Road Trip Through History

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Friday, September 19, 1997

Go with me? We'll begin at the beginning on Saturday morning for a road trip that honors the past. Motorcyclists and others interested in the historical Trail of Tears will gather at Ross's Landing for a commemorative ride to Waterloo, Alabama.

Billed as the "largest organized motorcycle ride in the South," it closely follows the land trail native Americans were forced to walk in 1838, due to legislation which called for removal of all Indians from the eastern United States.

Ross's Landing is where John Ross established the trading post that became Chattanooga. And, it is where over a thousand Cherokee, John Ross included, began their deportation march. The trail took them to Waterloo, Alabama, where they were placed on boats and transported farther west.

Much of their journey followed what is now U. S. Highway 72. And that is the route motorcycle riders from Chattanooga will follow Saturday, being joined by others in Scottsboro, Huntsville, Florence and points along the way.

The ride was first organized in 1994, by the Alabama Waterfowl Association, Concerned Motorcyclists of Tennessee, and Rocket City Harley Owners to raise funds to place historic markers in key areas. The event resulted in state and federal legislation which designated the region as a historic corridor.

In October 1995, over 2,500 motorcyclists converged in Waterloo to witness the unveiling of the first historic marker. The second Trail of Tears marker will be dedicated on Highway 72 in Jackson County as the ride passes by on Saturday.

The goal for this year's ride is to have 4,000 motorcyclists gather in Waterloo. The ride is free, and all bikes are welcome along the way. If you don't ride, stand beside the road and wave as the awesome procession passes by. And remember, a donation from you will help fund future markers along the corridor.

Tiny Waterloo, with a population that usually numbers 300, welcomes its many visitors this weekend with authentic native American arts and craft demonstrations during the day, and a motorcycle rodeo and riverside benefit concert on Saturday evening. See you there.

Waterloo, Alabama
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