were taken from a Moorish temple in Spain. The owner of this beautiful place, a New York millionaire, said our guide, spends only a small part of his time in Santa Barbara. In the meanwhile the gardens are maintained at his expense, and are as easy of access to visitors as a public park.

Before returning to our hotel we made the round of the city and our driver pointed out some 194 of the older and more historic buildings. Of these the de la Guerre mansion is the most notable aside from the mission itself. Here took place the marriage of Donna Anita to Senor Noriega y Carillo, so vivaciously described by Dana in "Two Years Before the Mast." It is a typical old-time Spanish residence, low, solid, and surrounding the inevitable court. We were also shown the homes of several people of more or less celebrity who live in Santa Barbara, among them Stewart Edward White, and Robert Cameron Rogers, the poet and author of "The Rosary," whose death California so sincerely mourned a little later.

There are many famous "Little Journeys" out of Santa Barbara which it would be superfluous to describe in detail. There are several good local guidebooks with maps to be had and the services of the Southern California Auto Club branch are always available. You can do most of these excursions in two or three days, including a round trip via the San Marcos Pass, to the Santa Ynez Mission, returning via Los Olivos and the Gaviota Pass. I shall describe the drive which we made on our first visit—and we made it in an old-fashioned surrey, for the road was then closed to motors. I am glad that we were forced to adopt that good old method of locomotion, as it gave us leisure to contemplate the beauties of the scenery that we should scarce have had in our car.

"Take the sixteen-mile drive," says the old driver. "It's one of the best; it is closed to autos and you can do all the rest in your car."

From Original Painting by J. M. Gamble

So it's the "sixteen-mile drive" for us, and a 195 wonderful panorama of green hills, wooded canyons and calm, shining sea it proves to be. The road has many steep pitches and follows the edges of the hills like a narrow shelf; vehicles can pass in but few places and all are required to go in the same direction. From the summits we have many far-reaching views of hill and valley, whose brilliant greens are tempered by the pale violet bloom of the mountain lilac. It is a view very much like some we have seen and many more we are to see, but we shall never weary of it. We have gained something of the spirit of the good old John Muir. "Climb the mountains," he urges, "and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." And so, as we slowly wind about this green-bordered mountain trail, we pause at every vantage point to contemplate the view and finally the most glorious scene of all breaks on our vision, a panorama of wooded hills sloping down to the summer sea—wonderfully calm to-day, with a curious effect of light and color. Across its mirrorlike surface bars of steely blue light run to the channel islands, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, whose mountainous bulk looms in the amethystine haze of sunset some twenty miles away. Of the channel before us Mr. John McGroarty writes in his delightful "History and Romance of California":

"Nor is this all that makes the charm, the beauty, the climatic peace and calm and the fascination of Santa Barbara. Twenty-five miles out to sea a marine mountain range, twin sister of the 196 Santa Ynez on shore, rears its glowing peaks from the tumbling billows in a series of islands. So it is that Santa Barbara faces not the open sea, but a channel or a strait of the sea. Up into this channel flows the warm ocean current from the south and so adds its beneficence to complete the climatic combination that keeps the spot snug and warm and free from all violence in winter, the selfsame combination leaving it cool and refreshing through the long, sunny summers. So, also, do the twin mountain ranges—the one on land, the other out at sea—give Santa Barbara a marine playground as safe and as placid as Lake Tahoe. The channel is a yachtsman's paradise. To its long sweep of blue waters—a stretch of seventy miles—come the Pacific-Coast-built ships of the American navy to be tried out and tested for speed and endurance."

Returning to the city, we followed Sycamore Canyon—rightly named, indeed, for throughout its length is a multitude of giant sycamores, gnarled and twisted into a thousand fantastic shapes like trees of Dante's Inferno. Scattered among them were a few majestic live-oaks, which gradually increased in numbers as we came into the beautiful suburb of Montecito, with its handsome residences and flower-spangled lawns. Our driver enlightened us on the value of some of the places offered for sale, also of numerous vacant lots just on the edge of the town. Three to five thousand per acre seemed to be the average sum that a millionaire was asked to invest should he desire to establish an "estate" here—prices quite as high as was then demanded for similar property in the neighborhood of 197 Los Angeles. And it is not likely that values will cease to advance.

The completion of the new highway has put Santa Barbara into easy touch with the metropolis by motor car, adding still farther to its desirability as a residence town for people with leisure and money. The distance, just one hundred miles, is an easy three-hours' drive and a very popular Sunday jaunt from Los Angeles and frequent motor busses make the trip daily. All of which serve to make Santa Barbara a long-distance suburb of the Queen City to a far greater extent than it was in the days of rough roads and the "dreadful Casitas Pass," as I heard it styled more than once.

But here I am going on as if the automobile were the prime factor in making a town prosperous—and, truly, it is hard for one who has never visited California to understand what a tremendous utility the motor car has become in the life of the people. And, besides, this is a motor-travel book by an admitted automobile crank and perhaps a little exaggeration of the importance of the wind-shod steed is permissible under such circumstances.

But, all levity aside, Santa Barbara, with her unrivaled attractions, her sheltered sea, her delightful environment of mountain and forest, her matchless climate, her palms, her roses, her historic associations and—not least in our estimation—the rapidly increasing mileage of fine roads about her, is bound to receive continual additions from the ranks of the discriminating to her cultured and prosperous citizenship. 198


Leaving Santa Barbara for the north, we turned aside a little way out of the town into the entrance of Hope Ranch, a beautiful park which was then being exploited as a residence section. Here are several hundred acres of rolling hills studded with some of the finest oaks we had seen and commanding glorious views of the ocean and distant mountains. Splendid boulevards wind through every part of the tract. A fine road runs around a little blue lake and leads up to the country club house which stands on a hill overlooking the valley. Passing through the tract, we soon came to the ocean and, following Cliff Drive, which leads along the shore for a few miles, we found ourselves in the grounds of the Potter Hotel. The drive is an enchanting one, with views of rugged coast and still, shining sea stretching away to the dim outlines of the channel islands.

From Original Painting by Percy Gray

On our first trip we chose the coast road and followed a fine new boulevard for a dozen miles out of Santa Barbara—but beyond this it was a different story. Not so bad as the Los Olivos garage man declared—"the worst in California"—but a choppy trail with short, steep hills and stretches of adobe about as rough as could be from recent rains. At the little village of Gaviota this road swings inland over Gaviota Pass, though there is a shorter and 199 more direct route to Santa Ynez, the next mission. This branches from the main road about four miles north of Santa Barbara and cuts directly across the mountains through San Marcos Pass. Probably this was the original Camino Real, since it is several miles shorter than the coast road and would present little difficulty to the man on foot or horseback, as people traveled in the brave old mission days.

On one occasion we varied matters by taking this route despite the dubious language of the road-book and the rather forbidding appearance of the mountain range that blocked our way. We found the road quite as steep and rough as represented—very heavy going over grades up to twenty-five per cent, with a multitude of dangerous corners—but we felt ourselves more than repaid for our trouble by the magnificence of the scenery and the glorious, far-reaching panoramas that greeted us during the ascent. It was something of an effort to turn from a broad, smooth boulevard into a dusty trail which was lost to view in the giant hills, though we solaced ourselves with the reflection that the boulevard continued but a few miles farther. Fording a little river—the great flood a few weeks before had swept away every vestige of the bridge—we ran for a short distance over a tree-fringed road through the valley and then began the six-mile climb to the summit of the range. Much of the way trees and shrubbery bordered the road, but at frequent intervals we came into open spaces on the mountain side which afforded some of the finest views we saw in California. The day was unusually clear and the landscape beneath us was 200 wonderfully distinct in the morning sun. A long reach of wooded hills, dotted here and there with cultivated fields and orchards surrounding red-roofed ranch-houses, stretched down to the narrow plain along the sea. Upon this to the southward lay the town of Santa Barbara as an indistinct blur and beyond it the still shining waters of the channel running out to the island chain which cuts off the great waste of the Pacific. During our ascent we paused many times to cool our steaming motor and saw the same glorious scene from different viewpoints, each showing some new and delightful variation.

Strenuous as was the climb, it was almost with regret that we crossed the hills which finally shut the panorama of mountain and sea from our sight. The descent was even steeper than the climb, but there were frequent grassy dales starred with wild flowers which broke the sharp pitches, and many views of magnificently wild scenery down the Santa Ynez Canyon. At the foot of the grade we came to the river—a clear, shallow stream dashing over a wide boulder-strewn "wash." We followed the river valley for some miles through velvety, oak-studded meadows whose green luxuriance was dashed here and there with blue lupines or golden poppies. Coming out of the valley and winding for some distance among low, rolling hills we reached the lonely town of Santa Ynez, which we missed when going by the Gaviota Pass road. It is an ancient-looking little place, innocent of railroad trains and some four miles distant from the mission which gives it the name. 201

We shall never regret our trip through San Marcos Pass, but if the traveler is to make but one journey between Santa Barbara and Los Olivos, he will probably choose the coast road—the route of the state highway—and if he does not find the scenery so spectacular as that of San Marcos, he will find it as beautiful and perhaps more varied. For many miles this route closely follows the Pacific and we quite forgot the rough road in our enthusiasm for the lovely country through which we passed—on one hand the still, deep blue of the sea and on the other green foothills stretching away to the rugged ranges of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Near the village of Naples we were surprised to see a lonely country church, solidly built of yellowish stone, standing on a hilltop. Its Norman style, with low, square tower and quaint gargoyles, seemed reminiscent of Britain rather than California. And, indeed, we learned that it was built years ago by an English resident of the locality, who doubtless drew his inspiration from the Mother Country. But, alas for his ambitions, his costly structure is now quite abandoned and serves the humble purpose of a hay-barn, though it is, and may be for ages, a picturesque feature of the landscape.

We supposed that Naples, like its southern namesake, would prove a modern seaside resort, but we found only a group of whitewashed buildings surrounding an unpretentious inn. It seemed a quiet, cleanly little hamlet and its harsh outlines were relieved by the bright colors of tangled flower-beds. A little farther we paused for our noonday 202 lunch under a great sycamore by a clear little stream. Here some bridge timbers served opportunely for both table and seats; the air was vocal with the song of birds and redolent with the pungent odor of bay trees growing near by. It is not strange that such experiences prejudiced us more strongly than ever in favor of our open-air noonday meals.

Beyond this we passed through a quiet, dreamy country. Houses were few and the only sound was the low wash of the sea upon the rock-strewn shore. The sea was lonely, too, for not a sail or boat or even a sea-bird was to be seen. Only the endless shimmer of the quiet water stretched away in the afternoon sun to the golden haze of the distant horizon.

At Gaviota the foothills creep out to the water's edge and the road takes a sharp swing northward across the mountain range, beyond which is Santa Ynez Mission. The ascent of Gaviota Pass is rather strenuous, the road winding upwards under the overarching branches of oak and sycamore, but many vantage-points afford magnificent views. At the summit we were delighted by a wide outlook over the foothills, studded with giant oaks, stretching away to the dim blue outlines of the High Sierras, and long vistas up and down the quiet valley, whose pastoral beauty was heightened by occasional droves of sheep—a panorama not easily surpassed even in California.

The long, winding descent to the vale of the Santa Ynez was a rough one, thanks to a recent heavy rain which worked the adobe into ruts and 203 gutters. The road was heavily shaded much of the way and was still wet in spots, which, with the sharp hidden turns, made extreme care necessary—if there is any particular road I should wish to avoid it is a wet mountain grade. (I may interject that all of the foregoing is obsolete now; a broad cement highway crosses the Gaviota.)

Just beyond the river we caught a gleam of white-washed walls standing in a grassy plain—the lately restored mission of Santa Ynez. The white-haired padre greeted us warmly, for every visitor, be he Catholic, Protestant, Jew, or Gentile, is welcome.

"We are glad, indeed, to see you," he said. "Santa Ynez is a lonely place and our visitors do much to break the monotony of our lives."

To him it was a labor of love to tell the history of the mission and of his own connection with it, nor did he attempt to conceal his pride over the work he had accomplished. He first directed our attention to the beauty of the site—the fertile plain with luxuriant green fields and fruit-tree groves, surrounded by a wide arc of mountain peaks with rounded green foothills nearer at hand. Through the center of the valley, but a few hundred yards from the mission, flows the tree-fringed Santa Ynez River, a stream of goodly volume in the springtime and well stocked with mountain trout.

"Oh, they were shrewd, far-sighted men, those old Franciscan padres," said Father Buckler, "when it came to choosing a site for a mission. Do you know that old Governor Borica, who declared California 'the most peaceful and quiet country on 204 earth,' was the man who located Santa Ynez in this spot, which he styled 'beautiful for situation' in making his report? Surely he knew, for he himself had made long explorations in the mountainous regions by the coast and five missions in 1796-7 were established by Padre Lasuen under the Governor's orders. Santa Ynez was founded in 1804; it was not one of the great missions, since its greatest population was only seven hundred and sixty-eight in 1816, but it was one of the most prosperous in proportion to its size. Its first church was destroyed by the earthquake of 1812, but five years later the chapel which you now see was completed. The arrangement and style of the buildings here in 1830 were much like Santa Barbara, though everything was on a smaller scale. The secularization took place five years later, at which time the property was considered worth almost fifty thousand dollars—which meant a good deal more than it would now. The Mexican Government had such poor success with the Indians that they gave the mission back to the padres in 1843, but the evil work had been done and prosperous days never returned. In 1850 it was abandoned and gradually fell into ruin.

From Photograph by Dassonville

"I was sent here with instructions to report on the feasibility of restoring the mission. I expected to remain but two months at most, and now eleven years have passed since I came. My work was well under way when the earthquake of 1906 compelled me to start over again and it was but two years ago that the bell-tower and several buttresses of the church suddenly crumbled and fell in a heap in the 205 cemetery. We were only too thankful when we found the four ancient bells unharmed—the rest I was sure we could rebuild, and we did it in enduring concrete. Last Easter we held a special service to celebrate the restoration, and chimes were rung on the old bells from their place in the new tower.

"Our congregation is a small one and very poor. It includes about sixty Indians, most of whom live in and about Santa Ynez. They are all very religious and have great reverence for old paintings and figures. Many valuable relics have been looted from Santa Ynez Mission, but never by an Indian—the educated white man is usually the thief. Indeed, it was a college professor who stole a beautiful hand-wrought plate from the old door. Come with me, my friends, and see what we have done."

He led the way first to the chapel, a long, narrow, heavily buttressed structure built of adobe. The "fachada" is the restoration spoken of and the father hopes gradually to reproduce the ancient building in the same enduring material. In the chapel is a large collection of pictures, statues and candlesticks, some of them ancient and others of little value. Traces of the old decorations remain, mostly sadly defaced, except in the chancel, where the original design and coloring are still fairly perfect.

The padre then led us to his curio room, containing relics of ancient days. He is a true antiquarian and few if any of the missions had as good a collection. The most curious was a mechanical organ player, an extremely ingenious contrivance 206 for enabling one with little musical ability to play the instrument, and an old horse fiddle, still capable of producing a hideous noise. Besides these there were rusty little cannons, antique flintlock muskets and pistols and swords of various kinds; candlesticks in silver and brass; ponderous locks and keys; church music done on parchment; great tomes of church records, bound in rawhide, and a great variety of vessels for ecclesiastical and domestic use. There was a huge yellow silk umbrella which was carried by the padres in days of old on their pedestrian trips from mission to mission, for the rules of the order forbade riding. So strict were they on this score that at one of the missions where the monks had been guilty of riding in carts the president ordered that these vehicles should all be burned.

The pride of the father's heart was the collection of ancient vestments, which we consider the finest we saw at any of the missions. In addition to those belonging to Santa Ynez, the vestments of La Purisima are treasured here. Most of them were made in Spain over a hundred years ago and they are still in a surprisingly perfect condition. Rare silks and satins of purest white or of rich and still unfaded color were heavily broidered with sacred emblems in gold and silver and there was something appropriate to every festival and ceremony of the church. "Many of them are worth a thousand dollars each," said Father Buckler, "but no money could buy them, for that matter. Yes, I wear them on state occasions and they are greatly admired and even reverenced by my parishioners." 207

A more gruesome collection—a queer whim of the father's—was a case of glass bottles and jars containing all manner of reptiles and vermin discovered in or about the old building during the restoration work. There were snakes of all sizes and species, lizards, scorpions, tarantulas, and other venomous creatures, all safely preserved in alcohol.

"They are not very common now," said the father, "but my collection shows some of the inhabitants of the mission when I first came here."

When we came out again into the pleasant arcade, Father Buckler called our attention to another of his diversions more agreeable to think upon—his collection of cacti and flowering shrubs. Several of the former were in bloom and we were especially delighted with the delicate, pink, lily-shaped flower of the barrel cactus which, the father assured us, is very rare indeed.

We thanked the kindly old priest for his courtesy, not forgetting a slight offering to assist in his good work of rescuing Santa Ynez from decay, and bade him farewell.

"We are always glad to get acquainted with the mission priests. They have proved good fellows, without exception," we declared, "and we hope we may find Father Buckler here on our next visit."

"I was not asked to come here—I was sent," said the father, "and I hope they may not send me elsewhere on account of my years; but if the order comes I must go."

He laughingly declined to be photographed in his "working clothes" and waved us a cordial farewell 208 as we betook ourselves to our steed of steel, which always patiently awaited our return. We were glad as we swept over the fine road through the beautiful vale that we were not of the Franciscan order—we would rather not walk, thank you!

The five-mile run from the mission to Los Olivos was a beautiful one, through oak-studded meadows stretching to the foot of mighty mountains, about whose summits the purple evening shadows were gathering. Just at twilight we came into the poor-looking little town of a dozen or so frame "shacks" and cottages.

It had been a strenuous day, despite the fact that we had covered only fifty-four miles—the distance via Gaviota Pass. The San Marcos route is fifteen miles shorter, but our trip that way took no less than four hours, three of which were spent on the heavy grades of the pass. The Gaviota road much of the way was adobe, which, being translated into Middle West parlance, would be "black gumbo," and a recent heavy rain had made it dreadfully rutty and rough. We were weary enough to wish for a comfortable inn, but Los Olivos did not look very promising. It chanced, however, that we were agreeably disappointed in our expectations—at the edge of the village was a low, rambling building which they told us was the hotel. Here we found one of the old-time country inns to which the coming motor had given a new lease of life and renewed prosperity. Mattei's Tavern evidently gets its chief patronage from the motor, for no fewer than seven cars brought five or more passengers each on the evening of our arrival. 209 Some were fishing parties—the Santa Ynez River is famous for trout—and not all the guests remained over night, though many of them did. Our rooms, while on the country hotel order, were clean and comfortable. But the dinner—I have eaten meals in pretentious city hotels not so good as that served to us by the bewhiskered old waiter at Mattei's Tavern. We had made a guess as to the nationality of the proprietor—Swiss—and the waiter confirmed it. We had stopped at hotels with Swiss managers before, in many countries besides Switzerland, and always found in evidence the same knack of doing things right. Mattei himself was on the job looking after the details to insure the maximum of comfort to his guests, and, like the manager of the Kaiserhof at Lucerne, he was at the door to bid us good-bye and Godspeed.

After dinner we walked about the little village and the silence and loneliness seemed almost oppressive. Overhead bent the clear, star-spangled heavens, while around the wide floor of the valley ran a circle of ill-defined mountains, still touched to the westward with the faint glow of the vanished sun. Certainly, if one were seeking rest and retirement away from the noise and bustle of the busy world, he might find it in Los Olivos!

The new highway misses the village by a mile or two, but the knowing ones will never regret that its quiet and seclusion are still unbroken. They will enjoy the pleasant rural inn even more on that account.

Our car was before the Tavern's vine-covered veranda early in the morning. There was nothing 210 to detain us in Los Olivos and after a breakfast quite as satisfactory as the dinner of the evening before—we had trout from the Santa Ynez—we bade good-bye to our host, who gave us careful directions about the road. These were beginning to be needed, for sign-boards were less frequent and El Camino Real in some places was little better than it must have been in the days of the padres—often scarcely distinguishable from the byroads. All this will be improved in the near future, for everywhere along the roadside we saw stakes marking the state highway survey, which, when carried to completion, will make El Camino Real a highway fit for a king, indeed!

For the greater part of the day we ran through hills studded with immense oaks—the omnipresent glory of this section of California. In places we caught glimpses of green carpeted dales stretching beneath these forest giants, and noticed that these trees usually stand at spacious distances from each other, which no doubt accounts for their perfect symmetry. The road in the main is level, though somewhat rough and winding as far as Santa Maria, the first town of consequence. It is a modern, prosperous-looking place which the last census set down as possessing four thousand souls; it now claims a thousand more and, indeed, its appearance seems to substantiate its claim, though one is likely to be fooled in this particular by some of the newer California towns. Their wide streets and spacious lots often give the impression of a larger population than they really have.

Out of Santa Maria we followed a bumpy 211 road to Arroyo Grande through a brown, barren-looking country—for the season had been almost without rain. The wind was blowing a gale, driving the sand with stinging force into our faces; and two weeks later when we passed over the same road on our return the same sirocco was sweeping the country. We asked a garage man of Santa Maria if this had been going on all the time, but he promptly declared that it had begun only that morning and that it was "very unusual."

From Arroyo Grande there were two main roads to San Luis Obispo, but we chose the one which swings out to the ocean at El Pizmo beach, a popular resort in season, though when we saw it a forlorn-looking, belittered hamlet, seemingly almost deserted. The attraction of the place is the wide, white beach, some twenty miles long, so hard and smooth that some record-breaking motor races have been made upon it. We could see but little, for a gray fog half hid the restless ocean and swept in ghostly curtains between us and the hills. The road ascended a long grade, affording some glorious sea views, for the fog had broken into fleecy clouds and the sunlight had turned the gray sea into a dense expanse of lapis lazuli. But we had not long to admire it, for the road turned sharply inland and a half dozen miles brought us into San Luis Obispo. The town takes its name from the mission founded by Serra himself in 1775—San Luis, Bishop of Tolusa, being commemorated by Padre Lasuen, who selected the site. Near at hand may be seen a series of strange pyramidal mountains, almost as regular in contour as the pyramids of Egypt, and 212 one of them, curiously cleft through the center, suggested a bishop's mitre to the ancient Franciscan; hence the name of the "City of the Bishop." The town, though ancient, has little of interest save the mission and this, through unsympathetic restoration, has lost nearly all touch of the picturesque.

We hesitated a moment in front of the chapel and a Mexican at work on the lawn offered to conduct us about the place, and a very efficient guide he proved to be. He led us into the long, narrow chapel, now in daily use and which has a number of old paintings and queer images besides the regular paraphernalia one finds in Catholic churches. While we walked about, several Mexican women came in and kneeled at their devotions. They were clearly of the poorer class; our guide said that the people of the congregation were poor and that the padre had difficulty in raising money to keep up the mission. Around the neat garden at the rear of the new dormitory—a frame building contrasting queerly with the thick, solid walls of the chapel—were scattered bits of adobe walls of the buildings which had fallen into decay. One low, solid old structure, used as a storeroom and stable, remained to show the sturdy construction of the buildings.

"Here at San Luis," said our guide, "tile roofs were first used; the Indians burned the buildings twice by setting fire to the reed roofs with burning arrows; then the fathers made tile which would not burn and all the missions learned this from San Luis."

He showed us with great pride the treasures of San Luis, in the relic room at the rear of the chapel. 213 Chief among these was the richly broidered vestment worn by Junipero Serra at the dedication services more than a century ago. There were many other vestments and rare old Spanish altar cloths with splendidly wrought gold and silver embroidery which elicited exclamations of delight from the ladies of our party. The guide must have thought he noted a covetous look when he showed us some of the old hand-wrought silver vessels, candlesticks, and utensils, for he said, "The fathers must die for want of money rather than sell any of it." On leaving we asked if he had not a booklet about San Luis such as we had obtained at several of the missions and he gave us a thick pamphlet which proved to be an exposition of the faith by a well-known Catholic bishop.

While it is desirable that any mission be restored rather than to fall into complete ruin, it certainly is to be regretted when the work is done so injudiciously as at San Luis Obispo. Here original lines have been quite neglected and so far as giving any idea of the architecture and daily life of the padres and their charges, the work had better been left undone. The state, we believe, should assist in restoration, but it should be done under intelligent supervision, with the view of reproducing the mission as it stood at its best period under the Franciscan monks. Old material should be employed as far as possible, but this does not seem so important as to have the original designs faithfully adhered to.

Two or three years later a disastrous fire wiped out much of San Luis Obispo Mission. 214 Restoration is proposed and we may hope that it will succeed and that it will be more in the spirit of the original structure than much of the work we saw when we visited the mission. The project should receive the encouragement and support of everyone interested in preserving the historic landmarks of our country.

A few miles out of San Luis on the Paso Robles road we crossed the Cuesta grade. It was a steady pull of a mile and a half over a ten per cent rise and from the beautifully engineered road we had many vistas of oak-covered hills and green valleys. Some of the lawnlike stretches by the roadside, with the Titanic oaks, reminded us of the great country "estates" we had seen in England, only there was no turret or battlement peeping from the trees on the hilltop. The western slope is steeper, some pitches exceeding fifteen per cent, and several sharp turns with precipitous declivities close beside the road made careful driving imperative.

From Original Painting by Gordon Coutts

Twenty miles farther over a fair road brought us to El Paso de Robles—the pass of the oaks—a name which it seemed to us might have been applied to almost any number of places along our route for the past day or two. The place is famous for its hot springs, which exist in great variety and whose curative properties were known to the Indians. The largest spring has a daily flow of two million gallons of sulphur-impregnated water at a temperature of one hundred and seven degrees. There is a little spring which reaches one hundred and twenty-four degrees, besides numerous others 215 of varying composition. These springs are responsible for the palatial hotel which stands in the midst of beautiful grounds at the edge of the town. It was built several years ago of brick and stone in Swiss villa style, with wide verandas along the front. It was hardly up to date in some appointments, but the manager told us that plans were already complete for modernizing it throughout at a cost of a couple of hundred thousand dollars—though I fear the war wrecked this project as it did thousands of similar ones. We had no cause to complain, however, at the time of our visit, as the service was excellent and rates were moderate.

Out of Paso Robles the road still winds among the oaks, following the course of the Salinas River. At San Miguel, nine miles northward, is the mission of the same name, one of the most interesting of the entire chain. It has more of genuine antiquity about it, for it stands to-day in almost its original state. We not only particularly remember San Miguel, but have a vivid recollection of Father Nevin, the priest in charge, since he was the only one of those we met who seemed to have a strain of pessimism in his make-up and who showed occasional flashes of misanthropy. He led us first of all into the old chapel, the pride of San Miguel, and pointed out that the original roof and floor tiles were still in place and that the walls bore the original decorations. These were done in strongly contrasting colors, which have faded but little in the hundred years of their existence. As Indian motifs seemed to prevail, one of the ladies of our party asked if the work had been done by the 216 Indians. Father Nevin looked really hurt at the query.

