PHOTOPHILE- Recreation: Lewis and Clark devotees reunite

The encampment offered a chance to learn more about the famous expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

History buffs came from near and far to participate in the 39th Annual Meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, held this year in Charlottesville. The meetings, which take place in a different location each year, allow Lewis and Clark enthusiasts from across the nation to relive the explorers' famous western expedition. 

Re-enactors and volunteers play an active role in the group's on-going mission to educate Americans about the explorers' historical roots and inspire interest in the early frontier. Various historians specializing in Lewis and Clark's journey, as well as one of the descendants of William Clark himself, made an appearance at the August 5-7 event.

Apart from displaying a replica of the early encampment and providing general information, the event offered the chance to experience Charlottesville's history in relation to the famous expedition sponsored by Thomas Jefferson. Tourists took daily field trips to Monticello and Ash Lawn, also making sure to stop by the University of Virginia's Special Collections Library to read first-hand accounts of the explorers' mission.

This particular event featured the theme of "reporting back to Jefferson," focusing on the journey's end and the knowledge acquired on the transcontinental expedition. Over 250 enthusiasts attended the event at the Doubletree Hotel.

Bryant Boswell, playing the role of Meriwether Lewis, talks with volunteer Neil Black.

Jim Rascher, a re-enactor from St. Charles, Missouri, recounts his adventures following the explorers' trail. 

Marcia Lynch, left, and husband Houston traveled with granddaughter Katie Botticelli to check out the exhibits.

Martin Aubuchon, left, and Rex Becker display the medicines and ointments commonly used by the early explorers.

Peyton "Bud" Clark, the seventh great-grandson of William Clark, has an active role as both an organizer and re-enactor. 

Sue Van Wickler, Wendy Raney, Rebecca West, Alice Haggerty, and Allan Van Wickler represent Charlottesville's Home Front Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation.