Sorry for the long delay between posts. I am finishing up my schooling in Forest/Rangeland Wildlife Management, Preparing for an Appalachian Trail Thru Hike in April of 2017 and working full time. My days are work, hike, schoolwork, sleep, and repeat lol. I have found some time for seeing Native American Dancers and Exploring beautiful hiking spots here in Tennessee here are some photographs from the last few months:
Pea Ridge Battlefield in the mountains of Arkansas is a place haunted and hallowed by both the Civil War battle that took place there in March of 1861 and the Trail of Tears the path of suffering that eastern nations of Native Americans walked when forcibly removed from their lands east of the Mississippi which crosses through the park. It seems especially so if you visit when their is a veil of mist and rain cloaking the woods and fields. When touring the park put aside politics and sides and put yourself in the place of the men, Americans on both sides, who displayed the courage and devotion that we would use to form a nation and save Europe from tyrants in the two world wars. Put yourself in the place of men, boys really who for most of them were farther away from home and family than they had ever been before. Marching through steep, wooded, tangled, dark mountains. Imagine the temperature is well below freezing there is a blizzard blowing. The Confederate army to speed movement allowed their soldiers only arms ammunition and one blanket. There sit the boys and soldiers far from home, cold, hungry, worn out from marching to a place where awaits another group of boy soldiers just as hungry cold and lonely who will be doing their best to kill them the next day. It will be a chaotic messy confusion of a battle where 26000 men will come together in a fight that will 3000 wounded or dead. 2 Confederate leaders will be killed increasing the confusion caused by muskets firing, dense terrain limiting vision and movement, cannons roaring, rebel yells, and Indian war cries. The rebels had a brigade of tribal warriors from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.
Elkhorn Tavern–a lot of history the elk antlers mounted on the roof that gave the hotel its name are long gone. It served as a way station on the trail of tears march. Indicative of the confusion of the civil war battle is that the tavern served as hospital and headquarters for both Confederate and Union armies during the battle.
Below are rows of cannons that show different artillery positions through the battlefield. Imagine braves on ponies, and lines of young men lining up in neat rows to charge directly into the dreadful and deadly fire coming from the cannons or from hundreds of muskets firing at less than a hundred yards at you and trying to capture those guns.
The following few pics are from a scouting trip and serve as introduction to a small little community in the mountains of Tennessee with a lot of history. Stay tuned for some more pics as I explore the area and learn more of its history.
The double springs for which the community was named are still there near the John Jones house one of the old pioneer families. The double springs were used by Cherokee and other Native Americans and used against them when Colonel William Christian camped there using the springs as his base in a campaign against the Cherokee who allied with the British during the American Revolution October 1-4 1776. He also made one of the first peace treaties between the Cherokee and settlers on the Long Island of the Huston River nearby in Tennessee. He went on to found with his wife Ft William which protected Louisville KY from Native American raids and in 1785 settled on land awarded for his service in the Revolution He only enjoyed his land for a year before being killed in action against the Wabash Indians in 1786. Across from his campsite is the Double Spring Missionary Baptist Church founded in 1786 to serve the settlers already living there in this very old community just a few miles from my house. Below is a picture of the church with its unique bell tower.
Following are two scenes one of a ranch and a second of a small farm little changed from pioneer days.
Day 3 Rambling: Below are scenes from a beautiful morning spent at Ft Robinson State Park and Chadron State Park in Northwest Nebraska:
Texas Longhorn cattle are impressive. Tough looking even without the big horns. Those were men back in the day who drove herds numbering in the hundreds over 1000 miles up from Texas to Montana. Ft Robinson sits along the Texas Cattle Trail where so many passed by and a few never returned. The last pic of the monument is the grave site of First LT. Levi Robinson who gave his life during the Indian Wars. Since his portrait hung in the room where I stayed that night I thought it only fitting he gives us all a reminder that freedom isn’t free. Take a moment to thank a vet and pray for our servicemen and women.
View from the top of the ridgeline at Chadron State Park looking toward the black hills. Ft Robinson and Chadron are 2 of the nicest state parks I have visited! I loved the carving of the cross inside the heart shaped piece of wood. A great reminder it wasn’t nails that held Christ to the cross but His love for us. Pay a visit to these 2 state parks. Both feature beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing, hiking and at Ft Chadron their our wagon rides and many fun activities if you have kids along and what a great opportunity to combine a lesson in history and natural beauty.
The Platte River Nebraska! Following the Platte River takes you back in time. Along the Platte were branches of the Oregon, Mormon, Pony Express, and Texas Cattle Drive Trail. It is as if the whole history, myth, and legends of the west have been brought together in one place. Read any fiction or non fiction accounts of the old west and the rivers of Nebraska are found there. The Platte, the Canadian, The Broad French. Above are pictures representative of so many of the small towns of Nebraska and Kansas. I don’t know how old the buildings in the 1st pic are but we can guess by how long ago you could get a coke of 5 cents. It was taken in Boyse Nebraska. The last 2 were taken in Herndon Kansas just a few miles south of the Nebraska line. It was one of those moments of odd serendipidity I love to find on my travels. The town shares my last name and the name of the church is Immanuel Baptist which shares the name of the church I am a member of in Havre Montana. How cool is that.
This picture was taken in southern Nebraska but I thought it was a picture that symbolized the importance of farming to Kansas/Nebraska, the USA, and the World. The Great Plains are truly the breadbasket of the World.
And last but not least a picture of the teepee I stayed in on the Saline River (another river of history think of all the history those waters have seen flow by) It was so awesome to think of a boy born in Florida who finds himself in the wild and wonderful land of Montana for so long and then one day camping under the stars in a teepee in Kansas. It was like being transported back in time, a moment one remembers as breathless, historic, and timeless.