Writings, slides, and films documenting a 1963-64 mule expedition through Baja California organized by Joanne Alford and Andrew
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.