The Saturday festivities got underway with a continental breakfast featuring frozen orange juice (I mean frozen!) and a host of morning lecturers including Leo Lyman, John Robinson and Phil
Brigandi. Professor Lyman woke us up with a rousing and somewhat controversial (what did he say about Brigham Young?) delivery about the trail from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. Retired Educator Robinson's topic was "El Camino Viejo: North from Los Angeles." [For those who want to see for themselves what John was talking about, he will be leading an outing to Beal's Cut, the monument at El Camino Viejo, and Fort Tejon on October 20th. See Activities for more details.] Historian Phil Brigandi is the director of the Ramona Pageant in Hemet. His talk focused on the Southern Emigrant Trail from the Yuma Crossing to Temecula.
After a long buffet lunch three members of the SouthWest OCTA chapter - Don Buck, Tracy
DeVault, and Rose Ann Tompkins - talked about their mapping expeditions along the Southern Trails and novelist Richard Buskenkell told us about the real-life characters after whom the fictional characters of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona were modeled.
The talks ended by mid-afternoon and we had a choice between a self-tour of the Temecula Museum or a Walking Tour of Old Town Temecula led by Phil
Brigandi. We opted for the walking tour which consisted of about a half a block but Phil entertained us all with stories about Temecula's lively past, especially during the days of Prohibition.
After our buffet dinner that evening we were entertained by Steve Clugston's impersonation of Colonel Carleton, who marched down the Southern Emigrant Trail during the Civil War to repel the Confederates coming in from Texas with visions of conquering New Mexico.