"My dear woman," he said, "do you know what you ask? Could those wretched barbarians have done the beautiful frescoes you see on these walls? The California Indians were the most degraded beings on earth. No, the work was done by the good padres themselves."

We were silenced, of course, but could not help thinking that Indians who designed such marvelous basketry might well have done this decoration with a little instruction. And such, indeed, seems to have been the case. George Wharton James, who is known as an authority on such matters, says that the work was done by the natives under the direction of a Spaniard named Murros and that the padres probably did none of it themselves. It is extremely interesting, as showing a church interior practically as it was when the Franciscans held sway in California.

From Photograph by Dassonville

On the walls are ten oil paintings brought from Spain which are considerably older than the church; the painter is unknown and the artistic merit is evidently very small. There are also some fine examples of genuine "mission furniture" in two solid old confessional chairs, supposed to have been made by the Indians. The first bell-tower was built of wood, but gave way some years ago and the bells are now mounted on an incongruous steel tower, something like those used to support windmills. The large bell, weighing over a ton, was recast twenty-five years ago from the metal of the ancient bells. The residence quarters have been 217 restored and the beautiful arcade is still in good preservation. At the rear are remains of cloisters, which were built of burnt brick and now are in a sad state of decay. A few fragments of the wall which once surrounded the mission may still be seen, but, like the cloisters, these are rapidly disintegrating.

I said something to Father Nevin about the obligation which it seemed to me is upon the state to preserve these ancient monuments and added that France and England had wakened up in this regard and were taking steps—but I again unwittingly irritated the good father, for he interrupted me.

"France is a robber nation—she robbed the church just as the Mexicans robbed the missions in California!"

I expressed my regret for bringing up an unpleasant subject, and in taking leave proffered Father Nevin the little offering which we always felt due the good priests who were so courteous and patient with their visitors, but he insistently declined.

"No, no," he said. "I never take anything from a visitor. The question might be asked me, 'What have you done with all that money?' and the answer is easy if I never take any."

He then gave us careful directions about the road and we could not but feel that a kindly nature hid behind his somewhat gruff manner.

San Miguel, it is said, furnished more ideas to Frank Miller for his Riverside Inn reproductions than any other mission, for many of its odd little 218 artistic touches have fortunately escaped the ravages of time. We noted a queer chimney rising above the comb of the roof of the monastic building. It is surmounted by six tiles—three on one side, sloping towards the three on the opposite side—and these are capped with a tile laid flatwise over the ends.

The mission was founded in 1797 by Padre Lasuen. The abundance of water near at hand was given as a reason for choosing the site, for it is scarcely as picturesque as many others. The irrigating ditches which conveyed the waters of Santa Ysabel springs over the mission lands, may still be seen. The first church was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1806 and the present structure was completed in 1817—just a little more than a century ago. The greatest population numbered a thousand and ninety-six in 1814, but ten years later it was much reduced and at the secularization in 1836 only half the number were on the rolls. The total valuation was then estimated at about eighty thousand dollars. After the American occupation the mission fell into decay, but fortunately, the substantial construction of the church saved it from ruin. To-day the community is very poor and if outside help is not received from some source the deterioration of the buildings will be rapid.

From Photograph by Dassonville

A few miles south of San Miguel we forded the Salinas River, a broad but shallow stream winding through a wide, sandy bed. Two men with a stout team of horses were waiting on the opposite side to give a lift to the cars which stalled in the heavy sand—for a consideration, of course—and 219 their faces showed plain evidence of disgust when we scrambled up the bank under our own power. In the wet season the Salinas often becomes a raging torrent and a detour of several miles by the way of Indian Valley to Bradley becomes necessary. At Bradley we again crossed over a long bridge and the road then swings away from the river and runs through the wide level wheatfields of the Salinas Valley. And for the rest of the day, except when crossing an occasional hill range, we passed through endless wheatfields, stretching away to the distant hills. On our first trip the fields did not look very promising, owing to protracted drouth, but a year later we saw the same country in the full glory of a magnificent crop. In these vast tracts harvesting and threshing are done at one operation by huge machines drawn by steam engines. A farmer told us he had seen the valley covered with grain that was above his head when he walked in it, and he was a sizable fellow, too.

There is nothing at Jolon except a country store and two or three saloons—typical western drinking-resorts with a few lazy greasers loafing about. There is a good-looking hotel here, but we preferred our usual open-air luncheon under a mammoth oak—there are hundreds of them above Jolon. Just beyond we crossed the Jolon grade, which had some of the steepest pitches we had yet found. The road took us through beautiful oak-covered hills and at the foot of the grade we came back to the Salinas River. We had been using a map issued by a prominent automobile manufacturer, which showed San Antonio Mission just 220 across the river at King City. Of course we should have to visit this, even if we were late in reaching Monterey. A farmer of whom we inquired for the old mission at King City looked at us blankly.

"Old mission," he echoed, "I don't know of any in these parts."

"But our map shows San Antonio Mission at King City."

"Well, your map is wrong, then—San Antonio is back over the grade six miles from Jolon." And one of the ladies declared that Father Nevin at San Miguel had said something of that sort—why didn't we pay attention at the time? We recognized the futility of any attempt at argument under such circumstances and prudently held our peace. But it was clear enough that San Antonio was not at King City.

"Oh, well," we finally decided, "we shall have to come back this way, in any event, for we have missed La Purisima near Lompoc and we have determined to see them all."

Soledad is a dozen miles farther on the road and near there "Our Lady of the Solitude" was founded in 1791. Crossing the Salinas again over a ram-shackle bridge—the flood swept it away a year later—we came into the street of the little village, which consisted of a few cottages, several stores, and a blacksmith shop—we remember the latter particularly because we hailed the worthy smith and inquired for the mission. He met us with a counter query:

"Are you just on a sightseeing trip?" We 221 admitted this to be our prime object and he quickly rejoined,

"Then there ain't no use in your goin' to see the mission, for there ain't nothin' to see. Besides, the road is mighty bad—all cut up just now"—but seeing we were not satisfied, he added,

"It's just across the river yonder; you'll have to go back to the bridge and turn to the right."

We thanked him and acted on his directions, and we soon found he was right enough—about the road, at least. It had recently been ploughed, leaving a long stretch of powdery dust, axle-deep. We plunged into it, rolling from one side to the other and making exceedingly slow progress. At no time on our tour did it seem more likely that a team of horses would have to be "commandeered," but by keeping at it—had we stopped a single instant we could never have started on our own power—we came through at last, and seeing nothing of the ruins inquired of some men at a pumping station.

"Just over the hill," they replied; but we stopped to see one of the California irrigation wells, and it was something of a spectacle to behold a huge centrifugal pump pouring out six thousand gallons of crystal-clear water every minute.

"She will keep up that gait for four months at a time," said one of the workmen, "and there are several bigger wells in the neighborhood; there surely must be something of a lake under our feet."

The effect of these wells was shown in the green fields, which contrasted with the brown, withered country through which we had been passing. 222

Our friend the blacksmith was right again when he said that the mission "wasn't worth seein'"—just as a spectacle removed from any sentiment it would never repay for the strenuous plunge through the sandy stretch. But "Our Lady of the Solitude" means something more than a few crumbling bits of adobe wall; here is the same human interest and romance that clusters around beautiful Capistrano or delightful Santa Barbara. There is not enough left to give any idea of the architectural or general plan of the buildings; there is even doubt if some of the buildings were not erected after the American occupation. The material was adobe and this does not appear to have been protected by stucco or cement; as a consequence the ruin is complete and in a few years more only heaps of yellow clay will mark the site of the mission. The principal ruins are of the church, which the Sobranes family of Soledad claim was erected by their grandfather in 1850. He was baptized and married in the original church and when this fell to ruin he built the structure whose remains we see to-day. If this claim be true, there is indeed little left of the original mission.

The site is a superb one. The mission stood on one of the foothills which overlook the wide vale of the Salinas, stretching away to the rugged blue ranges of the Sierras. The river may be seen as a gleaming silver thread in the wide ribbon of yellow sand through which it courses, fringed now and then by green shrubs and trees. Across the river is the village of Soledad and the wheatfields beyond are dotted with ranch-houses at wide intervals. 223 It was a fine, invigorating day; the wind, which whiffed sand into our faces all the afternoon, had subsided; a soft, somnolent haze had settled over the landscape; and the low, declining sun reminded us that we must be moving if we were to reach Monterey before dark.

There is not much of history connected with the pitiful relics we were leaving behind. The records belonging to Our Lady of the Solitude have perished with her earthen walls and we could learn only the general details of her story. Founded in 1791 by Father Lasuen, the mission reached its zenith in 1805, when there were seven hundred and twenty-seven neophytes under its control. They possessed large numbers of live stock and had built an extensive irrigating system, traces of which may still be seen. Soledad faded away even more rapidly than its contemporaries following the Mexican confiscation. Six years after this event, which occurred in 1835, only seventy Indians remained, and ten years later the property was sold for eight hundred dollars to the Sobranes, who claim to have built the church. Our Lady of the Solitude is quite past any restoration and it is not likely that a new building will ever be erected on the spot. It will soon take its place with Santa Cruz and San Rafael, which have totally disappeared.

But while we were moralizing about the fate of the mission we were running into some dreadful road. We decided on the advice of a farmer not to retrace our way to Soledad village, but to follow the road on the west side of the river to the crossing at Gonzales, some ten miles distant. It proved a 224 rough, narrow, winding road and we managed to lose it once or twice and came very near stalling in some of the sandy stretches. But the series of views across the valley from the low foothills along which we coursed atoned for the drawbacks, and the bridge at Gonzales brought us back to the main Salinas highway. This proved an excellent macadam road and its long, smooth stretches enabled us to make up for the numerous delays of the day. Salinas, a modern, prosperous-looking town of some four thousand people, is the commercial center of the vast wheatfields surrounding it. Here is located the largest beet-sugar factory in the world and fruit-raising is also a considerable industry. Our run had been a long one and we were quite weary enough to stop for the night, but visions of Del Monte and Monterey still lured us on. We quickly covered the twenty miles to the old capital, the road winding between the glorious hills on either side. These were clothed with a mantle of velvety grass variegated with pale blue lupines and golden poppies and studded with sprawling old oaks—a scene of rare charm in color and contour. We reached the Del Monte just at dusk and were glad that darkness partly hid our somewhat unkempt and travel-stained appearance. 225

From Original Painting by Thos. Moran


"I say God's kingdom is at hand

Right here, if we but lift our eyes;

I say there is no line nor land

Between this land and Paradise."

So sang Joaquin Miller, the Good Gray Poet of the Sierras. What particular place in California he had in mind I do not know, but if I were making application of his verse to any one spot, it would be Monterey and the immediate vicinity. Perhaps I am unduly prepossessed in favor of Del Monte, for here I came on my wedding tour many years ago, and I often wondered whether, if I should ever come again, it would seem the same fairyland and haven of rest that it did on that memorable occasion. I say "haven of rest," for such indeed it seemed in the fullest sense after an all-day trip on a little coast steamer from San Francisco. It was my first voyage and the sea was as rough as I have ever seen it; great waves tossed the little tub of a boat until one could stand on deck only with difficulty. Perhaps I am not competent to give an opinion about standing on deck when during most of the trip I perforce occupied a berth in the ill-smelling little cabin. When the Captain called us to dinner we made a bold effort to respond and I still recall the long, boxlike trench around the table to keep the dishes from sliding about. One whiff 226 of the menu of the "Los Angeles" satisfied us and we retired precipitately to the cabin. The boat was twelve mortal hours in making the trip. When we landed the earth itself seemed unstable and it was not until the following morning that "Richard was himself again."

I do not know that such a digression as this is in place in a motor-travel book. However that may be, I shall never forget the first impressions of Del Monte and its delightful surroundings on the following morning; nor can anything eradicate the roseate memory of the scenes of the seventeen-mile drive, although we made it in so plebeian a vehicle as a horse-drawn buggy.

But Del Monte was not less satisfying or its surroundings less beautiful on the lovely morning—an almost unnecessary qualification, for lovely summer mornings are the rule at Del Monte—following our second arrival at this famous inn. Its praises have been so widely sounded by so much better authorities than myself that any lengthy description here would surely be superfluous. I shall content myself with introducing a page from "America, the Land of Contrasts," by that experienced traveler, Dr. Muirhead, author of Baedeker's guides for Great Britain and the United States, who unqualifiedly pronounces Del Monte the "best hotel on the American continent" and while such a statement must be largely a matter of personal opinion, all, we think, will concede that the famous hotel is most delightfully situated. Dr. Muirhead writes:

"The Hotel Del Monte lies amid blue-grass lawns and exquisite grounds, in some ways recalling 227 the parks of England's gentry, though including among its noble trees such un-English specimens as the sprawling and moss-draped live-oaks and the curious Monterey pines and cypresses. Its gardens offer a continual feast of color, with their solid acres of roses, violets, calla lilies, heliotrope, narcissus, tulips, and crocuses; and one part of them, known as 'Arizona,' contains a wonderful collection of cacti. The hotel is very large, enclosing a spacious garden-court, and makes a pleasant enough impression, with its turrets, balconies, and verandas, its many sharp gables, dormers, and window-hoods. The economy of the interior reminded me more strongly of the amenities and decencies of the house of a refined, well-to-do, and yet not extravagantly wealthy family than of the usual hotel atmosphere. There were none of the blue satin hangings, ormolu vases, and other entirely superfluous luxuries for which we have to pay in the bills of certain hotels at Paris and elsewhere; but on the other hand nothing was lacking that a fastidious but reasonable taste could demand. The rooms and corridors are spacious and airy; everything was as clean and fresh as white paint and floor polish could make them; the beds were comfortable and fragrant; the linen was spotless; there was lots of 'hanging room;' each pair of bedrooms shared a bathroom; the cuisine was good and sufficiently varied; the waiters were attentive; flowers were abundant without and within. The price of all this real luxury was $3.00 to $3.50 a day. Possibly the absolute perfection of the bright and soft California spring when I visited Monterey, and the exquisite 228 beauty of its environment, may have lulled my critical faculties into a state of unusual somnolence; but when I quitted the Del Monte Hotel I felt that I was leaving one of the most charming homes I had ever had the good fortune to live in."

All of which is quite as true to-day as it was more than twenty years ago, when it was first written, excepting that the good doctor would not linger very long at Del Monte on $3.50 per day. And it should be remembered that since the time of Dr. Muirhead's visit many new hotels, which rival Del Monte in location and excellence, have been built in California. The variety and extent of the grounds, the golf links and other amusements, are attractions that might well detain one for some time, even if the surrounding country were not the most beautiful and historic in California. The miles of shady, flower-bordered walks, the lake with its friendly swans, the tennis and croquet grounds, the world-famous golf course, the curious evergreen maze—a duplicate of the one at Hampton Court Palace—the bath-house and the fine beach a few hundred yards to the rear of the hotel, and many other means of diversion always open to the guests, combine to make Del Monte a place where one may spend days without leaving the grounds of the hotel.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

Before one begins the exploration of the peninsula he should gain some idea of the historic wealth of Monterey. No other town on the Pacific Coast can vie with this quiet little seaport in this particular. Discovered by Spaniards under Viscaino in 1602—before the Pilgrim Fathers landed—it 229 was named in honor of the Count of Monterey, ninth viceroy of Mexico. It was the record of this explorer and his testimony to the beauty of the spot that led good Father Serra to select Monterey as the site of his second mission, as related elsewhere in this book. This was in 1770, one year after the founding of San Diego. It will be recalled that the first expedition sent out from San Diego returned without reaching Monterey, but it did discover the great harbor of San Francisco. The second expedition, accompanied by Serra himself, resulted successfully and the good Franciscan had the joy of dedicating San Carlos Borromeo in this beautiful spot. The presidio, or military establishment of the soldiers who came with Serra, was located on the present site of the town and later Monterey was made the provincial capital, a distinction which it retained after the Mexican revolt in 1822 until the American occupation in 1846. It was the center of brilliant social life and gallant adventure during the old Spanish days—some hint of which may be gleaned from our description of the second act of the mission play, which is represented to have taken place at San Carlos. There were battles with pirates who more than once attempted to sack the town and who caused the wreck of many ships by erecting false lights on the shore. But all this came to an end and a new era no less picturesque was opened when the two small vessels, the Cyane and the United States, entered the harbor in July 1846. A landing party under the commander, Commodore Sloat, came ashore and hoisted the stars and stripes over the old custom-house, which is standing to-day, 230 still surmounted by the staff which bore the historic flag. We saw this when we began our round of the town—a long, low building guarded by a lone cypress and consisting of two square pavilions with balconies, with a lower edifice between in which dances and social events were held.

It is now used as a lodge room for the Monterey Chapter of the Native Sons of the Golden West and is usually closed to visitors. We had the good fortune to find it open and in charge of a very interesting Native Son, an old-time resident of the town, whose personal experience dated back to the time of the American occupation. He showed us the various relics collected by the organization, among them the base of the old flag-pole, the trunk of a tree blazed by Kit Carson, and two chairs made from the oak under which Viscaino and Serra are said to have landed. He also told us many incidents in the early history of Monterey and I shall never forget his comment on the result of the work of the missions.

"Ah, they were grand old fellows, those Spanish priests; they ridded California of the Indians and a good job it was—if you don't think so, look at Mexico, where they still exist. Civilization and the white man's diseases were the Spaniard's gifts to the Indian and they finally wiped him out of existence."

Certainly an unique if not very cheerful or appreciative view of the work of the Franciscan fathers.

There is a broad plaza before the custom-house and from this the principal streets of the town begin 231 and each seems distinctive of a particular phase of Monterey. Modern improvements have followed Alvarado, while Main is bordered with adobes—some old and tumble-down but nevertheless very picturesque with their tile roofs, white walls, and little gardens bright with roses and geraniums. On this street is the house occupied by Thomas Larkin, the last American consul, who was much involved in the intrigue preceding the American conquest. To the rear of this house is a little rose-embowered, one-room cottage which was occupied by two young lieutenants, Sherman and Halleck, whose names were afterwards to become so famous in the Civil War.

And this is not the only romantic memory of Sherman still existing in Monterey. Over an arched gateway a sign, "The Sherman Rose," attracted our attention. We made bold to enter and knocked at the door of the solid old stone house inside the enclosure. A little old woman, good-looking in spite of her years, answered our call, but soon made it clear that she spoke no English. She pointed to the ancient rose-vine, several inches in diameter, which scattered its huge fragrant yellow blooms in reckless profusion over the trellis above our heads and we understood that this was the rose which legend declares Sherman and a lovely young senorita of Old Monterey planted as a pledge of mutual affection. But we did not know at the time that the old lady who so kindly showed us about the house and gardens and gave us little bouquets of geraniums and rosebuds is reputed in Monterey to be the identical senorita of the story. I think 232 there must be some mythical elements in this supposition, for the lady hardly looked the years made necessary by the fact that Sherman was in Monterey nearly seventy years ago. The legend is that Sherman, when stationed in Monterey, was enamored of Senorita Bonifacio, the most beautiful young woman of the town. In the midst of his romance the young lieutenant was ordered to the east and when he called on his inamorata to acquaint her with the mournful news he wore a Cloth-of-Gold rose in his coat. His sweetheart took the rose, saying,

"Together we will plant this rose and if it lives and flourishes I shall know that your love is true."

He replied, "When it blooms I will come back and claim you."

But whether the story is true or not, it had not the usual ending, for the young officer never returned to redeem his pledge.

Not far from the Larkin house is the long, low, colonnaded home of Alvarado, the last Spanish governor, and near it stands Colton Hall, famous as the meeting-place of the constitutional convention which assembled within its walls on the day that California was admitted to the Union. Its handsome Grecian facade, with a portico supported by two tall white columns, reminds one of some of the stately Colonial homes of the Southern States. It now serves the very useful though somewhat plebeian purpose of the tax collector's office. Some day we hope it may be converted into a museum to house the historic relics of Monterey. It took its name from Walter Colton, the chaplain of the convention 233 and first American alcade or mayor of the town. A diary which he kept during the three years of his office records many stirring incidents of Old California.

Another structure nearing the century mark, built in 1832, is the Washington Hotel, though that was not its original name, and near it is the ramshackle old adobe known by common consent as the Robert Louis Stevenson house. For the well-beloved author was for four months of 1879 a resident of the town at a time when his health and fortunes seemed at their lowest ebb. Even then he was the leading spirit of a little coterie of Bohemians—artists and litterateurs—among them Charles Warner Stoddard, Jules Tavernier, and William Keith, who often met for dinner in the restaurant kept by Jules Simonneau. To the last named, Stevenson gives credit for saving his life by careful nursing during a severe illness which he suffered shortly after coming to Monterey. Simonneau was a rough, full-bearded old frontiersman, but he conceived an attachment for Stevenson which lasted to the day of his death, and never, even under stress of direst need, would he part with the letters or autographed books which the author had sent him. Neither would he permit the publication of any portion of the correspondence—"letters from one gentleman to another," as it was his whim to refer to them. After his death, which occurred a few years ago, his daughter sold the collection to a San Francisco gentleman and it is to be hoped that the letters will ultimately find their way into print, revealing as 234 they do a very intimate and lovable side of Stevenson's character.

The house was in a sad state of disrepair, the first floor being occupied by a sign-painter's shop at the time of our visit. An erect old fellow, who looked as if his chief failing might be a too free indulgence in one of California's chief products, came out to greet us as we paused before the house, and pointed out the room the great writer occupied during his stay in Monterey. It must have been hard indeed for this prince of optimists to "travel hopefully" under the conditions that surrounded him those few months of his life—exiled, penniless, and ill, domiciled in such rude and comfortless quarters, he must have been as near despair as at any time in his career, yet out of it all came some of his best work.

Our informant refused a fee in a lordly manner.

"I'm a retired officer of the United States Navy, a classmate of Bob Evans, and I was on the Minnesota during the fight with the Merrimac," he declared, and left us with a formal military salute.

Our picture, the work of a Monterey artist, shows the harsh outlines and bare surroundings of the old house accentuated by a flood of California sunshine.

From Original Painting by Clark Hobart

There are many other interesting and picturesque old buildings about the town, among them several that claim the distinction of being the first—or last—of their kind in the state. A tumble-down frame structure is declared to have been the first wooden house in California, built in 1849 of 235 lumber brought from Australia. Talk of "carrying coals to Newcastle," what is that to bringing lumber ten thousand miles to the home of the redwood! The first brick house and the first adobe are also to be seen in the town and the first theatre—where Jenny Lind sang in 1861—still stands.

As one views the historic buildings of Monterey, the painful thought is forced upon him that nearly all are in a deplorable state of dilapidation and that many will have disappeared in a few years unless steps are taken to restore and preserve them. Neither Monterey nor the State of California can afford to lose these memorials of the romantic days of old and it is to be hoped that an enlightened movement to protect them, as well as the missions, may soon be inaugurated by the state.

The one ancient building in Monterey which bears its years very lightly is the fine old church of San Carlos. This is often confused with the mission, but the fact is that it was the parish, or presidio church, as it was called in Spanish days, and was really built as a place of worship for the soldiers, who were at considerable distance from the mission proper at Carmel. There were often bickerings between the Indians and soldiers and the monks judged it best to give the latter a separate chapel. The church was built some time later than the mission—the exact date is not clear—and was enlarged and restored about sixty years ago. The material is light brown stone quarried in the vicinity and the roof is of modern tiles. The pavement in front of the church is made of curious octagonal blocks which we took for artificial stone, but which 236 are really the vertebrae of a whale—reminding us that at one time whale-fishing expeditions often went out from Monterey.

The interior is that of a modern Catholic church, but there are numerous relics in the vestry which the priest in charge exhibits to visitors for a small fee; candlesticks and vessels in silver and brass, and richly broidered vestments and altar cloths. Most interesting are many relics of Father Serra, including several books inscribed by his own hand. These were brought from Carmel Mission when it was finally abandoned.

Another object that aroused our curiosity was the trunk of a huge oak set in cement and carefully preserved. This, the priest told us, was the Serra Oak, under which Viscaino landed in 1602 and which sheltered Serra himself in 1770, when he took possession of Monterey for the king of Spain. It grew near the present entrance of the presidio, but withered and died shortly after Father Serra passed away. The trunk was thrown into the sea to dispose of it, but two pious Mexicans dragged it ashore and it was finally placed where we saw it, in the garden of San Carlos Church.

The church stands on the hill which overlooks the town and of old must have been the first object reared by human hands to greet the incoming mariners. At one time it commanded a fine view of the bay, but this is now obstructed by the buildings of St. Joseph School.

From Photograph by Dassonville

Monterey was one of the points visited by Dana in 1835, towards the end of the Spanish domination, and the picture he gives is a charming one: 237

"The pretty lawn on which the village stands, as green as sun and rain could make it; the low adobe houses with red tiles; the pine wood on the south; the small soiled tri-color flag flying and the discordant din of drums and trumpets for the noon parade," were the salient features of the town that he sets down. Of these, the low adobe houses with the red tiles and the pine wood still remain, but the green lawn and the tri-color flag of Spain are to be seen no more.

After the town the mission will be the next goal of the tourist—if, indeed, it has not been the first object to engage his attention. It is on the other side of the peninsula, some five miles from the Del Monte and a short distance beyond the lovely little village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The road for half the distance climbs a steady grade and then drops down through the village to the shore of the bay. Here, within a stone's throw of the rippling water, sheltered by the hills on the land side, stands the restored mission church which probably outranks all its contemporaries in historic significance. For it was in a sense the home of the pious old monk whose zeal and energy were responsible for the long chain of Christian missions; and in its solemn confines he was laid to rest. We saw in it a striking resemblance to the presidio church which we had just left, a square, simple bell-tower with a domed roof to the left of the fachada, which is of the prevailing Spanish type. This is broken by a star window of simple yet pleasing design—the only attempt at artistic effect about the severely plain old structure. As it stands, it is the result of a restoration, 238 thirty years ago, from an almost complete ruin—just how complete one may judge from a drawing made by Henry Sandham for Mrs. Jackson's "Glimpses of California," which appeared in 1882. Only two slender arches of the roof were standing then and the space between the walls was filled with unsightly piles of debris. Underneath this was the grave of the reverend founder, Father Serra, the exact location of which was lost. No doubt the earnest appeal of the author of "Ramona" had much to do with the rescue of Carmel Mission Church from the fate which threatened it. She wrote:

"It is a disgrace to both the Catholic Church and the State of California that the grand old ruin, with its sacred sepulchres, should be left to crumble away. If nothing is done to protect and save it, one short hundred years more will see it a shapeless, wind-swept mound of sand. It is not in our power to confer honor or bring dishonor on the illustrious dead. We ourselves, alone, are dishonored when we fail in reverence to them. The grave of Junipero Serra may be buried centuries deep, and its very place forgotten; yet his name will not perish, nor his fame suffer. But for the men of the country whose civilization he founded and of the church whose faith he so glorified, to permit his burial-place to sink into oblivion is a shame indeed."

