Changing Lives and Bringing History to Life, One Revolution at a Time!


Damaris’ Aug 8 Blog Entry ~ SnR Tour of Discovery along #acaLewisClark route and #acaPacCoast while visiting #NatlParkService Parks

DamarisThis entire tour (Lewis & Clark Trail, Buffalo Soldier Trail, and Pacific Coast Highway) has been one life changing experience. It’s been especially life changing for me because I’ve never been to this part of the US before and before my senior year in high school I’ve only been to Florida, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Not only did I learn an awful lot about myself I’ve also learned how to push myself both physically and mentally. Two of the most important things you need to learn how to accomplish in order to succeed in life. This tour has also strengthened my love for biking and camping that I definitely plan to continue doing for as long as I possibly can.

I’m also very appreciative, not only on this trip but, for everything, I have and everyone around me.


Damaris’ Aug 5 Blog Entry ~ SnR Tour of Discovery along #acaLewisClark route and #acaPacCoast while visiting #NatlParkService Parks

DamarisAs an aspiring marine biologist and travel-loving biker, biking down the Pacific Coast is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done, so far. Not only did I see some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States by visiting the National Parks but I also got to see some fo the most interesting marine animals on earth; such as seals, starfish, carb and gray whales. Seeing and interacting with these creatures has always been a dream of mine. Doing this trail has got me planning another coastal tour in the future.

Damaris’ July 26 Blog Entry ~ SnR Tour of Discovery along #acaLewisClark route and #acaPacCoast while visiting #NatlParkService Parks



I‘m sad to say that we’ve arrived in Astoria and the SnR Tour of Discovery along the Lewis and Clark Trail is over. The Lewis and Clark Trail was amazing! We saw everything from bison and bald eagles to wild burros and elk. I thought I had already known everything about their trip from taking the Civil Ware and American West courses in high school but I was terribly mistaken. I learned a great deal more from not only the random historic sites on the roadsides but the interactive museums, as well.

Biking the trail was hard so I can imagine how hard it was for the Lewis and Clark corps to do it on foot while carrying all of their materials. This trail also made me appreciate history a lot more because learning all that I have I would be one clueless American.

Damaris – July 15, First Day Back Cycling the #acaLewisClark Tour of Discovery. Goodbye #NatlParkService for now

DamarisToday was our first day back biking after taking a few days off to hike, visit museums and go to phenomenal National Parks.  We only had a 75 mile day ride so I was pretty happy.  It felt so great to finally get back on the bike again and even though I didn’t wear biking shorts I still had a blast.

Unfortunately, our ride had a few negative curves. When we were 14 miles away from our camping destination of Whitehall, MT we decided to bike 7 of it and wait out an approaching mean thunderstorm at a gas station.  We arrived at the gas station and about 5 minutes later a man arrived saying that hew owns half the county, including the store, and that he doesn’t like “our kind” on his property. So, we had to leave or get the cops called on us.  I was in awe to see people like that still existed and even more confused when I remembered we weren’t even in the south. We did have to leave, or chose to leave without putting up too much of a discussion and ended up biking the 8 miles in the storm.

Even though that little event occurred I kept my head up, biked the rest of the way and enjoyed an amazing dinner.

SnR Badlands Visit-off #acaLewisClark trail


Badlands Visit, a set on Flickr.

Jul 6

We packed the wet tents and headed toward our next stop of Medora, ND to camp and visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Paha Ska – White Hills (well known as the Badlands). We learned the Lakota word for it is Mako Ce Wankankil (Mahko Che Wha Khan Kil).


We stayed the night at Sully Creek State Park in ND. It was a nice campsite at the base of a cliff. We quickly setup tents so they would dry from last night’s rain. The ground was gray and muddy. Horses were nearby and our noses pleasantly reminded us of that fact.

When the tents were complete and lunch was had we visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park and learned of his early life. In the visiting center there was the cabin that he stayed in during his visits to the Badlands. The cabin was mostly the original beams with the exception of the header. Some of the furniture was original.

