Sunday, October 8, 1769
To the Pajaro River, east of Watsonville.


12PajaroRiverNearWatsonville.jpg

Gaspar de Portolá
We proceeded for four hours, constantly avoiding the marshes and swamps. Here there was an Indian village, according to the report of the pioneers; but, when the entire expedition reached the place, the inhabitants fled. We rested the 9th.

Miguel Costansó
We continued our way over hills that were higher than those we were leaving behind; in every depression of the land there was a pond of greater or lesser extent, which obliged us to make many circuits. After marching for four leagues we arrived at the village of which the scouts had given us information; contrary to our expectations, we found it deserted, for on leaving the Laguna de las Grullas we saw, near the camp, arrows and darts stuck in the ground, and at the foot of them some shell-fish which the Indians, without allowing themselves to be seen, had placed there during the afternoon or evening of the preceding day. These signs of peace convinced us that they would allow us to meet and become friendly with them in their village; but the suspicion and fear of these barbarians caused them to desert it. This circumstance we all regretted, as we needed them greatly chiefly to obtain information in regard to the country, and to accompany the scouts in their explorations, from which we hitherto derived great advantage. We pitched our camp on the bank of the river discovered by the scouts, not far from the village which stood near the river bottom. This was verdant and pleasant, covered with poplars, alders, and tall white oaks, live-oaks, and another kind of tree that we did not know. Here we saw a bird that the natives had killed and stuffed with grass; it appeared to be a royal eagle; it was eleven palms from tip to tip of its wings. On account of this find we called the river the Río del Pájaro.

Fray Juan Crespi
After Mass we administered the holy viaticum to the sick man of last night, and to another who had also become worse, and today the latter likewise received the holy oils, nevertheless they are continuing the journey on litters which have been made for them. In the same way nine more are going who are almost crippled with the same disease, the scurvy, although not so badly as the two mentioned. After this tender and devout ceremony we left the place about eight in the morning, going north through hills higher than the preceding. At each bay formed by the land there was a lagoon of greater or lesser magnitude, which made it necessary for us to make many detours. After traveling five hours, covering four leagues, we came to the large village which the explorers had told us about. We found it abandoned, contrary to our expectations; for when we set out from the lake of Santa Brigida de las Grullas, we saw near the camping place several arrows and little darts thrust in the ground, with some mussels at their feet, which the Indians, either in the afternoon or the night of the preceding day, had fixed in that spot without allowing us to see them. These signs of peace convinced us that we should find them friendly, and that they would allow us to treat with them at their village, but the fear of these poor creatures caused them to desert and burn it as we found it. We all regretted this circumstance, because we need them greatly, especially to acquire information of the country, and to accompany the explorers in their reconnoissance to find good camping places, and to serve as interpreters in the villages which are newly met with, so that they may not do what the others have done. We halted on the bank of the river which the explorers had discovered not far from the burned village, which was near its very verdant and pleasant plain, full of cottonwoods, alders, tall oaks, live oaks, and other species not known to us. We saw in this place a bird which the heathen had killed and stuffed with straw; to some of our party it looked like a royal eagle. It was measured from tip to tip of the wings and found to measure eleven spans. For this reason the soldiers called the stream Rio del Pajaro, and I added the name of La Senora Santa Ana. I could not make observations on account of the fog.


October 7 To Espinosa Lake, northwest of Salinas
October 9 Day two at Pajaro River.