Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 200 miles total, approximately 6 hours with stops. Walking up to 1 mile; paved sidewalks, uneven dirt paths.
In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, hot and cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, fresh baked breakfast breads, milk, assorted juices, coffee, tea, and water.
After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board our motorcoach with stops for field trips on the way to Fresno. Our first field trip will be to the Mission and State Park at San Juan Bautista, where a park staff member will lead our exploration. From the National Park Service: “During the mid to late 1700s, Spanish land holdings in the New World began to shift northward up from New Spain (today Mexico). A series of military and religious endeavors eventually led to the establishment of a chain of 21 Spanish-Catholic missions along the western coast of California.” This mission was one of four established in the summer of 1797, and the fifteenth of the twenty-one missions in Alta, California. We’ll learn about the impacts of the missions on indigenous peoples and about early California under Spanish and Mexican governments. The buildings on the grounds of the park represent the era between 1859 and 1890 with adobe structures and plazas. The recreated buildings house exhibits on early California history including Native Americans to the late 19th century American history. The mission is not a part of the state park but is recognized as a national historic landmark along with other California missions.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in San Juan Bautista. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Moving on, we will ride to the San Luis Reservoir and begin to learn about water issues in California. The dam here was constructed as a storage reservoir for the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in 1962. It stores runoff water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that would otherwise flow into the ocean. The San Luis Reservoir is the fifth largest in the state of California reaching a depth of 300 feet and covering 12,700 acres. The reservoir can hold up to 2 million acre-feet of water. Most of the water serves the central valley residents and farms. We expect to arrive and check in to the hotel late afternoon.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with salad, entrée, rolls and butter, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages are available for purchase.
We’ll remain at our dinner location for a living history program featuring John Muir (in the person of a talented reenactor). Muir (1838-1914) was born in Scotland and emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1849. During his lifetime, he was a farmer, inventor, sheepherder, explorer, botanist, and writer but he is best known as America’s most famous and influential naturalist, conservationist, and founder of the Sierra Club. Often called the Father of our National Park System, Muir’s writings and efforts resulted in Congress creating Yosemite National Park. He was also involved in the creation of the Grand Canyon, Kings Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Mount Rainier National Parks.