Lewis and Clark Return to St. Louis on 23 September 1806

On 23 September 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis, Missouri to complete the expedition that President Thomas Jefferson had sent them on two years, four months, and nine days previously.

The expedition had reached the Pacific Ocean via an overland route through the USA’s newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Through much trial and tribulation, but with remarkably little conflict with the native inhabitants, the expedition brought back an enormous amount of information that the USA needed to develop the new territory. The native Americans that the expedition encountered were overwhelmingly helpful or neutral to them traveling through the area and provided trade, guidance, and assistance.

In early July 1806, the expedition camped for a few days at Traveler’s Rest after crossing Lolo Pass. I stopped there on my recent trip to follow the Nez Perce War Trail. They gave me some directions to the Lolo Pass. (see image above)

The End of Big 650 Singles?

Here is an interesting article on the emissions problem of big 650 singles and their decline. I like what Chris Scott said.

“I am definitely over 650 singles as they are now,” Scott says. “On the dirt, the big single power pulses make nadgery sections awkward where the CB-X twin rolled through smoothly. A single of 450 or less or a twin up to 650 will do me nicely. I can see myself flitting between the two in the coming years.”

That is pretty much where I have landed with my 650 V-Strom and CRF 250L. However, if this article is correct, it will be sad to see the cool old thumpers go away.

Battle of Harlem Heights 16 September 1776

With American forces’ morale low and falling as they were reeling from the British landing at Kip’s Bay on Manhattan Island, General George Washington tried to hold a line, any line, against the British. Washington sent out rangers under Captain Thomas Knowlton to find and harass the advancing British forces. Knowlton did so and led the British into a fight. Washington sent another force to strike the British flank. For a few hours, the Americans were back on the attack and the British had to retreat a short way.

The engagement was not decisive and it did not much delay the British from taking most of New York in short order, but it was a much needed boost to morale for the American forces.

From the plinth in Riverside Park in New York, 121st Street and Riverside Drive; in grassy triangle south of Grant’s Tomb,

BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS / SEPTEMBER 16 – 1776 / IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF / THE BRAVE SOLDIERS / OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, / CONNECTICUT, MASSACHUSETTS, / RHODE ISLAND, PENNSYLVANIA,/ MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA / WHO UNDER / GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON / FOUGHT AND DIED ON THIS SITE / FOR LIBERTY / IN THEIR COUNTRY’S STRUGGLE / AGAINST BRITISH TYRANNY.n.

Map Credit – Public Domain, courtesy of the History Department, United States Military Academy

May 1944 Dated D-Day Maps Sold at Auction

The Daily Mail reports on newly surfaced WWII Normandy beach defense maps that seem to be the last updated before the D-Day invasion of 6 June 1944 and were sold at auction recently.

Adventure Motorcycle Zenith?

I’m wondering if we have reached maximum trendiness on Adventure bikes? (note I say “trendiness,” not usefulness) The LA Times talks a little about this in this article. I wouldn’t mind it if it meant the prices would go down a little.

I know they are right when they talk about guys who buy these bikes to farkle them up and show them off the same way guys do with 4X4s. However, I have always liked to buy a good solid bike that needed very little to conquer the limited amount of off-road riding I do. The main reason I have always liked adventure bikes is how much fun they are to ride. They ride high generally and the pegs are well off the ground so you can get some good sway in the twisties. When riding in England, you could pass the sports bikes on roundabouts while knocking helmets almost. They can handle a little dirt and gravel and they are generally built very well with good access to the stuff that needs to be maintained. They look good dirty, so I don’t have to clean them very often.

I kind of view mine like an old pick up truck and I pack it like the Beverley Hillbillies.

Canadian Guide Dog Motorcycle Ride 11 September 2016

This sounds fun, but watch out before you drop the kickstand.

The Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind are hosting the Canadian Guide Dog Motorcycle Ride on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 from the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, 4120 Rideau Valley Drive North, Manotick, ON K4M 1B2, Canada to Iroquois, Ontario (that’s Canada, eh?)

The 28th annual event is organized in conjunction with the Ottawa River Riders and the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers.

