Mision Santa Maria 2010
Memorial Day Weekend in May of 2010 six vehicles made their way to the
last mission founded in the New World by the Jesuit Order. Santa Maria
de los Angeles was established in 1767 in a remote, oasis canyon. Even
today the location is still difficult to reach. Only the few brave
adventurers with equipment tough enough make the journey.
Two new style Toyota Tacomas, one older Tacoma with a camper, a Toyota
4Runner, a Dodge Dakota, and a custom-built 4WD 'motor home' V-8 van
(with front and rear differential lockers) made the journey in.
One vehicle was unable to leave under its own power,
after the trail 'consumed' its rear differential.
One of the world's longest peninsulas, it was originally believed to be
an island. The Spanish named it 'California'. Spain used missions to
occupy the territory. The first successful mission was at Loreto, in
1697. Santa Maria was the 17th California mission to be founded,
San Diego was the 19th.
Mision Santa Maria is 300 highway miles south from San Diego and 14.4
miles off the main road on a 4WD trail, between Cataviña and Bahia San
Highway 1 passing through the desert south from El Rosario made colorful
from the heavy winter rains this year. The mission road begins at
Rancho Santa Ynez, 78 miles from El Rosario or about 300 miles from San