Friday, January 30 – San Diego, CA

Late last night, Mark Woodbury and some friends arrived from Saint George. They set up some tents here at Scout Camp Balboa. Me? I was zonked out in bed and didn’t even know it until I got up this AM.
Tonight is the “big report” about the Trek. Descendants, historians, serious reenactors and other interested parties are expected this evening to hear about the Trek. Understandably, I’m skittish since I’m not really a researcher much less a historian. So, I’m busy putting together what I hope are some key points along our trail. Photos are culled through for some of the best. The Google Earth Virtual Trail is a major effort for today. I review what I want to present, then practice a few times.
At 2 PM, we gather some of the late arrivers for a “reenactment of the reenactment.” We gather outside Old Town State Park and march into the Plaza again, giving more folks an opportunity to participate in the Trek’s arrival.
Journalist Helen Read from the Seagull LDS newspaper came to interview some of the group. The Sierra-Nevada Mormon History group is old hat at this; we learned from their example of telling the Battalion’s complex story in a succinct way. The women’s story in particular is important to share since there were so few that arrived in California.
After the interviews and photos, we run back to the trailer, grab some dinner, collect our “stuff” and head off for the evenings seminar. The organizers invited us to highlight the evening’s presentations. About 75 folks attend with some standing at the doors and back wall. The Google Earth Virtual Trail is populated with photos and I tell stories of the people and places we’ve been during the past seven months. Someone should have stopped me after an hour and a half. There is just so much information I lost track and went long. Thanks to those who were patient.
Conclusions: We need a full-blown, two or three day seminar to bring together the various researchers. Clothing, equipment, trail, military leadership issues and so many other lines of research need to be shared. I tell the group that there is lots of “low hanging fruit” – topics that no one has approached yet but which would add to our understanding. We need to get busy and put something like this together.
Gates at Balboa Scout Camp are locked at 10 PM, so we have to leave the seminar early. I am grateful for the opportunity to share some insights I’ve had.

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