Carmel Mission

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CarmelMission

Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission or Mission Carmel, was first built in 1797, and is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. Named for Carlo Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, Italy, Carmel Mission was first established in Monterrey, California, in 1770, but was relocated to Carmel in 1771. It is the only mission in California that still has the original bell in its bell tower.

JuniperroSerra

Saint Junípero Serra y Ferrer,  O.F.M., was a Roman Catholic priest and friar who founded a mission in Baja California, and went on to found the first nine of 21 missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco. He was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015.

As a Franciscan, myself, I have to admit that I am deeply ashamed by his treatment of the Esselen and Ohlone Indians who lived near the mission. After they were Baptized, they were forcibly moved to the mission and forced into labor where they were taught to be farmers, shepherds, cowboys, blacksmiths, carpenters, bricklayers, furniture makers, tanners, weavers and candle makers.

Disease, starvation, overwork, and torture killed off most of the members of these tribes, reducing their population from 927 people in 1794 to just 381 in 1823. When Serra was canonized in 2015, Serra’s statue was toppled and splattered with paint, as were the cemetery, the mission doors, a fountain, and a crucifix. “Saint of Genocide” was written on Serra’s tomb, and similar epitaphs were painted elsewhere in the mission courtyard.

Despite its history, Mission Carmel is still what Pope John Paul II commented on his visit there in 1987:

This serene and beautiful place is truly the historical and spiritual heart of California.

The following photos are a few of the many details to be seen at Carmel Mission:

Carmel Detail

Carmel Doorway

CarmelHolyFamily

CarmelJesus

CarmelMary

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In Celebration . . .

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To celebrate the recent publication of the Third Editions of out Best of the Appalachian Trail guides, the Hallowed Treasures Saga is on sale for 99¢ at the Kindle store.

The Path to Misery is the first book in the trilogy. Centuries after an apocalypse, Princess Eluned leaves her father’s kingdom in search of adventure and romance. Instead, she finds herself accumulating a band of compatriots for a divinely-led quest to reunite the Thirteen Hallowed Treasures in an effort to restore peace to the Thirteen Kingdoms. In the process, she transforms from the self-absorbed girl she had been into the strong woman she must become.

Kirkus Review called it, “A page-turning fantasy set in a richly textured world, made all the more delightful by a thoughtful yet spirited heroine and her wonderfully oddball companions.”

You can find The Path to Misery here: Amazon

InLonelyExile-cover

In Lonely Exile is the second book in the trilogy. It weaves in more of the history of their world and the individuals on the quest as they continue the search for the Hallowed Treasures.

“A delightful reunion with old friends, sure to leave fans of strong female heroines craving the final installment,” Kirkus Review said.

You can find In Lonely Exile here: Amazon

Death's Dark Shadows Cover

Death’s Dark Shadows is the final book in the trilogy. The Questers must now split up to continue the search for the last few treasures. In addition, they must disguise their identities in order to travel to the far reaches of the Thirteen Kingdoms as spies are seeking them out in towns and along the roads. Even on this divinely inspired quest, Omni may not prevent some of the group from having to give their lives to restore peace to the Thirteen Kingdoms.

You can find Death’s Dark Shadows here: Amazon

 

Best of the A.T.: Overnight Hikes

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Sleep Under the Stars on the Appalachian Trail with this Comprehensive Guide

The iconic Appalachian Trail stretches for nearly 2,200 miles from Maine to Georgia, offering countless opportunities to enjoy the trail by day, then sleep on its legendary ground at night. Best of the Appalachian Trail: Overnight Hikes by Leonard M. Adkins and Frank and Victoria Logue is the perfect solution for those who want to experience camping along the Appalachian Trail without the commitment of a longer section hike or thru-hike.

Traverse Virginia’s Three Ridges, enjoy North Carolina’s Mount Cammerer Loop, and summit Vermont’s Killington Peak. The book details 64 overnight hikes ranging from 10 to 30 miles in each of the 14 states that the Appalachian Trail passes through. Each hike includes the difficulty, trailhead maps, driving directions, and point-by-point descriptions. Leonard, Frank, and Victoria also include fascinating flora, fauna, and history tidbits for hikers to further appreciate the beauty of the Appalachian Trail.

Best of the Appalachian Trail: Overnight Hikes

by Leonard M. Adkins & Frank and Victoria Logue

ISBN 978-1-63404-147-8

Menasha Ridge Press, August 2018, $18.95

About the Authors

Leonard M. Adkins has been intimately involved with the Appalachian Trail for several decades. He has hiked its full length five times and lacks just a few hundred miles to complete it for a sixth. Leonard is the author of 20 books on travel and the outdoors. His The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor’s Companion received the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. Along with this thru-hiking wife, Laurie, he lives in Virginia, within easy striking distance of the A.T.

Frank and Victoria Logue hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 1988, and they have returned again and again to hike its many sections on day and overnight hikes. Frank has also served on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Board of Managers. The Logues live in Georgia, where Frank works as an Episcopal priest and an assistant to the Bishop of Georgia. Victoria continues to write, working on both nonfiction and fiction.

