Thursday, December 04, 2008

El Viaje de Portola

I've recently written about two historical plaques placed on the Irvine Ranch by this group, so I thought I should provide a little background on them.
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El Viaje de Portola equestrian group formed in 1963. Their annual ride, which began in 1964, follows undeveloped portions of explorer Gaspar de Portola's historic trail through Orange County.
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This 3-day weekend horseback camping trip is a men-only event. (Wives and girlfriends traditionally head for the Swallows Inn in San Juan Capistrano.) Members include big landowners, developers, bankers, politicians, a few real cowboys and a bunch of would-be ones. The event raises money for the restoration work at Mission San Juan Capistrano. In recent years, their annual trek has been a 30-mile round trip. The ride has gotten shorter over time, as Orange County’s wilderness is paved. El Viaje de Portola also regularly ride in Capistrano’s Fiesta de las Golondrinas parade.
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Today’s photo comes from Doris Walker and shows part of the group in 1969. Normally, they don’t dress this way, but that year marked the 200th anniversary of the Portola Expedition.

1 comment:

Laura said...

hey Chris, I worked the Portola ride for three years. The older guys would tell me stories of past rides. One reason the rides got shorter ( I think) is because the mobile full bar with bartenders being towed behind the horses on the trail can only go so far.
Dann