Burger King, loneliness, binoculars, and camp coffee; it was all part of Nick Neely's quest to better understand California. Neely is a California-based author whose book, Alta California, chronicles his 12-week hike from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay. Neely followed the (nearly) exact footsteps of Gaspar de Portola and his 1769 overland expedition of soldiers and priests intent on claiming California for Spain and establishing the West's Catholic mission system.

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