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Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell

National Park, motorcycle, ride, Kalispell, Gardiner, MT

Day 6 Route Map

Today is day  7 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Today we head toward Glacier National Park. 407 miles from Gardiner to Kalispell, Montana. Much of the ride was on I-90 so we made good time. Our ride took us through Bozeman, Butte and Missoula, Montana. There was beautiful scenic views all along the way. Rolling hills, prairie grassland with mountains in the distance. The highlight was riding by the west side of Flathead Lake. Flathead is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It is clean and clear. The water is the clearest I have ever seen. You won’t believe how far you can see below the water’s surface.

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Car Museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

Rolling down I-90, we kept seeing signs for a car museum in Deer Lodge, Montana. Do billboards work? These did. We decided to have a look and we were glad we did. Deer Lodge is the home to the Old Montana Prison,  Frontier MuseumPowell County MuseumMontana Auto Museum and Yesterday’s PlaythingsCottonwood City displays the Snowshoe Creek School, Blood Cabin and other buildings. Many of the museums were housed in the old prison.

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I found Janet’s dream car…

The main reason we stopped was the Car museum. The admission (less than $10) was for all the museums. The car museum had an interesting collection starting from the early 1900’s to present. It is amazing how old cars can transport you to a different place and time. Memories… good memories…

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Studebaker Avanti Car Museum Deer, Lodge, Montana

We had a little time to spare so we did a quick tour of the old prison… When touring the prison, I thought of a friend serving time in the Texas prison system. Seeing the area with 3 levels of cells that seemed to go on forever, I imagined what the sights and sounds would have been like when the automatic cell doors opened. The clanking of the metal doors… the chatter of the prisoners… all being amplified by the metal bars, concrete floor and walls. The sounds would  have been deafening and depressing. There were no good feelings here. If walls could talk, I’m not sure we would want to hear what they had to say…

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Prison museum in Deer Lodge, Montana

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Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana

While in Deer Lodge we had a good lunch and I called my good friend Avis, who lives in Troy. Montana, to let her know we were on schedule and would be rolling into her place about 5:30 or 6:00 pm tomorrow.

Deer Lodge was a good stop and I would recommend you stop there. There is much more to see and do there… I wish we could have stayed longer…

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Heading north on Hwy 93 to Kalispell, Montana

From Deer Lodge it was on to Missoula down I-90. We turned onto Hwy. 93 and ended our day of riding at Kalispell.

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Flathead Lake in Montana

The adventure continues… Come follow along tomorrow as we ride through Glacier National Park via”Going to the Sun Highway“… Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Texas Independence Trail Motorcycle Ride Day 2 May 2013

 

Map of Day 2 Ride Route

Map of Day 2 Ride Route

I was staying with my son Tony and his family. They were sleeping in so I loaded the bike and slipped away. I stopped at Denny’s for a leisurely breakfast. There was no hurry because it is only 50 miles to the San Jacinto Monument. I hate driving in Houston traffic on four wheels so I really hate Houston traffic on two… Even though I rode through Houston it was a nice ride. The weather was 67 degrees with just a few clouds and very light Sunday morning traffic…

Early Sunday Morning I-610

Early Sunday Morning I-610

I have a love/hate relationship with my GPS… I had more GPS problems today. When I tried to enter my first stop, “The San Jacinto Monument”, the GPS couldn’t find it! I tried to enter the address 3523 Independence Parkway but still no result. I looked at the GPS map and found the street to be labeled Battleground Road instead of Independence Parkway. Using 3523 Battleground Road worked. What a hassle… So if you are heading that way and using your GPS please take note… Once I found the road… the signs use both names… The map people didn’t get the memo…

You can see the monument for miles before you actually get there. It is an impressive sight.

San Jacinto Monument

San Jacinto Monument

There is no charge for the monument unless you want to see the view from atop the monument. You take the elevator up to the Monument’s Observation floor, 489 feet above the Battleground. Once at the top you will have a beautiful view of the city, Houston Ship Channel, harbor and surrounding area. The San Jacinto Museum of History is housed in the base of the San Jacinto Monument and has priceless artifacts, dioramas, 250,000 documents and 40,000 books chronicling more than 400 years of early Texas history.

Walking the Battleground there are granite markers designating locations of the Texian camps, the Mexican camps, the advance by Texian forces and other information about the battle.

San Jacinto Monument

San Jacinto Monument

If you are not a Texan you may be asking yourself… “What’s the big deal?” Well… the Texans had lost the battles of the Alamo and Goliad. The men at those locations fought a fierce fight and died horrific deaths for what they believed. Santa Anna thought he had it all wrapped up except for finishing off Sam Houston and his men… few in numbers and corner at San Jacinto. Two of the plaques on the on the monument sums it up best.

With the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” The Texans charged. The enemy, taken by surprise rallied for a few minutes then fled in disorder. The Texans ask no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling, victory complete and Texas free! On the following day General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna self-styled “Napoleon of the West” received from a generous foe the mercy he had denied Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.

Measure by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here lead to the annexation and the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma almost one third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory changed sovereignty.

