Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Thursday, September 5, 2013

And now for a horse of a different EPIC colour!!! The California Mission Ride.

If you've seen my Facebook page, you may have noticed the occasional post from The California Mission Ride.


Here's an explanation for their website... 

California’s 21 missions were founded by Franciscan missionaries and built by Indians of highly diverse tribes during the Spanish colonial era. Dotting the coastline from Sonoma to the Mexican border, these missions form the state’s first and most significant historic backbone. We asked ourselves what would happen if we rode from mission to mission on horseback. Could it even be done today? We decided to find out.  And to make an educational documentary film about the journey.
Today, with all their complex history, the missions remain very much alive. Some are busy state parks. Others are monasteries. All are explored by over 5 million visitors each year.
On any given day, people crossing paths up and down the mission chain include park rangers, men and women of the cloth, students and teachers, and tourists from all parts of the world.  There are also archaeologists, historians, animal tenders, bingo players, horticulturalists, artists, musicians, soldiers, and descendants of Spaniards and Indians who made the missions.
Approaching the missions on horseback, we’ll explore perspectives of life and land in California from angles rarely appreciated since the advent of the automobile.  All along the way, we’ll use this site to chart our progress; to post information about special events and people; to blog about the journey; and to ask you to help us look for answers to questions big and small about California and Californians.
Our ride takes place in two stages, North and South. The North Ride begins in Sonoma on August 18, 2012, and ends in San Miguel on the mission’s fiesta day, September 16, 2012. The South Ride will pick up in San Miguel in mid-August of 2013, and we’ll try to reach San Diego, and then the Mexican border, by mid-September of that year.

Excuse me? 600 miles on horseback through the Missions of California???

The E in Jennifer? 
It's for ENVY.
I said "Rolling on the floor, crying like a sooky baby... ENVY!!" 

As Heather Gilbert says..."OH MAH WORD!!"

Before we go any further, YOU MUST check out their blog here...

I'll stand around and wait, JUST like Daisy Paton!!

Okay, *I* will simply wait...

Okay, now that you've read that...don't you want to grab the nearest half Percheron/half Appoloosa and jump in the truck and drive to California and meet Daisy and Trigger? And Gwyneth. And Jules, and Windy, and Rod, and Melissa, and Leslie, and Jade and everyone else?

Gwyneth and Daisy.

Seriously? Is this not beautiful???

Who wouldn't want to ride for almost a month through the historic Missions of California??

Come ON!!!!

I do!! I totally do! And I could, too! Oh MY WORD, what an awesome adventure that would be!!

And my dear husband AND My Intrepid Travel Partner just went "Oh NOOOOOO you could NOT!!"

 He's just not totally convinced yet.
But she's right. I nearly got myself killed in 1983 when my darling horsey friend Cochise (and the Chiricahua Apache leader's real name was Cheis, BTW) and I had a rather intense afternoon and I ended up badly injured. I lost my all horse confidence that day, and that was also the very sad end to my riding adventures.

Look what Daisy taught Rod!

(Insert melancholy and pathetic whine here...) Unless Rod Rondeaux and Rachael Waller Rondeaux (oooh, her work is LOVELY...)take pity and have me come visit them at The Indian Stunt Ranch where I will look like a COMPLETE IDIOT and Rachael can take stunning photographs of me falling, crying and going to the ER.

Unlike Daisy, who is as tough as nails. Yes, that is a cast. Yes, she kept going.


Pay attention, Jennifer...

So, The California Mission Ride has totally captivated this wannabe.
The beauty of the horses, the stories of the riders and the grand scope of the adventure just about does me in. And the history!? Oh my, toss that all together and WOW!!

Redheads, I highly HIGHLY recommend liking their Facebook page, signing up for their blog and following these truly amazing people on an EPIC adventure!!

Rod Rondeaux's Facebook page for The Indian Stunt Ranch :

Rachael Waller Rondeaux's Facebook page for her photography :

And the California Mission Ride's Facebook page:

Follow along, you'll be glad you did.


  1. Oh my word is right! Looks so fun...though I'm not a horse person...

    1. Doesn't it look AWESOME!! Why don't we do this next week? The West Virginia Kroger Ride?!?! Huh!!?!?!? FUN!!

  2. I'm not a horse person either. I love them in theory, and in books (my books, especially), but the reality of them scares me. So I admire this endeavor greatly!

    1. I love horses and rue the day I was tossed from one. Landing on one's head is a bit of a hazard.
      This ride looks like one of those adventures most people can only dream about.

  3. You should look up 'Cities of Gold' by Douglas Preston - he followed Coronado's route through Arizona and New Mexico on horseback in the late 80s. It's fascinating.

    As a Californian living in exile, I remember the Missions with fondness. There's a good bit of history on the ground in their precincts, if you know what you're looking for - aqueducts, old wall traces, things like that.

    1. I would LOVE to do something like this ride!!! LOVE IT!!

      Maybe you and B and me and John could go together?
      Riiiiiiiiiiiight. My husband on a horse? Not gonna happen.