In February, 1966 a group of adventurous desert explorers
lead by author Erle Stanley Gardner found a scraggly date palm, ruins of a
reservoir dam, rock walls, and more while opening a new trail south of
Bahia de los Angeles.
The only photographs taken at the site appeared in Choral
Pepper's Desert Magazine's 'Magic of Baja' series about the expedition with Erle
Stanley Gardner. This is what I have been seeking since meeting Choral nine
years ago. I have wanted to know the location of this site since reading her
Baja book back in 1973!
Choral Pepper and I at her Coronado, California home
discussing the lost mission they found in 1966... I also spoke by phone with
three others on the expedition: Bruce Barron, Ricardo Castillo and J.W. Black.
None could recall exactly where it was!
Sadly, Choral passed away in 2002. See many of her photos taken on Baja expeditions at http://choralpepper.com/
'The Baja Book' (1974), 'The Baja Book II' (1977), and 'The
Baja Book III' (1987) by Tom Miller has the site listed in the history section.
Full map, English version.
At the bottom notice 'Miss de S.M.Mag. empezada', (empezada
means 'started'). While shown south of the location of the 'Pepper' ruins, it is
still illustrated as the next mission north of Santa Gertrudis (then called
'Dolores del Norte'). The map maker (Miguel Venegas) drew this map from other's
information between 1746-1749, as he never was in California.