Thomas D. Murphy.

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in the valley. It is not strange that it is a popular resort, and a
well-engineered road leads up its slopes. The grades are fairly heavy—up
to fifteen per cent; there are many "hairpin" curves and the road often
runs along precipitous declivities. It is, however, nearly everywhere
wide enough for vehicles to pass and presents no difficulties to a
careful driver.

For some distance after leaving the hot springs we followed a clear
mountain stream through a wooded canyon. From this we emerged into
the open, ascending the mountain slopes in sharp upward zig-zags. We
had many magnificent views of the wide plain beneath, with its orange
groves, ranch-houses, towns and villages, intersected by the sinuous
white line of the river washes. Frequently there was scarce a shrub
between the road and a sheer precipice—a downward glance gave some
of our passengers a squeamish feeling, which, after all, was purely a
psychological phenomenon, for with ordinary care the ascent is as safe
as a drive on a boulevard. The day was warm and the engine sizzled a
good deal, but, fortunately, there are means of replenishing the water
at frequent intervals. Near the summit there was much fine forest,
though some of it was badly injured by the big fire of 1910.

A winding drive along the crest for a mile or two brought us to Squirrel
Inn—a rustic lodge named from Frank Stockton's story—the property of a
San Bernardino club. Through the courtesy of a friend we had luncheon
here and admired the fine situation at our leisure. The lodge, built
of logs and stones, is surrounded by pines and firs, and near it are
vantage points for wide views over the valley. Among the mementos
of the inn is an autograph letter from Mr. Stockton, expressing his
appreciation of the compliment offered in the name. In the vicinity are
a number of cottages which are in great demand by local people during
the heated season, for the summer is hot in the valley, sometimes
reaching one hundred or even one hundred and ten degrees in the daytime,
though invariably cool nights greatly relieve the situation.

The Arrowhead Road, which Californians are fond of designating as "The
Rim of the World Drive" continues from Squirrel Inn to Big Bear Lake,
a distance of about twenty miles. It winds through magnificent pines,
which fortunately escaped the conflagration, and just beyond Strawberry
Flats a detour of a few miles takes us to Arrowhead Lake, an artificial
reservoir about a mile in diameter, surrounded by pines which crowd
almost to the water's edge. The road winds through these around the
pretty little lake, which gives slight hint of its artificiality. It is
famous for its trout and being some twelve hundred feet lower than Big
Bear, is usually accessible much earlier in the season. Returning to the
main road, we pursue our way along the mountain crests, soon crossing
Strawberry Peak, the hoary patriarch of the range. We pass out of the
pine forest into a denuded section where the ravages of the axe are
sadly apparent, with every evidence of the wanton waste that destroys
with no thought of the future. At Green Valley the road begins to rise
rapidly and passes some of the finest scenery of the trip. There are
points where one's vision reaches over the orange-grove studded plain
to the ocean, a hundred miles away, or turning eastward sweeps over the
dun stretches of the Mohave Desert.

Coming in sight of the lake, we realize that though in common parlance
it is only a dam, it is none the less a beautiful and very respectable
body of water. In contemplating its rugged natural surroundings and
the splendid groves of pines that line its shores, we quite forget
that it is man-made; it seems almost as much a child of the ages
as Klamath or Tahoe. It is six or seven miles long, with an average
width of almost a mile and in places it attains considerable depth.
It is usually snowbound from December to May, though of course this
varies considerably. The road executes a sharp turn around the eastern
extremity of the lake and just beyond the bend are located the various
camps and cabins that furnish quarters for the tourists, vacationists
and fishermen who visit Bear Lake in great force during the summer
season. There are also numerous privately owned summer cottages,
belonging principally to Los Angeles business men. The lake is well
stocked with fish and record catches are often reported early in the
season.

