It was a dark, gloomy day in Southern California. There were strong winds that made dark clouds drift in the sky. The clouds moved over the land and then slowly began to rain. The rain poured onto a large ship, which made it rock. Sea men rolled up their sails to keep the wind from drifting the ship away. After the ship fully docked, a soldier named Gaspar de Portola walked out of the ship and walked to the land. Rain drenched his clothes and beads of water fell from his hair and to his forehead. He wiped his face and then he sauntered around the area and surveyed the land.
Wind blew some flowers and whistled in the tall oak trees. He shivered. He slowly walked to a field where there were many cypresses and violets, which covered tall, green grass. Portola passed the field and walked up a hill. When he was halfway up, he sat down and grabbed some of the dirt. He spread the dirt over his hand and felt rough sandstones, bits of mica, and a veined stone. And then he separated his fingers, letting the dirt fall from his hands and towards the ground. He then ran his fingers through some grass, and then he looked up the hill and then at the sky. Rain fell into his face and then he coughed. He stood up and continued surveying the land.
By Daniel Tran
Illustration by Daniel Tran
and Mimi Phan
excerpt from the book "Portola Exhibition" by the art students at Portola Middle School