“St. Matthew’s Land,” Part II by Coastside Artist Galen Wolf
On the riders’ left hand rose the blue and misty ridge of a wooded range. Beyond the ridge lay the sea.
The salt smell of marshes and the glint of a great bay was to their right. Brown frocked Franciscan brothers rode the mules. Ragged and patch Indians accompanied them.
The cavalcade camped at the creek of San Francisquito, and again at a stream that emerged from low hills and flowed through the present San Mateo. They passed on to the founding of Dolores Mission.
It was a peninsula over which the riders travelled. It had the joy and excitement that waters bring to a land.
No one could forget that across the world wide sea lay the Tropic Isles, China and Japan. In its deeps lived huge whale and myriads of fish. Men lived here that set forth to sea for adventure and livelihood.
Captains built high white houses. Fishermen assembled huts of beach drift.
Hills ran like a spine the length of this land. They were blue with forest and with haze. In the midst of a taming land they remained wild. With their deer, bear and panther, their turbulent lumber camps, with creeks cool in fern choked canyons, they were a remote island between two growing populations.
…to be continued…