California Mission Ride to begin second half of journey in San Miguel

newsroom@thetribunenews.comSeptember 11, 2013 

Leslie Dunton-Downer, right, and Gwyneth Horder-Payton, front left, ride to Mission San Miguel on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, during their journey to visit all the California missions on horseback. San Miguel Mission was celebrating its 215th birthday.

JAYSON MELLOM — The Tribune Buy Photo

The California Mission Ride, a 600-plus-mile horseback expedition set to visit all 21 missions between Sonoma and San Diego, is at it again.

The riders wrapped up the first leg of their journey — from Sonoma to San Miguel — last September. The next phase in the two-part trip kicks off Saturday, as the riders leave Mission San Miguel the following day.

Their goal is to arrive at Mission San Diego de Alcala in San Diego on Oct. 20, after visiting all the missions along the way.

The ride is led by Santa Cruz filmmaker Gwyneth Horder-Payton and Cambridge, Mass., writer Leslie Dunton-Downer. Last year, they traveled south along the historic California Mission Trail — accompanied by a camera crew, support staff and countless guest riders, including American Indians, search-and-rescue personnel and champion equestrian Michael Muir, great-grandson of Sierra Club founder John Muir.

This time, after the riders leave San Miguel, they plan travel San Luis Obispo County through Sept. 20 before heading further south. The plan calls for them to reach Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia at Santa Margarita Ranch on Sept. 16; ride down Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo on Sept. 17; tour Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa on Sept. 18; hit the trail on Sept. 19; and reach the historic Rancho Nipomo Dana Adobe in Nipomo the afternoon of Sept. 20.

To follow the riders, visit

The group’s route dates are subject to change, according to its website.

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