HELLOOOOOO! Anybody out there? All at The California Mission Ride is on the quiet side just now. I think everyone is storing up energy for the long 2013 journey. Some event plans are beginning to take shape for the trail ride from Mission San Miguel to the border of Mexico.
Speaking of the latter, winter seems like a good time to post a recipe from Mexico that will warm your bones and put a zesty smile on your face.
This traditional recipe from the region of Xalisco, Mexico, was given to me María Serrano, who lives in Xalisco at Hacienda San Rafael. She says the recipe has been used in her family since the Spanish arrived in Mexico, and recommends serving the tea in a ceramic cup like the one she uses at home (see her cup in the photo).
ORANGE LEAF TEA
One orange leaf
Go out to your garden and pluck a large leaf from your orange tree. If you don’t have an orange tree, you can use a leaf from your local grocery shop or market; just be sure that the fruit hasn’t been treated with pesticides. Rinse the leaf off in fresh running water and then pat it dry with a towel. Preheat your teacup: just add some boiling water to it and let it sit for a moment; then pour the water out. Fill the cup with boiling water. Add your orange leaf and let it infuse the water with natural oils and flavors for 5 minutes. Take a moment to enjoy the magical scent rising from your teacup. Your Orange Leaf Tea is ready to drink!
The other recipe takes a little more work. It’s a for a refreshing and wholesome beverage made from fresh alfalfa. If anyone is interested, please write to us on our Facebook page (just click the Facebook icon on this website, down on the left hand side of the screen) and I’ll get on the case pronto.
Calling all K-12 Teachers Across the U.S.! Don’t Miss Your Chance to Explore California’s Past While Participating in a Fantastic NEH Workshop
Happy Holidays & Happy Trails to All Blog Readers!
This special guest post will be of interest to K-12 teachers who are looking for an exciting opportunity in July of 2013 to gain new insights into California’s past and to visit key sites, including Spanish and Native American missions of California’s Central Coast. If you are a K-12 teacher, read on. And if you know a teacher who could be interested, please send them a link to this post!
Early in the New Year, we’ll be posting more about our 2013 plans for The California Mission Ride from Mission San Miguel to Mission San Diego de Alcalá. We hope to begin the 2013 journey on Mission San Miguel’s fiesta day in September. Check back soon for more about our schedule and the unique events that are shaping up along the mission trail.
The 14th Colony: An NEH Summer Workshop for K-12 Teachers
By Ruben Mendoza, Jewel Gentry, and Jennifer Lucido
We are presently recruiting a diverse cohort of eighty K-12 teachers from across the country to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for School Teachers, K-12. Teachers selected for this NEH workshop devoted to studying California’s Spanish colonial missions will receive a $1200 stipend for their stay on the Monterey Bay, and will be afforded opportunities for professional development, collegial interaction, and access to fellow educators.
The Swiss Rifle Club is the oldest rifle club in America, founded by a group of immigrants from Switzerland’s Canton Ticino in 1900. Our host there was club member Peter Andreson, who introduced us to the Brown Bess Musket. Pete explained that these flintlock muskets were of British origin (used for nearly a hundred years during the expansion of the British Empire) and employed in California up through the mid-nineteeth century. He showed us how the musket is loaded with gunpowder, which has to be packed down with a special tool, and then how the ammunition is dropped into the barrel. He said that a good soldier would be able to load and shoot the musket three times in one minute.
Riders and crew of the California Mission Ride have ‘passports’ for the journey. At each mission along the way, we collect stamps or signatures in the passports. (See our earlier blog entry with a note from Martha López suggesting that we use a travel credential of this kind.)
Below is a picture taken yesterday, when our passports were stamped in Soledad. We’re about to saddle up to head to Mission San Antonio de Padua, and then from there on to Mission San Miguel — our last two missions for the 2012 ride!
Suzanne Pierce Taylor is a Salinan Indian Edler whose writings include a book entitled The Ancestors Speak. She has ties to several California missions, especially Mission San Antonio de Padua, and has been working for many years as a genealogist tracing family trees of Salinans to assist her tribe in its effort to gain federal recognition.
Could you tell us about the ancestral homeland of the Salinan Indians? Which area does it cover, and how many Salinans live there today?
