Juan de Onate, Vicente de Saldivar, two religious men, Fray Francisco de Velasco, and Fray Pedro de Vergara along with 70 hand-picked soldiers, and let’s not forget the 700 horses would set off in June 1601 to explore the country to the east or to see Coronado’s Quivira first hand. Along the way the group would come in contact with the Apache, Escanjaques and the Quivira Indian tribes. Far to the east around the Arkansas River, the friendly atmosphere was no longer, the Spaniards would have to fight to stay alive. It’s best to know who your true friends are before the sun sets.
A few pictures to give you a sense of what Onate and company may have witnessed in their travels. The map shows the many tributaries around the Arkansas River.