The return trip of the "Rim of the World Drive" is made by the way of
Santa Ana and Mill Creek Canyons over a road which has been greatly
improved in the last few years but which still furnishes plenty of
thrills for any but the most seasoned mountain driver. The highest point
attained, 7950 feet, is opposite the western extremity of the lake and
an inspiring panorama spreads out beneath Lookout Point, near the summit
of the range. The road descends rapidly from this point in a series of
"switch-backs" which require extreme vigilance on part of the driver.
From Clark's Ranch the descent is easier, ending in the long smooth
stretches of Mill Creek Canyon road. It was on this road, as mentioned
elsewhere, that we made our record "coast" of seven and one-half miles.
Big Bear Valley may also be reached from Victorville, crossing the range
over the El Cajon Pass. This road is open practically the year round and
affords access to the lake when the Arrowhead route is closed by snow.
Stages make the "Rim of the World" trip regularly during the summer and
if one does not care to pilot his own car he can still make the journey
easily and comfortably as a passenger in one of these vehicles.

Riverside is one of the Meccas of California which every tourist must
visit, and if he does not care to pay the price at the Glenwood Mission
Inn, he is bound to find some excuse for dropping into this unique and
delightful hotel, just to say he has been there. One visit will not
suffice for many people; in the course of our three springtime sojourns
in California we gravitated to Riverside a dozen times or more, often
going out of our way to pass the night at the Glenwood. On our first
trip we followed the Crest road from Redlands and enjoyed another fine
view of the valley with its towns and encircling mountains from the
grade which crosses the hills northeast of Highgrove.

Riverside we found a clean, handsome town with wide, well-paved streets
bordered with trees, and lawns and gardens bright with flowers and
palms. Within its limits are one hundred and sixty miles of graded
streets, a large part of which is paved or macadamized, while out
of the town are two of the most famous drives in California—Magnolia
and Victoria Avenues. The former, bordered with double rows of pepper
trees—there are a few magnolias among them—under which were mammoth rose
bushes in full bloom, was lovely beyond description. It passes Sherman
Institute, a government Indian school, where the rising generation of
red men—and ladies, for that matter—are being trained in the ways of
civilization. Surely, the location and surroundings are nearly ideal,
and the whole institution seemed like a far echo of mission days, for
the buildings are mainly of mission type and the students—neophytes?—are
educated in arts and crafts; but the padres are supplanted by Uncle
Sam's trained teachers.

There are many other drives about the town, which is almost completely
surrounded by orange groves, and one may see all phases of the
orange-producing industry if he has the time and inclination. The first
naval oranges were developed here and the parent tree still flourishes,
hale and green, in the court of the Mission Inn.

But whatever the visiting motorist at Riverside may elect to do, he will
probably place first on his program the ascent of Rubidoux Mountain.
This is a rugged hill to the west of the town which commands a wide
view of the surrounding valley and whose summit may be reached by one
of the easiest mountain roads in California. It ascends in long loops,
following the edge of the hill, and a separate road provides for the
descent, thus avoiding the annoyance and danger of passing on the
grades. So easy is the ascent that a powerful car can jog upward most
of the way on "high," though care must be taken in rounding the frequent
loops.

From the boulder-strewn summit the view of the semi-tropical valley
beneath will hardly be surpassed, even in California. The dominant note
is the shimmering bronze-green of the orange groves, which surround the
mountain on every hand. It is broken here and there by emerald-green
alfalfa fields and by frequent towns and villages. Around the valley
sweeps a wide circle of snow-capped peaks whose rugged outlines are
softened by the blue haze of distance. Just below lies Riverside, half
hidden in palms and pepper trees, with here and there a dash of color
from the masses of flowers; San Bernardino is plain in the distance,
while a little to the right, Redlands nestles at the foot of the
mountains. Through the center of the valley runs the wide sandy bed of
the Santa Ana River, with a gleaming thread of water coursing through
it.

It was the conservation of this river and other mountain streams that
has had everything to do with the beautiful and prosperous scene beneath
us. It is indeed difficult to conceive that fifty years ago this green,
thriving plain was an arid desert, but such has been the history of
more than one prosperous locality in California, and in the future many
other seeming deserts will burst into bloom under the magical touch of
water. Much of the water in the valley comes from artesian wells and
when these began to fail from increasing demands, it occurred to some
resourceful mind to divert water from the river during the flood time to
the vicinity of the wells. Sinking into the earth, it greatly augmented
the subterranean supply and it is hoped in the future to conserve the
surplus water in this way.

