San Antonio Valley - The Historic Hearstg and Julian Morgan Hacienda • Pelican Network Eco Guide California Central Coast • Big Sur

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The Hacienda in San Antonio Valley was built by Julia Morgan as a hunting lodge for Hearst's guests to La Cuesta Encantada in San Simeon.

In this stunning setting, it is possible to visualize the natural experience of early California.

The Hacienda is a robust expression of Spanish Mexican California, and the environs are mostly undeveloped. It is not difficult here to imagine the prolific Indian populations that lived in the region for thousands of years.

The Hacienda is a rare find for explorers of Central California. For visiting the San Antonio de Padua Mission, hiking the Santa Lucia trail in Los Padres Forest, viewing the Salinan Cave, or visiting wineries, it is well situated.

It is odd to share the history of Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow and that starry crowd of Hearst's pals with the United States Army. The Hacienda is owned by the military, and now part of Fort Hunter Liggett. But the relationship may have saved this piece of paradise from commercial development.

On this military reservation, recruits maneuver around in all terrain vehicles during the summer. The activity is carefully controlled by an environmental protection vigilance.

These days, ordinary folk can spend the night at Hearst's lodge. The military has first call on the rooms, but the public can rent what's left. The rooms are very commodious. A pleasant pool, a raucous bar that's an extremely loud disco on Summer weekends and an inviting dining room are available for the guests.

It is difficult to communicate with the Hacienda, and make a room reservation. So, a stay in King City at Keefers is suggested.

The Salinan Cave site is kept secret by the D.O.D. folks because hunters who obliterate the ability to exercise commonsense have shown tendencies to shoot up the cave and chip away the marvelous painted legacy of this fine people.

The Dept. of Defense keeps up a force of eight anthropologists, archeologists and ethnographers who study the ancient Indian sites. Of which there are a multitude. For this perfect little valley was host to thousands of contended Ohlones and Coastonoans who were named Salinans here. They lived in a land of plenty, and prospered until the Spaniards happened along.

Tucked into the Northeast corner of the valley is a solstice site with a huge midden and a wonderful cave of very old pictographs.

Less than a mile away is California's most complete Spanish mission from the 18th Century. San Antonio de Padua was the largest, and most industrious of all the colonial outposts.

Driving to San Antonio Valley and the Hacienda

Explorers Special: Email us about a special overnight opportunity at Keefer's in King City - Gateway to San Antonio Valley, Big Sur and Salinas Valley.

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