Pacifica, CA -- Captain Gaspar de Portolá and his expedition, consisting of 64 people, set out from San Diego, made their way to Monterey, and then arrived at Sweeney Ridge near the San Francisco International Airport. On that hilltop, they discovered the largest estuary on the Western Coast of the United States.
Expedition engineer Miguel Costansó wrote in his journal:
“From the summit of this range we saw the magnificent estuary, which stretched toward the southeast. The country was pleasant. The hills west of the canyon were crowned with low live oaks, smaller trees. There was sufficient pasture. We halted on the bank of a stream of good water. Some…natives…invite us to go to their villages, and offered us present of seeds and fruits.”