Buffalo Soldiers plan camping trips to Presidio, Yosemite

Staff ReportJune 8, 2013 

Members of the Los Banos Buffalo Soldiers Association are planning a number of outings to historical sites and national parks this summer.

The association plans a camping trip to the Presidio in San Francisco from July 12 to 14. The Buffalo Soldiers were garrisoned at the Presidio.

"Both adults and children will learn about the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and how they are connected to the Presidio of San Francisco and Monterey, and Yosemite and Sequoia national parks," said David Ofwono, president of the association.

All fees have been waived for the organization, according to a news release. There is room for 30, and slots are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Two camping trips to Yosemite National Park are scheduled in August. The Buffalo Soldiers Association provides the trip without charge, according to the news release.

The first trip is Aug. 9 to 11, and the other is Aug. 23 to 25. Campers can volunteer for a park project during the first trip, according to the release.

The Army regiment routinely rode more than 320 miles, in 15 days, from the Presidio to Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, which until 1914 were under Army management. The soldiers patrolled the backcountry, built roads and trails, fought fires and undertook other work later assigned to park rangers.

One of the soldiers' encampments along the trail was in Los Banos, near Mercey Springs and Overland roads.

Organizers said each camper is responsible for his or her own food and transportation, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Sleeping bags and tents, as well as cooking and dining utensils will be provided.

For more on the trip, email info@losbanosbuffalo soldiers.org.

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