On July 29, 1776, two Franciscans, Fray Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante set out on horseback on an expedition from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Monterey, California. The purpose of the expedition was two-fold: to open communications between the two-missions (Santa Fe and Monterey) and to convert the Indians(Utes and Havasupais) between pueblo landand the Pacific Coast. The party did not reach Monterey, however, but only got as far as the Utah Basin. Due to the onset of winter weather, lack of provisions and frequent desertion of Indian guides, their goal was reconsidered, causing much dissension. Lots were cast to continue on or to return to Santa Fe. Thus it was decided to turn back to Santa Fe.