We visited the ND Badlands and had our first encounter with the prairie dog colonies. We hiked along a trail that went above a river which reminded me of a picture out of the Grand Canyon. We saw prairie dogs and bison by the roadside.

Jeimy was nicknamed AJ for Adventurous Jeimy as she loved to explore.

During one of the hikes through the Badlands we found a cute and small horned toad.

Via Flickr:
SnR Youth Cyclist visit to ND Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

July 5th~SnR #acaLewisClark Tour Day 12

We spent the day learning by seeing and doing. The visit was to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center where there was a walking tour of exhibits dedicated to North Dakota and the L&C Corps of Discovery tour. The YC’s were very interested in the history and enjoyed donning costumes to reenact scenes from the past. Fort Mandan was particularly interesting because it was completed during a time when the temperature was -44* F. Talk about motivating factors.  The guard posts could only be manned in 5 minute intervals!

The tour was the bulk of the day. We camped at Lake Sakakawea State Park. By the time we arrived only the primitive sites were available. Which meant, to some degree, the YC’s had to do a little detox on the technology and talk and play with one another.  This was a good thing. This morning, one electronic gadget was taken from each. What remained was the item that would take photos. But how primitive is running water less than 200 ft away and an outhouse less than 500 ft away? Oh, and by the way, America’s definition of camping is brining along your air-conditioned living room with the flat screen television, possibly satellite hookup, and all that can fit within.  I guess you can say it’s a rolling beach house. But those of us with tents are definitely in the minority.

It began raining just after cooking was completed so dinner was had within the tents. A practice we don’t want to repeat when we get to the National Parks. It stopped soon after and the kitchen area was cleaned up.  Just after 11pm CDT it began to rain again. It didn’t stop.

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Meeting the neighbor

Meeting our French Canadian neighbor in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan, ND July 4th, 2012.

Happy 4th from SnR on the #acaLewisClark Tour

Happy 4th from SnR on the #acaLewisClark Tour

Today is a rest day so I only awoke at 6:30 CDT. Nature has a way of creating its own alarm clock when you’re hydrating so vigorously. Some of the YC’s visited a Native American cave dwelling.

Today there is a forecast of thunderstorms so if they come we’ll weather them in the tents.

The storms didn’t come but the storm winds did and they came strong! So strong, in fact, that the boy’s tent blew over and both arching poles were severely bent. Serious Bummer! So, as I was speaking with the campground host, who strangely enough is African-American, I had to run off and begin tent repair. Because at the time it looked as if the thunderstorms were still on their way.

The Marmot tents that we have come with an emergency repair tube that helps you when you bend a support tube. The wind bent two so I had to use the repair tube from the girl’s tent. With the rubber mallot left at the other campsite I had to beat the bent poles into submission (and correct shape) with a vice-grip plyer that Mahlique had found two days ago. Repair tubes in place and a little duct tape and we’re back in business. What would have been an “haha” moment for the boys if it had happened to the girls became a valuable lesson for the boys. I like learning moments.

The YC’s spent the day blogging and journaling to catch up on days missed. They had to because we were not going to take them into town unless they completed at least two day’s worth of entries. We had shopping, laundry and lunch to get while in town and they got right to work at it.

During that time Frida, the wife of the campground host, came to see us. She was still moving around their camper when we stopped by earlier. The two of them give Suepinda and I hope that we can volunteer in the state and national parks as hosts. Up to this time we’d never seen an African-American couple performing this wonderful and needed service to the campgrounds. Harold and Frida have been volunteering in state parks for six years. They also do the National Parks. They take their grandchildren out to the parks and teach them all they know. They have a great time. They’ve been to all 50 states but claim to have volunteered in only 48.

My duty in town was laundry. What we learned last year is that people don’t respect the hard work that goes into doing laundry. They take it for granted that their dirty, balled up socks and underwear magically get freshly cleaned by the laundry fairy. You put it in the bag, your mom or someone carries it away and the bag comes back with your clothes nicely folded and smelling wonderfully sweet. Well, just like (hold your ears) Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny that myth was dispelled.

