Chris and I decided to visit San Juan Batista and Fremont Peak this spring. It has been years since we visited either place and we thought there might be some photo opportunities plus it was a chance to get away. San Juan Batista is famous for the mission there as well as being featured in the Hitchcock film Vertigo. There is also a state park around the mission to preserve the historic buildings. San Juan Batista is such a small town that they do not even have a single Starbucks.
Photography with tripods is allowed in the mission so we got some good shots. The mission at San Juan Batista is famous for having three aisles and for being in continuous service for 200 years. At sundown the arches over the bells had a golden glow that made for a nice shot. Long hallways and arches made for interesting compositions as well. I liked the shadows cast on the walls of some of the historic buildings.
Fremont Peak is 11 miles or so from San Juan Batista up a narrow twisting one-way road. A short hike from the parking lot brings one to the top of the peak for a good view on a clear day of Monterey Bay, the Salinas Valley and Hollister. Besides the usual Turkey Vultures and Ravens soaring around, Acorn Woodpeckers were in abundance. The Acorn Woodpecker was the model for Woody Woodpecker. The Acorn Woodpecker got it name because it likes to store acorns in holes in trees and poles. Even on a Saturday there were few people in the park. The slopes are covered in oak trees for a nice pastoral scene.
San Juan Batista and Fremont Peak make a nice side trip along with a visit to Monterey.
Inside the Mission
By David and Chris Wilkins
Photos by David Wilkins unless otherwise attributed