Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Wind...it was a blowin!

 Monday, we woke up to a "Blowing dust alert". That's a first for us! And did the wind ever blow...40 miles an hour almost all day long.
Our home was a rockin' and the slide toppers were a flappin'.  

 Today (Tuesday) was much better...still breezy though at 18 mph.

 The Mission San Xavier was our destination today. San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692.
 Construction on the current church began in 1783. A Franciscan missionary, Juan Bautista Velderrain, borrowed money from a Sonoran rancher to build the church. It was completed in 1897.

 Lime-stone mortar and kiln-fired brick were introduced by architect Ignacio Gaona.

Villagers helped...by gathering sand, lime, clay, rock and wood. Brick was laid up for both the inside and outside faces of the walls, then rock rubble and a lime-sand grout poured between. The walls are three feet thick.


In some places the walls are six feet thick and coated with a limestone based plaster... a formula that includes the juice from prickly pear cactus pads.

 Following Mexican Independence in 1821, San Xavier became part of Mexico. The last resident Franciscan departed in 1837.

With the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, the Mission joined the United States. In 1866, regular services were held at the church once again.
 In 1872, Sisters opened a school at the Mission. Today, Sisters of Christian Charity now teach at the K-8 school and reside in the convent.

 Extensive repairs to the church began in 1905 when an earthquake caused damage. The next round of restoration followed the years after 1939 after damage was caused by a lightening strike.
 Not much is known about the people who decorated the interior. The artwork was probably commissioned by Velderrain's successor and most likely created by artists from Mexico.

The vaulted ceilings are beautiful. In 1992, an international team of conservators began a 5-year project to clean, remove over-painting and repair the interior painted and sculptured art.

San Xavier became a National Landmark in 1963.



  1. We had the wind here in eastern Utah as well...not fun with blowing sand.

    Beautiful Mission!

  2. Wind blowing here too. I made the mistake of putting on chapstick. My lips were like sand paper!

    Your jeep will sure come in handy when you get to Moab. So much to see while riding the trails.

  3. One thing I really hate when RVing is wind!!!! It really freaks me out. Nice pictures and a great font!! Thanks.
    We're home now. And glad to be.
    Drive safe.

  4. It has been many years since I've been to see the White Dove of the Desert. Nice pics.

  5. I think one of the worst and scariest things about living full time in an RV is the wind and storms!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos!

  6. Hi Gay, just read your comment on our blog, thanks for stopping by. And yes we are at your hometown Lagrange and we will feel the winds/thunderstorm today. We are staying at Holiday Campground COE and loving it.

    We missed the mission while we were in Tucson but we will back and check it out one day. We enjoyed our wanderings in AZ a few months ago.

  7. Never been in a "blowing dust alert," but definitely don't like wind in the RV.

  8. Oh it's so beautiful there. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Beautiful pictures of San Xavier Mission, it is one of my favorite places to visit in Tucson.

  10. Hi Gay and Joe, beautiful pics of the mission!
    We were in Benson, just east of you, last week and the big back window of our Montana was getting the brunt of those 60 mph gusts! It creaked for hours! "Please hang in there!!" I told it! lol
    Thank you for your comments on our blog!
    Happy trails!
    Kathy (from Birdingrvers.com)