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Monday, September 10, 2012


This is honestly a coincidence, but since I have posted about Cairo and Shanghai, Belfast, The Parthenon, and London Bridge, I thought this post fit in nicely in my unintentional "world travel" series.  ;)
Probably, every state has numerous towns, cities and corners which share the names of famous places.

The "Trail of Tears" commemorative bike ride takes place on the third weekend in September each year, which is this next Saturday, September 15.  The bike ride commemorates the forced removal of American Indians from their territories in the 1830s.

"(May 28, 1830) First major legislation that reversed the U.S. policy of respecting the rights of American Indians. The act granted tribes unsettled western prairie land in exchange for their territories within state borders, mainly in the Southeast. Some tribes refused to trade their land, and U.S. troops forced tribes such as the Cherokee to march westward in what became known as the Trail of Tears (183839)." Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/indian-removal-act-1830#ixzz24wTdtGc4


Tens of thousands of riders make the journey.
According to http://www.al-tn-trailoftears.net , one route begins in Bridgeport, Alabama and ends in Waterloo, Alabama.  Bridgeport is a small town in northeast Alabama.  Waterloo is a tiny, tiny town in extreme northwest Alabama.

According to Wikipedia, the total land area of Waterloo is 0.8 sq miles and the population is just over 200.
I have always tried to imagine that many bikers in the tiny town at one time.
It's probably another battle of Waterloo if only for breathing room and food.

This route takes the bikers through my tiny town and the thunder of bikes can be heard all day and for miles.  Maybe this year I'll go sit with everyone else in town and get some biker photos.

On Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River, it feels like you have gone to the end of the world when you go to Waterloo.

Another route, according to http://www.trailoftears-remembrance.org, begins at Ross's Landing, Chattanooga, Tennessee and travels through Tennessee to Florence, Alabama which is about 20 miles from Waterloo.

According to http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/01/0126896.html
Florence, Alabama has a population of about 40,000 and the land area is 26 sq. miles.
Nevertheless, we try to avoid Florence on this particular weekend.

Yes, Florence.  The Renaissance City.  Another nearby town with a famous name.  Later.

(Those who were curious about my teepee post, I discovered that they can be rented for a small fee.  True primitive camping.  Well, almost.  It is an organized public park with camper hookup facilities also.)

Learn more about the Trail of Tears at these links:


Sandra said...

i hope you get the biker shots, that will be cool. the trail of tears has always hurt my heart, i have seen movies about it and read books about it and it is good to remember it now. ilove that little house.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Great history lesson! I had not heard of the Trail of Tears. Sad to think the Indians were forced off their land.
I hope you get pictures of the bikers. That would be awesome to see.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning,
I am enjoying your tour around Alabama. Interesting to read the historical marker for Waterloo. Like Sandra, I've read a lot about the Trail of Tears...so sad. I hope you will have an opportunity to snap photos of the bike ride. Looks like the weather will be pretty for the next week or so. Mildred

Brian King said...

That's really cool! Lots of history. It is funny how you find these world names! I've never been to Pickwick, but have heard the fishing is outstanding.

Kathy said...

I went to college in Oklahoma and worked for a newspaper there after graduating and before moving to Arizona. At one time I was honored to be able to attend a tribal meeting of the chiefs of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Cherokee especially has a large presence today in Eastern Oklahoma. More people should know about the Trail of Tears and I thank you for this informative post.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Such a diverse area! And I enjoyed learning more about it. The Trail of Tears made me sad to think what the Native Americans went through.

Kerry said...

The Bassman says "I'm puttin' in at Waterloo today" meaning putting the boat into the water on Pickwick Lake! Trail of Tears is a great commemoration, but I try to get my errands ran BEFORE they come through town. A lot of traffic.

Rita said...

I have always found this such a sad bit of our nations history. I certainly do not think we treated the Indians in the best way possible, then or even now.

Still we would not have the country we have now without this sad history.

Roan said...

As the story goes, my great great grandfather was traveling through Tennessee when he met a beautiful Indian girl during the Trail of Tears and married her. Of course, he was disowned by his family who were the Princes of Princeton Indiana.

Marie said...

I'm so glad you did the post, Amy! You answered my question, of course, about the length of the motorcycle route. This was very interesting, and I am glad you included so much of the history.