Sunday, July 30, 1769
To or near Bassett, on the San Gabriel River



Gaspar de Portol√°
We proceeded for four hours on a good road, with the exception of two very steep hills. We halted in a very large valley where there was much pasture and water. Here we had to construct a bridge to cross the gully. I consider this a good place for a mission.

Miguel Costansó
We left Los Ojitos, where there was another earthquake of no great violence, at half-past six in the morning. We crossed the plain in a northerly direction, steadily approaching the mountains. We ascended some hills which were quite rugged and high, afterwards we descended to a very extensive and pleasant valley where there was an abundance of water, part of it running in deep ditches, part of it standing so as to form marshes. This valley must be nearly three leagues in width and very much more in length. We pitched our camp near a ditch of running water, its banks covered with watercress and cumin. We gave this place the name of Valle de San Miguel. It is, perhaps, about four leagues from Los Ojitos. In the afternoon we felt another earthquake.

Fray Juan Crespi
After we two priests had celebrated Mass with all the people present, we started about seven and descended the hill, continuing to the north-northwest. We crossed the large plain, which has an extent of more than four leagues. To the west, far away, it seemed to communicate with the preceding valley, and in that direction some mountains were seen, with many trees at their base. Crossing the plain, we ascended a pass and entered a valley of very large live oaks and alders.(1) We then descended to a broad and spacious plain of fine black earth, with much grass, although we found it burned. After traveling for an hour through the valley, we came to an arroyo of water which flows among many green marshes, their banks covered with willows and grapes, blackberries, and innumerable Castilian rose bushes loaded with roses. In the midst of the verdure runs a good channel of water which when measured was found to have a volume of three quarters of a square yard. It runs along the foot of the mountains, and can be easily used to irrigate the large area of good land that the valley has. The valley has a length from north to south of about three leagues, and is surrounded by ranges of hills. The one to the north is very high and dark and has many corrugations, and seems to run farther to the west. The others are not so high and they run from east to west. The plain must be about six leagues long. We camped near the arroyo of running water, whose banks were covered with watercress of which we ate. This valley was named San Miguel Arcangel.(2) The camp is about four leagues from the former one, and that is the distance we have marched to-day. In the afternoon we felt another earthquake. I observed the latitude and found it to be thirty-three degrees and thirty-four minutes. In order to cross the arroyo it was necessary to make a bridge of poles,(3) because it was so miry.

(1) This nameless pass crosses the Puente Hills at their lowest point, from La Habra north to Rowland Heights. From there the party followed San Jose Creek west to the San Gabriel River. On the return journey, Portola stayed on the San Gabriel through Whittier Narrows past the Puente Hills before turning southeast toward the Santa Ana River.
(2) San Gabriel River now. Camp was near Bassett (Bolton)
(3) This area later became part of Rancho La Puente (The Bridge).

July 29 To La Brea Canyon, north of Fullerton.
July 31 To the North of the Whittier Narrows