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Welcome to the travels of Doug and Nada. We love the Lord and are traveling full-time in our motorhome with our German Shepherd, Homer. Homer is the star attraction wherever we stop and he gets us talking and sharing with many people. DON'T FORGET: YOU CAN ENLARGE EACH PHOTO BY CLICKING ON THE PHOTO! The newest blog post is at the top and they go back in time as you scroll down. If you want to see each photo larger, you can just click on the photo and it will enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, don't forget to sign it so we know who left it. ;-) Folks: This site is under continual construction as we travel and see this beautiful country. Check back for more updates and photos. Thanks for visiting with us! May God bless your day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

San Antonio Mission Trail = Mission San Jose

Yesterday, we met our San Antonio friends, Ruth and Gavino, and toured the San Jose Mission in San Antonio. The National Park Mission Trail is a park that includes 4 missions which sit along the San Antonio river going a few miles south of San Antonio. The Alamo Mission was the northern most one. The mission's purpose was to covert the natives to be Spanish citizens, which meant they needed to Catholic, so Spanish citizens would fill the land and substantiate the Spanish claim to the land. Each mission became a self-supporting town. The nomadic natives of the area were willing to change their way of life in order to have the protection of the walled town and the supply of food because of raiding Apaches coming from the north. Hope you enjoy our views of the mission town.

Above: Our friend Ruth. We are waiting for the park ranger so the tour will begin.

Below: Doug, Gavino, and Ruth listening to the ranger give the introduction just inside the gate to the mission.

Above: The view of the church from just inside the missions walled gate.

Below: A "Miriam photo" - Mims takes lots of beautiful, non-people photos wherever she goes. I'm just the opposite - I'm always taking people photos. She has convinced me that I need to expand my horizons and take more photos without people!

Above: The photo of the arches shows the later influence of the pointed byzantine arches which was imported from Pennsylvania and the friars who came from PA.

Below: The church facades were originally painted with bright colorful designs similar to many of the Mexican tiles you see today. You can see the little bit of remaining design on the flat area right to the left of the doorway in this photo. All the stone was quarried locally to build the buildings and walls. To make the mortar and the plaster that covered the walls, they would bake some of the stone for 7 to 9 days in hot ovens until it would grumble. The coarse crumble was made into the mortar which was used to hold the stones together. The fine crumble was made into the plaster which they applied to the walls both inside and, in some places, on the outside.

Above: The front facade. It had multiple uses as it depicts the salvation message and also represents the life and history of Christ so the friars could use it as a teaching tool.

Below: Doug took my camera and stepped back and took this overall view of the church front and facade with our tour group.

Above: Doug and Gavino looking at the detail of the the church facade and many of the signature carvings dated in the 1700 and 1800's.

The beautiful carved door of the church.

Above: The inside of the church.

Below: Ruth standing beside a gate she loved.

Above: The Grainery, where they stored the harvest. The mission was a communal form of living where they all worked together for the good of the whole settlement and were portioned food.

Below: An interesting door within a door of one of the walled entrances.

Above: A view down the inside of the wall. Their residences were within the wall where each family had one or two small rooms. All cooking was done outside on communal ovens and fires.

Below: The view across the central area toward the church.

Above: Prickly Pear cactus growing on the roof top.

Below: Doug and Gavino looking out through one of the walled gates.

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