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Spanish Explorers : Garces - Crossing the Mojave

Canada de Santa Tomas

p237
which is somewhat scanty, is in the midst of the sierra, but there is much grass and of good quality. Here I met four Indians that were coming from Santa Clara/ after trading in shells (cuentas).8 I was lost in wonder (quede admirado) to see that they brought no provisions whatever on a route where there is naught to eat, nor did they carry bows for hunting. They replied to my amazement, " the Jamajabs endure hunger and thirst for four days," to give me to understand that indeed are they valiant men.

Mar. 7. In the afternoon I passed the sierra through a good gap, and at the outlet (a la salida) entered into a canada that on both sides has hills of sand; I named it Canada de Santo Tomas,* and having traveled four leagues westnorthwest I halted, though better would it have been to follow the

a scanty aguage. This watering-place is Cedar springs, in the Providence mountains of modern geography. Observe the name " Cedar " springs, and the statement that the sierra " has pines, though small ones."

1 The note on Santa Clara will be found on p. 257.

' Cuentas were certain seashells highly prized by the Indians, and a brisk trade was carried on in them between tribes of the interior and those of the coast where they were found. Much more about cuentas beyond.

'There are more than one of the name; I presume Garces named the canada for St. Thomas Didymus, one of the 12 apostles, not for St. Thomas a Becket. b. London 1118, murdered in Canterbury cathedral Dec. 20, 1170, canonized 1172. Observe the northing to the dry camp.

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Kelso dunes from the Foshay Pass in the Providence Mountains. Fr. Garces may have passed to the north (right) of these dunes on his way to Soda Lake.
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