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The Settings: 9 Pieces of Me

Alta California (Upper California), in the Province of Los Californios, New Spain was founded in 1769 by Governor Gaspar de Portolá, marked the northern frontier of the Spanish empire in the New World. The area comprised the modern state of California and other states to the east. Spain's rights began to be challenged by British and Russian fur traders and colonizers. Spain’s King Charles III of Spain sent a number of expeditions from Mexico into New Spain between 1769 and 1781 to counter this threat and defend Spanish territorial rights. During this period, Friar Father Junípero Serra, Franciscan Order, would establish 21 Spanish missions from San Diego to San Francisco.



In 1781, two expeditions set out for Alta California from northwest Mexico. Though the nearly 1,000 miles journey travelers endured hostile environments of barren deserts, wilderness, rationed food, water, supplies and smallpox, they could not have imagined that someday the areas they trekked for six months, such as the Sea of Corteś, San Diego and Baja California would become some of the best vacation areas in the state of California. As they raised the flag of Our Lady of the Angels over a small pueblo, El Pueblo de Nuestra la Reina de Los Angeles del Rip Pociúncula, the pueblo would soon become the City of Los Angeles, the largest cultural and economic center of the world.


Not a bad place to spin a yarn–especially if it involves the beautiful waters off the Baha and California coast, a fish-out-of-water character, and a mystery.


One of those expeditions included a poor farmer, Francisco Xavier Sepúlveda, who would become patriarch of the prominent Spanish Mexican Sepúlveda family and his descendants progenitors of two distinguished branches of the family in Southern California.


As I researched the trek and wrote the characters, I wanted you to see some of those areas they explored that became a small sampling of the wonders to be found in Southern California (Upper California), Baja California (Lower California) and northwest Mexico.


Rio Mayo

The Senora Desert

Sea of Corteś

Loreto, Baja California

King Snake, AKA Dinner

Turtles of Todos Santos, Baja