It Is Situated In A Beautiful Valley, About
Half Way Between The Gulf Of California And The Broad Ocean, The
Peninsula Being Here About Sixty Miles Wide.
The edifice is of
hewn stone, one story high, two hundred and ten feet in front,
and about fifty-five feet deep.
The walls are six feet thick, and
sixteen feet high, with a vaulted roof of stone, about two feet
and a half in thickness. It is now abandoned and desolate; the
beautiful valley is without an inhabitant - not a human being
resides within thirty miles of the place!
In approaching this deserted mission-house from the south, the
traveller passes over the mountain of San Juan, supposed to be
the highest peak in the Californias. From this lofty eminence, a
vast and magnificent prospect unfolds itself; the great Gulf of
California, with the dark blue sea beyond, studded with islands;
and in another direction, the immense lava plain of San Gabriel.
The splendor of the climate gives an Italian effect to the
immense prospect. The sky is of a deep blue color, and the
sunsets are often magnificent beyond description. Such is a
slight and imperfect sketch of this remarkable peninsula.
Upper California extends from latitude 31 10' to 42 on the
Pacific, and inland, to the great chain of snow-capped mountains
which divide it from the sand plains of the interior. There are
about twenty-one missions in this province, most of which were
established about fifty years since, and are generally under the
care of the Franciscans.
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