Such an appeal could hardly pass unheeded; the old church rose from its ruins and the grave of Serra was discovered near the altar. Above it on the wall is a marble tablet with a Latin inscription which may be translated as follows: 239

"Here lie the remains
of the Administrator Rev. Father
Junipero Serra
Order of Saint Francis
Founder of the California Missions
And President
Buried in peace.
Died 28th day of August A. D. 1784
And his companions
Rev. Fathers
John Crespi
Julian Lopez
Francis Lasuen
May they rest in peace."

Surely it is a pleasant resting-place for the weary old priest and no doubt the spot above all others which he himself would have chosen. Could he look back on his field of work to-day perhaps his sorrow for the wreck and ruin of his cherished dream might be mitigated by the tributes of an alien people to his sincerity of purpose and beauty of character.

Beautiful as was the situation of nearly all the missions, we were inclined to give to Carmel preeminence in this regard. Around it glows the gold of the California poppy; a bright, peaceful river glides quietly past; rugged, pine-crested hills rise on either side and a short distance down the valley is the blue gleam of Carmel Bay, edged by a wide crescent of yellow sand. Beyond this is the rugged, cypress-crowned headland, Point Lobos—why called the Point of Wolves I do not know unless 240 it be that the insatiable waves that gnaw ceaselessly at the granite rocks suggested to some poetic soul the idea of ravenous beasts.

The mission is the sole object in this magnificent setting. The tiny cot of the keeper and a quiet farm-house are almost the only indications of human life in the pleasant vale. The monastery has vanished and only a bank of adobe shows where the cloisters stood. The roof of the church has been renewed, but the walls are still covered with the ancient plaster, which has weather-stained to mottled pink and old ivory. It is now guarded with loving care and with the reviving interest in things ancient and romantic in California is sure to be preserved to tell to future ages the story of the brave and true Little Brother of St. Francis, who sleeps his long sleep in its hallowed precincts.

Carmel's story may be told in few words. Founded by Serra himself in 1770, it did not reach its zenith of prosperity until after his death, which occurred in 1784. The story of his last illness and demise—a pathetic yet inspiring one—is beautifully told in Mrs. Jackson's "California Sketches." It was on August 28th that he finally passed away, so quietly and peacefully that all thought him sleeping. The distress and sorrow of his Indian charges on learning of his death is one of the strongest tributes to his lovable character. A year after his death his successor as president was chosen—Padre Lasuen, who himself founded several missions, as we have seen.

From Photograph by Putnam & Valentine

The hospitality of the fathers is shown by the recorded incident of the English navigator, Vancouver, 241 who reached Monterey in 1787. Lasuen gave a grand dinner and even a display of fireworks in honor of his guest, although he belonged to a nation very unfriendly to Spain. The good priest, however, was rebuked by the governor, who was away at the time, for allowing the Englishman to discover the weakness of the Spanish defenses in California.

Carmel Mission declined earlier and more rapidly than many of its contemporaries, for in 1833, the year prior to secularization, there were only one hundred and fifty Indians remaining and in a decade these had dwindled to less than fifty. In 1845 the property was completely abandoned and sold at auction for a mere trifle. No one cared for the building and seven years later the tile roof fell in. Of the restoration we have already told.

One will hardly return from the mission without a glance about Carmel village. Indeed, if he be fond of quiet retirement, and his time permits, he may even be tempted to a sojourn of a day or more. It is a delightfully rural place, its cottages scattered through fragrant pines which cover most of its site, and running down to a clean, white beach along the bay, from which one has a splendid view of the opposite shore, including Point Lobos. Carmel is a favorite resort for college professors and there are numerous artists who find much material for their skill in the immediate vicinity. Our frontispiece, "The Gate of Val Paiso Canyon," is the work of a talented member of the Carmel Colony and a fine example of some of the striking and virile things they produce—though we must concede 242 them a great advantage in the wealth of striking and virile subjects so readily at hand. Carmel claims that its climate is even more genial and equable than that of the other side of the peninsula—but I believe I stated at the outset that climate is not to be discussed in this book.

No road in the whole country is more famous than Monterey's seventeen-mile drive; one could never become weary of its glorious bits of coast—wide vistas of summer seas and gnarled old cypresses, found nowhere else in the New World. It is still called the seventeen-mile drive, though it has been added to until there are forty miles of macadam boulevard on the peninsula. Leaving Monterey we passed the presidio, where a regiment of United States regulars is permanently stationed—being mostly troops enroute to, or returning from, the Philippines. Near the entrance is a marble statue of the patron saint of Monterey, Father Serra, commemorating his landing in 1770. It shows the good priest stepping from the boat, Bible in hand, to begin work in the new field. This monument was the gift of Mrs. Leland Stanford, to whose munificence California is so greatly indebted. A cross just outside the entrance, standing in the place of the ancient oak whose dead trunk we saw at San Carlos Church, is supposed to mark the exact landing-spot of both Serra and Viscaino. There is also the Sloat monument, reared of stones from every county in the state, which commemorates the raising of the American flag by the admiral in 1846. The roads in the presidio are open 243 to motors and one may witness the daily military exercises from a comfortable seat in his car.

From Original Painting by Sydney J. Yard

Beyond the presidio is Pacific Grove, a resort town nearly as large as Monterey—just why "Pacific Grove" is not clear, for there are not many trees in the town. It was founded in 1869 as a camp-meeting ground and is still famous as a headquarters for religious societies. From here one may take a glass-bottomed boat to view the "marine gardens," which are said to surpass those at Avalon.

Beyond Pacific Grove we passed through a dense pine forest—this is the Pacific Grove, perhaps—and coming into the open, we followed white sand dunes for some distance along the sea. A sign, "Moss Beach," called for an immediate halt and the ladies found treasures untold in the strange, brilliantly colored bits of moss and sea-weed washed ashore here in unlimited quantities. It is a wild, boulder-strewn bit of beach, damp with spray and resonant with the swish of the waves among the rocks. Beyond here the road continues through dunes, brilliant in places with pink and yellow sand-flowers. We passed Point Joe, Restless Sea—where two opposing currents wrestle in an eternal maelstrom—Bird Rocks, and Seal Rocks—the latter the home of the largest sea-lion colony on the coast. The sea was glorious beyond description; perhaps the same is true of any sunny day at Monterey, and nearly all days at Monterey are sunny. It showed all tones of blue, from solid indigo to pale sapphire, with a strip of light emerald near the shore, edged by the long, white breakers 244 chafing on the beach. Here and there, at some distance from the shore, the deep-blue expanse was broken by patches of royal purple—an effect produced by the floating kelp. A clear azure sky bent down to the wide circle of the horizon, with an occasional white sail or steamer to break the sweep of one's vision over the waste of shining water. It is not strange that Stevenson, who had seen and written so much of the sea, should say of such a scene, "No other coast have I enjoyed so much in all weather—such a spectacle of ocean's greatness, such beauty of changing color, and so much thunder in the sound—as at Monterey."

The climax of the seventeen-mile drive is Cypress Point, with its weird old trees. Description and picture are weak to give any true conception of these fantastic, wind-blown monsters. It is, indeed, as Stevenson wrote—and who was able to judge of such things better than he?—"No words can give any idea of the contortions of their growth; they might figure without a change in the nether hell as Dante pictured it." And yet, with all their suggestion of the infernal regions, there is much of beauty and charm in their very deformity. There is about them a certain strength and ruggedness, born of their age-long defiance to the wild northwestern winds, that is alike an admonition and an inspiration to the beholder. If you would get my idea, select one of these strange trees standing by itself in solemn majesty on some rocky headland—as shown in Mr. Moran's splendid picture—and note how its very form and attitude breathe defiance to the forces that would beat it down and 245 destroy it. Or take another which lies almost prone on the brown earth, its monstrous arms writhing in a thousand contortions, yet its expanse of moss-green foliage rising but little higher than your head, and note how it has stooped to conquer these same adverse elements.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

Among the most familiar objects of the Point is the "Ostrich," two cypresses growing together so as to give from certain viewpoints a striking resemblance to a giant bird of that species. It is not the forced resemblance of so many natural objects to fancied likenesses, but is apparent to everyone at once. The traveler of to-day, however, will look in vain for this curious natural freak; it was swept away with hundreds of other ancient pines and cypresses in the violent hurricane of April 1917.

At the extremity of the Point, the road turns and enters a second grove of cypresses which, being farther removed from the storm and stress of the sea, are more symmetrical, though all of them have, to some extent, the same wind-swept appearance. Their branches overarched the fine road and through their trunks on our right flashed the bright expanse of Carmel Bay. Our motor was throttled to its slowest pace as we passed through the marvelous scenes and there were many stops for photographs of picturesque bits that struck our fancy.

The cypresses were superseded by pines when we came into the projected town of Pebble Beach, which is being vigorously exploited by a promotion company—a rival, we suppose, to Pacific Grove, which lies directly opposite on the peninsula. In the center of the tract is Pebble Beach Lodge, a huge 246 rustic structure of pine logs from the surrounding forest, which serves as an assembly hall and club house for the guests of the Del Monte. A short distance beyond Pebble Beach the drive swings across the peninsula and returns to the Hotel Del Monte.

In addition to the route following the coast—the seventeen-mile drive proper, which I have just described—there is a network of boulevards in the interior swinging around the low hills in easy curves and grades. A moderate-powered car can cover the entire system on high gear, even to Corona Del Monte, the highest point of the peninsula, which takes one nearly nine hundred feet above the sea and affords a far-reaching outlook in all directions. The dark blue bay of Monterey, the white crescent of the beach, the drives, the pine and cypress groves, the red roofs of the town, and the Hotel Del Monte near by, half hidden in the dense green of the forest surrounding it, make a lovely and never-to-be-forgotten picture. The mountain to the east is Fremont Peak, forty miles away—a name that reminds us how much the Pathfinder figured in the old California of which Monterey is so typical.

From Original Painting by Percy Gray

They told us that Point Lobos, the rocky, cypress-crowned headland which we saw across Carmel Bay, is the equal of anything on the peninsula in scenic beauty, and there we wended our way on the last day of our stay at Del Monte. Crossing to Carmel, we glided down the hill past the old mission and over the river bridge at the head of the bay. From there a road following the shore 247 took us to the entrance of Point Lobos Park, which is private property, and a small fee is charged for each vehicle. A rough trail led to the cypress grove on the headland, where we found many delightful nooks among the sprawling old trees—grassy little glades surrounded by the velvety foliage—ideal spots for picnic dinners. In one of these is the complete mounted skeleton of a ninety-foot whale, which might serve as an argument against the learned critics who discredit the story of Jonah and his piscatorial experience. Like the pavement of San Carlos Church, it is another reminder of one of Monterey's vanished industries.

A good authority testifies that there are few more strikingly picturesque bits of coast on the whole of the Pacific than Point Lobos. The high, rugged promontory falls almost sheer to the ocean, which raves ceaselessly among the huge moss-grown boulders that have yielded to the stress of storm and tumbled down on to the beach. The play of color is marvelous; scarped cliffs of red-brown granite, flecked with gray and green lichens; black boulders with patches of yellowish-green moss; and hardy, somber trees which have found a footing on the precipices, here and there, almost down to the water's edge. Out beyond we saw a steely-blue ocean, with frequent whitecaps, for it was a fresh, bright day with a stiff breeze blowing from the sea. I believe there may be finer individual trees on Point Lobos than on the Monterey peninsula—some of them in their kingly mien and grim solemnity reminding us of famous yews we had seen in English churchyards such as Twyford, Selborne 248 and Stoke Pogis. A great variety of wild flowers still farther enhanced the charm of the place. It is a spot, it seemed to us, where anyone who admires the sublime and beautiful in nature might spend many hours if he had them at his disposal.

Returning, we noticed a good-sized building on the bay with the sign, "Abalone Cannery," and our curiosity prompted us to drive down to it. It was not in operation, a solitary Jap in charge telling us that the season was now closed. He was an obliging, intelligent fellow, and showed us the machines and appliances of the plant, explaining as best he could in his scanty English. The abalones are taken by Japanese divers, who find them clinging to rocks under the water. The mussels are removed from the shells, cooked in steam drums, and tinned, the product being mainly shipped to Japan. In this connection it may be remarked that the fishing industry about Monterey produces a considerable annual total, several canneries being in operation in the vicinity. Many kinds of fish are taken—and as a field for the sportsman with rod and line the bay is quite equal to Catalina Island waters.

A narrow, little-used road runs down the coast from Point Lobos for a distance of about thirty miles. Some day this will be improved and carried through to Lucia, ten miles farther, forming a link in the real "Coast Highway"—a road actually following the ocean—which Californians have in mind; nor will there be a more magnificent drive in the world. An artist acquaintance of ours—his 249 name is familiar as one of our greatest landscapists—had established his studio on this road three or four miles below Point Lobos and his realistic paintings of this marvelous coast were creating a furor in the artistic world. We drove down to visit him one glorious evening when the sea was full of light and color and the air resonant with the turmoil of the waves among the rocks. We were just a little concerned as our heavy car crossed a high, frail-looking bridge on the way, but maybe it was stronger than it appeared. Our friend had built a studio on a headland commanding a wide sweep of the rugged coast and here we found him busy at his easel. He had made an enviable reputation painting old-world scenes, but before the World War had abandoned this field of work for the lure of California, to which a brother artist had called his attention. His enthusiasm for his new field of art knew no bounds. "I have seen much of the most impressive coast scenery of the world," he declared, "but nothing that approaches the beauty of the Pacific about Monterey. The coast of Greece is its nearest rival, so far as I know, but even the coast of Greece did not appeal so strongly to my artistic sense." His judgment would seem to be borne out by the instant popularity of his Point Lobos marines, which have found an eager demand at record prices.

On our return from the studio to the hotel we had such an enchanting series of views as the sunset faded into twilight that we could understand our friend's enthusiasm and only wished that the state of our finances permitted us to carry away a permanent 250 reminder of this wonderful coast in the shape of one of his paintings—an indulgence which we had to reluctantly forego.

We gave our last afternoon to the gardens about the hotel. In these are nearly all the trees and flora of the Pacific Coast. There are over fourteen hundred varieties of plant life, among them seventy-eight species of coniferous trees, two hundred and ten evergreens, two hundred and eighty-five of herbaceous plants and more than ninety kinds of roses. In the Arizona Garden are nearly three hundred species of cacti, comprising almost everything found in the United States. Most of the plants and trees are labeled with scientific or common name, but we gained much information from a chance meeting with the head gardener. He confessed to being a native Englishman, which we might have guessed from the perfect order of the grounds and gardens.

We spent the evening in the gallery, a spacious apartment which also serves as a ballroom. Frequent concerts are held here in which a splendid pipe-organ plays a principal part. Several hundred paintings form a permanent exhibition, exclusively the work of California artists. We were surprised at the uniformly high artistic merit of the pictures. The collection is quite the equal of many of the best exhibits of the East. The uniform excellence of these pictures is due to the fact that every one accepted has been passed on by a committee of distinguished California artists. California subjects predominate, as might be expected, and land-and 251 seascapes are probably in the majority. The pictures are for sale, a fact which enabled the writer to secure several of the fine examples reproduced for this book. 252


Usually we were only too willing to leave a hotel for the open road, but we must confess to a lingering regret as we glided away from the fairyland of Del Monte and its romantic environs. Our first words after leaving were something about coming back again—a resolution fulfilled but a year later. The road to Salinas was rebuilding and pretty rough part of the way, but we found a fine boulevard when we returned after the lapse of several months. During our tours we had bad going in many places where state highway work was in progress and this is an inconvenience that the California motorist will have to suffer for some time to come—though I fancy that few obstacles to his smooth progress will be more cheerfully endured.

From Photograph by Dassonville

Our objective was San Juan Bautista, the next mission of the ancient chain. Like the pious pilgrim of old, we would visit them all—though their shrines be fallen into decay and their once hospitable doors no longer open to the wayfarer. San Juan lies beyond the San Benito Hills, the blue range rising to the north of Salinas. We began the ascent with some misgivings, for at Monterey they declared the San Juan grade the steepest and most difficult on El Camino Real. They did not tell us 253 that a longer road by the way of Dumbarton entirely missed the grade or we probably should have gone that way. We are glad we did not know any better, for most mountain climbs in California well repay the effort and this was no exception. The ascent was a steady grind for more than a mile over grades ranging up to twenty per cent and deep with dust. There was a glorious view of the mountain-girdled valley and the ancient village from the hill; we paused to contemplate it—and to allow our steaming motor to cool. The descent was a little over two miles and steeper than the climb; we had a distinct feeling of relief when we rounded the last corner and glided into the grass-grown streets of the village.

I hardly need say that to-day a broad, easy, paved road swings around the mountain instead of attempting the arduous route of the old trail. The little run between Salinas and Bautista is only a joy ride for driver as well as passengers. But we are none the less secretly pleased that we "did" the nerve-racking old grade—now almost abandoned—for such things are usually done only of ignorance when an easier and safer route is the alternative.

San Juan Bautista's excuse for existence was the mission and now that the mission is a shattered ruin the village still lives on without any apparent reason for doing so. It is one of the least altered towns of the old regime in California—not unlike San Juan Capistrano, which, according to the 1910 census had exactly the same population as its northern counterpart, some three hundred and twenty-six 254 souls. But San Juan Bautista is more somnolent and retired than Capistrano, which lies on the San Diego highway. Sheltered behind the mighty hills, with their formidable grades, it is missed by a large proportion of motorists who go by the more direct route between Salinas and Santa Cruz. Its very loneliness and atmosphere of early days constitute its greatest charm; in it we saw a village of mission times, little altered save that the Indians here, as everywhere, have nearly disappeared. There are many old adobe houses—just how old it would be hard to say, but doubtless with a history antedating the American occupation.

The village surrounds a wide, grass-grown plaza upon which fronts the long, solid-looking arcade of the mission. Through this we entered the restored dormitory and a portly Mexican woman left her wash-tub to greet us. The padre, she said, was old and blind and seldom received visitors. We were disappointed, but soon found this apparently ignorant housekeeper fully equal to the task she had assumed. She led us to the church, which was unique in that the auditorium had three aisles separated by arches—something after the style of many English churches we had seen. It was in use until the great earthquake of 1906, which had cracked the arches, shattered the walls, and left it in such a precarious state that one could scarcely stand within it without a feeling of uneasiness. The walls still showed the original decorations, though sadly discolored—these were done in paint made by the Indians from ground rock of different colors. The original tiles covered the roof, though they were 255 rent and displaced, allowing the winter rains to pour through in places. Early repairs and restoration would preserve this remarkable church, but if allowed to remain in its present state its complete ruin is inevitable. The bell-tower had already disappeared and was replaced by a ridiculous wooden cupola totally out of harmony with the spirit of the mission builders. And yet we can hardly censure the fathers in charge for such structures as this and the angle-iron tower at San Miguel, when we consider the scanty means at their disposal—public funds should be available to maintain these historic monuments.

It was a relief to step from the dismal ruin of the church to the well-kept cemetery, with its carefully trimmed evergreens and flower beds. Here in the old days the Indians were buried, though it is not in use now. Our guide showed us, with a good deal of pride, her flower garden on the other side of the church; most of the flowers and plants, she said, had been collected from the other missions—she had visited all of them except one. Then she led us into the plain—almost rude—quarters of the old priest and showed us the relics of which San Juan Bautista has its share. There was a curious organ which worked with a crank and was sometimes used to call the Indians; there were old books, pictures, and furniture; articles in wrought-iron, the work of the natives under the tutelage of the padres; images from Spain and many rare embroidered vestments. All of these were shown, with evident reverence for the—to her—sacred relics of the olden days. It was a labor of love and we 256 could but respect her simple faith and evident loyalty to the aged priest, who manifestly endured many hardships in his humble field of work.

San Juan Bautista Mission was founded in 1797 by the indefatigable Lasuen, who, next to Serra himself, was the most active force in promoting the work in California. The site was a favorable one and the enterprise was successful from the start, its converts exceeding five hundred in less than three years' time. Attacks from hostile Indians and several severe earthquakes disturbed its earlier progress, but its population went on steadily increasing. Twenty-five years after its establishment there were twelve hundred and forty-eight neophytes and it ranked as one of the most successful of all the chain. The beautiful valley surrounding the town responded luxuriantly to tillage and San Juan was able to assist its sister missions from its surplus.

The present church was completed in 1818 and a curious bit of the record is that the decoration was done by a Yankee—assisted by Indians—who assumed a Spanish name for the occasion. In 1835, the date of secularization, the mission had already begun to decline, the population having fallen to less than half its greatest number. This state of affairs was true of so many of the missions that there is reason to believe that even if the Mexican Government had never molested them, their ultimate extinction would only have been delayed. Semicivilization did not breed a hardy race and the white man's diseases more than offset his improved methods of making a living. The records state 257 that there were only sixty-three Indians remaining at the mission in 1835, when the decree went into effect. At this time the property was valued at about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The Mexican governor, Alvarado, declared that secularization was a success here and at San Antonio, though nowhere else, but it was a queer kind of success at San Juan Bautista, for all traces of the community disappeared a year or two later.

The village was occupied by Fremont in 1846 and the stars and stripes were hoisted over the mission at his command. Here he organized his forces for the conquest of the south and marched as far as San Diego, as we have already seen.

Out of San Juan the road was rough and dusty, though we came into a fine macadam boulevard some distance out of Watsonville. Here we entered one of the great fruit-producing districts of California; vast orchards of apples, prunes, and cherries surrounded us on every hand. The blossoming season was just past, and we missed the great ocean of odorous blooms for which this section is famous.

Watsonville is a modern city of perhaps five thousand people, the capital of this prosperous fruit and farming district. It is only a few miles from the ocean and the summer heat is nearly always tempered by sea breezes. Its broad, well-paved main street led us into a fine macadam road which continued nearly all the way to Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz lies on the north bend of the bay, directly opposite Monterey, and is known as one of the principal resort towns of the California coast. 258 Its population, according to the last census, was nearly eleven thousand and I ran across some "boom" literature which claimed only twelve thousand—an unusual degree of modesty and conservatism for a live California town. There was also a mission here, though it has practically disappeared.

Santa Cruz was associated in our minds with neither seaside resort nor mission, but with the grove of giant redwoods second only to the mighty trees of Mariposa. Our first inquiries were for the road to this famous forest, and we learned it was a few miles north of the town. We followed the river canyon almost due north over a shelflike road cut in the hillsides some distance above the stream. It commands a beautiful view of the wooded valley, which we might have enjoyed more had we not met numerous logging-wagons on the narrow way. The drivers—stolid-looking Portuguese—frequently crowded us dangerously near the precipice along the road; in one instance, according to the nervous ladies in the rear seat, we escaped disaster by a hair's breadth. According to the law in California, a motorist meeting a horse-drawn vehicle on a mountain road must take the outside, even though contrary to the regular rule. The theory is that the people in the car are safer than those behind a skittish horse, though in instances such as I have just mentioned the motorist faces decidedly the greater danger. We climbed a gradual though easy grade for six or seven miles and turned sharply to the right down a steep, winding trail to the river bank. 259

We left the car here and crossed a high, frail-looking suspension foot-bridge which swayed and quivered in a most alarming manner, though it probably was safe enough. The trees are at the bottom of the canyon in a deep dell shut in by towering hills on either side. They are known as Sequoia Sempervirens (a slightly different species from the Sequoia Gigantea of the Mariposa Grove) a variety never found far from the sea. The grove is private property and the guardian nonchalantly said, "Two bits each, please," when we expressed our desire to go among the trees. He then conducted us around a trail, reciting some interesting particulars about the tawny Titans.

"There are eight hundred trees in the grove," he said, "and of these one hundred and fifty are over eleven feet in diameter and two hundred and twenty-five feet high. This is the only group so near the coast and generally they grow much higher above the sea level. I saw two of them fall in a terrific storm that swept up the valley a few years ago, and the shock was like an earthquake. You can see from the one lying yonder that their roots are shallow and they are more easily overthrown than one would think from their gigantic proportions. This old fire-hollowed fellow here could tell a story if he could speak, for General Fremont made it his house when he camped in this valley in '48. Yes, it is a good deal of a picnic ground here in season—the grove is so accessible that it is visited by more people than any of the others."

All of which we counted worth knowing, even though recited in the perfunctory manner of the 260 professional guide. One needs, however, to forget the curio shops, the pavilions and picnic debris and to imagine himself in the forest primeval to appreciate in its fullest force the solemn majesty of these hoary monarchs. They are indeed wonderful and stately, their tall, tapering shafts rising in symmetrical beauty and grace like the vast columns of some mighty edifice. Millenniums have passed over some of them and all our standards of comparison with other living things fail us. The words of William Watson on an ancient yew recur to us as we gaze on these Titans of the western world:

"What years are thine not mine to guess;

The stars look youthful, thou being by,"

—but our musings were cut short when we noted that the shadows were deepening in the vale. We had some miles of mountain road to traverse if we were to spend the night at San Jose and we retraced our way to Santa Cruz as fast as seemed prudent over such a road.

We could not think of leaving the town without a visit to the mission, even though they told us that little but the old-time site could be seen. We climbed the hill overlooking the sea to a group of buildings now occupied by a Catholic convent; among these was a long, low, whitewashed structure, now used as quarters for the nuns. This, they told us, was the ancient monastery. Or, more properly, the ancient monastery stood here and the present building was reared on its foundations.

The church-tower fell in 1840 as the result of an earthquake and ten years later a second shock demolished the walls of the building. Being within 261 the limits of the town, the debris was not allowed to remain, as in lonely Soledad or La Purisima, and the site was cleared for other purposes. And this reminds us that we owe the existence of many of the mission ruins to their isolation; wherever they stood within the limits of a town of any size they either have been restored or have disappeared. Of the former we may cite Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo and of the latter, Santa Cruz and San Rafael.

The mission at Santa Cruz was another of Padre Lasuen's projects—founded under his direction in 1790. It never prospered greatly, its highest population being five hundred and twenty-three in 1796. From that time it declined rapidly and at the secularization in 1835 the Indians had almost disappeared. The property at that time was valued at less than fifty thousand dollars and, as we have seen, the church was destroyed five years later. Santa Cruz would doubtless rejoice to have her historic mission among her widely heralded attractions to-day, but it is gone past any rehabilitation.

