Kudos to our own Julie Miller, who, as National Conference Chair for the 2010 NGS Family History Conference has put together a fresh, internationally-focussed compilation of lectures over four days that will set your genealogical course for the next many months of research.

The NGS conference takes place April 28-May 1 in Salt Lake City. Only a few times over the span of several years do we Westerners get a chance to be within driving distance of a national conference. And folks, this is Salt Lake City! And, at the risk of reciting a lame cliche, “I hear there’s a pretty good library there.”

The only bad news is, the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, located next door to the Library, is already full up (no surprise there). The Radisson is the central conference hotel.

The conference will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center, in the back side, located a short distance from the hotel, only a few steps from your room! If you’ve been to conferences in the past in Salt Lake City, you know we’ve had to walk clear down the block and around the corner and walk another loooong block to the entrance to the Salt Palace, but this year, it’s a much shorter walk.

The Family History Library has extended its research hours until 11PM, with shuttle buses offering rides from the Library back to three of the designated conference hotels (Radisson, Shiloh, and Crystal Inn), all the more reason to stay at one of these hotels. This eliminates walking late at night, although I’ve never been worried about unsavory characters on the streets of the Mormon City.

There is lots of information about the conference, including the conference program at www.ngsgenealogy.org, at Conferences and Events.

So get a carpool together, update your genealogy database, grab your credit card to load up your FHL research card for making copies and CDs, and register for the conference. In case I didn’t mention it, it’s within driving distance!

Or, do the Duff Method of travel: take the train. Amtrak leaves Denver early in the morning, clickety-clacks through the scenic mountains of Colorado and plains of Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City in time to make it to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. And then, on the way back home, you can spend all your time entering your new data into your genealogy program. Or, more to my liking, catching up on your sleep.

Either way, it’s a good year to be a Westerner.