Thursday, September 28, 2017

It's All About The Search...!

Think about it for a minute, if you will. Without the tireless work of the many early explorers searching for answers, so many parts of our great country would not have been discovered and mapped for many years.

Cabrillo discovers San Diego Bay

On this day in 1542, the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovers San Diego Bay while searching for the Strait of Anian, a mythical all-water route across North America.

Cabrillo was not the first to search for a water passage across the North American continent, and he would not be the last. Ever since the voyages of Columbus, Europeans had dreamed of finding a shorter trade route to the Orient. Once it became clear that North America was not India, as Columbus had believed, but an entirely new continent, explorers hoped that an all-water route through the New World might still be found. Vastly underestimating the breadth of the continent, early 16th and 17th century explorers like Cabrillo believed that one such route might be the elusive Strait of Anian, a navigable passage some sailors claimed linked the Pacific with the Gulf of Mexico.

In June 1542, Cabrillo departed from the West Coast of Mexico and sailed northward to probe the complex broken coastline of the Pacific. Repeatedly turning east to follow any inlet that held the promise of being the Strait, Cabrillo was the first European to explore many of the Pacific Coast bays and inlets. Though San Diego Bay–as well as all the other inlets he subsequently explored–never led to the mythic Strait of Anian, Cabrillo did succeed in mapping many of the most important features of the California coast, though he missed discovering San Francisco Bay.

Despite the failure of the Cabrillo mission, other explorers continued to search for the Strait of Anian and its northern cousin, the Northwest Passage, for many years to come, though with no more success. Ironically, a passage across the continent actually did exist, and in 1905, the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to make an all-water crossing of North America. But Amundsen’s cold and treacherous far-northern route was hardly the shortcut to the Orient Cabrillo and countless other explorers had dreamed of, and died for, over the course of more than five centuries.

In the end, it all comes down to the fact that early explorers took on the challenging and often dangerous job of doing the initial leg work for future expansion of the United States. So many great discoveries and natural wonders were found all because of the love of the search.

Coffee out on the patio again. Temps are in the 70s, so it's pleasant.


Momlady said...

And people are still searching.

linda m said...

Reading this makes me wonder about those early explores. They sure were made of some tough stuff. Don't think too many folks today would want to do that kind of work - were too soft. I know I am as my idea of camping is parking my car in the motel parking lot and having a room inside. haha

Sixbears said...

The Androscoggin River valley in Maine and NH was discovered fairly late. Parts of the west were settled long before the valley. The river dumps in Merry Meeting Bay with a whole confusing confluence of waterways. It took many years for the settlers to find it. Of course, the natives knew all about it and traveled the river to the sea every year.

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
I'm sure that the searching will go on and on.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
The quest for knowledge can be very addictive, I reckon.
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Sixbears...
Shows how much we could have learned from the natives had we not been trying to kill them all.
Thanks for the visit today!

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Heading out to discover some new (to me) territories myself, but in an air-conditioned, tinted window car with luxury resorts to break up the journey. But, I admire their pluck.
Big hugs, Bubba.

JO said...

The explorers of the past were truly tough guys. There are very few in today's world very few.
There is so much to see and explore.

Going to head out Oct. 9 for a few days of camping. See you on the patio I know I'm late again.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
Going on another cruise? Or staying on land this time around... Either way, be safe and have a good time exploring.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Jo...
I know you must be looking forward to the camping trip. You haven't been for a while, right? We'll be here when you get back, sweetie.
Thanks for dropping by today!