As a seaside resort, Santa Cruz is one of the most popular in California; during the season no fewer than thirty thousand visitors flock to its hotels and beaches. It is the nearest considerable resort to San Francisco and a large proportion of its guests come from that city. The climate, according to the literature issued by the Board of Trade, compares favorably the year round with Santa Barbara or Long Beach. It claims a great variety of "amusement features, including a palatial casino and a three-hundred-room, fire-proof hotel." It 262 seems a pleasant place, more substantial and homelike than the average resort town.

Retracing our way for four or five miles over the road by which we entered the town, we left it at the little wayside village of Soquel, taking an abrupt turn northward and following a wooded canyon. The road ascends the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains, winding through a forest of stately redwoods intermingled with many other varieties of trees. These crowd up to the road, overarching it in places—as beautiful a scene of virgin wildwood as we had yet come upon; through occasional openings we had far-reaching views down wooded canyons already haunted by the thin blue shadows of the declining day. The grade is moderately stiff, ranging up to twelve per cent, and the road was deep with dust, making an exceedingly heavy pull, and more than once we paused to cool the steaming motor. An almost continuous climb of a dozen miles brought us to the summit of the range, and coming to a break in the forest a glorious view greeted our vision—a vista of green hills sloping away to the sunset waters of Monterey Bay, with dim outlines of mountain ranges beyond. A faint blue haze hung over the nearer hills, changing to lucent amethyst above the bay and deepening to violet upon the distant mountains. An occasional fruit farm or ranch-house reminded us that we were within the bounds of civilization; and the Summit School, near by, that there must be youngsters to educate, even in this wild region, though there was little to indicate where they came from.

The descent presented even more picturesque 263 scenes than the climb. The grade was steeper and the distance less; and the road followed the mountain sides, which sloped away in places hundreds of feet to wooded canyons now dim with mysterious shadows. Majestic redwoods, oaks, birches, pines, sycamores, with here and there the red gleam of the madrona, pressed up to the very roadside and their fragrance loaded the air. At the foot of the grade, some nine miles from the summit, we glided into the well-kept streets of Los Gatos, the "City of the Foothills," one of the cleanest and most sightly towns that the wayfarer will come across, even in California. It has few pretentious homes, but the average cottage or bungalow is so happily situated and surrounded by green lawns dotted with flower beds and palms, that the effect is more pleasing than rows of costly houses could be. In the public buildings such as the library and schools, the Spanish mission type is followed with generally fortunate results. In the foothills near by are several villas of San Francisco people which are steadily increasing in number, for Los Gatos is only an hour by train from the metropolis and has hopes of becoming a residence town of wealthy San Franciscans.

Out of Los Gatos we pursued a level, well-improved road to San Jose, running through the great prune and cherry orchards for which the Santa Clara Valley is famous and which gave promise of a bounteous yield. A little after sunset we came into the city of San Jose, closing an unusually strenuous run over steep and dusty mountain roads. We found the new Montgomery Hotel a comfortable 264 haven and its modern bathrooms an unspeakable boon. Our first move was to segregate ourselves from the California real estate which we had accumulated during the day and to don fresh raiment, after which we did full justice to a late dinner, despite very slack service and not altogether unexceptionable cuisine—excusable, perhaps, by the lateness of the hour.

San Jose is a modern city of forty or fifty thousand people, the commercial capital of the Santa Clara Valley. There is not much within the town itself to detain one on such a pilgrimage as our own. The mission first occurred to us and we learned that it was at Mission San Jose, twelve miles from the city to which it gives its name; our next inquiry was concerning the Lick Observatory, which they told us might be reached by a twenty-five mile jog up the slopes of Mount Hamilton, overlooking the town from the east. It was clear that we should have to take a day for these excursions and early the next morning we were off for the Mount Hamilton climb.

Out of the city we ran straight away on Santa Clara Street for a distance of five or six miles to Junction House, where the mountain road begins. It was built nearly forty years ago by Santa Clara County at a cost of eighty thousand dollars, the work being authorized to secure the location of the Lick Observatory on the mountain. It is a smooth, well-engineered road, with grades not exceeding ten per cent excepting a few steep pitches near the summit. It swings upwards in wide arcs or narrow loops as the topography of the mountain demands. 265 It is broad enough for vehicles to pass easily, presenting no difficulty to a moderate-powered motor, though in places a sheer precipice falls away from its side and there are abrupt turns around blind corners which call for extreme care.

The winding course of the road up the mountainside affords vantage for endless panoramas of the surrounding country. Indeed, were there no observatory on Mount Hamilton the views alone would well repay the ascent and we paused frequently to contemplate the scene that spread out beneath us. The day was not perfectly clear, yet through the shimmering air we could see the hazy waters of San Francisco Bay some twenty miles to the northwest, and beyond the valley to the southwest, the blue Santa Cruz Range which we crossed the previous day. Just beneath us lay the wide vale of the Santa Clara—surely one of the most beautiful and prosperous of the famous valleys of the Golden State—diversified by orchards and endless wheatfields, with here and there an isolated ranch-house or village. The foothills nearer at hand were studded with oaks and sycamores, with an occasional small farm or fruit orchard set down among them. It was a beautiful day—the partial cloudiness being atoned for by many striking cloud effects and the play of light and color over the landscape.

Midway of the ascent is a little settlement in a pleasant grassy dell, where a plain though comfortable-looking hotel—the Halfway House—offers the wayfarer an opportunity for refreshments, which can not be obtained at the summit. Here we 266 arranged for a lunch on our return, but we had no idea of eating it in the hotel with the delightful nooks we had passed still fresh in mind. The last three or four miles of the climb are by far the most difficult, reminding us not a little of the Mount Wilson ascent; but we experienced no trouble and soon came to the open summit with the vast dome of the observatory crowning it. Around this clusters a village of about fifty people who live here permanently—the families and assistants of the men who devote their lives to the study of the stars. One of the ladies whom we met in the observatory office said, when we asked her of life on the mountain,

"We get used to it, though it is cold and lonely at times and we feel a kind of desperation to get back to the world. But we do not complain; the views from the mountain under varying conditions of night and day are enough to atone for our isolation. You can not even imagine the glories of the sunrise and sunset; the weird effects of the sea of clouds that lie beneath us at times, glowing in the sun or ghostly white in the moonlight; the vast wilderness of mountain peaks losing themselves in the haze of distance or mantled in the glaring whiteness of the winter snows. All these and many other strange moods of the weather bring infinite variety, even to this lonely spot." And yet, for all this, she confessed to an intense longing to make a trip to "the earth" whenever occasion presented itself.

The obliging janitor shows visitors about the observatory, telling of its work and explaining the 267 instruments with an intelligence and detail that might lead you to think him one of the astronomers—if he had not confessed at the outset to being an Englishman in the humble position of caretaker. And we might have known that he was an Englishman, even if he had not told us so, by his thoroughness and pride in his job. Among the instruments which interested us most was the seismograph, which records earthquakes from the faintest tremor hundreds of miles away to the most violent shock—or perhaps this is not strictly correct, for the great quake of 1906 threw the needle from the recording disk and left the record incomplete.

"There is seldom a day," said our guide, "that a quake is not registered and so long as they occur regularly we have little to fear, but an entire absence of tremors for several days is likely to precede a violent shock."

The great refracting telescope is the prime "object of interest" to the visitor and we were shown in minute detail how this is operated. It stands on a granite pedestal—underneath which rests the body of the donor, James Lick—in the center of the great dome which one sees for many miles from the valley and which revolves bodily on a huge platform to bring the opening to the proper point. This, at the time of its construction, was the largest telescope in the world, the great lens, the masterpiece of Alvan Clark & Sons, being thirty-six inches in diameter. It is equipped with the latest apparatus for photographing the heavens and some of the most remarkable astronomical photographs in existence have been taken by the 268 observatory. The telescope and dome are operated by electric motors and our guide gave exhibitions of the perfect control by the operator. Besides this there is a large reflecting telescope housed in a separate building and several smaller instruments. Visitors are allowed to look through the great telescope on Saturday night only, but are shown about the observatory on any afternoon of the week. No other great observatory is so accommodating to the public in this regard; and the annual number of visitors exceeds five thousand. The official handbook states that "while the observatory has no financial gain in the coming of visitors, no pains are spared to make the time spent here interesting and profitable to them." The same book gives a list of the important achievements of the Lick Observatory, with other information concerning the institution and may be had upon application to the managing director.

James Lick, who devoted three quarters of a million dollars to found the observatory, was a California pioneer who left his whole fortune of more than three millions to public benefactions. He was born in Fredericksburg, Pa., in 1796 and died in San Francisco in 1876. He came to California in 1847 and engaged in his trade of piano-making, but his great wealth came from real estate investment. He was a silent and somewhat eccentric man—a pronounced freethinker in religious matters. The observatory is now under the control of the University of California, which supplies the greater part of the finances for its maintenance.

Returning to the city, we found there was still 269 time to visit the mission, about fifteen miles due north on the Oakland road. This is a macadam boulevard through a level and prosperous-looking country skirting San Francisco Bay and the run was a delightful one. Mission San Jose is a tiny village of a dozen houses and a few shops, bearing little resemblance to its bustling namesake to the southward. The dilapidated monastery is all that is left of the old-time buildings and the rude timber arcade stands directly by the roadside. We found a young fellow working on the place who gladly undertook to act as guide. He proved an ardent Catholic and an enthusiast for the restoration of the mission. This work, he said, had been undertaken by the Native Sons of California and they were organizing a carnival to raise funds. The building through which he led us is a series of dungeonlike adobe cells, with earthen floors and cracked and crumbling walls; it is roofed with willows tied to the roughly hewn rafters with rawhide. The tiles from the ruined church are carefully piled away to be used in the restoration and our guide declared that a wealthy Spanish family of the vicinity had a quantity of these which they would gladly return when needed. The church was destroyed by the earthquake of 1868 and has been replaced by a modern structure. This suffered but little in the great quake of 1906, but we were shown the curious spectacle in the cemetery of several marble shafts broken squarely in two by the shock. To the rear of the church and leading up to the orphanage conducted by the Dominican sisters, is a beautiful avenue bordered by olive trees planted by the 270 padres in mission days. This is crossed by a second avenue running at right angles and no doubt these served as a passageway for many a solemn procession in days of old.

The location is charming indeed; one can stand in the rude portico of the dilapidated building and look over as pleasant a rural scene as can be found in California. The green meadows slope toward the bay, which gleams like molten silver in the late afternoon sun. Beyond it is a dark line of forest trees, the rounded contour of the green foothills, and, last of all, the rugged outlines of the Santa Cruz Mountains shrouded in the amethyst haze of evening. To the rear, rolling hills rise above the little hamlet and southward stands the sturdy bulk of Mission Peak.

No wonder, with such beautiful, fertile surroundings, San Jose Mission prospered in its palmy days. Founded in 1797—the fruitful year of Padre Lasuen's activity—it reached its zenith in 1820, when its Indian population numbered seventeen hundred and fifty-four. Its property at secularization exceeded one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in value and it even seemed to prosper for a while under the Mexican regime. Its decline began in 1840 and five years later less than two hundred and fifty natives were to be found in its precincts. Of the wreck and rebuilding of the church we have already told; in the new structure may be seen two of the original bells, nearly a century old. The baptismal font of hammered copper is still in use. It is about three feet in diameter and is surmounted by a small iron cross. 271

A few miles out of San Jose on the San Francisco road, at the pretty town of Santa Clara, was formerly the mission of that name. It has totally disappeared and on its site stands the new church and the buildings of Santa Clara College, the principal Catholic university of California. We drove into the large plaza in front of the church and walked in at the open door. The interior is that of a modern Catholic church, with an unusual number of paintings and images, among the latter a gorgeously painted Santa Clara with her bare foot on a writhing snake. The paintings are of little artistic merit and the effect of the interior is rather tawdry. The slightly unfavorable impression speedily fades from mind when through an open side door one gets a glimpse into the garden around which run the college cloisters. It is a beautiful green spot, with olives planted in mission days, palms, and masses of flowers. About it are slight remains of the old cloisters; hewn beams still form the roof, and portions of the walls some three feet thick still stand.

Santa Clara College, the oldest on the coast, was founded in 1855, and is now the largest Catholic school west of the Rockies. The buildings are quite extensive and the mission style of architecture appropriately prevails. In its museum is a good collection of relics once belonging to the ancient mission; furniture, candlesticks in silver and brass, vessels in gold and silver, crucifixes, bells, the mighty key to the oaken door, embroidered vestments, and a very remarkable book. This is an old choral on heavy vellum, hand-written in 272 brilliant red and black; the covers are heavy leather over solid wood, and the corners and back are protected with ornamental bronze. It originally came from Spain and is supposed to be five hundred years old.

Santa Clara Mission, the tenth in order, was founded in 1777, twenty years earlier than its neighbor, San Jose, and the close proximity caused heart-burnings among the padres of Santa Clara when its rival was first projected. They declared that there was no necessity for it; that it was not on the beaten route of El Camino Real, and that it encroached on Santa Clara's lands and revenues. The dispute assumed such proportions that a special survey was made in 1801 to prevent further controversy. Despite the contention of Santa Clara that there was no room for its rival, it did not lack for prosperity, since in 1827 its population numbered fourteen hundred and twenty-four—about the same as San Jose, so there seems to have been ample room for both. At secularization, in 1835, there were less than half as many and after that the decline was rapid. This is only another instance showing that the regime of the padres had begun to decay before the interference of the Mexican Government. The mission fell into ruin after the American conquest and the debris was gradually removed to make way for the college buildings.

Santa Clara is a quiet, beautiful town of about five thousand—really a suburb of San Jose, since they are separated by only a mile or two. Its streets are broad and bordered with trees and its residences have the trim neatness and beautiful 273 semi-tropical surroundings so characteristic of the better California towns.

Northward out of Santa Clara a fine macadam road follows the shore of the bay at a distance of a mile or two. In the days of the padres this country was a vast swamp, but it is now a prosperous fruit and gardening section which supplies the San Francisco markets. At Palo Alto we turned aside into the grounds of Leland Stanford Jr. University, which sprang into existence like Minerva of old—full armed and ready for business—with nearly thirty millions of endowment behind it. It immediately took high rank among American universities, but as its attendance is limited by its charter to about two thousand, it can not equal its rivals in this regard.

Everyone knows its pathetic story—how Senator Stanford, the man of many millions, lost his only son, a boy of sixteen, and determined to leave the fortune to "the boys and girls of California" as a memorial to the idolized youth. A little strain of selfishness in the project, one may think, since if Leland Stanford Jr. had lived it is unlikely that his father would have remembered the boys and girls of his state, but you forget all about this when you enter the precincts of this magnificent institution. It is free from the antiquated buildings and equipment of the schools of slow growth, and full scope was given to architects to produce a group of buildings harmonious in design and perfectly adapted to the purposes which they serve. The mission design properly prevails, carried out in brown stone and red tiles. The main buildings 274 are ranged round a quadrangle 586 x 246 feet, upon which the arches of the cloisters open and in the center of this was a bronze group of the donor, his wife, and son, since removed to the University Museum.

The earthquake of 1906 dealt severely with Stanford University, destroying the library building, the great memorial arch, and wrecking the memorial chapel, said to be the finest in America. The latter was being restored at the time of our visit, a timber roof replacing the former stone-vaulted ceiling. The structure both inside and out bears many richly colored mosaics representing historic and scriptural subjects; in this particular it is more like St. Mark's of Venice than any other church that I know of. It is said that a large part of the destruction done by the earthquake was due to flimsy work on the part of the builders. Fortunately, the low, solid structures around the quadrangle were practically unharmed, and the damage done is being repaired as rapidly as possible. The grounds occupied by the University were formerly Senator Stanford's Palo Alto estate and comprised about nine thousand acres. From the campus there are views of the bay, of the Coast Range, including Mount Hamilton with the Lick Observatory, and of the rolling foothills and magnificent redwood forests toward Santa Cruz. The university is open to students from everywhere and owing to its vast endowment, instruction is absolutely free.

Palo Alto is a handsome town of about six thousand people. Its climate is said to be much pleasanter the year round than that of San Francisco. 275 A local advertising prospectus gives this pleasing description of the climatic conditions:

"There is no extreme cold, and there are no severe storms. Even the rainy season, between December and March, averages about fifteen bright warm days in each month; and flowers blossoming on every hand make the winter season a delightful part of the year. The acacia trees begin blooming in January, the almonds in February, and the prunes, peaches, and cherries are all in bloom by the last of March or the first of April, when the blossom festival for the whole valley is held in the foothills at Saratoga, a few miles by electric line from Palo Alto."

From Palo Alto we followed the main highway—El Camino Real—to San Francisco. It is a broad macadam road, but at the time in sad disrepair, unmercifully rough and full of chuck-holes. It was being rebuilt in places, compelling us to take a roundabout route, which, with much tire trouble, delayed our arrival in San Francisco until late in the afternoon, though the distance is but fifty-two miles from San Jose.

It looked as if our troubles were going to have a still more painful climax when, as we entered the city, a policeman dashed at us, bawling,

"What on earth do you mean by driving at that crazy rate? Do you want to kill all these children?"

As we were not exceeding twenty miles and were quite free from any homicidal designs against the children—of whom not a single one was in sight on the street—we mildly disclaimed any such 276 cruel intention as the guardian of the law imputed to us. We had learned the futility of any altercation with a policeman and by exceeding humility we gained permission to proceed. A little back-talk in self-defense would doubtless have resulted in a trip to the station house, where we should have been at every disadvantage. I attribute in some degree our lucky escape from arrest to the fact that we always adopted an exceedingly conciliatory attitude towards any policeman who approached us, even if we sometimes thought him over-officious or even impudent. A soft answer we found more efficient in turning away his wrath and gaining our point than any attempt at self-justification could possibly have been—even though we knew we were right. 277

From Original Painting by N. Hagerup


A splendid view of the Golden Gate, through which, between opposing headlands, the tides of the Pacific pour into the waters of San Francisco's great inland bay, may be had from the ferry between the city and Sausalito. The facilities for carrying motor cars were good and charges reasonable. We were speedily set down on the northern side and, without entering the little town, took to the road forthwith, closely following the shores of the bay.

A dozen miles of rough going brought us to San Rafael, where in 1817 the padres from Mission Dolores in San Francisco founded the twentieth, and last but one, of the California missions. George Wharton James declares that this mission was really intended as a health resort for neophytes from San Francisco who had fallen ill of consumption, which had become a terrible scourge among the Indians around the bay. During the first three years after the founding of San Rafael, nearly six hundred neophytes were transferred to the new establishment, and in 1828 its population had reached eleven hundred and forty. Its buildings were never very substantial and the total value of all property at secularization was reckoned at only fifteen thousand dollars. Fremont took possession of the town in 1846 without opposition. After his 278 departure the mission buildings were unoccupied and speedily fell into ruin.

In response to our inquiries, a citizen directed us to the Catholic parsonage. The priest greeted us courteously and told us that not a trace of the mission now remained. In his garden he pointed out some old pear trees planted by the padres of San Rafael Mission in early days—almost the sole existing relics. The church near by is modern and of no especial interest. The site was an ideal one and the sheltered valley, with the green wooded hills that encircle it, was a fit place of rest for the invalid neophytes. San Rafael is now a substantially built, prosperous-looking town of about six thousand people and a favorite suburban residence place for San Francisco business men.

A well-improved highway leads through rolling hills from San Rafael to Petaluma, whence a detour of a dozen miles eastward takes us to historic Sonoma—the farthest outpost of Spanish civilization in California. Here the twenty-first and last mission of the chain was founded in 1823, with a view of checking the influence of the Russians, who were filling the country to the north. It never attained great importance, though during the short period of its existence its population reached about seven hundred. In 1834 the presidio or military establishment of San Francisco was transferred here to counteract Russian and American encroachments. The governor, Vallejo, took command of the post in person and, it is recorded, supported the enterprise at his own expense. He appears to have been a fine type of the old-time Spanish grandee, 279 and his hacienda or residence still stands, though now deserted, about five miles northwest of the town. This is of the usual Spanish type, but on a much grander scale than any other of the early California homes still standing. Its facade is three hundred feet in length and two wings extend to the rear, enclosing a spacious patio which overlooks the valley from its open side. Double balconies supported by heavy timbers run around the entire outside. The house is solidly built; its walls, no less than six feet in thickness, are constructed of adobe. Its hewn beams are bound together with rawhide thongs and the lighter timbers are fastened with wooden pegs, not a nail being used. Stout iron grilles and heavy wooden shutters protect the windows and the doors are provided with wickets so that the house could easily be converted into a defensive fortress.

Vallejo also had a town house in Sonoma, but this has nearly disappeared. There are still many old adobes surrounding the spacious plaza—for the village was laid out on regal scale; many date from mission days, though none of them has any especial historic importance.

The mission church stands at the northeast angle of the plaza; it was in use until about twenty-five years ago, when it was wrecked by an earthquake, and since then neglect and winter rains nearly completed the work of ruin. The property was acquired by the Landmarks Club, which, having no funds for restoration, offered it to the state as an historic monument. It was accepted by a special act of the legislature and a small fund provided 280 to restore and maintain the buildings. At the time of our visit work was in progress and was being carried out on original lines as nearly as possible. The old tiles had been restored to the roof and the rents in the walls repaired with sun-dried adobes. But there was no one to show us about or to preserve the relics and traditions of the mission. In this regard there will always be an advantage in having the original owner—the Catholic church—in charge, for it means that "open house" to visitors will be kept at all times. We were gratified to learn, however, that historic Sonoma will not be allowed to fall into ruin, as we had been led to expect from descriptions by recent visitors.

In the plaza just opposite the mission is the pole upon which the American insurgents hoisted the California bear flag in 1846. This party, under Ezekiel Merritt, started from Captain Fremont's camp near Sutter's Fort (Sacramento) and halted some distance from the town until midnight. At daybreak they marched hurriedly down the valley and took General Vallejo and his scanty garrison prisoners of war.

"A man named Todd," according to an eye-witness, "proceeded to make a flag for the occasion by painting a red star on a piece of cotton cloth, when he was reminded that Texas had already adopted this emblem. The grizzly bear was then substituted and the words, 'Republic of California,' added in common writing ink. The flag was hoisted amidst cheers from the entire company and remained afloat for several weeks until Lieutenant 281 Revere of the Portsmouth came to raise the stars and stripes over it after the capture of Monterey."

This event is commemorated by a huge granite boulder near the flagstaff in the plaza of Sonoma. It bears a reproduction of the original flag in bronze and a tablet of the same metal with the inscription, "Bear flag, raised June 14, 1846—erected July 4, 1907. S. O. W. C." It serves to impress on the infrequent visitor that the modest little village has an historic past that its more pretentious neighbors well might envy.

The homestead which General Vallejo occupied after these events and until the time of his death still stands but a short distance from the town, and is approached through a beautiful avenue of ancient palms.

It is quite as he left it, in a garden overgrown with roses and geraniums and shaded by lemon and orange trees intermingled with magnolias and palms. This house is now occupied by General Vallejo's youngest daughter, who still treasures many mementos of her father and of mission days.

A well-improved road leads from Sonoma to Santa Rosa. The latter is a thriving town of ten thousand people and to all appearances has completely recovered from the severe damage inflicted upon it by the earthquake of 1906. It is the home of a man whose fame is wider than that of the town, for no doubt thousands have heard of Luther Burbank who do not know that he lives in Santa Rosa. We passed his experiment station at Sevastopol, seven miles from his home town. We wished we might see the wizard and his work, but he is too 282 busy to be troubled by tourists and can be seen only by special introduction. Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County—succeeding the village of Sonoma in 1856—and a new court house, just completed, would do credit to any city in size and architectural design—another example of the far-sightedness of California communities. The Baptist Church is pointed out as an unique curiosity, for it was built of a single redwood tree—and it is a good-sized church, too.

Out of Santa Rosa we came into the Russian River Valley,—which, with many other names in this vicinity, reminded us that at one time Russia had designs upon our Golden West—certainly one of the loveliest and most fertile of California vales. Here and in Napa Valley just over the range to the east are the Italian colonies, which produce vast quantities of wine. The well-improved road follows the center of the narrow green valley, shut in by blue hill ranges on either hand and covered with great vineyards. In places these ascend the steep hillsides—recalling the valley of the Rhine—and they show everywhere the perfect care and cultivation characteristic of old-world vineyards.

A little beyond Healdsburg, state highway construction barred the main road west of the river and we were forced to cross a rickety bridge into a rather forbidding-looking byroad on the eastern side. At the moment this seemed a small calamity, for we were already late and the road appeared favorable for anything but speed. But we had not gone far until the entrancing beauty of the scenery made us rejoice that chance had led us into this 283 route, which my notes declare "one of the most picturesque on our entire tour." The sinuous, undulating road closely follows the course of the stream, which lay quietly in deep emerald-green pools, or dashed in incredibly swift foaming cascades over its rocky bed. The fine trees—oaks, sycamores, madronas, pines, redwoods, and many other varieties—crowd closely up to the narrow road and climb to the very top of the rugged slopes on either hand. In places there are bold cliffs overhanging the river, one great rock, a vast expanse of tawny brown, spangled with moss and lichens, rising to a height of several hundred feet. Just off this road is Geyserville, in the vicinity of which are geysers and hot springs similar to those of the Yellowstone Park.

At Cloverdale we came into the main highway, which here begins a steady climb up the mountains at the head of the valley, the grades ranging six to ten per cent. The road follows the river canyon and there were many picturesque glimpses of the dashing stream through the trees on our left. At Pieta Station—the railroad runs on the western side of the river—we made a sharp turn to the right, following Pieta grade, which cuts squarely across the mountain range. The road is exceedingly tortuous, climbing the giant hills in long loops and, though none of the grades are heavy, caution was very necessary. Here we ran through the "forest primeval;" nature was in its pristine beauty, unspoiled by the hand of man. No human habitation was in sight for miles and wild life abounded. Rabbits, snakes, and quails scurried 284 across the road and birds flitted through the trees. Wild flowers bloomed in profusion in the glades and flowering shrubs such as the wild lilac and dogwood gave a delightful variation from the prevailing green of the trees. This is a toll road and at the summit of the grade, eight miles from Pieta, a gate barred our way and we were required to pay a dollar to proceed. We found ourselves in no hurry, however, despite the fact that the sun was just setting, for from this spot we had our first view of Clear Lake Valley. Beyond a long vista of wooded hills, set like a great gem in the green plain, the lake shimmered in the subdued light. In the far distance other mountain ranges faded away into the violet haze of the gathering twilight.

