Monday, Oct 27 – Socorro, NM

After leaving Albuquerque, the Battalion had difficulty with the deep sands which slowed down their progress considerably. We’re taking advantage of our faster hiking pace and trading being “ahead of schedule” for conducting some research in Socorro and the area.

Mike Bilbo is the BLM Recreation Planner at Socorro Field Office. Mike was one of the reenactors at Golondrinas a few weeks ago (on his own time). He also is quite excited about our rehike and has been of immense help in determining whether our proposed hike route will be on public lands. Today I spent most of the day in consultation with BLM staff, volunteers and checking maps. They also have a marvelous aerial photographic collection.

We get to show off our Battalion route software and history project to a few of the staff. The GIS specialist gave it a hearty “Way cool!” vote of approval. Such expressions of admiration are highly appreciated coming from those who do GIS for a living. Being a ‘newbie’ to the geographic information systems world is daunting. I wasn’t raised on computer programming and have had to learn it on the fly while holding down jobs, being a parent, having church callings and doing volunteer work. So, to be told that I’m breaking “new ground” (which I’m NOT) is flattering even if it’s not entirely correct. There are lots of others doing similar things. I’m just putting a history spin on the content. Others will get around to it soon enough.

But, I’m finalizing a proposal to present at a BYU conference next summer. The application has to be in by Thursday, so it will be another late night so we can mail tomorrow. We will let you know how it goes. If we’re accepted, it will be a three or four day series of “show and tell” about the Battalion route, the things we’re learning during the Trek and areas for future study.

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