The fight lasted just 18 minutes. About 630 Mexican soldiers were killed and 730 captured, while only 9 Texans died. Santa Anna fled the battle disguised as an enlisted man. Santa Anna was captured the following day and held as a prisoner of war. Three weeks later, he signed the peace treaty that paved the way for the Republic of Texas to become an independent country.

Text on base of the San Jacinto Monument

Text on base of the San Jacinto Monument

Text on the base of the San Jacinto Monument

Text on the base of the San Jacinto Monument

So this is a big deal for us Texans and we are proud of our history and culture. All the historic sites of the “Texas Independence Trail” help remind us of where we have come and help us to be mindful of our responsibility to our past and future generations.

For more on the battle click here ( http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qes04 ).

San Jacinto Monument Reflecting Pool with Battleship Texas

San Jacinto Monument Reflecting Pool with Battleship Texas

While at the San Jacinto Battleground and Monument you may want to spend some time at the Battleship Texas, located just across Battlefield Road. You can see the battleship when looking down the reflective pool from the monument. The admission fee is $12 for everyone 13 years old and older. The tour is self guided and there is a lot of history to be seen about the battleship and World War II.

Beach at Galveston

Beach at Galveston

The rest of the ride was very enjoyable. By now it was overcast and it was in the low 80’s. From San Jacinto I rode to La Porte and rode down Hwy 146 to Galveston. Hwy 146 parallels Galveston Bay with many nice views of the bay all along the way. When I got to Galveston I rode Seawall Blvd. to the northeast end of the island before turning around and heading southwest to Surfside. There was lots of swimmers on the beach today and traffic on Seawall Blvd. was rather heavy.

Rolling down San Louis Pass Road

Rolling down San Louis Pass Road

San Louis Pass Road

San Louis Pass Road

I rode to Surfside via Seawall Blvd., San Louis Pass Rd., and Bluewater Hwy. There is a toll ($2) bridge where San Louis Pass Rd. ends and where Bluewater Hwy starts.

Because I forgot the GPS was set to avoid toll roads, it kept trying to route me around this bridge. I forgot about the toll bridge and was a bit annoyed with the GPS… again… When I got to the bridge I realized what my problem was.

Rolling down the Bluewater Highway

Rolling down the Bluewater Highway

This leg of my ride was a nice leisurely ride with cool sea breezes, over cast skies and great beach views along the way. At Freeport I picked up Hwy 36 and rode to West Columbia my final destination for the day.

First Capital of Texas at West Columbia

First Capital of Texas at West Columbia

West Columbia is my hometown and was the “First Capitol of Texas”. Around 1833 Leman Kelsey built a story and a half structure.  In 1836 West Columbia then known as Columbia became the first capital of the Republic of Texas and this building was one of two that housed the new government of the Republic of Texas.  The Congress convened here and Sam Houston took the office as President and Stephen F. Austin as Secretary of State.  In 1837, the government moved to the new city of Houston. The 1900 storm destroyed the original capital. A Replica was built at this site in 1976-77. The replica depicts how the interior and exterior looked during 1836.

Replica of the First Capital Of Texas Building

Replica of the First Capital Of Texas Building

Replica of the First Capital of Texas Building

Replica of the First Capital of Texas Building

Much of my family still lives in the area. When I say much I mean much… I have over 40 first cousins and many aunts, uncles and second and third cousins! I will be staying with my brother Gary and his wife Ginny tonight.

It was a fun and busy day riding and exploring just a small part of Texas’ history…

You can read the other post about this ride here…

 

10 Days, 2035 Miles, With Thousands And Thousands of Twisties: Trail of Tears & Harrison, AR Motorcycle Ride

Our route

Trail of Tears & Harrison, AR Motorcycle Ride

Every September we try to meet our friends from Alabama and Georgia who ride the “Trail of Tears”  motorcycle ride. We meet them either in Hot Springs Arkansas or at the trail end in Oklahoma somewhere. I say somewhere in Oklahoma because the “Trail of Tears” ride ends in different places each year. This year we met them at trail end in Wewoka, OK the home of the Seminole Nation Museum and where the closing ceremonies for the “Trail of Tears” ride took place. From there we road to Harrison, AR and took three days riding the many twisty, scenic motorcycle roads around Harrison. On our return trip home we took advantage of visiting relatives along the way and eating Aunt Imogene’s coconut cream pie… Aunt Imogene probably thinks that is my only reason for visiting…

It was a great ride with great friends, supporting a great cause, great scenery, great twisty roads and for the most part good weather.

Come follow along on our journey by clicking the links below…

Day 1 – Georgetown, TX to Bowie, TX via scenic FM 4. (250 miles)
Day 2 – Bowie, TX to Wewoka, OK to Holden, OK (193 miles)
Day 3 – Holden, OK to Harrison, AR  (263 miles)
Day 4 – Ride 1 out of Harrison, AR 
Day 5 – Ride 2 out of Harrison, AR  (120 miles)
Day 6 – Ride 3 out of Harrison, AR  (207 miles)
Day 7 – Harrison, AR to Jessieville, AR (149 miles)
Day 8, 9 & 10 – Jessieville, AR to Scroggins, TX to home.