The descending road is steeper and rougher than the climb to the summit, though the distance is not so great. At the foot of the grade is Highland Springs, with a summer resort hotel not yet open, and after this a straight, level road runs directly northward to Lakeport. It is a little, isolated town of a thousand people—there is no railroad in Clear Lake Valley—and its hotel is a typical country-town inn. There is another hotel which keeps open only during the summer season, for a small number of discerning people come to Clear Lake for their summer vacation. At the Garrett, however, we were made as comfortable as circumstances permitted, the greatest desideratum being private bathrooms. While rambling about the town after supper I fell into conversation with a druggist and I unwittingly touched a sore spot—which we learned was common to every citizen of Lakeport—when 285 I remarked that it was strange that a town of its size, so favorably situated, should be without a railroad.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

"It's a burning shame," he exclaimed, "and we have the Southern Pacific to thank for it. We have made every effort to secure a railway here and in this fertile valley it would surely pay. Besides, the lake, with its fine fishing and beautiful surroundings, would soon become one of the most noted resorts in California—if people could only get here. But for some reason the Southern Pacific has not only refused to build, but has throttled any effort on part of the people to finance a road into the valley. I guess the railroad people figure that as it is they get all the traffic and the people have to bear the heavy expense of transportation by wagon to the main line. If this is so, it's a short-sighted policy, for the development of the country would be so rapid that the branch would be a paying proposition from the start." And he added much more in the same strain, all of it highly uncomplimentary to the "Sunset Route."

I was not familiar enough with the situation to dispute any of his assertions, even had I been so inclined, and let him assume that I assented to all his animadversions against the Southern Pacific. The question whether or not Lakeport and Clear Lake Valley would be benefited by a railroad—the nearest station is Pieta, twenty miles away—was clearly too one-sided to admit of discussion. Besides, railroads interest us only in an academic way. Who would want a railroad to visit Clear Lake Valley if he were free to come by motor car? 286

From our window in the third story of the hotel we could see the lake and the mountains beyond and I remarked that sunrise would surely be a spectacle worth seeing. Though some doubt was expressed as to my ability to rise early enough, I managed to do it and a scene of surpassing beauty rewarded the effort—it really was an effort after the strenuous run of the preceding day. A rosy sky brought out the rugged contour of the hills and tinged the dense blue shadows with amethyst and gold. As the sky brightened, the lake glowed with the changeful fires of an opal, which merged into a sheet of flame when the sun climbed the mountains and flung his rays directly across the still surface. There was an indescribable glory of color and light, passing through endless mutations ere the scene came out distinctly in the daylight.

We were away early in the morning with a long run over many mountain grades confronting us. As we left the valley we had a better opportunity of noting its singular beauty than on the preceding evening. It is a wide green plain of several hundred square miles, surrounded by mountain ranges. These presented a peculiar contrast in the low morning sun, standing sharp and clear against the sky on the eastern side and half hidden in a soft blue haze on the west. In the center of the plain lay Clear Lake—rightly named, for it is a crystal clear body of water about thirty miles long and eight miles in extreme width. It is fed by mountain streams and empties its waters into the Russian River. For boating and fishing it is unsurpassed, a catch of bass or cat being assured under almost 287 any conditions. The valley was studded with hundreds of oaks, the finest and most symmetrical we had seen in a country famous for magnificent oaks, and one of these, near the Lakeport road, is declared to be the largest and most perfect oak tree in California. Whether it is so or not, a few figures will give some idea of its mammoth proportions. The circumference of its trunk is twenty-four feet and six inches, its height one hundred and twenty feet, and the spread of its branches one hundred and fifty-six feet. And this is only one of hundreds of majestic trees which dotted the plain. Underneath them—for they stand usually far apart—lay the wide green meadows and wheatfields, spangled with multi-colored wild flowers. It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful vista than the one which stretched away beneath these giant trees to the still waters of the lake. Here and there the orange flame of poppies prevailed and again a field of buttercups or daisies, or a blue belt of lupine. The sky above was clear save for a few silvery clouds which floated lazily over the mountains, and, altogether, it was a scene of quiet beauty that made us wonder if there was another spot in all the world like this mountain vale. What a place it would be for a resort like Del Monte or Coronado! If in Southern California it would be one of the most noted beauty spots on earth. A railroad would, of course, do much to make it known to the world in general, though the thought of a railroad in that scene of quiet, out-of-the-world loveliness seemed almost like sacrilege. The climate is mild—orange trees and palms being common—and the rainfall, 288 averaging about thirty inches, is twice as great as in the southern part of the state. This accounts for the unusual greenness of the country and might be an unpleasant feature in winter.

Lakeport marked the northern end of our tour and we resolved to cross the mountains and return by the Napa Valley. At Kelseyville, a few miles south of Lakeport, we inquired of a garage man as to the best road out of the valley and he carefully directed us to take the left-hand fork two or three miles south of the town.

"It takes you over Bottle Glass Mountain," he said, "but it's the shortest road to Middletown."

When we came to the fork we saw that the main traveled road continued to the right and a narrow, forbidding-looking lane started up the big hill to our left. We took it with some misgiving; the directions had been explicit, but we did not like its looks. When we had proceeded a few miles on the increasingly heavy grade we began to realize the significance of the name, "Bottle Glass Mountain," for the road had been blasted through masses of obsidian or volcanic glass and was strewn with numberless razor-sharp fragments which speedily cut our tires to shreds. There was absolutely no place to turn about and so we laboriously toiled up the heavy grades—some of them surely as much as twenty-five per cent—the engine steaming like a tea-kettle until at last we reached the summit. Here we paused to cool the engine and investigate the sorry work of the glass which had strewn the road for some miles. The usefulness of a new set of tires was clearly at its end—no one of them lasted 289 more than a few hundred miles after this experience. We carried away a bit of the glass as a memento and found it identical with that of Obsidian Cliff in the Yellowstone, a material used by the Indians for arrow heads.

The descent was quite free from glass and led us down some pretty steep grades into a beautifully wooded canyon. Here we met a mail carrier who gave us the cheerful information that two or three miles farther over a good road would have avoided the horrors of Bottle Glass Mountain. For several miles we followed the course of a clear stream, the road dropping continuously down grade and winding between splendid trees, until we came to the little village of Middletown.

Beyond this we began the ascent of Mount St. Helena, famed in Stevenson's stories of the "Silverado Squatters." Of it he wrote,

"There was something satisfactory in the sight of the great mountain enclosing us on the north; whether it stood robed in sunshine, quaking to its topmost pinnacle in the heat and lightness of the day or whether it set itself to weaving vapors, wisp after wisp, growing, trembling, fleeting, and fading in the blue."

It overtops everything else in the vicinity; its great bold summit, rising to a height of forty-five hundred feet, is a cairn of quartz and cinnabar. Its slopes, now so quiet and sylvan, were alive in an early day with mining camps and villages. But the mines failed long ago and the army of miners departed, leaving deserted towns and empty houses behind them. These fell into decay and their debris 290 has been hidden by the rank growth of young trees. On St. Helena, Stevenson and his wife spent some time in a deserted mining camp in the summer of 1880 in hopes of benefiting his health and while here he planned and partly completed the story of Silverado. There are many descriptions of the scenery and his step-daughter declares that the passage describing the morning fog rolling into the valley as seen from his camp is one of the very finest in all of Stevenson's writings.

Out of Middletown the road begins a steady ascent over rolling grades ranging up to fifteen per cent and winding through the splendid forests which so charmed the Scotch writer. Redwoods, oaks, firs, cedars and magnificent sugar pines crowd up to the roadside. Star-white dogwood blossoms stand against the foliage, the pale lavender spikes of the mountain lilac, the giant thistle with its carmine blooms, the crimson gleam of the redbud, the brilliant azalea, and, above all, the madrona, a great tree loaded with clusters of odorous pale pink blossoms. Its red trunk, gleaming beneath its glistening green foliage and gay flowers, inspired the oft-quoted fancy of Bret Harte:

"Captain of the western wood,

Thou that apest Robin Hood,

Green above thy scarlet hose

How thy velvet mantle shows.

Never tree like thee arrayed,

Oh, thou gallant of the glade."

From Photograph by Harold Taylor

From the highest point of the road—it does not cross the summit of the mountain—was a glorious prospect of wooded hills and a long vista 291 down the canyon which we followed to the valley. The descent was a strenuous one—winding downward in long loops, turning sharply around blind corners, and running underneath mighty cliffs, with precipices falling away beneath. It presented a series of magnificent views—a new one at almost every turn—and finally we came out into the open where we had full sweep down the vine-clad valley. At its head, just at the end of the mountain grade, was Calistoga, a quiet village of a thousand people, where Stevenson stopped while outfitting for his Silverado expedition. It was entirely surrounded by vineyards, which skirted the road for the eight miles to St. Helena and spread out over the narrow valley to the green hills on either hand. At intervals wheatfields studded with great solitary oaks varied the monotony of the scene and here and there a vineyard dotted the steep slopes of the hills.

Here, as well as in the valley just west of the St. Helena Range, are the properties of the Swiss-Italian and Asti Colonies, and the principal winery, a vast stone structure that reminds one of a Rheinish castle, is situated on this road. Its capacity is three million gallons annually and besides its storage vats there is one great cement cistern which holds a half million gallons. In this capacious cavern a merrymaking party of a hundred couples is said to have held a dance on one occasion. But Italian methods have been abandoned in these big wineries—it would be something of a job to crush grapes for three million gallons of wine with the bare feet, the implements mostly in use in Italy. Instead, there is a mammoth crusher in a tower of 292 the structure and the grapes are dumped upon an endless chain that hoists them to this machine, which grinds and stems them at a single operation. The pulp is then conducted through pipes to the fermenting vats below. The founder of the Asti Colony has a beautiful home in the hills, modeled after a Pompeian villa and surrounded by elaborate gardens and groves, an altogether artistic and charming place, it is said. He is now reckoned as a very wealthy man, though he came here about thirty years ago with little or nothing.

The colony has its own general store, its smithy, its bakery, its dairy, its cooperage, its schools and post office, and a quaint little wooden church—La Madonna del Carmine—where Italian services are conducted on Sundays. While the Asti Colony is the largest and most distinctly Italian, there are several other similar communities in this section and also in the San Joaquin Valley. The greatest danger threatening them is, no doubt, the growing prohibition sentiment in California. We found prohibition already in force in Lake County, though there are many vineyards within its borders. To our request for a bottle of Lake County wine at one of the small inns, our landlord declared that he could not sell, but obligingly made up the deficiency by a donation.

All of the foregoing—interesting as it may be—has been relegated to the realm of ancient history by the enactment of the prohibition amendment. The results so far as the grape growers are concerned, and as I have previously noted in this book, were quite the opposite of those expected. Never 293 was the industry so prosperous and never before did the "fruit of the vine" bring rich returns with so little labor. It is only necessary to dry the grapes in the sun or in specially constructed kilns to realize twice what they would have brought in the palmiest days of the abandoned wineries.

We were surprised to find a splendid boulevard extending for many miles on either side of St. Helena; it emphasized on our minds a fact not generally known, that in the vicinity of San Francisco there is almost as much improved road as about Los Angeles. Its condition, however, does not average nearly so good, and a large part of it is in great need of repairs. The work has been done mainly by the counties, San Joaquin County having just completed a two-million-dollar system of boulevards.

From St. Helena we continued southward to Napa, a town of seven thousand people with many fine residences and a substantial business center. From Napa the road runs through a less interesting country to Vallejo, a distance of fourteen miles, where we thought to cross by ferry to Port Costa. We found, however, to our disgust, that these boats would not carry cars and we were directed to proceed to Benicia, seven miles farther up the coast. Here we ran on to a large railroad ferry-boat, which, after a tedious delay, carried us to the desired point on the western shore of the Sacramento River, which here is really an arm of the bay.

Port Costa is a poor-looking hamlet, principally inhabited by Mexicans, several of whom gathered about us to watch our struggles with a refractory 294 tire. Our objective for the night was Stockton, nearly a hundred miles away by the roundabout route which we must pursue. The long wait at the ferry and the puncture—sure to occur under such conditions—put us behind at least two hours and the sun was already declining. We recognized that we should have to speed up a little and probably finish after dark. Our road out of Port Costa, however, was favorable to anything but speed; after climbing a long grade we came out on the edge of the hills overlooking the river. The road runs along the side of the hills, which fall away for several hundred feet almost sheer to the water beneath, and it twists and turns around the cliffs in a manner anything but soothing to nervous people. It affords, however, some magnificent views of the broad estuary, with green hills and distant mountains beyond.

From Martinez, another decadent little town six miles from Port Costa, we proceeded over fairly good roads to Concord and Antioch, where we turned southward into the wide plain of the San Joaquin River. It was necessary to make a long detour around the San Joaquin Delta, which has no roads. The highway angles towards Byron Hot Springs in long straight stretches. It was improved as a general thing, though we met with rough spots and sandy places occasionally. We struck one of the latter unexpectedly while bowling along at a forty-mile gait and gave a farmer who was coming towards us in a cart the scare of his life, for the car became unmanageable in the sand and started straight for him. Visions of impending disaster 295 flashed through our minds as well, when the obstreperous machine took a tack in the opposite direction. We did not stop to discuss the occurrence with him, seeing plainly that he was in no mood for a calm consideration of the matter—but we had learned something.

A little beyond Byron Hot Springs we entered San Joaquin County and from this point we followed a splendid new boulevard as smooth and level as a floor—part of the county's new two-million road system. We coursed through the center of a wide plain, shut in by ill-defined mountains, and one of these, standing in solitary majesty against the evening sky, seemed to dominate the valley. It is Mount Diabolus, which no doubt received its appellation from some ancient padre who thought it safest to give his Satanic Majesty a habitation on this lonely peak, then so remote from the haunts of the white men. 296


Stockton has a population of over forty thousand according to the 1920 census—a gain of nearly one hundred per cent in ten years. You would be likely to guess even a larger figure when you note the metropolitan appearance of the town—the broad, well-paved streets, the handsome stores, and the imposing public buildings—or when you enter Hotel Stockton, a huge, modern, concrete structure that it would be hard to match in most eastern cities of a hundred thousand. The town is situated at the gateway of a vast, fertile plain, rich in grainfields, orchards, vineyards, and garden and dairy products. It is a sightly city, with eleven public parks and numerous fine homes and churches; many streets are bordered with shade trees, the elm, maple, acacia, and umbrella tree being most common. Orange trees and palms are also plentiful, reminding one that a mild winter climate prevails in the valley.

The town was incorporated in 1850 and was named in honor of Commodore Stockton of the United States Navy, who raised the first American flag in California. It had previously existed as a mining supply camp and the site belonged to Captain Weber, who received it as a grant from the Mexican Government in 1843. It has been a quiet, steadily growing commercial center and its history 297 has never been greatly varied by sensational incidents. Its first railroad came in 1869, its commerce having been carried previously on the San Joaquin River. To-day a canal connects the river with the heart of the city and good-sized steamers arrive and depart daily. It is also served by main lines of three great transcontinental railways, an advantage not enjoyed by many California towns.

Stockton is seldom the goal of the tourist and most travelers get their impressions of the town from a car window while enroute to or from San Francisco. Not one in a thousand of these, nor one in ten thousand who only hear of the town, knows that in its immediate vicinity, almost adjoining its borders, is the greatest and most remarkable enterprise of the kind in America. I refer to the land reclamation projects of the San Joaquin Delta, comprising the marvelously fertile tracts already under cultivation, and the efficient methods employed to ultimately reclaim a million acres of peat swamps still untilled. Thirty years ago this land was supposed to be absolutely worthless—a vast tract of upwards of a million and a half acres, covered with scrub willows and "tule"—a species of rank reed—and overflowed at times to a depth of several feet by flood and ocean tides. The soil in the main is black peat, made up of decomposed tule and sand washed in by the floods—a composition of untold fertility if properly drained and farmed.

I was especially interested in this enterprise since a pioneer in reclamation work and president of one of the largest concerns operating in the delta was an old-time college-mate who came to California 298 some twenty-five years ago. He had little then save indomitable energy and unusual business aptitude, and with characteristic foresight he recognized the possibilities of the San Joaquin swamps when once reclaimed and properly tilled. He succeeded in interesting capitalists in the project, which has steadily grown until it has merged into the California Delta Farms Association, a ten-million-dollar corporation which owns and controls more than forty thousand acres, mostly under cultivation. The company also owns a fleet of a dozen great steam dredging plants, principally engaged in reclaiming new tracts on their own properties, though occasionally doing work for other concerns.

Besides the Delta Farms Association, there are several other large companies and individual owners operating in the delta, which now has upwards of three hundred thousand reclaimed acres, and it is said that a million more will be brought under cultivation within five or six years. The aggregate value of the land at that time will not be less than two hundred millions, figures which speak most eloquently of the almost inconceivable possibilities of the Netherlands of California, and any tourist whose convenience will permit will find himself well repaid should he stop at Stockton for the especial purpose of seeing this unique wonder of America.

We found no difficulty in arranging for a good-sized motor-boat capable of twelve to fifteen miles per hour, in charge of a man familiar with every part of the delta and well posted upon the details of farming and reclamation work. The harbor is at 299 the foot of Washington Street, well within the confines of the city and a canal about two miles long connects with the main channel of the San Joaquin. There are no roads in the delta, the river and canals serving as highways; each tract in cultivation is surrounded by water held back by a substantial levee usually about twenty-five feet high and one hundred and fifty feet thick at the base. The tracts range from one thousand to thirteen thousand acres in size and are usually spoken of as islands. It is hard for a novice to get a clear idea of the lay of the land—the waterways twist and turn and interweave in such a baffling manner. Nor can one see over the high levees from an ordinary launch; the top of the pilot house on our boat, however, afforded views of most of the tracts. The main stream is several hundred feet wide and the canals average about twenty-four feet, with a depth of ten to fifteen feet.

The first step towards reclaiming a tract of land is to surround it by a large levee or bank of soil scooped from the swamp by great floating dredges, the resulting depression serving as a canal. When the levee is completed, the island is cleared of tule and brush and the water pumped out. It is then ready for cultivation, but breaking up the tough, fibrous peat is laborious and tedious work, which the average white man seems unwilling to do, and Oriental labor has played a big part in reclaiming the delta.

Should the peat become too dry, it is liable to take fire and smoulder indefinitely, though this can be controlled by flooding from the river. Its fibrous 300 composition makes it an excellent material for levees; when thoroughly packed it is quite impervious to water and little affected by floods.

Our guide informed us that the actual cost of reclaiming the land averages about one hundred and sixteen dollars per acre and that its value when in cultivation is from two to three hundred dollars. Irrigation, when necessary, is accomplished by elevating water from river or canal at high tide over the levee by means of huge siphons. The tide rises three or four feet, though salt water does not come in so far. Thus the water supply is never failing and a crop is always assured. Disastrous floods are now so guarded against as to be of rare occurrence, though in earlier times they frequently wrought great havoc; even then they were not an unmixed evil, a layer of rich fertilizer being deposited in their wake.

It is not strange that the owners of the San Joaquin Delta lands are opposed to the anti-Japanese legislation now the fashion in California. The work of reclamation has been done mostly by Orientals—Japanese, Chinese, and a few Hindus—and farming operations are largely carried on by laborers of these nationalities. In the earlier days white men suffered severely from ague and malaria, though conditions in this regard are better now. The Jap seems perfectly at home in the San Joaquin swamps; hot sun and drudgery have no serious effect on him and he has the industry and infinite patience necessary to succeed under such conditions. He requires less supervision than the white laborer and in this regard the Chinaman is still better. 301 Altogether, the Oriental is the ideal laborer for the delta; and he is at his best when employed by a fellow-countryman.

This fact partially accounts for the phenomenal success of George Shima, who is probably the most extensive farmer in the whole region. He not only owns considerable land, but leases great tracts which he farms in a thorough and scientific manner. His problem is not to secure a big yield—he is sure of that—but to get a favorable market. The flood danger, which wiped out his possessions in 1907, is said to be well guarded against now, but the danger of a glutted market remains. On the other hand, there is the gamble of a shortage of potatoes in the rest of the world—a thing which happened in 1910, when Shima is said to have cleared over half a million dollars on this crop alone. The wily Jap held his crop until the demand was keenest and let it go at two or three dollars per hundredweight. He has learned to depend on other products besides potatoes, both to avoid danger of a glut and to provide for proper rotation of crops. Rich as is the delta soil, several successive crops of potatoes will impoverish it. Alternating with barley, beans, asparagus, alfalfa, or onions, all of which thrive in an incredible manner, serves to stave off the evil day of soil exhaustion. It is Shima's boast that he farms scientifically and employs experts on soil chemistry, and the results he gets seem to bear out his claim. He lives on a fashionable street in Berkeley and has done much to overcome prejudice against his nationality by intelligent and liberal donations to public and charitable causes. 302

Besides Shima there are several smaller Japanese operators and two or three Chinamen who lease land on a large scale. Shima markets as well as raises his product, but the others sell mainly through brokers and commission men. There are several white ranchers who farm their own land and who have demonstrated that success can be achieved in this way. The millennium of the delta is expected to be attained by wholesale subdivision into farms of one hundred acres or more, operated by the owners. Indeed, the Delta Farms Company is already planning to dispose of a part of its holdings in this manner and there is certain prosperity for the farmer who buys a small tract and tills it himself. A good yield is always sure and by proper rotation and division of crops a market for the majority of products is equally certain. It has also been proved that hog-raising and dairying can be profitably engaged in. The time will come, say many, when this Holland of America will support a large population of thrifty American farmers and the bugaboo of Oriental labor will have faded away. Schools, roads, and bridges will come, and there is already a daily mail delivery by water and an elaborate telephone system in the delta. The splendid system of water highways upon which every farm will front, will afford quick and cheap access to markets. Every farmer will have his motor-boat instead of automobile, and this will put him in easy touch with towns, cities, and schools. This ideal state is still in the indefinite future; most of the land is held by absentee landlords who are more than satisfied with the returns from the present system 303 and whose holdings are not for sale. The reclamation of new tracts and the increasing scarcity of Japanese and Chinese labor may, however, change conditions more rapidly than now seems probable.

Our skipper landed us at several of the islands and it gave us a queer sensation to walk over ground that quaked and quivered to our step as though it rested on a subterranean lake. The improvements were generally of the flimsiest type—clapboard houses resting on piles afforded quarters for the laborers. Near the superintendent's home on one of the tracts was a field of carmine sweet peas in full bloom—a pleasing patch of color upon the general drab monotone of the landscape, suggesting the possibility of flower-farming on a large scale. The quarters for the help make it clear why Chinamen and Japanese can be so profitably employed—they demand little in the way of comforts and are satisfied with the cheapest and plainest fare. Wages, even of this class of labor, are not low, the average Oriental earning forty to sixty dollars per month besides his keep. Chinese and Japanese do not readily affiliate and men in adjoining camps may scarcely speak to each other during the entire working season. A good many Chinese live in house boats on the river and we saw the curious sight of a house-boat saloon, for the difficulty in getting in a supply of opium has driven the Chinaman to the white man's tipples and he has learned to carry a comfortable load of gin without losing his head. There were also camps of Chinese fishermen who take quantities of bass, shad, and catfish, which we were told were shipped to China. The 304 smells from these camps frequently announced their proximity before we came in sight of them.

Asparagus is one of the large and profitable crops and on our return trip we saw a thousand-acre tract of this staple and a big factory which turns out many hundreds of carloads of the canned article. The Delta brand is famous as the largest, tenderest, and best-flavored variety known. Celery is also raised in large quantities and here is the only spot in the west where chicory thrives.

During our round, which covered eighty miles of river and canal, we had the opportunity of observing reclamation in progress, as well as many phases of farming. The huge steel dredges were slowly eating their way through the waste of reeds and willows, their long black arms delving deep into the muck and piling levees alongside the canal, which served as a pathway for the monster's advance. A little farther we saw a tract around which the levee had been completed and which was being cleared of tule and brushwood, fire being freely used, as the peat was still too wet to burn. Beyond this a field was being brought under the plough and desperately hard, heavy work it was, breaking up the matted fibrous soil that had been forming for ages. In another place a break in the levee had permitted an inflow of water and this was being thrown out with a mighty floating pump capable of handling some seventy thousand gallons per minute. Farming operations require a fleet of barges, for horses and heavy farm machinery must be carried and the products transported from the markets. 305

Altogether, the San Joaquin Delta was very interesting and surprising; well worth seeing aside from the personal element, which was the prime motive in our case. It is only because this wonderful region is so little known that visitors are comparatively few, but the tourist tide will surely come before long and many will find profitable investments in the lands. Of course the ordinary tourist will be able to see only a small section of this vast tract until the age of airship touring comes, but that small section will be so typical as to afford a fair idea of the whole. The story of the delta makes a unique chapter in American agriculture and it is bound to prove a fertile field for research and experiment, which will result in still greater production and a wider variety of crops. Its vast extent and endless resources make it a notable asset, even in a state so famed for big things as California, and some day it may be comparable in population and thrift to the Dutch Netherlands.

It was late when our skipper turned the launch homeward and there was something exhilarating and inspiring in swirling through the long sunset stretches of still water between the high green banks. We agreed that the boat ride alone as a variation from weeks of dusty motor travel would have been worth while, even if we had not seen and learned so much of the wonderland of the San Joaquin Delta.

On our second visit to Stockton a year later we passed through without delay on our way to the state capital. We came from Oakland—where we passed the night at the magnificent new Hotel Oakland, 306 unsurpassed by any of California's famous hotels—by the way of Haywards, Niles, Pleasanton, and Altamont. The direct road by way of Dublin was closed and we were saved a useless twenty-mile jaunt by an obliging garage man at Haywards, who hailed us as he saw us turning into the obstructed route.

"You'll have to take a round-about road," he declared on learning of our destination. "A car which tried the Dublin road just returned, having found it completely closed. The county board is cutting down the big hill near Dublin—commenced a year ago and was held up by a lawsuit. They had to condemn a piece of land—so steep a goat couldn't stand on it—for which an Eastern owner wanted seven thousand dollars. The jury awarded the owner seventeen dollars, and now the work can go on."

"Our Eastern friend must have thought he saw a chance to get rich quick," we ventured.

"No, the funny part of it was that he wanted just what he paid for the land, which he had never seen. Some real estate agent had sold it to him for seven thousand dollars and he only wanted his money back. I reckon that any man who buys land in California on someone's representations is a sucker,"—a proposition that we did not feel called upon to dispute.

We had no reason to regret our enforced change of route, for we passed through some beautiful country—quite different from what we had previously seen in this vicinity. Following the railroad southward to Niles, we turned sharply to the 307 left, entering the low green hills along which we had been coursing. Crossing a moderate grade, we came into a narrow valley lying between rounded hills, which showed evidence of having been in cultivation for many years. The roads, bridges, farm houses, and other improvements indicated a prosperous and well-established community and the towns of Pleasanton, Livermore, and Altamont must have sprung into existence as far back as the "days of gold." These were quiet, pretty villages connected by a fine macadam road, evidently a temptation to the "scorcher," for placards in the garages warned motorists against the despised motorcycle "cop."

