Path To The Cross
James B Toy
Photograph - Digital
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This cross stands on a small hill overlooking Carmel River Beach. It was erected in 1944 by Harry Downie, curator of the Carmel Mission, to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Portola-Crespi overland expedition which camped nearby. Their goal was to find Monterey Bay, which had been described in ship logs dating to 1602, and to establish a Spanish settlement there. A supply ship was to meet them there, but was lost at sea.
Due to navigational errors Portola and Crespi didn't realize they had reached their destination, and their supplies were running out. They erected two crosses, one here and another on the north side of what is now known as the Monterey Peninsula, to signal their supply ship. At their bases they buried messages for the ship's crew saying the expedition was returning to San Diego.
Look closely at the hill in the background. Just to the left of the cross there is a scar on the hillside lit by the sun. That particular scar was man-made. It was the source of the stone used to build the Carmel Mission.
I made this photo in July 2009.
Photo Copyright James B. Toy.
April 14th, 2016
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