If you’re riding up that way, why not stop by for a spell? You could always tie it in with a Battlefield Biker ride to the War of 1812’s Crysler’s Farm Battlefield just up Highway 2.

Image Credit: By Benson Lossing (The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nez Perce Trail in One Ride from Reno – Crazy?

I have always wanted to travel the Nez Perce Trail by motorcycle. I have set aside ten (10) days to do this trip in September 2016. When I plotted it, I gulped hard. 3,140 miles with plenty of gravel and dirt roads thrown in for good measure.

Averaging 314 miles a day. Is this crazy?

The map above is a rough example of the ride minus the trip from Reno to Joseph, OR and the return from Chinook, MT.

Photo Credit: By Lencer [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association Conducts Civil War Ride

Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association Chapter 27-3 conducted a ride around the Petersburg, Virginia area on 19-20 August 2016. It was organized by a member who works as National Park Service Ranger, Chris Castle, who is a also a combat veteran. Castle conducted historical briefs at several stops. From the article,

The stop locations included, the Battle of the Crater, and Fort Fisher. The ride ended with lunch at a local restaurant. Everyone left with an understanding of the events that occurred during the 292 day campaign, that led to the retreat and eventual surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox.

However, the article erroneously states,

This weekend also marked the 150th anniversary to the end of the civil war.

The USA Civil War concluded in the spring of 1865… 151 years ago from 2016. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia on 9 April 1865. President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of the end of the war on 9 May 1865 and the last major Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River surrendered on 2 June 1865.

I bet this was a great ride. Good people gathering to learn their nation’s history and a good ride to boot. If you attended, please let me know how it went.

Image Credit: Timothy H. O’Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride in Chattanooga on 17 September 2016

From Eventful: Chattanooga

Trail of Tears Memorial Motorcycle Ride in Chattanooga on 17 September 2016

The ride is dedicated to Native Americans forced off their land in the early 1800s by the United States. Thousands of Native Americans died in the trek across the country. The ride starts in downtown Chattanooga and will end in Florence, Alabama. Founded by Bill Cason, this is the world’s largest organized ride with as many as 20,000+ participants.

Personally, I’d love the ride, but with 20,000+ riders, it would be a nightmare for me. If you are like me, maybe you could go to the rally and get the details, then ride it another time alone or with a smaller group.

Event Details
Admission: Free
Phone: (229) 563-2227
Location: Ross’s Landing – Chattanooga Pier
Address: 100 Riverfront Parkway • Chattanooga, TN 37402Event Schedule
9/17/2016 08:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Image Credit: By User:Nikater [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

American Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg (Part 3) 13 December 1862

On the morning of 13 December 1862, the preparations were done and the day of reckoning was at hand. Burnside had decided on taking the nearest hills, but had sent ill-defined orders to his left which resulted in a weak effort to roll up Lee’s right flank.

As the morning progressed, A federal bombardment of the Rebel positions on Prospect Hill preceded the push from Union General Meade. Meade was delayed by the “gallant Pelham,” for a critical half hour. Finally, the main assault was underway and repulsed once, but Meade was determined and found a way to defeat Confederate A.P. Hill through a marshy area. Once Meade was through, he found that the promised left flank movement was far too weak to support his breakthrough. Seeing Meade exposed, Stonewall Jackson threw Jubal Early’s division into counter-attack and drove Meade out. A Union opportunity of great importance had been lost.

Over on Marye’s Heights, it was a turkey shoot as the Confederate’s repelled wave after wave of Union assault. Burnside had been criticized for not being aggressive enough previous to Fredericksburg, so he decided that this would not be the case here. He renewed his attack on Marye’s Heights and on Lee’s right flank. This turned a defeat into a bloodbath. The day was lost to Burnside due to weak orders and dithering in his preparation, not his lack of aggressiveness.

For a motorcycle ride that also takes in the Spotsylvania
battlefield, head west out of Fredericksburg on VA State Route 3, then
head southwest on Virginia State Route 20 at Wilderness and follow VA SR 20 for approximately 50 miles to Charlottesville.

Image Credit – By Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, U.S. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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