It was a glorious day and the well-groomed valley showed a wonderful display of color, the prevailing green being dashed with the brilliant hues of wild flowers. The low hills on either hand were covered with lawnlike verdure and dotted with ancient oaks, while an occasional cultivated field redeemed them from monotony. Beyond Livermore we came into the San Joaquin Valley, which at this time was reveling in the promise of an unprecedented harvest. The wide level plain was an expanse of waving green varied with an occasional fringe of trees, and a low-lying, dark-blue haze quite obscured the distant mountains.

Beyond Stockton the characteristics of the country were much the same, though it seemed to us as if the valley of the Sacramento were even greener and more prosperous. The vast wheatfields were showing the slightest tinge of yellow and the great vineyards were in bloom. Some of 308 the latter covered hundreds of acres and must have been planted many years ago. The luxuriant, flower-spangled meadows were dotted with herds of sleek cattle and it would be hard to imagine a more ideal agricultural paradise than the Sacramento Valley at this particular time. On either hand the rich plain stretched away to blue mountains, so distant that only their dim outlines were discernible, and at times they were entirely obscured by low-hung clouds or sudden summer showers.

The road between the two cities is a recently completed link of the state highway and the smooth asphalted surface offers unlimited speed possibilities if one cares to take the chances. In the spring and early summer Sacramento is surrounded by vast swamps and we crossed over a long stretch of wooden bridges before entering the city. Our original plan was to come from Napa, but we learned that the roads north and west of the city were usually impassable until late in the summer. The entire city lies below high-water level of the Sacramento and American Rivers and in its early days suffered from disastrous floods. It is now protected by an extensive system of dikes, which have successfully withstood the freshets for half a century.

A handsome city greeted us as we coursed down the wide shady street leading past the capitol to the Hotel Sacramento. Palms and flowers were much in evidence in the outskirts and many imposing modern buildings ornamented the business section. There were, however, many indications of 309 the city's age, for Sacramento is the oldest settlement of white men in the interior of California and was a town of ten thousand people in 1849, though probably there were many transient gold-seekers among them. It was the objective of the early "Argonauts" who crossed the plains long before the discovery of gold. Here in 1839 Colonel John H. Sutter established a colony of Swiss settlers which he called New Helvetia, and the old adobe fort which he built still stands, having being converted into a museum of pioneer relics. Sutter employed Marshall, who was sent into the mountains to build a mill at Coloma, and who picked up in the mill race the original nugget that turned the tide towards California in the forties. The first railroad in the state ran from Sacramento to Folsom, and the experimental section of the state highway system was built between these two towns.

There were many productive gold mines about the town in an early day, and though these are largely worked out, Sacramento has to-day a greater and more permanent source of wealth in the rich country surrounding it. It was made the capital of the state in 1854 and the handsome capitol building was erected a few years later. This is of pure classic design in white stone and though small as compared with most other state capitols, it is surpassed architecturally by none of them. It stands in a forty-acre park intersected by winding drives and beautified with the semi-tropical trees and plants which flourish in this almost frostless climate. Among these is the Memorial Grove, composed of trees collected from the battlefields of the 310 Civil War. The state insectary, which breeds and distributes millions of fruit-protecting insects every year, may also be seen on the capitol grounds.

Our hotel, the Sacramento, a modern concrete structure, proved fairly satisfactory, but so far as we could judge, the hotels of Sacramento were hardly up to the California standard for a city of sixty thousand. The city is visited by comparatively few tourists at present, though the motor car and the new state highway are likely to change things in this regard. The fine old town has much of real interest and the run through the prosperous valley is an experience worth while to any one who wishes to know the beauties and resources of the Golden State. 311

From Original Painting by Thad Welch


Before beginning our homeward trek to Los Angeles, we decided to return to San Francisco and once there it occurred to us that we must visit old Fort Ross to familiarize ourselves with another colorful chapter of Golden State history. This tiny hamlet is on the sea coast about one hundred miles (by wagon road) north of the metropolis and may be reached by either of two routes, so we determined to go by one and return by the other. The briefest possible outlines of the story of Fort Ross may serve to illustrate the motives of our "little journey" into the northern hills:

The settlement was founded in 1812 by Russian traders. The fact that it was a military post whose crude fortifications were defended by forty cannons lends color to the supposition that the Czar may have entertained dreams of conquest in the weakly defended Spanish territory on the Pacific Coast. The Spaniards themselves thought so, for in 1818 the Governor at Monterey received orders to organize an expedition to capture Fort Ross—a mandate which he declared he was unable to carry out "for lack of men, transport and equipment." The Russians spread from Fort Ross into the surrounding territory and many names such as Sebastopol, Bodega, Mt. St. Helena and Russian River 312 persist to-day as reminders of the Muscovite occupation.

Their traders came from time to time and carried on more or less traffic with the Spaniards despite their deep distrust of the Czar's intentions. There were many romantic incidents with this intercourse. The pathetic story of Rezanov, the noble commander of the Russian fleet, and Donna Concepcion, daughter of the Spanish governor, will always survive as one of the famous romances of early California. It was made the subject of Gertrude Atherton's novel of "Rezanov"—a colorful picture of the times, a story really savoring more of history than fiction. The Russian colonies never prospered sufficiently to become a menace even to the weak dominion of Spain, and when Mexico threw off the yoke of the mother country, Russia formally pledged herself against the acquisition of any territory in California. Seventeen years later the settlement had so declined that the Russians were glad to sell their property to Col. John A. Sutter, founder of Sacramento, and to retire permanently from California.

It seemed to us that a memorial of events that might have changed the course of history on our Pacific Coast was worthy of a pilgrimage, and our knowledge of the beauty of the hills of Marin and Sonoma was an additional lure. And so we crossed by the Sausalito Ferry and were soon away on the fine highway to Santa Rosa—now familiar ground to us. It was late in May and by all the weather man's rules the rainy season was past, but the unusual (as usual in California) happened; a sharp 313 little shower caught us as we left Sausalito and fitfully followed us as we coursed swiftly over the fine road. It had its compensations, however, in the wonderful effects of cloud and mist on the Marin hills—a perfect symphony of blues, grays and purples. At Petaluma we recalled that the town was the prototype of Rosewater in Mrs. Atherton's "Ancestors"—the home of her very unconventional heroine who, naturally enough, owned a poultry ranch, the poultry industry being the outstanding occupation of the inhabitants.

The rain had ceased by the time we reached Santa Rosa, where we paused for lunch. Here we branched from the main highway, coursing through a lovely green valley to Forestville, where we entered the wooded hill range. We covered several miles of easy mountain road before reaching Guerneville, winding through groves of redwood and many other varieties of conifers and deciduous trees. At Guerneville we dropped down into the Russian River Valley, famous as a summer playground for San Francisco. We crossed the river over a high, spider-web bridge which afforded a vantage point for extensive views up and down the wooded valley. The emerald-green river lay far beneath us in deep, still reaches, for there is little fall to the valley here. Beyond the river we began the ascent of a long, winding grade over the second range. The road climbed through a dense forest and there were many sharp turns and steep pitches, somewhat the worse for the lately fallen showers, but the magnificent panoramas that occasionally burst 314 on our vision as we continued the ascent made the effort well worth while. The valley was diversified with well-groomed fruit ranches and scattered grain fields; groups of oaks with velvety glades beneath, straggled over the rounded foothills, all combining to make a scene of wonderful sylvan charm. As we approached Cazadero we had an enchanting view of the deep valley and the village far below. But distance lent enchantment to the view of Cazadero, for we found it a rather mean-looking little place—a station for the motor busses that run over this road, its principal sign of life being the huge repair shops.

Beyond Cazadero there was still more climbing through the "forest primeval," whose increasing greenness and luxuriance called forth more than one exclamation of delight. The madrona, horse-chestnut, dogwood and locust were in full bloom and huge ferns grew riotously everywhere underneath the trees. The road was wet and dangerous in places, making our progress slow, but at last we came out on the clifflike headland above Fort Ross and the ocean, silver-white in the declining sun, flashed into view. Far beneath, directly on the shore, we could see the little hamlet, the object of our pilgrimage, nestling among the green hillocks. A very steep, narrow road, wet from the recent rain, plunged down the almost precipitous bank and we narrowly escaped disastrous collision with a tree from a vicious "skid" in the descent, which has several pitches of twenty-five per cent.

We found only a scene of desolation at our goal; there were two or three families living in the 315 place, but most of the houses were abandoned. The huge, windowless hotel covered with creepers, testified mutely to the one-time importance of the town. Relics of the old fort or blockhouse were in evidence, but only two fragments of the walls, built of huge squared logs, were still standing. The quaint little church had just been restored—a tiny whitewashed structure perhaps twelve by fifteen feet, with an odd domelike cupola and square tower in front. It had been rebuilt at public expense and the fort was also to be restored from the same legislative appropriation.

There was nothing to detain us in the lonely village and after a mad scramble up the wet slope, slipping backward dangerously at one point, we paused again on the headland to contemplate the glorious panorama of rugged coast and shining sea. Rain was still threatening, however, and it seemed best not to stop, as we had planned, at Sea View Inn, near by, but to return to Guerneville for the night. The vistas seemed even more wonderful in the gathering twilight than on our outward trip—the great hills with their fringe of forest loomed against the rich sunset sky and purple shadows filled the vast canyons with mysterious gloom.

The hotel at Guerneville was primitive in the extreme, but the landlord was very considerate and we were too cold and hungry to be over-critical. Leaving the town on the following morning, we pursued the northward road along the Russian River, passing Bohemian Grove, famous for the antics of a San Francisco club, to Monte Rio, a much frequented summer resort town. The road 316 climbed a forest-fringed grade with endless vistas of river and valley as well as vast stretches of wooded hills. Wild flowers bloomed in profusion and the air was redolent with the invigorating fragrance of the balsam pines. At the summit we paused to admire the endless panorama of hills, merging from green into deep solid blue in the far distance. Leaving Monte Rio we followed a tortuous, undulating road along a clear little river. The trees and undergrowth crowded up to the edge of the road and overarched it most of the dozen or so miles—a perfect wall of greenery on either hand.

Beyond Freestone we came again into the open hills, green and rolling and sloping to the sea a little to our right. Here our admiration was again excited by the marvel of the wild flowers, which bloomed in richest profusion; vast dashes of yellow, blue and white spangled the meadows and hills through which the fine road courses. At Tomales, an antique-looking little town, we came to the head of Tomales Bay, a "shoestring" of water some twenty miles long but nowhere more than two miles wide. The road runs alongside, up and down the low hills, affording fugitive glimpses of the bay, as inconstant in coloring as an opal. From Olema we pursued the coast road—or shall I say trail?—to Bolinas and thence to the Sausalito Ferry.

Despite the rough and difficult going, we had reason to congratulate ourselves upon our choice of route, for we saw much wild and picturesque coast and had many clear-cut views—not common in the land of frequent cloud and fog—of the coastward 317 side of San Francisco. We climbed the winding ascent to Forts Baker and Barry, where one of the most comprehensive views of the whole district, the bay, the cities and the hills, may be had. So clear was the air that the Farralones, fifteen miles distant, stood out distinctly against the evening sky; and in the city the long green strip of Golden Gate Park and even the outlines of the streets and notable buildings were plainly observable. It was a wonderful scene and we had the day of a thousand to view it. Good fortune still attended us when we crossed the ferry, for we saw a perfect sunset directly through the Golden Gate. No language could exaggerate the splendor of the scene; no picture could do justice to its ethereal beauty of coloring. Fully as enchanting was the afterglow with its reflections of the crimson and gold cloud banks in the still waters. Behind us the windows and lights of Oakland and Berkeley flashed like a million gems set in the dark background of the hills, and eastward the lavender-tinted sky bent down to the still blue waters of the bay. We are quite ready for the spacious comfort of the Fairmont; it has not been an easy jaunt by any means. But we all agree that it would be hard to find even in California a more delightful tour than the little journey to old Fort Ross, granted weather as propitious as that which favored us.

It was always a difficult matter for us to shake off the lure of Del Monte whenever we made the run between Los Angeles and San Francisco and even though considerably out of our way, we nearly always put the old capital on our itinerary. What 318 were a hundred or so miles additional as weighed against the delights of the famous inn?—and, besides, there was one road from San Francisco to Del Monte which we had not yet traversed. We have a decided fondness for trails directly along the ocean, though usually they are of the worst, and the little-used road along the coast running southward from Golden Gate Park to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz proved no exception to the rule. In fact, if it was an exception in any way it was in the degree of badness—but there is no need anticipating an unpleasant subject. I may say right here, however, that I think that nearly all of this wonderful run is now over paved roads and deserves to be far more popular than it is.

Following Ocean Drive southward from the Cliff House in Golden Gate Park, a few miles down the coast the highway swings landward to Sloat Avenue, which we pursued to Colma. Here the road turns to the left and closely follows the ocean through a number of small fisher villages and beach resorts. There are some long and rather heavy grades in places, but they are atoned for by inspiring views of rugged coast and shining sea, particularly at San Pedro Point, just below Salada, where we enjoyed a far-reaching vista from an elevation of several hundred feet above the sea. Beyond Montara grade the road drops down into the fertile plains about Half Moon Bay. Here is the famous artichoke section of California and we saw hundreds upon hundreds of acres of the succulent vegetable in the vicinity of the village. There is also a delightful alternate route to Half 319 Moon Bay which we took on another occasion, following the main highway to San Mateo, where a well-improved macadam road swings to the left and plunges into the hill range between the bay and the ocean. It winds in graceful curves and easy grades among the giant hills, passing several of the huge fresh-water lakes of the San Francisco water supply system. This route is the easier one, but hardly the equal of the coast in scenic grandeur.

Half Moon Bay is a forlorn-looking little town with a decidedly un-American appearance—which is not so strange since the inhabitants, who engage in fishing or in cultivating the endless artichoke fields about the place, are mostly Portuguese and Italians. Thinking that Half Moon Bay, notwithstanding its unprepossessing looks, was about our only chance for luncheon before we should reach Santa Cruz, we inquired of the bank cashier, who responded rather dubiously, it seemed to us, that the French Hotel was the "best to be had in town." We found it a second-class country inn whose main business was evidently done in the bar-room, which occupied the most prominent place in the building. The lunch hour was past but the proprietor went to considerable trouble to prepare a hot meal, which, we agreed in Yorkshire parlance, "might have been worse." Outside there was a little garden with some wonderful roses and, altogether, the inn was neater and cleaner than appearances had led us to expect.

Our real troubles began when we left the town, for a rougher, meaner and more uncomfortable fifty miles we hardly found in all our wanderings 320 in the Golden State. A new macadam road was being built to Pescadero, twenty miles south, and was just at the stage calculated to most distress the motorist. We wallowed through miles of loose, sharp stones, made long detours through the rough, steep hills, crept over shaky bridges, plunged down and out of huge gulches and crawled through miles of rough, stony trails, deep with dust. Pescadero, which marks the end of the railroad, is as lonely and wretched a little hamlet as one will find in California; in fact, it took quite a mental effort to assure ourselves that we really were in California—it reminded us so strongly of some of the old-world villages we had seen. We took on "gas" at a dilapidated smithy recently decorated with a huge "garage" sign, though I doubt if a sizable car could have gotten inside. Beyond Pescadero the road was still rough, dusty and steep in places, but it was free from construction work and we made better time. Beyond Swanton the road steadily improved. When we came into Santa Cruz the sun was still high and by grace of the long evening we were able to reach Del Monte by way of Watsonville and Salinas shortly after dark. It is superfluous to remark on the satisfaction we experienced in reaching such a haven of rest after an unusually strenuous and uncomfortable run.

We lingered in the pleasant surroundings until afternoon of the following day, making an easy and eventless run to Stockton for the night. We had seen enough of forced schedules and long hours to determine us to make the run to Los Angeles by easier stages. Leaving Stockton in the late forenoon, 321 we soon reached the little city of Modesto, which hopes some day to be the official gateway of Yosemite. Perhaps it was in anticipation of this distinction that two immense hotels, the Modesto and the Hughson, seemingly out of all proportion to any possible need, were being built. The former was practically completed, a seven-story concrete structure with all modern hotel improvements and conveniences, including ballroom, roof garden, and swimming pool. The Hughson was even larger and we could not help wondering if the hotel business in Modesto were not in danger of being slightly overdone.

At Merced we found another handsome new hotel, the Capitan, which would be a credit to a city with several times Merced's four or five thousand people, but perhaps the Yosemite traffic justifies the enterprise of the builders. We paused here for lunch and I was greatly amused at a conversation which I overheard in the lobby, illustrating the effect of the California microbe upon so many visiting Easterners. A gentleman wearing a light summer suit, a white hat and white shoes, and carrying a camera and golf bag—the very personification of a man who was enjoying life to the limit—was just leaving for the train.

"Well," queried a friend who met him, "are you about ready to go back to Peoria?"

"Go back to Peoria!—go back to Peoria!! I'm never going back to Peoria if I live a hundred years. Say, do you know that I wouldn't take all the Eastern States as a gift if I had to live in 'em, after having lived in California?" 322

A straight, level road runs from Merced to Fresno on the south, one of the finest links of the inland route of the new state highway. We found much of it under construction at the time and in passing around through the wheatfields we struck some of the deepest dust and roughest running that we found anywhere. We made up for it when we came back into the finished portion, which extended for several miles north of Fresno. It is a perfect road—concrete with a "carpet" of crushed stone and asphaltum rolled as smooth and hard as polished slate. It runs for miles through wheatfields, whose magnitude may be judged from the fact that we saw a dozen ten-mule teams ploughing one tract. Near Fresno we ran into the endless vineyards which surround the raisin town and which looked green and prosperous, despite the drouth which had nearly ruined the wheat. The raisin crop is one of Fresno County's greatest sources of wealth, netting the growers over five million dollars yearly. The abundant sunshine makes the grapes too sweet for light wines, though there were several wineries producing the heavier quality, which was mostly shipped to Europe, where it was blended with lighter wine and sent back strictly an "imported product." This practice, of course, became obsolete with the advent of prohibition, but the Fresno growers, as is the case everywhere, are now reaping the greatest profits in their history.

Fresno, with a population of nearly fifty thousand, has quadrupled in size in the last twenty years. It is thoroughly metropolitan in appearance and in public and private improvements. The 323 Hotel Fresno is an immense fireproof structure of marble and concrete that will compare favorably with the best hotels in many cities ten times as large as Fresno, and here on our first visit we proposed to stop for the night, but changed our plan when we found that a road out of the town crosses the mountain ranges to the sea. We had not forgotten our failure to see San Antonio and La Purisima on our upward trek—and determined to seize the opportunity to get back to the coast. Paso Robles seemed the only satisfactory stopping place for the following night, but if we stayed in Fresno we could hardly hope to reach the "Pass of the Oaks" the next day. The road cuts squarely across the desert to Coalinga and we found ourselves wondering what kind of accommodations we should find at Coalinga. A garage man said he had been there once—a place of five hundred people, he guessed, and there was a pretty good boarding-house down by the depot. Not a very attractive prospect, to be sure, but Coalinga was the only town between Fresno and the mountains. It was some sixty miles distant, and by hitting a lively pace we could reach it by dark—if we had no ill luck.

For ten miles out of Fresno we followed Palm Drive—a splendid boulevard between rows of stately palms, the largest we had seen in California. At the end of the drive we turned sharply to the left following an unimproved road into the desert. This road is as level as a floor—a perfect boulevard in dry weather—though abandoned ruts indicated pretty heavy work after the infrequent rains. For the entire distance there was little variation; about 324 midway we came to a green belt of pastures and trees along Kings River, and a new railroad was being built through this section. A native at a little wayside store—the only station on the way—told us that this desert land, counted worthless a few years ago, was now worth as much as twenty-five dollars per acre and that it was all capable of being farmed. It certainly did not look so; a white, alkali-frosted plain tufted with greasewood and teeming with jack-rabbits stretched away to distant hills on either side. The road meandered onward at its own sweet will and when it became too rough or dusty in spots it was only necessary to take another tack to have an entirely new boulevard. We did some lively going over the hard, smooth surface, which made forty miles seem a fairly moderate pace, but we were at a sore loss when we came to a branch road in the middle of the plain, with nothing to indicate which led to our destination. We had just decided to take the wrong one when an auto hove into sight and we paused to inquire.

"Straight ahead on the road, my brother; you can't miss it now and when you get to Coalinga go to Smith's garage, and God bless you."

We concluded that we must have run across a peripatetic evangelist, but when we went to Smith's garage—only it wasn't Smith's—after dinner to get an article from the car, we found our pious friend manager of the place.

As we came near the range of brown hills beneath which the town lies, we saw a row of oil-derricks running for miles along the side of the valley, for here is the greatest oil-producing section 325 of California. The oil fields have made Coalinga, which we were surprised and pleased to find a live-looking town of several thousand people, with an excellent modern hotel quite the equal of the best country town hostelries.

Coalinga is full of California "boost;" our friend at the garage endeavored to enlist our sympathy in a movement to put the town on the state highway map—though I failed to see how we could be of much use to the enterprise.

"O, a word from tourists always helps, my brother. You can write a letter to the commissioners and tell them that we need the road and I reckon you'll know that we need it if you cross the hills to King City, as you propose. You'll find it something fierce, I can promise you; crooked, rough, stony, steep—lucky if you get through without a breakdown. There are one hundred and fifty fords in the sixty miles—no, I don't mean Ford automobiles, but creeks and rivers. It's shoot down a steep bank and jump out, and the sharp stones won't help your tires any, either. There are some grades, too, I want to tell you, but your rig looks as if they wouldn't worry her much. But when you get across, write a line to the Highway Commission and tell them something about it. So long! God bless you all."

When we waved our pious monitor adios and resumed our journey, it was still early morning. Of course we took the one hundred and fifty fords as a pleasant bit of exaggeration—we couldn't use a stronger term in view of our friend's evident piety; but we found, in slang parlance, that his statement 326 was literally "no joke." We kept count of the times we crossed streams of running water and there were just one hundred and eighteen, and enough had dried up to make full measure for Mr. Smith's estimate, with a few to spare. And fearfully rough going it was—sharp plunges down steep banks, splashing through shallow streams, over stones and sand, and wild scrambles up the opposite side, an experience repeated every few minutes. At times the trail followed the bed of a stream or meandered closely along the shores, never getting very far away for the first dozen miles. Then we entered a hill range, barren at first, but gradually becoming wooded and overlooking long valleys studded with groups of oak and sycamore, with green vistas underneath. There was some strenuous work over the main mountain range, where the road was a narrow shelf cut in solid rock, with a precipice above and below. It had many heavy grades and sharp, dangerous turns; we all breathed a sigh of relief when we found ourselves in the valley on the western side of the range. Here were more streams to be forded—one of them a sizable river, which we crossed several times.

At last we came out into the King City highway and paused a moment to look ourselves over. The car was plastered with sand and mire from stem to stern; tires had suffered sadly from the rocky bottoms of the streams, and a front spring was broken. We agreed that crossing from Coalinga to King City was an experience one would hardly care to repeat except under stringent necessity.

The run to King City, after we had left the 327 hills, was easy, enabling us to make up somewhat for the time consumed in crossing the range. A flock of more than two thousand sheep, driven along the highway, impeded our progress for half an hour and served to remind us of one of the great industries of the Salinas Valley.

A little foraging about King City provided a passable luncheon, which we ate under one of the mighty oaks at the foot of Jolon grade. In repassing this road, we were more than ever impressed with the beauty of the trees; thousands of ancient oaks dotted the landscape on either hand, some standing in solitary majesty and others clustered in picturesque groups. Dutton's Hotel at Jolon is nearly a century old, portions of it dating from mission days, and the proprietor is an enthusiast on historic California, having collected a goodly number of old-time relics in a little museum just across the road from the inn. Most of these came from San Antonio and the inn-keeper is anxiously looking forward to the day when he can return these treasures to the restored mission—though this, alas, does not appear to be in the near future.

It was to visit this ruin, which we missed on our northward trip, that we crossed the desert and mountains from Fresno to King City. It is one of the remotest and loneliest of the chain, the nearest railway station being King City, forty miles away. It stands six miles west of Jolon and we followed a rutty trail, deep with fine, yellow dust which rolled in strangling clouds from our wheels. But a lovely country on either hand glimmered through the dust haze, and in the pleasantest spot at the 328 head of the wide valley stood the brown old ruin of San Antonio Mission. Behind it towered the high blue peaks of the Santa Lucias, the only barrier remaining between the valley and the sea, while the windowless, burnt-brick fachada fronted upon a wide meadowland, dotted with glorious oaks and gnarled old willows, stretching away to the dim outlines of the distant hills.

It was one of the most delightful sites we had yet seen, and the ruin had a certain melancholy picturesqueness peculiar to it alone. Like so many of its contemporaries, it suffered severely from earthquakes; about twenty-five years ago the roof fell and the shattered walls would soon have followed had not an enthusiastic lover of the old order of things—a gentleman of Spanish descent residing near Jolon—undertaken at his own time and expense to clear away the debris and protect the ruin against farther onslaught of the weather. A shingle roof was built covering the entire church and the original tiles were piled inside. The fachada, built of burnt brick, with three entrances and three belfries, is one of the most charming bits of mission architecture still remaining and is happily almost intact. Portions of the long cloisters are still standing—enough to furnish the motif for a complete restoration, and with adequate funds it would not be a difficult matter to restore San Antonio Mission Church to its former state.

From Photograph by Dassonville

Inside, the church was quite denuded; birds and squirrels had found a convenient home and flitted or scampered about as we entered. A huge gray owl flapped heavily out of an empty window 329 and everything combined to impress upon us the loneliness and isolation of this once rich and prosperous mission. In one corner we descried the huge cast-iron community pot which might hold a hundred or two gallons and which once contained food for the unmarried folk among the Indians—the married had to do their own cooking. Inside the dismantled chancel were the graves of the first four missionaries of San Antonio, still the objects of reverent remembrance by the only Indian family of the vicinity.