On the highest point of the mountain stands a tall cross with a tablet
to the memory of Father Serra, and a huge bell has been erected on one
of the boulders as a memento of California mission days. On Easter
morning a large part of the population of Riverside repairs to the
summit of the mountain to join in an open-air song-service as the sun
rises. On this occasion the winding drive, as well as the parking-place,
is lined with hundreds of cars, showing how completely the automobile
has become the accepted means of transportation in Sunset-land.

More recently, however, the crowds have so increased—fifteen to
twenty thousand people attending the services—that parking on the
road or mountaintop is prohibited. The cars must quickly discharge
their passengers at the summit and immediately descend. Many people,
therefore, make the ascent on foot.

The time has slipped away rapidly while we have been admiring the
prospect from Mount Rubidoux or clambering over the huge boulders to
get vantage points for our camera. Luncheon hour is at hand and with
pleasant anticipations we glide down the winding descent and through the
broad streets to Frank Miller's Mission Inn, of which we have heard so
much and—I may say—expect so much. After this and many subsequent visits
to this unique hotel we can frankly say that our expectations have been
more than fulfilled; it would be hard from any description that one
might read or hear to get any true conception of this charming retreat
for the discriminating tourist. Standing as it does in the business part
of the city and being confined to a single block, one can not conceive
of the air of quiet and restfulness with which Mr. Miller has invested
his delightful inn. Once past its arched portals it seems as if we have
entered some secluded retreat miles and miles away from the turmoil of
the workaday world. Our car is left in the court with a dozen others
and we are welcomed as though we were expected guests.

Our rooms are on the second floor, for the Glenwood is no sky-scraper.
Everything is plain but substantial and homelike, a basket of California
fruit stands invitingly on the table. The lattice windows open upon
a little balcony above the court, with its flowers, climbing vines,
palms and orange trees; in the center is the quaint adobe tea-house,
and around it run corridors reminiscent of mission cloisters. It
is a cool, pleasant retreat, quite atoning for the absence of large
grounds surrounding the hotel. Luncheon is served by young women in
spotless attire; I like the girl waiters of the California resort
hotels—Coronado, Del Mar, Del Monte, Santa Barbara, and Riverside—they
are more attentive, prompter, and pleasanter to look upon than their
brothers of the greasy tuxedo in evidence in so many hotel dining-rooms.

One does not find the time hanging heavily upon his hands at the Mission
Inn. It will be long ere he has explored the interior of the great
rambling building to his satisfaction, from the curious collection
of bells on the roof to the dim mysteries of the cloistered chapel.
A building so redolent of the ancient missions would of course be
incomplete and unsatisfying without its chapel, and most fittingly
has Frank Miller supplied this need. A large, dimly lighted apartment
with heavily beamed ceiling, high oaken pews, and antique chairs; with
stained-glass windows and figures of saints and prophets and supplied
with a magnificent organ, is certainly an ideal chapel for the Mission
Inn. Its principal window, "St. Cecilia," is a Tiffany masterpiece, but
even more appropriate seem the huge sepia-brown photo-graven negatives
of western wonders of forest, mountain and stream. Here we delighted
to linger, listening to the musical recitals which occupy a good part
of the afternoon and inspecting the costly furniture, rugs and curios
which form a part of a collection from all over the world. Some of these
were "For Sale," at figures well beyond the reach of common persons
like ourselves; but there is a little shop just off the chapel with a
stock of books, pictures, and Indian work, in basketry, and trinkets
of silver and bronze, where a modest purse has a fair show. From this
one can wander away into subterranean apartments furnished like a dream
of old Spain and lighted with the subdued glow of many-colored lamps.
Altogether, it is strangely romantic and effective; it has an oriental
savor as well as the atmosphere of mission days.

The collection of bells in a nook on the roof always interests the
guests and you can hear the mellow notes at all times of the day.
There are bells from California missions, bells from old England, bells
from Spain, bells from China and Japan—and Heaven only knows from what
other corners of the earth. There are antique bells, hundreds of years
old, and bells with queer histories. Altogether, it is a remarkable
collection and in keeping with the characteristics of the inn.

