Thursday, July 20, 1769
To Santa Margarita River.
California Registered Landmark - 1026 - Santa Margarita Ranch



Gaspar de Portol√°
The 20th, we proceeded for three hours, the entire way over hillocks and through a pleasant country. We halted in a canyon where there was much pasture and water. Here there came to our camp the inhabitants of village natives; we made presents of glass beads to all the women and children.

Miguel Costansó
We set out very early in the morning, following one of the canyons that terminated on the northern side of the valley of San Juan Capistrano. This canyon afterwards turned to the northeast, and, for this reason, we left it so as not to go out of our course. After passing some hills, we came into another spacious and pleasant canyon adorned with groves of trees and covered with pasture. The day's journey was two leagues. To this place we gave the name of Santa Margarita.The watering-place was ample; the water, fresh and good, stood in several pools; nevertheless within this same canyon there was a large pond of brackish water. The natives of the near-by villages, numbering about seventy persons of both sexes, immediately came to welcome us; we gave the women some glass beads and sent them away.

Fray Juan Crespi
We set out about seven in the morning, which dawned cloudy, and, taking the road straight to the north, we traveled by a valley about one league long, with good land, grassy, and full of alders. This passed, we ascended a little hill and entered upon some mesas covered with dry grass, in parts burned by the heathen for the purpose of hunting hares and rabbits, which live there in abundance. In some places there are clumps of wild prickly pear and some rosemary. A league and a half from the camping place we saw another beautiful green valley, well grown with alders and other smaller trees. On going down to it we saw a lagoon which the explorers said was salt water. We pitched camp in this valley near a pool of fresh water; the reason for stopping, although the march has only covered a league and a half, is because, since the departure from San Diego, we have had on the right a very high mountain range, and we are now apparently going to meet it, and it is necessary to explore it before crossing it, for it seems as though it is going to end on the beach. The pool of water, which I just saw, is more than a hundred varas in length, and its water is very clear and good. Besides this one the explorers say that lower in the arroyo from the north, there are some more pools, and that a good stream of water runs from them, and they have good lands on which crops might be raised by irrigation. According to this, the place is better suited for a town than the preceding. Because we arrived at this place on the day of Santa Margarita, we christened it with the name of this holy virgin and martyr.(1) As soon as we arrived the heathen of the village, and counting men, women and children, they made not less than sixty, who have their town on the same plain, came to the camp. We gave them presents of beads and sent them off.

(1) This camp and the next are commemorated in the name of Santa Margarita y Las Flores Rancho.

July 19 Day two at San Luis Rey River (SRL 239).
July 21 To Las Pulgas Canyon.