Out of the church we came into the ancient patio, marked by crumbling arches and shapeless piles of adobe. Here a few scraggly rose bushes—descendants of those which once ornamented the garden of the padres—bloomed in neglected corners, and two old olives still defied time and weather. It was a quiet spot; its silence and loneliness were almost oppressive; but we soon heard sounds from beyond the wall and found two Mexicans digging a grave, for burials are still made in the old cemetery. A little way to the rear San Antonio Creek—now a trickling thread of water—winds through a fringe of ancient willows, and cattle were pasturing quietly in the shade. One can not escape the spell of the ruin and its surroundings. It is no wonder that an appreciative historian of the California missions declares that San Antonio appeals to him as do none of its rivals, that—"There is a pathetic dignity about the ruin, an unexpressed claim for sympathy in the perfect solitude of the place that is almost overpowering. It stands out in the fields alone, deserted, forgotten." 330 True, he wrote before the coming of the motor, which is doing something to rescue San Antonio Mission from complete oblivion; but the Mexican grave-digger said that even motor visitors were not frequent. Evidently many of the wayfarers on El Camino Real do not consider the twelve-mile detour worth while; but we would count ourselves well repaid had it consumed an entire day instead of an hour or two. If San Gabriel and Dolores may be compared as tourist shrines to Melrose and Dryburgh, surely San Antonio may vie in sentiment and charm with some of the out-of-the-way and lesser-known abbeys of Britain such as Glenluce or Calder. In this quiet and isolated spot there is hardly field for it as a church institution and restoration will have to be done by individuals or by the state. It would be a pity to allow this delightful example of early mission architecture to fall into the hopeless ruin of Soledad or La Purisima.

San Antonio has the added charm of being one of the oldest of the California missions. It was the third of the series, its foundation closely following that of Monterey. Serra himself, assisted by Pieras and Sitjar, conducted the ceremonies of consecration which took place July 14, 1771. One lone Indian was present on the occasion, but others were brought in before the day closed and the relations of priest and natives were harmonious from the start. San Antonio throughout its career was remarkably free from strife and trouble; the natives were industrious and peaceful and gladly joined in the work of building, and tilling the soil. The first 331 church was completed two years after the foundation, and as late as 1787 was regarded as the best in California. The present church was begun in 1810 and dedicated a few years later. It is of adobe excepting the fachada of burnt brick, whose perfect condition makes us regret that the whole mission could not have been built of the same enduring material. The greatest Indian population was thirteen hundred and nine in 1805, which had declined to two hundred and seventy in 1834, the year of secularization. In 1843 the mission was restored to the church and nominally occupied until about forty years ago. At that time the buildings were in a fair state and the present ruin was wrought chiefly by earthquake.

Pausing a moment for one more survey of the lovely valley and with a lingering look at the romantic old ruin over which the shadows of evening were beginning to lower, we were away for Paso Robles, which we reached before nightfall.

We retraced our way over El Camino Real the following morning as far as Santa Margarita, from whence we diverged to the coast road. For on our outward journey we had missed another of the missions—La Purisima, situated a few miles from Lompoc. The road which we followed out of Santa Margarita was unmercifully rough, and a fierce wind from the sea blinded us with clouds of dust and sand. We were glad when we reached the shelter of the giant hills, just beyond which lay the object of our pilgrimage. The ascent seemed almost interminable; the yellow road swept along the hillsides, rising steadily in long loops which we could 332 see winding downward as we looked back from the summit. The grade was not heavy, but continuous; the descent was shorter and steeper and we dropped quickly into the pleasant valley of the Santa Ynez, where stands the isolated village of Lompoc.

A few miles out of the town we beheld the object of our search—the lonely ruin of La Purisima Concepcion, standing at some distance from the highroad, surrounded by a wide wheatfield. A narrow lane, deep with dust and sand, almost impassable in places, led to the melancholy old pile, which we found even more dilapidated than San Antonio. It is little more than a heap of adobe, and the rent and sundered walls show plainly the agency of the earthquake—the deadly foe of the California missions. The winter rains have wrought havoc with the unroofed walls; only one or two window openings remain and the outlines of a single doorway may still be seen. The most striking feature is the row of twenty square filleted pillars gleaming with white plaster, the corners striped with still brilliant red. These formed a long arcade from which there must have been a glorious view of wooded valley and rugged hills when the good old padres conned their prayers in its shady seclusion. There is hardly enough to give an adequate idea of the plan of the structure when at its best—little is left of the church except its foundation, but it seems to have been quite unique in design. The old tiles that once formed the roof are piled near by—but there is little hope that they will ever be used in the restoration of La Purisima Concepcion. 333 About thirty years ago Helen Hunt Jackson visited the mission and found the dormitory building standing and used as a sheep-fold. The church then showed traces of its ancient decorations and the pulpit and altar rail were still in place, though in sad disrepair. The condition of the ruin to-day shows how rapid has been its decay since that time and it is safe to say that unless something is done to protect it, all traces will have vanished in another quarter century.

From Photograph by Dassonville

The mission which we visited was not the original La Purisima; of this only a few earthen heaps remain. The date of its foundation was December 8, 1787, and the ceremonies were conducted by Padre Lasuen, who has so many missions to his credit. The success of the new venture was phenomenal—in less than twenty years the population numbered over fifteen hundred and the mission was rich in live stock and other property. This prosperity received a sad check from the great earthquake of 1812, which totally destroyed the buildings, leaving the people homeless at the beginning of an unusually wet and cold winter. Then it was that the original site was abandoned and the erection begun of the buildings which I have described. The Indians were intelligent and industrious and worked hard to rebuild the mission and their homes, which had also been destroyed. An extensive irrigation scheme was devised and carried out, but a series of misfortunes prevented the return of former prosperity. Plague decimated the cattle and sheep, and fire destroyed the neophytes' quarters in 1818. In 1823 the revolt at Santa Barbara spread to 334 Purisima, and several Indians and Spanish soldiers were killed before quiet was restored. Under such depressing influence the population steadily declined and numbered but four hundred at secularization in 1835. After the looting was completed the property was turned back to the church in 1843, but a year later an epidemic of smallpox practically wiped out the scanty remnants of the Indian population. From that time the mission was abandoned and uncared for, gradually falling into ruin, and its melancholy condition to-day is the result of seventy years of decay and neglect.

Leaving Lompoc, we followed the Santa Ynez River for several miles. The road winds among the splendid oaks which overarch it much of the way and finally joins the main highway at the top of Gaviota Pass. It seldom took us out of sight of the river, though in places it rose to a considerable distance above the stream which dashed in shallow rapids over its stony bed. The last few miles were a steady climb, but there was much sylvan beauty along the way—wooded slopes dropped far beneath on one hand and rose high above us on the other. Through occasional openings in the trees we caught long vistas of hills and valleys, now touched with soft blue shadows heralding the approach of evening. From the summit of Gaviota the long winding descent brought us to the broad sweep of the sunset sea, which we followed in the teeth of a high wind to Santa Barbara, where the Arlington afforded a welcome pause to a strenuous day.

Just across the bridge a few miles out of Ventura we noted a sign, "To Nordhoff," and determined 335 to return to Los Angeles by this route. It proved a fortunate choice, the rare beauty of the first twenty miles atoning for some rough running later. For the entire distance we closely followed the Ventura River, a clear, dashing mountain stream bordered by hundreds of splendid oaks whose branches frequently met over our heads. We crossed the stream many times, fording it in a few places, and passed many lovely sylvan glades—ideal spots for picnic or camp. Along the road were water tanks to supply the sprinklers, which kept down the dust during the rainless season, giving added freshness to the cool retreats along this pleasant road. Nordhoff is a lonely little town of two or three hundred people, set down in the giant hills surrounding it on every hand. Four or five miles up the mountainside is Matilija Hot Springs, with a well-appointed resort hotel, a favorite with motorists, who frequently come from Los Angeles to spend the week-end.

Out of Nordhoff we climbed a stiff mountain grade on the road to Santa Paula, which we found another isolated little town at the edge of the hills. From here we pursued a fairly level but rough and sandy road to Saugus, a few miles beyond which we came into the new boulevard leading through Newhall Tunnel to San Fernando. An hour's run took us into the city, just two weeks after our departure, and our odometer indicated that we had covered two thousand miles during that time.

A year later, on our return from the north, we pursued the "Inland Route" by way of Bakersfield and the Tejon Pass. This route has been finally 336 adopted by the State Highway Commission, but at the time of our trip little had been done to improve the road north of Saugus, thirty miles from Los Angeles. It certainly was in need of improvement, as the notes set down in my "log book" testify. Concerning our run between Fresno and Bakersfield I find the following comment:

"A day on rotten roads—hardly a decent mile between the two towns. We followed the line of the Southern Pacific for the entire day over a neglected, sandy trail, with occasional broken-up oiled stretches. Towns on the way were little, lonely, sandy places, unattractive and poorly improved. No state highway completed, though some work was in progress in Kern and Fresno Counties, making several detours necessary—not a mile free from unmerciful jolting."

And here I might remark that had we taken the longer route from Goshen to Delano by the way of Visalia and Portersville, we might have avoided forty miles of the roughest road. The highway is to make this detour; but there was no immediate prospect of building it at the time of our trip, as Tulare County felt too poor to buy the bonds.

For several miles out of Fresno we ran through vineyards and orchards, passing two or three large wineries not far from the road. A narrow belt of grainfields and meadows succeeded, but the country gradually became poorer until we found ourselves in a sandy desert whose only vegetation was a short red grass with barbed needles which stick to one's clothing in an annoying manner.

Maps of California usually show Lake Tulare 337 as a considerable body of water, twenty to thirty miles in diameter, lying a few miles west of the town. They told us at Tulare that the lake had practically disappeared, a good part of its bed now being occupied by wheatfields. Dry weather and the diversion of water for irrigation have been the chief factors in wiping out the lake, which was never much more than a shallow morass.

Beyond Tulare we again came into a sandy, desert-looking country and were astonished to see billboards in one of the little towns offering "bargains in land at one hundred and thirty-five dollars per acre"—to all appearances the country was as barren and unpromising as the Sahara, but no doubt the price included irrigation rights. Along this road we noticed occasional groves of stunted eucalyptus trees, neglected and dying in many instances. It occurred to us that these groves were planted by the concerns which sold stock to Eastern "investors" on representation that the eucalyptus combined all the merits to be found in all the trees of the forest. The fact is that it is not fit for much and the "fly-by-night" concerns disappeared as soon as they had pocketed the cash, leaving their victims to bemoan "another California swindle."

While the country was mostly flat and uninteresting, the scene was varied by the dim ranks of the Sierras far to our left all day long—always dominated by one lone, snow-capped summit rising in solemn majesty above the blue shadows that shrouded the lower ranges. It was Mount Whitney, the highest peak within the limits of the United States, with an altitude of fifteen thousand feet 338 above sea level. A road leads well up the slopes of the mountain and from its termination one may ascend in three hours by an easy trail to the summit, which affords one of the grandest views on the American continent.

In this same vicinity, about twenty-five miles east of Visalia, are Sequoia and General Grant National Parks, each of which has a grove of redwoods, and the former is said to be the most extensive in the state. It has one tree, the General Sherman, which contests with the Grizzly Giant of Mariposa for the honor of being the largest living tree in the world, being eighty feet in circumference one hundred feet from its base. In all there are over three thousand trees in this grove which measure forty-five feet or more in circumference. Both of these parks are easily reached by motor from Visalia.

We reached Bakersfield weary enough to wish for the comforts of Del Monte, but found the New Southern far from the realization of our desires. It was "new" in name only—apparently an old building with furnishings and service far below the California standard for towns like Bakersfield, a live-looking place of nineteen thousand people. It is the center of an oil-producing section and has considerable wholesale trade.

From Photograph by Pillsbury

A few miles out of town, on the Tejon route, we found ourselves again in the desert and ploughed through several miles of heavy sand before reaching the hill range to the south. There were no houses or people for many miles, the only sign of civilization being an oil-pumping station 339 near the foothills. We beheld a wide stretch of sandy country, dashed with red and purple grasses and occasional wild flowers. To the south and east lay the mottled hill ranges, half hidden by dun and purple hazes and cloud-swept in places. Before us rose a single snow-capped peak and as we ascended the rough, winding grades of Tejon Pass, we were met by a chilly wind which increased in frigidity and intensity until we found need for all the discarded wraps in the car. Some distance from the foot of the grade we came to Neenach Post Office, which proved only a small country store, and beyond this were long stretches of sandy desert dotted with cacti and scrub cedars and swarming with lizards and horned toads. The cactus blooms lent a pleasing bit of color to the brown monotone of the landscape—myriads of delicate yellow, pink, red, and white flowers guarded by millions of needle-like spines.

The desert road continued for fifty miles—deep sand and rough, broken trails alternating with occasional stretches of easy going over smooth sand packed as hard as cement. As we came to Palmdale, a lonely little town marking the terminus of the railroad, we noted frequent cultivated fields which showed the fertility of this barren desert when irrigated. From Palmdale we proceeded to Saugus through Mint Canyon, since the San Francisquito and Bosquet routes—both shorter—were closed by washouts. We found the state highway completed to Saugus; the village showed many improvements and had a decidedly smarter appearance than two years previously—a result that will 340 no doubt follow in all the little towns when the highway reaches them. Near Saugus we passed over the great Owens River Aqueduct, a near view giving us a better conception of the giant dimensions of the iron and cement tubes carrying the water supply to Los Angeles. From Saugus it is an easy jaunt of thirty miles to Los Angeles over one of the finest boulevards leading into the city.

We agreed that while the trip over the "Inland Route" from Fresno was interesting and well worth doing once, we would not care to repeat it under such conditions except upon actual necessity. When we are ready to go again we hope to find that the new highway has replaced the terrible old trails which served for roads the greater part of the five hundred miles of the run.

In the foregoing paragraphs I have endeavored to give some idea of our earliest run over the Inland Route in the good old days when California roads were in their virgin state. My revised edition would hardly deserve the name if I were to omit reference to the present condition of this now very popular route between Los Angeles and San Francisco, since nearly all of it has been improved and much of it entirely re-routed. To-day (1921) practically a solid paved boulevard extends between the two cities and the run of about five hundred miles may be made in two days with greater ease than in twice the time under old conditions.

For more than three-fourths of the distance the road runs in level, straight stretches, permitting all the speed that any car may be capable of—if the driver is willing to risk his neck and take chances 341 of falling into the clutches of the frequent "speed cop" along the way. In the main it is not a "scenic route"—though one is never out of sight of the mountains. The country is mostly flat and uninteresting—for California—but if it grows too monotonous, Sherman and Grant National Parks and Yosemite are only a few miles off this highway. There are excellent hotels at Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, and Stockton, and very good ones in several smaller places. A modern hotel, the Durant, has also been built recently at Lebec, just beyond the summit near the northern extremity of the ridge. Lake Castaic, near by, is a good-sized body of water, affording opportunity for boating and fishing and there is much wooded country in the vicinity—attractions which will doubtless make the Durant a popular stopping-place for motorists.

The road is redeemed from monotony, however, by the section known as the "Ridge Route" between Saugus and Bakersfield—thirty miles of the most spectacular highway in California. This superlative feat of engineering supersedes the old-time Tejon Pass trail, long the "bete noir" of the Inland Route. It cost the state of California nearly a million dollars to fling this splendid road along the crest of the great hill range that must needs be crossed, to pave it with solid concrete, and to adequately guard its many abrupt turns. It rises from an elevation of about 1000 feet above Saugus to 5300 feet at the highest point, near the northern terminus of the grade, but so admirably have the 342 engineers done their work that nowhere is the rise more than six per cent.

No description or picture can give any idea of the stupendous grandeur of the panorama that unrolls before one as he traverses this marvelous road. Vast stretches of gigantic hills interspersed with titanic canyons—mostly barren, with reds and browns predominating—outrun the limits of one's vision. Nearer Saugus greenery prevails in summer and at the northern end there is some fine forest. In winter snow not infrequently falls throughout the entire length of the ridge and affords the variation of a dazzling winter spectacle to anyone hardy enough to make the run, which is rather dangerous under such conditions.

Any extended tour of California must surely include the Ridge Route. If one is minus a car of his own he still can make the trip quickly and comfortably in one of the motor stages which ply daily between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. At the San Francisco end of the Inland Route there is some pretty hill scenery between Stockton and Oakland, which has been referred to elsewhere in this book. If one were making the trip between San Francisco and Los Angles only one way, there would need be no hesitancy in selecting the Coast road, on the score of greater scenic beauty and historic interest. If he should be seeking the easier run and quicker time he would choose the Inland Route. If, as in the case of the average tourist, he is out to see as much of California as possible and expects to make the round trip between north and south, he will naturally go by one route and return by the other. 343


No extended motor tour of California could lay claim to thoroughness if Yosemite Valley and Lake Tahoe were omitted from its itinerary, and I therefore avail myself of the opportunity to add chapters giving briefly the experience of our runs to these popular national playgrounds.

Yosemite was closed to automobiles prior to 1915 and it was only through the strenuous exertions of the Automobile Club of Southern California that the authorities finally consented to remove the ban. The decree was issued apparently with fear and hesitation and the motorist was hedged about with restrictions and hampered with endless red tape regulations.

The dire results so freely predicted did not materialize in any great degree. There were few serious accidents and the motors, as a rule, met little difficulty in negotiating the roads to and within the park. As a consequence the rules have been relaxed with each succeeding year and many of the most annoying regulations abandoned or reduced to mere formalities. We made our trip in September of the Panama-Pacific year, and during the previous months of the season nearly two thousand cars had preceded us into the park. We did not have to demonstrate that "either set of brakes would lock the wheels to a skid;" in fact, I am 344 very dubious on this point. We did not have to get up at an unearthly hour to enter or leave the park and the time schedule imposed on us was so reasonable that none but the speed maniac would care to exceed it, even had no severe penalty been attached.

There are several routes by which one may enter and leave the park pending the happy days longed for by the Auto Club when a broad, smooth road—"no grades exceeding five per cent"—shall convey the joyful motorist to this Earthly Paradise of the Sierras. You can go from Fresno via Coarse Gold, from Merced via Coulterville, from Stockton via Chinese Camp, or from Madera via Raymond. You can now even reach the park from the east by the new Tioga road, branching off the Sierra Highway at Mono Lake, should you be seeking the wildest and most difficult route of all.

We decided, after an extended canvas of the pros and cons of the matter, to make our initial venture via the Madera route, returning by the way of Big Oak Flat and Stockton. We passed the night at Fresno and left Madera late in the afternoon of the following day with the intention of stopping for the night at Raymond, some twenty-five miles distant. However, we found the prospect for comfortable quarters in that forlorn-looking little hamlet so unpromising that we decided, in accordance with a genial garage man's advice, to go on to Miami Lodge.

"It's only thirty miles," he said; "and a mighty comfortable place; you ought to reach there before it gets dark. Shall I telephone them to hold dinner for you?" 345

All of which sounded good to us as we contemplated prospective accommodations in Raymond, and with a speedy acquiescence we were away for Miami Lodge. Ten miles per hour, said the garage man, would be a good average "for a greenhorn" over the road we were to traverse—a ridiculously low estimate, we thought, but we had not proceeded far before we agreed with his conservatism. A narrow and exceedingly tortuous trail plunged into the hills, threading its way among giant pines or creeping precariously along steep hillsides and around abrupt corners deep with dust and at times laboriously steep. Now and then it emerged into pleasant little glades and on entering one of these we saw a young mountain lion trotting leisurely toward the thicket. Of course our small rifle was under a pile of baggage, unloaded, and the cartridges in a grip, but we consoled ourselves with remarks about the extreme improbability of hitting him even if we had the gun.

It was sunset by the time we had covered little more than half the distance and while we regarded the approaching darkness with some apprehension, for the road showed no signs of improvement, we forgot it all in our admiration for the enchanting scene. Many were the magnificent vistas opening through the pines skirting our road along the mountainside. Purple hills topped with dark forests stretched away to a crimson sky; shadowy canyons sloped far beneath us, their mysterious deeps shrouded in a soft blue haze. It was a constantly changing yet always entrancing picture until the color faded from the skies and the canyons were 346 blotted out by the gathering blackness. Then the road demanded our undivided attention, for we covered the last ten miles in pitch darkness and our neglected headlights proved in very poor condition.

The Lodge is a comfortable rustic inn set in the pines on a hillside which slopes down to a clear creek dammed at one point into a small lake. The little valley forms a natural amphitheater surrounded by the forest-clad hills and is altogether a pleasant and restful spot well away from noise and disturbance of any kind. The creek is stocked with rainbow trout and big game is fairly common—attractions which bring many sportsmen to the Lodge. It is easy of access by auto stages which run daily during the season.

Beyond Miami Lodge we found the road even more trying than it was southward. Heavy grades and sharp turns continued, and deep dust and rough stretches caused much discomfort. We met many motor trucks and several heavy wagons drawn by six or eight horses, which made ticklish work in passing on the narrow grades and which stirred up clouds of yellow dust. As the sun mounted, the day became intolerably hot, making it necessary to elevate our cape top, which combined with the dust to interfere with our view of the scenery.

We reached Wawona, at the park entrance, in time for the noonday luncheon at the pleasant old inn which has been the haven of sightseers for nearly half a century. It is delightfully situated in a little vale amidst a group of towering pines and all about it green meadows stretch away to the 347 forest-clad hills that surround it on every hand. Through the valley runs the South Merced, famous for its mountain trout, a delicacy which guests at the inn sometimes enjoy. About the main hotel building are scattered several isolated cottages for the accommodation of guests who may be particular about privacy and plenty of light and air. There are numerous beautiful drives in the vicinity aside from the Mariposa Grove trip. One of these follows the river for some distance and another makes a circuit of the valley.

We had no time for these, as we were intent upon reaching Yosemite for the night and the regulation is that you check in at the final station by six o'clock. About a mile from Wawona we found the cabin of the ranger who issued tickets for the south entrance to the park. The formalities detained us but a few moments, since, with the great influx of motor tourists during the exposition year, much of the original red tape was dispensed with. A copy of the rules and regulations was given us and the time of our entrance was stamped upon the ticket to be delivered to the superintendent at Yosemite village. The action of our small rifle was sealed and, with a friendly caution that it would be unwise to exceed the limit, we were ordered to proceed. Knowing something of the trip from previous experience we felt no uneasiness about exceeding the two hours and twenty-seven minutes, minimum time allowed for covering the twenty-eight and nine-tenths miles between the station and Yosemite garage. No one but a confirmed speed maniac would care to exceed this very reasonable 348 limit and anyone wise enough to admire the scenery along the road as it deserves to be admired might well consume twice the minimum time.

For some miles after entering the park we climbed the long, steady grade following the South Merced Canyon, always at a considerable distance above the stream, which we could see at intervals through the pines, flashing over its rock-strewn bed. There was scarcely a downward dip in the road for the first half-dozen miles, and we could not but recall the distressing efforts of the horses as they toiled painfully upward on our former trip while we sat disconsolately enveloped in smothering clouds of dust. What a contrast we found in the steady, cheerful hum of our engine as it drove our car onward at not less than the permitted speed of fifteen miles, leaving the dust behind us and affording unhindered views of the endless panoramas of canyons and hills. Not often, even in California, will one come across finer individual cedars, sugar pines and yellow pines than he will see here—splendid, arrow-straight shafts several feet in circumference, often rising to a height of two or even three hundred feet. It is pleasant to think that they are immune from the lumberman's ax and guarded carefully against devastating fires. We paused at times in the shade of these forest Titans and contemplated the wide range of hills and valleys beyond the canyon—particularly at Lookout Point, some seven or eight miles from Wawona. Here we beheld a seemingly endless panorama of forest-clad hills stretching away until lost in the infinite distance of the lucent afternoon. Once before we had 349 beheld the same scene—at sunset, the hills shrouded in an amethyst haze, the valleys dim with purple shadows, and the sky resplendent with crimson and gold. Nothing could have shown more impressively the wonderful variations of the same landscape at different hours of the day or proved more completely that one must come many times to see the beauty of Yosemite.

Continuing a few miles farther we came to the top of the grade leading down into the valley. We recalled it as a stiff, strenuous road, winding around sharp curves and often along the edge of sheer precipices which gave us many thrills from our high perch beside the driver of our four-in-hand. We had traversed mountain roads so much worse in the meanwhile that Wawona grade really seemed quite tame from a motor car and even the ladies took only languid interest in its twists and turns. We paused for the third time at Inspiration Point and we can not help envying those who are so fortunate as to come into Yosemite by this road and thus get their first glimpse of the valley from Inspiration Point. Perhaps the view from Glacier Point is as glorious but one is not likely to come upon it so suddenly and is somehow expecting stupendous things, but Inspiration Point bursts on the wayfarer from the Wawona all unaware and he sees unfold before him almost in an instant all the marvelous sights that have made Yosemite a world's wonder.

It is the third time we have viewed this wonderful scene and we have been fortunate in coming each time at a different period of the day—morning 350 and evening and early afternoon. Each has shown us a different phase of the beauty of Yosemite, for the variation of light and consequent changes of coloring have everything to do with the view from Inspiration Point.

We proceeded slowly and cautiously down the steep switchbacks leading to the floor of the Valley, a long, low-gear grind, for regulations forbid disengaging gears on roads in the park. The descent did not seem nearly so precarious as when we first made it in the regulation coach-and-four—the road appeared to have been widened at the turns; maybe this was only in our imagination, due to greater familiarity with mountain roads. We were enough at our ease to enjoy the splendid vistas of the valley and mountains which were presented from a hundred viewpoints as we slowly descended, something that we hardly did the first time. Nor did the time seem so long, though I really doubt if we went down so quickly as our dashing driver piloted his coach-and-four over this three-mile grade on our first trip. We soon found ourselves on the floor of the valley with Bridal Veil Falls waving like a gossamer thread above us—it was in September and the waterfalls were all at lowest ebb. The four miles along the floor to Yosemite was a joy ride indeed and we felt no desire to infringe the low speed limit imposed on motor cars. What though we had seen this wondrous array of stupendous cliffs, domes, pinnacles and towers many times before, familiarity does not detract from their overpowering majesty and changeful beauty.

From Original Painting by Chris. Jorgenson

Our excuse for a third visit to Yosemite was 351 chiefly that we wanted to go by motor car; we had seen most of the sights and made most of the trail trips and drives, so there was little to do but lounge about in the hotel and vicinity for the rest of the afternoon. I visited the garage, which was merely a huge tent with open sides where the cars were parked in care of an attendant. There was apparently a very good machine shop which seemed to have plenty of work, for break-downs are not uncommon. The manager asked us if we would favor him by carrying a new axle to a motorist who was laid up at Crane Flat, near the entrance to the park on the road by which we expected to leave the next morning.

The regulations require that motor cars leave by the Big Oak Flat road between 6:00 A. M. and 4:00 P. M., and the first-named hour found us ready for departure, as we had been warned that a strenuous day's work lay before us. It is only one hundred and twenty-three miles to Stockton; hence we concluded that the strenuousness must be due to something besides long distance—a surmise which we did not have to wait long to verify. About two miles from the hotel, following the main valley road, we came to a sign, "Big Oak Flat Route," and turned sharply to the right, crossing the Merced River. Immediately we began a sharp ascent over a dusty trail through thickly standing pines.