If one grows weary of indoors, the court invites him to muse amidst its
semi-tropical trees and flowers, to lounge in the vine-laden pergolas,
or to wander through the long vistas of arched arcades, listening to
the murmuring of fountains and warbling of the birds. He will catch
glimpses of Moorish towers against the blue sky and with the chiming of
the vesper bells one might indeed imagine himself in one of the old-time
missions—Santa Barbara, San Juan Bautista, San Antonio—a hundred years
ago.

A notable new addition was completed in 1915, containing many de luxe
suites and a remarkable picture gallery, a replica of a hall from a
grand old Spanish palace. The ceiling is unique, being formed by loosely
hung folds of cloth of gold. The walls are decorated with notable
paintings, ancient and modern, and many interesting objects of art are
scattered about. It is a notable apartment in which one might spend
hours and yet wish to come again. This addition is constructed of steel
and concrete, making it absolutely fire-proof.

On one of our later visits I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance
of Mr. Frank Miller, the Master of the famous Inn, and to learn from
him personally something of the founding and progress of this unique
institution. His father came to Riverside when the surrounding country
was a cactus-studded desert and was a pioneer in shaping the marvelous
development which we see to-day. The Millers, among other enterprises,
kept a small tavern, the Glenwood Inn, which was the precursor of the
great establishment of to-day. No one who knows Frank Miller will wonder
that he has achieved such great success; he is a perfect dynamo—full
of energy, keen, alert, with a remarkable quickness of decision which
enables him to rapidly dispose of the multitude of details that come
to his attention daily and he seldom makes an error in such cases. He
has been most fortunate in choice of his aides, it is true, but that
only exhibits another side of his genius. Elbert Hubbard's dictum that
"every great institution is the lengthened shadow of some man" is surely
exemplified in the instance of Frank Miller and his Riverside Mission
Inn.

We find enough to detain us for several days in the vicinity of
Riverside. One should not miss the charming town of Redlands, over
towards the mountains, and it may be viewed from Smiley Heights,
overlooking the low foothills on which the town stands. These gardens
are ornamented with all manner of flowers and semi-tropical trees
and intersected by a splendid drive which wends its sinuous course
along the hill-crest on which they are situated. They are lovingly and
scrupulously cared for by the owners, and thrown open to visitors as
freely as a public park. Not only the gardens are worth a visit, but
the view from the heights is an inspiring one. Just below lies the
beautiful town with green foothills beyond, dotted here and there with
cultivated fields. Above these, seemingly very near, the mightiest of
the southern Sierras fling their gleaming summits into the deep azure
of the heavens. Indeed, it seems as if I may have already wearied my
reader with mountain-top views—though my book is only begun. But, after
all, the best part of a motor tour of California is the series of wide
visions from hills and mountains, glorious and inspiring beyond any
description; if my random notes shall induce others, even though but
few, to a like pilgrimage, it is enough!

Redlands is the home of many wealthy people and there are several
pretentious residences near the entrance to Smiley Heights. In this
regard it easily surpasses the better-known Riverside—and Riverside may
thank the Mission Inn for its wider fame. On a hill near the Heights
is an unfinished residence—begun on an immense scale by a copper
magnate—which was to surpass in size and glory everything else in the
whole section. The ambitious builder failed in business when the work
was about half done. It stands in pathetic ruin and neglect and no one
else has cared to undertake the completion of the pretentious structure.

Near Redlands is the village of Highlands, where a famous brand of
oranges is packed, and through the courtesy of a mutual friend we were
admitted to the establishment, which handles several carloads of fruit
daily. Here we saw the operations of grading and sorting the oranges,
which is done mainly by automatic machinery. The baskets are emptied
into hoppers and the oranges forced along a channel with holes of
different size through which the fruit falls according to bulk. In this
way boxes are filled with nearly uniform sizes. The boxes are made by
a wonderful machine which assembles the boards and drives the nails at
a single operation. We found the highest grade of oranges remarkably
cheap at the packing house—less than half the price we paid at home for
a poorer quality.

