Portola Expedition: Sunday, November 5, 1769

To Campsite, now under Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir
California Historical Landmark No. 94

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Gaspar de Portolá


We travelled for four hours part of the way on a bad road and the remainder through a level canyon. Before us extended a great arm of the sea, sixteen to twenty leagues in extent, which the pioneers said formed a sheltered port with two islands in the middle. We halted without water.

Miguel Costansó


We followed the coast of the estuary, although we did not see it because we were separated from it by the low hills of the canyon which we were following in a south-southeasterly direction. We travelled for three leagues. The country was pleasant. The hills west of the canyon were crowned with savins, low live-oaks, and other smaller trees. There was sufficient pasture. We halted on the bank of a stream of good water. Some of the natives were seen; they invited us to go to their villages, and offered us their presents of seeds and fruits.

Fray Juan Crespi


After we had celebrated and all had heard Mass, orders were given to march, and we set out about nine in the morning, which was very cloudy. We traveled in a southerly direction along the edge of the estuary, but without seeing it, as we were prevented by the hills of the valley which we were following. On the right hand we had delightful mountains, with many groves of live oaks and redwoods. We traveled four hours and a half, in which we must have made three and a half leagues, and halted near a lake formed by an arroyo of good water, with unlimited pasture and numberless geese in the same valley, in which there have been seen many tracks of large animals, which they say are bears or buffalo. Many deer have been seen in herds, and the explorers declare they saw a band of fifty of them in this place. Shortly before we left three very gentle heathen came to visit us; they came as envoys from their respective villages to invite us to go and camp with them, and they brought us their present of black tamales and a little fruit like a plum. Their gifts were returned with some beads, and they went on with us. In these last two days' marches may madronos have been found, and although the fruit is smaller than that of Spain it is of the same species.


November 4 To Discovery site on Sweeney Ridge
November 6 To San Francisquito Creek in Menlo Park
Portola Expedition 1769 Diaries