Spanish exploration of Sacramento
In 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths. The air was like champagne, and (the Spaniards) drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. "Es como el sagrado sacramento! (It's like the Blessed Sacrament.)" The valley and the river were then christened after the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist.