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.
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.
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.
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:

dann gibb 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.