Coming out of the trees we find ourselves on a narrow road cut in the side of the almost perpendicular cliff. It is fair at first, screened from the precipitous drop alongside by a row of massive 352 boulders which have the psychological effect of making us feel much more at ease, though I doubt if they would be of much use in stopping a runaway car. Nevertheless, they are a decided factor in enabling us to enjoy the wonderful views of mountain and valley that present themselves to our eager eyes as we slowly climb the steep ascent. We are sure that we see many vistas quite equal to the view from the much-vaunted Inspiration Point, but they are not so famous because far less accessible.

The road grows rougher and dustier as we climb slowly upward; the boulder balustrade disappears and we find ourselves on a narrow shelf, with infrequent passing places, running along the edge of a cliff that falls almost sheer beneath us. We pause occasionally to contemplate the marvelous scene beneath. The whole floor of the valley is now visible; its giant trees seem mere shrubs and the Merced dwindles to a silver thread; across the narrow chasm we now look down on the Cathedral Spires, the Three Sisters, and Sentinel Rock; we see Bridal Veil Fall swaying like a gossamer against the mighty cliff, and beyond we have an endless vista of forest-clad mountains. Three thousand feet above the valley we enter a forest of mighty pines; the road winds among them in sharp turns and the grades are very steep and deep with dust. We are not very familiar with our car, which we leased from a Los Angeles dealer, and as we near the summit the motor loses power and can not be cajoled into propelling the car over the last steep, dusty pitch. After an hour of fruitless effort we appealed to the foreman of a road gang which, 353 fortunately for us, was at work close by, and he helped the balky engine out with a stout team of horses.

From Original Painting by H. H. Bagg

"What's the damage?" we gratefully asked of our rescuer.

"Just a bottle of whiskey, stranger, if you happen to have one along."

We expressed regret at our inability to meet the very modest request and our friend had to be content with coin of the realm instead. Later on an auto expert told us that the carburetor on this particular car will not work satisfactorily at an elevation of seven thousand feet.

Crane Flat is nothing more than the ranger station on the road and the official took up our "time card"—we came by a safe margin of two or three hours—and removed the seals from our "game-getter." We delivered the axle entrusted to our care, but found that the owner of the broken-down car had accepted the situation philosophically and gone fishing—his third day of this pleasant pastime, while waiting for repairs.

Two or three miles from Crane Flat we came to the Tuolumne Grove of Big Trees, where there are numerous giant redwoods, though not so many or so huge as those of Mariposa. A short detour from the main route took us to the Dead Giant, the most remarkable tree of this grove. It is tunneled like the Wawona tree in Mariposa and we had the sensation a second time of driving through a redwood. The remains of the Dead Giant are one hundred feet high and one hundred and five feet in circumference; scientists estimate that the tree 354 must have been at least forty feet in diameter and perhaps four hundred feet high—larger and higher than any redwood now living. It was destroyed perhaps three hundred years ago by fire or lightning. The General Lawton of this grove is one of the most beautiful redwoods in existence and there is also a Fallen Giant still growing greenly although lying prone, its roots not being entirely severed.

It was lunch time when we reached Sequoia, though we were only twenty-nine miles from Yosemite—a pretty insignificant showing for a half-day's run, from a mileage point of view, but it had been strenuous enough to make us tired and ravenously hungry. And hunger proved a very good sauce for the meal which we got at Crocker's Hotel, which is about all there is of Sequoia. And I am not complaining of Crocker's Hotel, either. I think they did very well when one considers that all their supplies must be hauled eighty miles by wagon road—naturally, canned stuff and condensed milk prevailed.

Beyond Crocker's the characteristics of the country were about the same. A rough, dusty trail, winding through pine-clad hills with occasional heavy grades, carried us along for a good many miles. We occasionally passed a remote little station with a general store and "garage" bearing evidence of its origin in an old-time blacksmith shop. Colfax Gate, Smith's, Garrett, and Big Oak Flat—which showed little reason for the distinction of giving its name to the road—were all the same type, with nothing to invite even a casual glance from the tourist unless he needed gasoline or oil. 355

At Priest's there is a country hotel, a haunt of hunters and ranchmen; but we recall Priest's chiefly because it gives its name to one of the most beautiful bits of road engineering in California. It follows the very crest of a giant hill range overlooking a beautiful valley some two or three thousand feet below. Alongside there is nothing to break the full sweep of one's vision—not a tree or even a shrub intervenes between the roadbed and the precipitous slope beneath. Although the road is wide enough for easy passing at any point, the very baldness of its outer edge is enough to give a decided thrill to nervously inclined people and our driver received more advice and caution from the rear seat than had been offered him on far more dangerous roads with occasional rocks or trees alongside.

At Jacksonville the road comes down almost to the level of the Tuolumne River and we found ourselves on the border of the old gold-mining region made famous by the tales of Bret Harte. There are still several placer mines in operation along the river—the road passes a very large one at the foot of Chinese Camp grade, and the river is sullied for miles by the muddy washings from the mill. Chinese Camp grade is one of the worst encountered on our entire trip; it is steep and terribly rough, and dust a foot deep hides the ruts and chuck holes, so we were compelled to "go it blind." It was a four-mile plunge and scramble around sharp curves,—half smothered and blinded by dense dust clouds which rose before we could get away from them, we made slow progress over the dreadful road. At the hilltop, however, we were 356 rewarded for our strenuous scramble by a magnificent view of the river canyon and a wide panorama of forest-clad hills with the emerald thread of the Tuolumne winding through them.

A short distance over a stony trail brought us into the main street of Chinese Camp, if we may so designate the wide, dusty section of road lined with wooden shacks of which every other one seemed a saloon. The appearance of the buildings warranted the guess on our part that there has been little change in this primitive hamlet since Bret Harte visited it, nearly a half century ago. Not far from here are many other camps and villages which found enduring fame in the stories of this most representative of all earlier California writers. Sonora, Angel's Camp, Tuttletown, San Andreas, Mokelumne, and other places familiar in Harte's pages may all be reached in a detour of fifty miles or so from the Big Oak Flat road. Most of these towns, like Chinese Camp, have made little progress since they were mirrored in the tales which appeared in the old Overland and Argonaut of San Francisco.

Beyond Chinese Camp we encountered the worst stretch of road of the entire day—a mere trail winding through a rough, boulder-strewn country seemingly having no end or object in view except to avoid the rocks too large to run over. No effort had been made to remove the smaller stones from the way and we had an unmerciful jolting, although we crawled along at a dozen miles per hour. Fortunately, there are no steep grades, and occasionally smoother stretches afforded a little respite. It 357 would be hard to use language, however, that would exaggerate the relief which we felt when, on ascending a sharp little rise, we came upon a splendid paved highway which the road-book declared would continue all the way to Stockton. I think that the last forty miles into the city consumed less time than any ten miles we had covered since leaving Yosemite that morning.

We certainly presented a somewhat disreputable appearance when we came into the town. The car and everything about it, including the occupants, was dirty gray with dust, which I noted was two inches deep on the running boards and perhaps a little less on our faces, while it saturated our clothing and covered our baggage. California hotels, however, are used to such arrivals and we were well taken care of at the Stockton, despite our unprepossessing appearance. A thorough cleaning up, a change of raiment and a good dinner put us at peace with the world and we were soon exchanging felicitations over the fact that we had done Yosemite by motor car. 358


There are two routes out of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe which carry fully nine-tenths of the motor travel to that interesting region. Both traverse a picturesque mountain country with a spice of historic and romantic interest and most motor visitors, naturally enough, go by one route and return by the other. Our first visit to the lake was made over the northern fork of the "wishbone" (as they usually style the forked road) via Colfax and Emigrant Gap. For personal reasons we did not complete the round trip at the time of our first visit, but a year later found us again enroute to the gem of mountain lakes over the southern fork by way of Placerville. I shall describe the two trips in order of their chronology. In each instance we passed the night in Sacramento—the best starting point for the day's run to Tahoe, the distance being about one hundred and twenty miles by either route. It is well to get an early start, whichever route is taken, for the road will not admit of speed and there are many points where a pause is well worth while. And so we were away bright and early on the Auburn road to the lake.

Out of the city for several miles through a fertile orchard and farm country, we pursued a level, well-improved road which led us toward the great hill range that marks the western confines of 359 the valley. Entering the rounded brown foothills, we kept a steady ascent through scattering groves of oak and pine, with here and there along the way a well-ordered stock farm or fruit ranch. It was in the height of the peach season and a sign at a ranch house gate tempted us to purchase. A silver dime brought us such a quantity of big, luscious, rosy-cheeked fruit that we scarcely knew where to bestow it about the car. It was just off the tree and ripe to perfection, and by comparison with the very best one could buy in a fruit market, it seemed a new and unheard-of variety—ambrosia fit only for the gods. And they told us that so immense was the crop of peaches and pears in this locality that some of this unequalled fruit was being fed to the pigs.

Following a winding but fair road through the hills, we soon came, as we supposed, into the main part of Auburn, for we had taken no pains to learn anything about the town. At the foot of a sharp hill we paused in a crooked street with a row of ramshackle buildings on either side and it was apparent at a glance that the population of the ancient-looking town was chiefly Chinese. A few saloons and one or two huge wooden boarding houses were the most salient features and a small blacksmith shop near the end of the street was labeled "Garage." We mentally classed "Sweet Auburn" with Chinese Camp and following the road leading out of the place began the ascent of an exceedingly steep hill. At the summit of the hill, however, we found quite a different Auburn—a fine modern town with a handsome courthouse, 360 an imposing high school and a new bank building that would not seem out of place on any city street. All this in a town of less than three thousand population. Nor should I omit to mention the comfortable up-to-date hotel where we had a very satisfactory luncheon.

Beyond Auburn the road climbs steadily to Colfax, a few short pitches ranging from fifteen to twenty per cent. The surface was good and we were delighted by many fine vistas from the hilltops as we hastened along. At Applegate was a deserted hotel and "tent city" said to be very popular resorts earlier in the summer. Colfax was the Illinois Town of mining times and still has many buildings dating back to the "days of gold." The town was given its present name when the steam road came and it is now a center of considerable activity in railroading. There is much beautiful scenery about Colfax. From the nearby summits across long reaches of forest-clad hills, one may see on one hand the mighty ranks of the snow crested Sierras and on the other the dim outlines of the Coast Range. On exceptionally clear days, they told us, the shining cone of Shasta may be seen, though it is more than one hundred and fifty miles away.

Out of Colfax we continue to climb steadily and soon come upon reminders of the days when this was one of the greatest gold-producing sections of California. The hillsides everywhere show the scars of old-time placer mining. Millions of the precious metal were produced here in the few years following '49, but operations have long since ceased and the deserted villages are fast falling into ruin. 361 Dutch Flat and Gold Run, now stations on the Southern Pacific, could no doubt have furnished Bret Harte with characters and incidents quite as varied and picturesque as Angel's Camp or Sonora had his wanderings brought him hither. For the disappearance of the good old golden days, the natives console themselves in this fashion, quoting advertising literature issued by Placer County: "In days gone by the gold mining industry made this section famous. To-day the golden fruit brings it wealth and renown." And it also holds forth the hope that scientific mining methods may yet find "much gold in the old river beds and seams of gold-bearing rock."

From Dutch Flat to Emigrant Gap, perhaps a dozen miles, the road climbs continually, winding through pine forests that crowd closely on either hand. Here is one of the wildest sections of the Sierras accessible to motor cars, and the weird beauty culminates at Emigrant Gap, a great natural gash in the Sierras which in early days gave its name to the road by which the majority of overland emigrants entered California. Near this point, a little distance to the right of the road and some two thousand feet beneath, lies Bear Valley, one of the loveliest vales of the Sierras—in early summer an emerald-green meadow—lying between Yuba River and Bear Creek, shut in on every hand by tree-clad slopes. From Emigrant Gap to the summit of the divide, a distance of twenty-seven miles, the road mounts steadily through the pines, winding around abrupt turns and climbing heavy grades—the last pitch rising to thirty per cent, according 362 to our road book, though we doubt if it is really so steep. Crystal Lake and Lake Van Orten are passed on the way, two blue mountain tarns lying far below on the right-hand side of the road. From the summit, at an elevation of a little over seven thousand feet, we have a wonderful view both eastward and westward. Behind us the rugged hills through which we have wended our way slope gently to the Sacramento Valley—so gently that in the one hundred miles since leaving the plain we have risen only a mile and a half. Before us is the sharper fall of the eastern slope and far beneath, in a setting of green sward and stately pines, the placid blue waters of Donner Lake, beautiful despite the tragic associations which come unbidden to our minds.

The descent from the summit of the divide to Truckee is gradual, some twelve hundred feet in nine miles, though there are a few short, steep grades of from fifteen to twenty per cent, according to our authority. It was dark when we reached Truckee, but as there was no chance of going astray on the road to Tahoe Tavern, we determined to proceed. The road for the entire distance of fifteen miles closely follows the Truckee River, a swift, shallow stream fed from the limpid waters of Lake Tahoe. It was a glorious moonlight night and the gleaming river, the jagged hills on either hand, and the dark pine forests, all combined to make a wild but entrancingly beautiful effect. As we later saw the Truckee Canyon by daylight, we have every reason to be glad that we traversed it by moonlight as well. 363

Tahoe Tavern, with its myriad lights, was a welcome sight, none the less, after an exceedingly strenuous trip, the personal details of which I have forborne to inflict upon the reader. We were given rooms in the new annex, a frame-and-shingle building, and were delighted to find that our windows opened upon the moonlit lake. The mountain tops on the opposite shore were shrouded in heavy clouds through which the moon struggled at intervals, transmuting the clear, still surface of the lake from a dark, dull mirror to a softly lighted sheet of water with a path of gleaming silver running across it. Directly a thunder storm broke over the eastern shore—very uncommon in summer, we were told—and we had the spectacle of clouds and lake lighted weirdly by flashes of lightning. The thunder rolling among the peaks and across the water brought vividly to our minds Byron's description of a thunder storm on Lake Geneva in the Alps. For a short time it seemed as if "every mountain peak had found a tongue," but the storm died away without crossing the lake.

Tahoe Tavern, a huge, brown, rambling building in a fine grove of pines, fronts directly on a little bay and commands a glorious outlook of lake and distant mountains. It is a delightfully retired and quiet place, ideal for rest and recuperation, while the surrounding country is unmatched in scenic attractions for those inclined to exploration, whether by steamer, motor, horseback, or afoot. We found the service and the cuisine equal to the best resort hotels in California—and that is saying a great deal, since California in this particular leads 364 the world. Here we found a quiet yet exhilarating spot, the toil and tumult of the busy world shut out by impregnable mountain barriers, where one may repose and commune with nature in her grandest and most enchanting aspects.

Our car, which we had hired from a Los Angeles dealer, had proved so unsatisfactory that we decided to defer the various drives about the lake until a subsequent visit. We therefore contented ourselves with a series of walks around the tavern and the boat excursions about the lake. It was only a little more than a year later that we found ourselves again in Sacramento bound to Tahoe over the Placerville route. We had discarded our trouble-making hired car for our own trusty Pierce forty-eight, which in thousands of miles of mountain touring caused us never a moment's trouble or delay.

Out of Sacramento we followed the new state highway, then almost completed to Placerville. On the way to Folsom we saw much of gold mining under modern conditions. Monstrous floating steam dredges were eating their way through the fields and for miles had thrown up great ridges of stones and gravel from which the gold had been extracted by a process of washing. Something less than two million dollars annually is produced in Sacramento County, mainly by this process, and the cobblestones, after being crushed by powerful machinery, serve the very useful purpose of road-building. Beyond Folsom the highway winds through uninteresting hills covered with short brown grass and diversified with occasional oak 365 trees. We kept a pretty steady upward trend as we sped toward the blue hill ranges, but there were no grades worth mentioning west of Placerville. Before we reached the town we entered the splendid pine forest, which continues all the way to Tahoe.

Placerville has little to recall its old-time sobriquet of Hangtown, by which it figures in Bret Harte's stories. Here, indeed, was the very storm center of the early gold furor—but five miles to the north is Coloma, where Marshall picked up the nugget that turned the eyes of the world to California in '49. Over the very road which we were to pursue out of the town poured the living tide of gold seekers which spread out through all the surrounding country. To-day, however, Placerville depends little on mining; its narrow, crooked main street and a few ancient buildings are the only reminders of its old-time rough-and-tumble existence. It is a prosperous town of three thousand people, and handsome homes with well-kept lawns are not uncommon. We also noted a splendid new courthouse of Spanish colonial design wrought in white marble, a fine example of the public spirit that prevails in even the more retired California communities. The site of the town is its greatest drawback. Wedged as it is in the bottom of a vast canyon, there is little possibility of regularity in streets and much work has been necessary to prepare sites for home and public buildings. A certain picturesqueness and delightful informality compensates for all this and the visitor is sure to be pleased with the Placerville of to-day aside from its romantic history. Two fairly comfortable hotels invite the traveler to 366 stop and make more intimate acquaintance with the town, which a recent writer declares is noted for its charming women—an attraction which it lacked in its romantic mining days.

Beyond Placerville the road climbs steadily, winding through the giant hills and finally crossing the American River, which we followed for many miles—now far above with the green stream gleaming through the pines and again coursing along its very banks. There are many deciduous trees among the evergreens on these hills and the autumn coloring lent a striking variation to the somber green of the pines. We had never before realized that there were so many species besides conifers on the California mountains. Maples and aspens were turning yellow and crimson and many species of vines and creepers lent brilliant color dashes to the scene. There was much indeed to compensate for the absence of the flowers which bloom in profusion earlier in the season.

Georgetown, some forty miles above Placerville, is the only town worthy of the name between the latter place and Tahoe. Beyond here we began the final ascent to the summit of the divide over a road that winds upward in long loops with grades as high as twenty-five per cent. There were many fine vistas of hill and valley, rich in autumn colorings that brightened the green of the pines and blended into the pale lavender haze that shrouded the distant hills. From the summit, at an altitude of seventy-four hundred feet, we had a vast panorama of lake, forest, and mountain—but I might be accused of monotonous repetition were I to endeavor 367 to describe even a few of the scenes that enchanted us. Every hilltop, every bend in the road, and every opening through the forests that lined our way presented views which, taken alone, might well delight the beholder for hours—only their frequent recurrence tended to make them almost commonplace to us.

For a dozen miles after leaving Myers, our road ran alternately through forests and green meadows—the meadows about Tahoe remain green the summer through—finally coming to the lake shore, which we followed closely for the twenty miles to Glenbrook. Most of the way the road runs only a few feet above the water level and we had many glorious vistas differing from anything we had yet seen. In the low afternoon sun the color had largely vanished and we saw only a sheet of gleaming silver edged with clearest crystal, which made the pebbly bottom plainly visible for some distance from the shore. Here an emerald meadow with sleek-looking cattle—there are many cattle in the Tahoe region—lay between us and the shining water; again it gleamed through the trunks of stately pines. For a little while it was lost to view as we turned into the forest which crowded closely to the roadside, only to come back in a moment to a new view—each one different and seemingly more entrancing than the last, culminating in the wonderful spectacle from Cave Rock. This is a bold promontory, pierced beneath by the caves that give its name, rising perhaps one hundred feet above the water and affording a view of almost the entire lake and the encircling mountains. On the 368 western side the mountains throw their serrated peaks against the sky, while to the far north they showed dimly through a thin blue haze. The lake seemed like a great sapphire shot with gold from the declining sun—altogether a different aspect in color, light and shadow from anything we had witnessed before. We paused awhile to admire the scene along with several other wayfarers—pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists who were alike attracted by the glorious spectacle.

Two or three miles farther brought us to Glenbrook, a quiet nook at the foot of mighty hills, pine-clad to the very summits. The hotel is a large but unpretentious structure directly by the roadside and fronting on the lake. In connection with the inn is a group of rustic cottages, one of which was assigned to us. It had a new bathroom adjoining and there was a little sheet-iron stove with fuel all laid for a fire—which almost proved a "life-saver" in the sharp, frosty air of the following morning. The cottage stood directly on the lake shore and afforded a magnificent view of the sunset, which I wish I were able to adequately describe. A sea of fire glowed before us as the sun went down behind the mountains, which were dimmed by the twilight shadows. Soon the shadows gave place to a thin amethyst haze which brought out sharply against the western sky the contour of every peak and pinnacle. The amethyst deepened to purple, followed by a crimson afterglow which, with momentary color variations, continued for nearly an hour; then the light gradually faded from the sky and the lake 369 took on an almost ebony hue—a dark, splendid mirror for the starlit heavens.

The excellent dinner at the inn was a surprise; we hardly expected it in such a remote place. They told us that the inn maintains its own gardens and dairy, and the steamer brings supplies daily. The inn keeps open only during the season, which usually extends from May to October, but there is some one in charge the year round and no one who comes seeking accommodations is ever turned away. Though the inn is completely isolated by deep snows from all land communication, the steamer never fails, since the lake does not freeze, even in the periods of below-zero weather. We found the big lounging room, with its huge chimney and crackling log fire, a very comfortable and cheery place to pass the evening and could easily see how anyone seeking rest and quiet might elect to sojourn many days at Glenbrook. But Glenbrook was not always so delightfully quiet and rural! Years ago, back in the early eighties, it was a good-sized town with a huge saw mill that converted much of the forest about the lake into lumber. There are still hundreds of old piles that once supported the wharves, projecting out of the water of the little bay in front of the hotel—detracting much from the beauty of the scene.

We were early astir in the morning, wondering what the aspect of our changeful lake might be in the dawning light; and, sure enough, the change was there—a cold, steel-blue sheet of water, rippling into silver in places. Near the shore all was quiet, not a wave lapping the beach as on the 370 previous night. The mountains beyond the lake were silhouetted with startling distinctness against a silvery sky, and on many of the summits were flecks of snow that had outlasted the summer.

We had thought to go on to Reno by the way of Carson City, but we could not bring ourselves to leave the lake and so we decided to go by the way of Truckee, even though we had previously covered much of the road. It proved a fortunate decision, for we saw another shifting of the wonderful Tahoe scenery—the morning coloring was different from that of the afternoon and evening. We had the good fortune to pick up an old inhabitant of Tahoe City whose car had broken down on one of the heavy grades and who told us much about the lake and the country around it. He had lived near Tahoe for more than thirty-five years and could remember the days of the prospectors and sawmills. Nearly all the timber about the lake is of new growth since the lumbering days. This accounts for the absence of large trees except in a few spots which escaped the lumberman's ax. Yellow pines, firs, and cedars prevail, with occasional sugar pines and some deciduous varieties. It is, indeed, a pity that Tahoe and the surrounding hills were not set aside as a national park before so much of the land passed into private hands.

The day was perfect, crystal clear except for a few white clouds drifting lazily across the sky or resting on the summits of the mountains beyond the lake. For a few miles out of Tallac we ran through a pine forest, catching fugitive glimpses of the blue water through the stately trunks. As we 371 ascended the ridge overlooking Emerald Bay, exclamations of delight were frequent and enthusiastic as the magnificent panorama unfolded to our view. The climax was reached when we paused at the summit of the ridge, where the whole of Tahoe spread out before us. Just beneath on one hand lay Emerald Bay; on the other gleamed Cascade Lake—a perfect gem in glorious setting of rock and tree. And the glory of color that greeted our eyes! Exaggerated in description? No mortal language ever conveyed a tithe of its iridescent beauty and never will. One of the ladies exclaimed, "It is like a great black opal!" and knowing her passion for that gem, we recognized the sincerity of her tribute. And, indeed, the comparison was not inapt. There were the elusive, changeful greens and blues, the dark purples, and the strange, uncertain play of light and color that characterizes that mysterious gem. Near the shore line the greens predominated, reaching the deepest intensity in Emerald Bay, just below. Passing through many variations of color, the greens merged into the deep blues and farther out in the lake purple hues prevailed. Along the opposite shore ran the rugged mountain range, the summits touched by cloud-masses which held forth the threat of a summer shower—and it came just before we reached the tavern. Overhead the sky was of the deepest azure and clear save for a few tiny white clouds mirrored in the gloriously tinted water. Altogether, the scene was a combination of transcendent color with a setting of rugged yet beautiful country that we have never seen equaled elsewhere and which we 372 have no words to fittingly describe. Even the master artist fails here, since he can but express one mood of the lake—while it has a thousand every day. We have seen the Scotch, Italian and English lakes; we followed the shores of Constance and Geneva; we sailed the length of George and Champlain; we admired the mountain glories of Yellowstone Lake; we viewed Klamath and Crater Lakes from mountain heights, but none of them matched the wonderful color variations of Tahoe.

But we are on our way again, descending and climbing long grades which pass through pine forests and come out on headlands from which we gain new and entrancing views of lake and mountains. The road was completed only recently, but it is good in the main, though there are steep pitches and some rough and dusty stretches. At times it takes us out of sight of the lake, but we are compensated by wild and rugged scenery—towering crags and massive walls of gray stone—rising above us on every hand. The road must have presented considerable engineering difficulties; our driver points out a place where a mighty rock of a thousand tons or more was blasted to fragments to clear the way. Far above us on the mountain crests we see gleaming patches of snow which the late summer sun has not been able to dispel. We cross clear mountain streams and wind through groves of pine and spruce. Often as we climb or descend the long grades we come upon new vistas of the lake and mountains and occasionally we ask for a moment's delay to admire some especially beautiful scene. Then we descend almost to the level of the water, 373 which we see flashing through stately trunks or rippling upon clear, pebbly beaches. We pass various resorts, each surrounded by pines and commanding a beautiful view of the lake. As we approach the Tavern the summer shower that has been threatening begins and to the color glories of sky and lake are added the diamond-like brilliance of the big drops, for the sun is unobscured by the clouds. Beyond a stretch of smooth water, dimmed to dull silver by the blue-gray vapor hanging over it, a rainbow hovers in front of the faint outlines of the distant hills. It is a fitting climax to the most inspiring drive in the many thousands of miles covered by our wanderings.

From Original Painting by H. H. Bagg

A fairly good road has been constructed for nearly three-quarters of the distance around the lake and a very indifferent wagon road from Tahoe City to Glenbrook completes the circuit. The latter we did not cover, being assured that it was very difficult if not impassable for motors. Plans are under way for a new road around the northern end of the lake which will enable the motorist to encircle this wonderful body of water—a trip of about eighty miles—and will afford endless viewpoints covering scenes of unparalleled beauty. The whole of the road about the lake ought to be improved—widened and surfaced and some of the steeper grades and more dangerous turns eliminated. It might then be the "boulevard" that one enthusiastic writer characterizes it, even in its present condition, but in our own humble opinion it has a long way to go before it deserves such a title. 374