Chula Vista, CA
January 8, 2017
Ahhh...blue skies, sunshine and warm temps yesterday were the perfect combination to get out play. An awesome day for a walk in the park. And, an especially terrific day when a local says we will meet you there. Fellow blogger Jeff and his wife Fran are residents of San Diego and generously offered to guide us. We walked, shared stories and had lots of laughs. For everything San Diego check out Jeff's informative blog here.
This was a first visit for Joe and I to Presidio Park. Why ? I don't know! It's beautiful and full of history and the walking/hiking trails are easy with lots of hills to climb and descend. Our first stop was the Junipero Serra Museum.
Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the first Spanish mission in California in 1769.
Between that time and 1784, he established 8 more missions along the coast.
The museum stands atop the site of the first permanent European settlement, a presidio, in what would become the State of California. Prior to the Spanish, native Kumeyaay people had lived on and around the hill. After Mexican independence (1821), the presidio fell into disrepair. It's materials were used to build Old Town. In the early 20th century, George Marston began buying the land on and around the hill to create what would become todays Presidio Park (35 acres). In 1929, the Museum was dedicated on the site.
The main tower exhibits tell the history of the area, the missions, and Father Serra.
A display shows the original presidio.
The upper tower displays exhibits from the year and day the museum was dedicated in 1929.
Our personal guides...Jeff and Fran.
We stopped several times along the way. Jeff is full of information and one of the uniquely interesting things I learned was about cochineal. Cochineal is a scale insect which natural red dye is made from. The white spots on the prickly pear are evidence of the insect. Jeff scraped off a piece and yes, we saw red ! Totally amazing ! You may have already heard of this as it is in a lot of food. If not check it out. Type in cochineal in the search bar.
Our trusty guides lead the way.
Inspiration Point is the highest point in the park.
Jeff pointed out Palm Canyon is home to a native palm tree.
The California Fan Palm can live up to 90 years and grow to 75 feet tall. The leaves can reach to about 6 feet long.
The Arbor is located at the top of another hill...yes, there are a few to climb. The views opened up and we could see Point Loma.
The Padre and The Padre Cross are located just across from the museum.
The bronze statue of The Padre was created in 1908 by Arthur Putnam and relocated to Presidio Park in 1933. It is not meant to depict Serra, but represents all the Franciscan Padres who served California's 21 missions. I wish I had gotten a close up of the detail in his face.
In the same area is The Padre Cross, made from tiles from the Presidio ruins and erected in 1913.
Fran snapped this picture of us from one of the grassy knolls. Thanks for sharing Jeff !
From the park, we took the 1/2 mile walk to Old Town along The Old Presidio Historic Trail. The plaque states that families used this trail to walk down from the presidio to tend their gardens and around 1820, some families began to build homes beside their gardens and Old Town was born.
We enjoyed great company and yummy food at The Coyote in Old Town. Thank you so much Jeff and Fran for a wonderful day in the park. You guys are awesome ! (And thanks for sharing your picture.)
|L to R : Joe, Ronnie, Carol, Fran, Jeff and me|
Cheers from San Diego !
Until next time,
HAPPY TRAILS !