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Alford (Joanne) Baja California Collection
MSS 0801  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Writings, slides, and films documenting a 1963-64 mule expedition through Baja California organized by Joanne Alford and Andrew Meling.
Background
In 1963, Joanne Alford, a San Diego engineer, and Andrew Meling, a Baja California native whose family operated a cattle ranch south of Ensenada (Rancho San José, or Meling Ranch) proposed to travel the length of Baja California by mule train. They planned a south-bound tour following old trails, with detours to sites of historical and geographical interest, including mission ruins and rock and cave painting sites. According to Reid Moran, the botanical curator of the San Diego Natural History Museum, the route was divided into six unequal legs: Tecate to Meling Ranch, then on to Bahía de los Angeles, Mulegé, Loreto, La Paz, and finally, Cabo San Lucas. Alford and Meling attempted to recruit paying guests to accompany them on the journey. They were joined for sections of the trip by a rotating cast of several people, including Reid Moran, the botanical curator of the San Diego Natural History Museum; Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor Gifford Ewing and his daughter, Eva C. Ewing; Howard "Tío" McFarland of San Antonio, Texas; Richard Johnston and Louis "Duke" Baldwin (photographers); and Wayne Lange, Catherine Barton, and Edward "Bud" Bernhard of San Diego. Due to drought, severe conditions, stress on the mules, and other difficulties with planning and execution, the expedition lasted five months, from December 1963 to its conclusion in May 1964. Meling and Alford were the only travelers to ride into Cabo San Lucas.
Extent
1.4 Linear feet (1 half archives box, 5 card file boxes, and 5 films)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator(s) of the collection.
Availability
Original audiovisual media formats are restricted. Researchers may request user copies be produced in advance for non-digitized items.