I think I’d promised a trip to the Village of San Luis Cabezon, but have decided instead that we would start along the Salt Mission Trail. The three missions, Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivera are studies in texture and color. Each was built with the rock and stone on the land surrounding it. The structures amaze me every time I visit them. Can you imagine the manpower it required to haul all the materials to create these massive church-fortress buildings?
These were among the earliest missions in the southwest. The priests directed the construction. Each of the missions contained areas for meeting, for storing provisions (the harvest), and protected views so the structures could be used as fortresses. The missions and surrounding grounds are all federally protected. There are potshards scattered all around and after a rain, still more surface. Taking them is a violation of Federal law — though it’s certainly tempting.
I cannot imagine how difficult life must have been in these great stone structures which I believe were modeled after the castles of Europe.