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Mission Soledad | by Jill Clardy
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Mission Soledad

The Mission in Soledad is one of the smallest, off the beaten path with little visitation, a calm and serene stop on the mission trail. Appropriately named as "soledad" means solitude or loneliness.


The town of Soledad is probably best known for the state prison which currently houses nearly 6,000 prisoners; I suppose they don't find much solitude there as the prison now contains almost twice as many guests as it was designed for. Californians seem to turn down all ballot measures to spend more on prison construction.


If you zoom out a bit on the map, you can see that it is adjacent to the meandering Salinas River in the heart of the "salad basket" region of California. The mission has been flooded and rebuilt numerous times.

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Taken on April 1, 2012