Tuesday, July 18, 1769
To San Luis Rey River (SRL 239).



Gaspar de Portol√°
The 18th, we proceeded for three hours, the greater part of the way through a pleasant country, and halted in a most inviting valley where there was very much pasture and water. Here we rested for one day; over two hundred natives came to our camp.

Miguel Costansó
The watering-place found by the scouts was a little more than two leagues from Santa Sinforosa, a distance that we covered in the afternoon. The country over which we passed was also hilly. The place where we halted was exceedingly beautiful and pleasant, a valley remarkable for its size, adorned with groves of trees, and covered with the finest pasture. It must have been nearly a league wide, and different canyons opened into it on the north and northeast. The watering-place consisted of a pool or marsh of considerable extent. We camped on a rising ground within the same valley, towards the west. To the valley we gave the name of San Juan Capistrano. The Indians in the neighborhood, warned of our coming, came out to meet us, so confident, it seemed, and certain of our friendship that they brought all their women. The captains or caciques made their usual speeches to us.

Fray Juan Crespi
A little after three in the afternoon we set out to the north. We climbed a hill of good soil, all covered with grass, and then went on over hills of the same kind of land and pasture. We must have traveled about two short leagues, when we descended to a large and beautiful valley, so green that it seemed to us that it had been planted. We crossed it straight to the north and pitched camp near a large pool of water, one of several in the plain. At the extremities or ends of the plain there are two large villages.

Soon after our arrival the heathen came to visit us. There were more than forty Indians, naked and painted from head to foot in several colors, which is their usual custom when they go visiting or to war. They all came armed with bows and arrows, and their chief made the accustomed harangue. When it was concluded they threw their arms on the ground and sat down near us. The governor took out some beads, and, giving half of them to me, requested that we two should distribute them among the Indians. They gave the governor a present of a few fish nets made of thread that they make out of some fiber which, when it is spun, looks like raw hemp. Behind the men followed the women and children, who numbered more than fifty, but they did not dare to come near. We made signs to them not to be afraid, and after one of the heathen spoke to them they came at once, and we gave them also presents of beads.

The women were modestly covered, wearing in front an apron of threads woven together which came to the knees, and a deerskin behind. To cover the breasts they wear little capes made of hare and rabbit skins, of which they make strips and twist them like rope. They sew these strips together, to protect them from the cold as well as for covering for modesty's sake. Most of the women go clothed in the same manner, but all the men go as naked as Adam in Paradise before he sinned, and they did not feel the least shame in presenting themselves before us, nor did they make any movement to cover themselves, just as though the clothing given them by nature were some fine garment.

This valley must be about two leagues long from northeast to southwest, and about half a league wide in the narrowest place. To the southwest it ends on the beach, which must be about half a league distant from the camp, although there is a hill which prevents us from seeing the ocean. We found no running water, although we saw three arroyos which are dry and apparently run only when it rains. There are, indeed, pools of good water, with tules on the banks. The valley is all green with good grass, and has many wild grapes, and one sees some spots that resemble vineyards. I gave this valley the name of San Juan Capistrano, for a mission,(1) so that this glorious saint, who in life converted so many souls, may pray God in heaven for the conversion of these poor heathen. Next morning the Indians came back, and my companion, taking up the image of the Holy Christ, spoke to them by signs about God and Jesus Christ crucified, and about heaven and hell, and they showed that they understood some of it, and looked remorseful and sighed. But, although they saw that the two fathers, the commander, and all the officers venerated the images of Christ, and we told them to do the same, and with this object raised it to their mouths, they were never willing to kiss it, but drew back and pushed it away with their hands. But this was attributed to their lack of knowledge and their failure to understand what we told them. I observed the latitude and it was thirty-three degrees and six minutes. The march from the last place covered about two short leagues.

(1) San Luis Rey Mission was founded near the site several years later.

July 17 To Buena Vista Creek, northeast of Carlsbad.
July 19 Day two at San Luis Rey River (SRL 239).