Wednesday, September 20, 1769
To Los Burros Creek, Santa Lucia Mountains.



Gaspar de Portolá
The 20th, we marched for four hours over mountains which, as I say, are very high. All the way, a path had to be opened; the most laborious part being to clear the many rough places full of brambles. The account of Cabrera Bueno has good reason for describing the Sierra de Santa Lucia as being so high, rugged, and massive. We inferred that we could not possibly find any greater range as this was twenty leagues long and sixteen wide. We halted in a gorge where there was little water and pasture; here about four hundred natives came to our camp.

Miguel Costans├│
Early in the morning we set out and began to ascend a very rough slope. We afterwards proceeded along the side of a narrow and deep canyon, which contained running water. We descended into the canyon, crossed the stream two or three times that runs through it, the canyon was somewhat wider at this place and again ascended a very long slope. From the top of the hill we commanded the mountain range, which extended in all directions, without seeing its end on any side, a sad outlook for these poor travelers, tired and worn out by the fatigue of the journey, by the task of clearing rough passages and breaking roads through hills, woods, dunes, and swamps. The cold began to be felt; we had already many soldiers afflicted with scurvy and rendered incapable of service, the toil of which increased for those who remained on their feet. We covered two leagues on this day's march, and halted in a small and exceedingly narrow canyon in which we hardly found room enough for our camp. The watering-place was small; the water stood in pools; the pasture was extremely scarce. There were three bands of Indians in the immediate neighborhood, wandering people without either house or home. At this time they were engaged in collecting pine nuts, which the many trees of these mountains yield in abundance. The scouts, who had set out in the afternoon to explore the country, returned with news of having seen a water course, and a canyon, convenient for the removal of our camp, having sufficient pasture for the horses, which were in great need of it. They likewise told us that the range was somewhat more passable in the direction they followed to the east-northeast, although it was far from the course that was convenient for us to take. They assured us, however, that the country gave signs of being more easily traversed farther on in a better direction.

Fray Juan Crespi
About half-past six we set out from the camping place, and immediately began to ascend a long steep acclivity. Afterwards we went on by the slope of a valley, narrow and deep, which has running water. We went down to it and crossed the arroyo two or three times in the me valley, which we found now wider, and we again climbed a very long steep. When we reached the top of it we rose above the whole range, which extends in all four directions, without an end to be seen on any side. It was a sad spectacle for poor travelers, tired and worn out by the fatigue of a long journey, by the labor of leveling bad spots, and of opening roads through hills, woods, sand dunes, and swamps. They now began to feel the cold, and some of the soldiers were also afflicted with the scurvy and incapacitated for work, by which the labor was made harder for the rest. All these considerations were such as to oppress our hearts, but, remembering the object to which these labors were directed, which was the greater glory of God in the conversion of souls, and the service of the king, whose dominions would be extended by this expedition, all took courage to work with pleasure, over which we rejoiced exceedingly, blessing our God and Lord and supplicating him to grant health to everybody and success to the expedition, naming as intercessor our patron, the most holy patriarch San Jose. We traveled this day five hours, covering two leagues, and stopped in the same mountains in a little valley, exceedingly narrow, so that there was scarcely room to form the camp. We found there three villages of heathen, who were harvesting pine nuts. They had their houses not far from the camp, from what they said, and they showed themselves to be agreeable and lively. The explorers came back in the afternoon and reported that while making the exploration with more care they had seen not far from there another spot better suited for the camp, and the commander decided that in the morning we should go there. They named this place Camp of Pin ones, on account of the abundance of pine nuts, and the large number that the Indians gave us. The gift was returned with beads.


September 19 Day three at Wagner Creek, Santa Lucia Mountains.
September 21 To Nacimiento River.