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Walking from San Diego to San Francisco in 1776


When I think of 1776, I think of the Declaration of Independence, the 4th of July, George Washington, that kind of stuff. I really never thought about California, but I am now.

Walk with me. It's 1776 and we are going to walk from the oldest Mission in California, which is in San Diego, to the newest one, which has just been completed in San Francisco. It's a dangerous road, but we are holy men, with faith. We are Franciscan Friars.

There is a place to stop about every thirty miles, which is what is considered a good day's ride on a horse. We do have horses, but we are walking alongside of them, as they are carrying enough. The road that we are walking on will come to be known as the King's Highway, El Camino Real. We are in New Spain.

Along the way, we meet the natives, which is what we call the Indians we meet. If they have been introduced to Christianity, we call them neophytes. Mostly we are speaking in Spanish, but of course, we read Latin, and are learning a bit of the native languages.

It may take us several months to walk to San Francisco, and along the way we will find our strength in God, and pray. We imagine that someday great cities will be built along this road, but for now we rely on the kindness of strangers, and our faith.

Image above: Mission Dolores in San Francisco, California. Misión de San Francisco de Asís

More about the Mission in San Diego here

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