Thursday, September 7, 1769
To the vicinity of Los Osos schoolhouse, west of San Luis Obispo.



Gaspar de Portol√°
We proceeded for five hours; part of the way was over hills and the remainder through a canyon in which we saw from fourteen to sixteen bears together, some of which we killed. We stopped in a gully where there was sufficient water and pasture.

Miguel Costansó
We left the canyon, passing over high steep hills. The bad road continued for more than three leagues, until we descended to another extensive canyon containing many pools of water, in which the horses could not drink because the banks were very miry. This compelled us to prolong the day's march as far as a stream of very good water which we found on our way a league farther on; we pitched our camp on its banks. In this canyon we saw troops of bears; they had the land plowed up and full of the holes which they make in searching for the roots they live on, which the land produces. The natives also use these roots for food, and there are some of a good relish and taste. Some of the soldiers, attracted by the chase because they had been successful on two other occasions, mounted their horses, and this time succeeded in shooting one. They, however, experienced the fierceness and anger of these animals when they feel themselves to be wounded, headlong they charge the hunter, who can only escape by the swiftness of his horse, for the first burst of speed is more rapid than one might expect from the bulk and awkwardness of such brutes. Their endurance and strength are not easily overcome, and only the sure aim of the hunter, or the good fortune of hitting them in the head or heart, can lay them low at the first shot. The one they succeeded in killing received nine bullet wounds before it fell, and this did not happen until they hit him in the head. Other soldiers mounted on mules had the boldness to fight one of these animals. They fired at him seven or eight times and, doubtless, he died from the wounds, but he maimed two of the mules and, by good fortune, the men who were mounted upon them extricated themselves. The canyon was given the name of Los Osos.

Fray Juan Crespi
We set out at half-past six, by a bad road, over high, steep hills, which lasted more than three leagues, until we descended to another spacious valley, with many lagoons of fresh water, from which the animals could not drink because the banks were so miry. This made it necessary to march to an arroyo of good water a league farther down on whose banks we camped. In this valley we saw troops of bears, which kept the ground plowed up and full of holes which they make searching for roots which constitute their food, and on which the heathen also live, for there are some which have a very good flavor and taste. The soldiers went out to hunt and succeeded in killing one with bullets, in doing which they learned the ferocity of these animals. When they feel themselves wounded they attack the hunter at full speed, and he can only escape by the dexterity of his horse. They do not yield until they get a shot in the head or the heart. This one that they killed received nine balls before he fell, which did not happen until one struck him in the head. Some of the soldiers were fearless enough to chase one of these animals mounted on poor beasts. They fired seven or eight shots, and I have no doubt he would die from the balls; but the bear upset two of the mules, and it was only by good fortune that the two mounted on them escaped with their lives. This valley they named Los Osos, and I called it La Natividad de Nuestra Senora.


September 6 Day two at Gragg Canyon.
September 8 To or near the mouth of Chorro Creek, at Morro Bay State Park (Morro Rock, SRL 821).