The Tribal boundary south is Cuesta Grade, west to Pacific ocean, (we share Morro Rock with the Chumash as a sacred place), north to Dolan Rock below Big Sur, eastward below Soledad, then southeast to Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plains.
We did a count that showed over 80% of Tribal members live either in or within 70 miles of the homeland.
How long have the Salinan people been on this land? And how many different groups exist now within the tribe?
Scholars say that the Salinan people have been in the area 6,000 years and belong to the Hokan language group, one of the oldest in California. The Salinan language was divided into three dialects: Antoniano, around Mission San Antonio. Migueleno around Mission San Miguel and Playano spoken on the coast. These three, even though different, shared the same Hokan base so communicated easily.
Today my friend Daniel Aaron turns 100. While I already started thinking of him as being “around 100” a few years ago, now it’s official.
Dan has led a remarkable life. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Los Angeles. He later moved to the East Coast, where he was the first person to earn a PhD in American Civilization from Harvard. He went on to become a Harvard professor and an influential founder of the Library of America, which has published hundreds of outstanding editions of classic works by Americans, or about America. Including plenty by authors who flourished in California, from Jack London and John Steinbeck to Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick.
Among the many books that Dan has authored or edited is his autobiography, The Americanist, published 5 years ago. Soon after, at age 98, Dan was named a National Humanities Medalist. He still has an office in Harvard’s Department of English and American Literature and Language, where nearly every day he continues to settle down to work on various projects, including a dictionary of words that he thinks should exist in English but don’t (yet).
When I first mentioned The California Mission Ride to Dan, it prompted him to remember his early days in Los Angeles, and the plethora of horses that moved about freely, in spite of some automobiles that had begun to show up and compete with them for roadway space. Dan also recalled that, when he first studied at Harvard, the eminent historian Samuel Eliot Morison was still commuting to campus on his horse.
Once I asked Dan which American president of his lifetime he most admired. He instantly said “Teddy Roosevelt.” I was taken aback, partly because when I asked him this question, Dan didn’t seem nearly as old as he was: 84. After all, around that time, we would go cycling together on weekends, and Dan would easily cover 30+ miles on his three-speed, its tiger-head handlebar grips adorned with a bunch of lightweight orange plastic strips dangling from the tigers’ mouths. I assumed he misunderstood the question. Maybe he thought I was asking about his favorite U.S. president of all time? “I mean someone who was president during your lifetime.” He calmly said it again: “Teddy Roosevelt.” But the name wasn’t sinking in. “Franklin Delano Roosevelt?” Dan just said, “No, no, Teddy. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. When I was a child, all that my friends and I wanted was to be Rough Riders and join up with Teddy Roosevelt to go on adventures. There hasn’t been a president like him since.” Continue reading
INTERVIEW: Lisa Deas, Backcountry Horse Woman, Mule-Lover, Grandmother, Right to Ride Advocate, and More
LISA DEAS grew up in a military family. She was raised in Morocco, Europe, and Virgina prior to settling in Carmel Valley, California. She is Co-Vice President of Education with the Back Country Horsemen of California, and Founding President of the group’s Steinbeck Country Unit. She is also a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with Los Padres National Forest; a certified Trainer with the group Leave No Trace; and she sits on the boards of two organizations: Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse, and Monterey Bay Youth Camp. When not volunteering, she’s worked in diverse fields including secretarial, insurance, banking, and computer services.
You are President of a unit of the Backcountry Horsemen of California. Who are these horsemen? How did you become involved with this outfit?
Backcountry Horsemen of California is a group of private and commercial packers who met in 1981 to form the High Sierra Stock Users Association with the purpose of representing horsemen in dealings with the administrators of public lands. I dated a mule man who was instrumental in my involvement in BCHC. The relationship ended, but my love of mules and this club survived!
How many members do you have in California and what are some of the typical things your members will do to serve their communities on horseback?
We have over 3,000 members in California. We are known widely for trail maintenance, building & cleaning horse camps, fish plants, packing in Civil Conservation Corps crews as well as other valuable pack support for Forest Service, National Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management. We are packers who practice and teach Leave No Trace ethics.