Best of the Appalachian Trail: Overnight Hikes can be found here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Menasha Ridge Press

Best of the A.T.: Day Hikes

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Best of the AT: DH

Your Comprehensive Guide to the Appalachian Trail’s Best Day Hikes

 

From Maine to Georgia, the nearly 2,200-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail is an iconic destination. But not everyone is able to take six months to hike the entirety of the trail. Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes by Leonard M. Adkins and Frank and Victoria Logue is the perfect solution to experiencing the wonder of the A.T. without the commitment of a thru-hike.

Summit the iconic Katahdin in Maine, explore Pennsylvania’s Chimney Rocks, splash in Tennessee’s Laurel Fork Gorge and Falls, and find out where Blood Mountain gets its name. The book details 144 hikes in each of the 14 states that the Appalachian Trail passes through; previews the flora, fauna, and history of the A.T.; and offers point-by-point descriptions of each hike with trailhead directions. Hikes range in length from less than 1 mile to 11 miles.

Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes
by Leonard M. Adkins & Frank and Victoria Logue

ISBN 978-1-63404-145-4
Menasha Ridge Press, August 2018, $18.95

About the Authors

 Leonard M. Adkins has been intimately involved with the Appalachian Trail for several decades. He has hiked its full length five times and lacks just a few hundred miles to complete it for a sixth. Leonard is the author of 20 books on travel and the outdoors. His The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor’s Companion received the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award. Along with this thru-hiking wife, Laurie, he lives in Virginia, within easy striking distance of the A.T.

Frank and Victoria Logue hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 1988, and they have returned again and again to hike its many sections on day and overnight hikes. Frank has also served on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Board of Managers. The Logues live in Georgia, where Frank works as an Episcopal priest and an assistant to the Bishop of Georgia. Victoria continues to write, working on both nonfiction and fiction.

You can find Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Menasha Ridge Press

This desert land enchanted . . .

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On a recent trip to California, I took Nevermore along with me so that he could see some new cemeteries:

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Nevermore as the Angel of Death at Daggett Pioneer Cemetery in the Ghost Town of Daggett on Route 66 in the Mojave Desert of California.

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—

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Arvin District Cemetery in Kernell, California.

To see a few more photos of Nevermore’s trip, go here: Nevermore

It’s Complicated

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The Tomb of the Patriarchs (Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah) in Hebron in the West Bank. The building was constructed by King Herod.

If I had a shekel for every time that was said while I was in Israel and Palestine, I would be as rich as King Solomon.

But the truth is: “It’s complicated” essentially sums up the situation. Having spoken with both Palestinians and Israelis, there is no easy solution to the problem.

Why? I think I will lay the blame on the United Nations. When it was decided, about 70 years ago, that the Jews that were being killed and chased of out of Europe deserved a Democratic State of their own, the Arabs who were living in Israel were forced out, killed, or herded into refugee camps.

And that’s when the United Nations began the big lie. The Palestinians were told that someday they would be given the “right of return”. And are still being told so.

But two generations or so later, they remain in refugee camps or trapped in Gaza or scattered across the West Bank and the rest of the world. There are probably now more than five million Palestinians who have been promised the right of return.

And to put it bluntly, there is no way in hell that Israel is going to risk losing its Jewish state to an Arab majority. All the Israelis I spoke to, whether in the IDF, Knesset, or Arab themselves, all felt that the state might be willing to make sacrifices for a two-state solution. They would be willing to give up their settlements in the West Bank and lose Holy Sites like the graves of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in order for the Palestinians to have their own state.

Palestinians, on the other hand, whether in the PLO, shop owners, or residents in refugee camps, are insistent on their right of return.

And so, therefore, as Rudyard Kipling noted, “never the twain shall meet”, and the deaths in Gaza continue. As the Right Reverend John Taylor, Bishop of Los Angeles, and fellow pilgrim on our journey to Israel wrote:

Two generations of Palestinians have been raised on the narrative that God and justice demand that they be allowed to return to their forebears’ land in Galilee. Since March, this dream, fed by the discontent of living in a kind of prison along the Mediterranean coast, victimized by Israeli and Egyptian blockades and Hamas mismanagement, has inspired the Gazans’ demonstrations and in some cases suicidal moves against the border.

It’s impossible to fault Palestinians for trying to go home. It’s impossible not to fault the IDF for overreacting, for using live ammunition against people throwing rocks.

And yet the young soldiers and their commanders are also products of trauma narratives, not only the whole of Jewish history (including two millennia of Christian antisemitism) but also the second intifada from 2000-05, in which 1,100 Israelis died and 3,000 were injured. Proportional to Israel’s population, that’s Vietnam. Or Pearl Harbor. Or September 11. Think about what such moments do to a nation’s heart.

When children throw rocks, look not just for terrorist masterminds. Look for their hunger for home (an impulse common to all human experience) and all Gazans’ urgent hunger for economic opportunity, shelter, electricity, water, and enough to eat.

When an army has a hair trigger, look not for evil hearts or even right-wing governments. Look for the perception and indeed reality of existential threat.

Is there a solution that’s acceptable to both sides? It’s complicated, but the one thing I do know is that the only solution will have to be worked out by Israel and Palestine. What they probably need less of, though, is having possible solutions West-splained to them.