Friday, October 7, 2011

Portola Trail Campsite

Los Angeles County -  July 28, 1997

We leave Mendocino County and travel south for a return to the chronological excursion through the state historical landmarks in Los Angeles County. There are so many that it was nice to get away. So far we’ve covered 36, wrote an album of songs, and have 55 remaining, so a few more side trips to other regions and counties are likely before these accounts are complete.

This Sunday outing appears to be a loose slap happy day trip around Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills with no apparent attempt to maximize landmarks or minimize driving. Some of these landmarks were revisited in 2009, for many of the LA County landmark sites and plaques were photographed back in 1997 with imaginary film in the Canon AE-1. 

As we turn off Broadway to Elysian Park Drive, the landmark plaque mounted on a rock sits on the hill just in front of the white swinging security gate to the part. This is one of two Portola campsite landmarks in LA, the other being in Beverly Hills, and one of many throughout the state commemorating the expedition.

Fearing occupation of Alta California by the English (Americans) or the Russians, Spain, in 1767 sought to expand colonies and missions up the west coast from San Diego to Monterey. Ships began arriving in San Diego bay in 1769 and in July of that year Portola, along with 63 soldiers, 100 mules, priests, and gear, headed north. After camping here at these two LA County sites, they headed down Wilshire Blvd. to Santa Monica, and north from there. Wearing leather jackets, the soldiers traveled light compared to the metal armor of earlier expeditions of Coronado’s time.    

Plaque inscription: NO. 655 PORTOLÁ TRAIL CAMPSITE (I) - Spanish colonization of California began in 1769 with the expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá from Mexico. With Captain Don Fernando Rivera v Moncada, Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, Sgt. José Francisco Ortega, and Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gómez, he and his party camped near this spot on August 2, 1769, en route to Monterey.
Location: Elysian Park entrance, NW corner of N Broadway and Elysian Park Dr, Los Angeles
GPS: 34.071858,-118.227332

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