Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo

Awakened by the shrill squawkings of a murder of crows intimidating a flock of seagulls,  I could see daylight coming through the open air balcony of my room.  The air was cool, crisp and without the sometimes present early morning fog.  Since the hotel room does not have air conditioning, slithering and creeping things are rare, so Darlene and I spend the nights with the sliding glass door open.

Taking advantage of the early light, I slipped my jeans and boots on, made my way down to the car and headed south through the somewhat rough, hilly and darkened streets toward the Carmel Mission.

Carmel is noted for a lack of streetlights, traffic signals and curbed residential streets.  At one time, the town had some pretty unusual laws.  One being that it is against the law to wear shoes with heals greater than two inches in height without a permit.  The streets are so uneven, the city was simply trying to avoid lawsuits from those twisting ankles.  I understand the law is rarely if ever enforced now but if you're nervous about it, permits are granted free of charge.  At one time, it was illegal to sell or eat ice cream on public streets but that and other strange regulations were overturned when Clint Eastwood and his town council took office back in the 1980s.

A few blocks south of center of town, there is a very distinctive old mission that was founded  Father Junípero Serra in 1770.  When the padre passed away in 1784, he was buried in it.  I had passed Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo several times and one of my co-workers had told me a little of the history of it.  Each time I pass by, I'm fascinated by the dome and at night, with the right conditions, you can see the rising moon floating above it.

As I began taking pictures this morning, the parish faithful slowly began to arrive, so I did not approach the interior of the structure, saving that venture for a later and more appropriate time.