The task of building the mission chain of Alta California fell upon the frail shoulders and brave spirit of Junipero Serra. Since the time Vizcaino had reported many villages of friendly Indians this had been a trust of the Order of St. Francis. But it was 1769 before the venture could be organized, and ships loaded with supplies from the missions of the peninsula sailed for the Bay of San Diego. Then Serra with Don Gaspar Portola and a small band of men started on the long trail through brush and cactus from Baja California to the site of San Diego. The government was moved by the fear of foreign colonies and by the value of missions in pacifying the natives. And Spain had inspired judgment in the choice of Fray Junipero Serra, the saintly founder of California missions.