The most direct inland route from Los Angeles to San Diego is by the way
of Pomona, Corona and Elsinore, but those who do not care to drive the
two hundred or more miles in a day will break the journey at Riverside,
and it was from Riverside that we started on this glorious mountain
trip. A few miles southeast of the town—following Eighth Street—the
smooth white road swings over the easy stretches of Box Springs grade
through undulating hills to Perris, and from thence through the wide
valley to Elsinore, in all, a distance of about thirty miles. This
is the route of the state highway and by now the road is doubtless
near perfection—though much of it was rough and stony when we first
traversed it. But what an inspiring jaunt we found it on that bright
May day! Far away rose the silvery summits—among them San Gorgonio and
San Jacinto, the highest peaks in Southern California—and nearer at
hand the undulating outlines of the green foothills. Green is only the
prevailing tone, however, for the hills and valley are splotched and
spangled with every color of the rainbow. In yonder low-lying meadow
are lakes of living blue and white; on yonder hillside flame acres of
the burning gold of the California poppies and beneath them a wide belt
of primrose yellow. What an entrancing view there was from some of the
hill-crests!—wonderful vistas that will linger with us so long as life
shall last. Out beyond the vivid belts of color that dash the green
hills lies an indefinite ocean of mountain ranges, fading gradually
away into a deep purple haze. Here and there some glittering peak rises
like a fairy island in this ill-defined sea, crowning and dominating
everything. Not less entrancing is the scene near at hand. Along the
road gleam many strange blooms which I wish I were botanist enough to
name. We knew the brilliant red Indian paint-brush and the orange-gold
poppy, but that was about all. A hundred other varieties of blossoms
smiled on us from the roadside, but though the impression of their
beauty still lingers, they must remain unnamed. In all this country
there is but little cultivated land and habitations are few and far
between. Probably the short water supply and the fact that it is often
quite cold in winter will preclude profitable farming to any extent.

Elsinore is a quiet little town deep in the hills, situated on
Lake Elsinore—the only natural lake of any consequence in Southern
California. This is an exceedingly variable body of water, a difference
of sixteen feet being recorded in its levels, and at the time of our
visit a prolonged drouth had reduced it to the minimum. There are
numerous hot springs in the vicinity and these are doubtless responsible
for the several hotels—the Elsinore, Bundy and Lakeview—which advertise
the advantages of the locality as a health resort. Duck shooting on the
lake also brings wayfarers during the hunting season.

On our first visit to the town we stopped there for luncheon and have
no very pleasant recollections of our repast; the next time we ran
through Elsinore we brought our lunch from Riverside and ate it in a
shady nook by the roadside, making comparisons to the disadvantage of
hotels in general. In fact, we became more and more partial to such
open-air luncheons while knocking about the highroads of California. It
saved time and money and had such a delightful flavor from the great
glorious out-of-doors in this favored clime. We never failed to find
a pleasant spot—by a clear stream or under a great oak or sycamore—and
we can heartily commend the practice of carrying a lunch basket and a
couple of thermos bottles filled with hot coffee while touring.

On another occasion we followed the road which leads around the lake
and found the side opposite the town by far the most beautiful. Here
is a fine tract of farm land with many olive groves and peach orchards,
some of which run down to the rippling water which gleamed through the
serried trunks as we coursed along. A large olive-oil mill indicated
one of the chief industries of the community. The road is level and
well improved and the run will delight anyone who has the opportunity
of making it.

Out of Elsinore the San Diego road strikes straight away to the
southeast for a good many miles. Here we are reminded that we are in the
Ramona country, for the little village of Temecula figures in the book.
Here is supposed to have been the home of the Indian hero, Alessandro,
who returns after his elopement with Ramona to find his people driven
out and his own humble cottage occupied by a drunken American and his
family.

There is little now in Temecula but a general store, whose proprietor is
an expert on Indian baskets, of which he had a really fine collection.
We especially admired some examples of the work of the Pala Indians,
but the prices asked by the shopkeeper were not so much to our liking.



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