The chapel main entrance. Sometimes, especially if you go there on a weekday, you can also go inside and look around, but today they had baptisms going on and we stayed outside. This is still used by an active parish, as are all of the missions except for the Alamo.
It was not a good time of day to be there--around midday, so it made for some rather harsh lighting, but I wasn't going to schedule a special late afternoon trip to take pictures--at least not today.
Here's another shot of the chapel front in portrait.
Zoomed in on the bells. It appears that the arch over the top bell was rebuilt from different materials (bricks instead of stones) at some later date. One of the things I have noticed since I started taking lots of photos is that I notice many details in the photo that I missed when I was on site. I've been to this place several times and I hadn't noticed the brick thing before. Today the glare was pretty bad and I don't think I could have noticed it with my naked eyes anyway.
This was the photo I most wanted to capture and I took numerous shots of it.
A portrait of the front door. This may sound strange, but I have always been kind of fascinated by large, heavy wooden doors and their immediate surroundings. Yeah, now that I've actually typed it out loud, it does sound strange, but there it is. If you click through and view the full size version on my Flickr site, you should be able to see lots of wood-grainy goodness.
There isn't much else to see here; this is the smallest of all the missions. There are still some walls left of the various living quarters, but if I remember correctly, when this was built it was never completely finished as it was intended to be, so some of the ruins are of walls that were never really finished anyway. I hope to revisit the other missions over time and post some photos of them as well.
Well, when we finished, I took the back road out that comes out on...Villamain! I wanted to show my son the "haunted train tracks." Now, as you already know if you read this blog, I have a meter route that crosses those tracks and goes a little way up Villamain and ends right where that road from Espada comes out, but it's usually about 8:30 on a weekday morning when I go through there, and I have never seen anyone doing the "track thing" when I was there. Today was different. As soon as I turned onto Villamain I could see a group of people standing at the crossing, with one other person parked in a minivan on the tracks. They were doing the track thing. My conversation with my son went something like the following.
(approaching the tracks)
Me: You ever heard that story about the haunted tracks, where the ghost kids push your car off the track if you stop on them?
Me: Well, this is it. Those people there are trying to see if their car will roll off the tracks.
Me: The kid ghosts are supposed to push your car off the tracks so you don't get hit by a train.
(we turned the corner and passed them; I saw the back of their minivan slathered with baby powder)
Me: Look! Look! They even have baby powder all over the back of their car!
Son: Why'd they do that?
Me: You're supposed to be able to see the handprints of the kids in the powder after they push your car off the tracks.
My son's expression when he facepalmed himself made the whole trip even more worthwhile. Priceless.