As it got toward evening (hard to tell here) we all ate as a group and also enjoyed the company of our French Canadian neighbor. His wife and he are from Quebec. Sammy and Khin engaged him in conversation speaking French.

We saw the Mandan dwellings which were a great and interesting site. They were replicas but the structures were extremely sturdy. Soon it was getting dark and time for the fireworks display so we heading down the hill and picked up Frida and headed back up the hill by van to take in the spectacular view. For at least 30 miles away you can see people partaking in a traditionally American experience. One half of the horizon was alight with explosions. This was a sight never before seen by anyone on the tour, specially us adults.  A grand close to the evening, indeed. I hope your fourth was just as cool.


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Ride Day #10~ Just a short 40mile ride to Pollock, SD on the #acaLewisClark Tour

This was a great morning! Seriously! The weather was a grand 72* and there was a 5 mph breeze keeping everything just special. We climbed the 3 miles out of the campsite and turned left with the wind.

We were only going 40 miles today as we are finishing up in Pollock, SD and driving to Bismarck, ND. A new state, finally.

Itza and I rode with Kate who just wasn’t feeling the day, today. I don’t blame her. We’ve been cycling for 10 days now and it’s time for a break. That’s why we’re driving to Bismarck. That’s our destination of rest. Time to allow our minds and butts to heal. We cycled slowly for Kate and during that time Itza and I came up with a song. With Brentton’s help and his harmonica we could maybe do something with it. But for now, here are the lyrics as I currently remember them:

Andando en bicicletta is life
To take away, think twice
Between the land and the sea
There’s no better place to be
When there’s sunshine there’s rain
When there’s joy there’s pain
When you’re climbing the hill
You’ll find no Spanish word for hill

Sobre cuesta means up… the hill
bajando means down… but still
At the end of the day
There’s no Spanish word for hill

South Dakota is hot
Let’s find a shade tree, OR NOT
I guess we’ll suffer the heat
Until the wagon we meet.

Sobre questa means up… the hill
bajando means down… but still
At the end of the day
There’s no Spanish word for hill

El vientro is nice
when you’re by the campsite
But when it crosses your side
your in for a rollercoaster ride

Sobre questa means up… the hill
bajando means down… but still!
At the end of the day
There’s no Spanish word for hill

I’m no John Legend, I know, but this was fun and it did help us pass the time. When we reached the halfway point of 20miles I suggested to Kate that she get in the van. We had another 20 miles to go and it wouldn’t be good to to drag that out with the sun coming out. So, Kate agreed; knowing that today was not a day that she could double her speed.

As we continued on the grande vistas became more spectacular I went against my promise not to take another video or picture of them. I mean all of SD is beautiful rolling hills. So, I took another video.

When we reached Pollock, a town of 397 people, and lunched at their nice City Park. After lunch we repacked the truck and headed to Bismarck, ND then on to Mandan and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park for the night. Mandan was having a festival in celebration of July 4. The whole town was out and coming to celebrate. It looked like a great deal of fun.


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Ride Day #9~ It’s nice of you to visit here on the #acaLewisClark tour

I have to say that climbing out of that valley this morning felt worse than it did going in when I was on my 80th mile!  It must have been the anticipation.  The hills just kept rolling and rolling and rolling. I think the count was 5 hills.  I didn’t count. Didn’t want to. Didn’t want to think about it.

This will be a short entry. We had a great ride, no one was overheated and we had nice cloudcover for pretty much of the day. We clocked in about 75 miles today which includes the 9 miles it took to get out of West Whitlock Recreation Area. So, mapped, it was 66p

The nights are getting cooler now. As I type this at 11:45pm CDT the temperature seems to be around 73* with a slight breeze of about 5mph. Fireworks are going off in the distance.

There was a lovely sunset this evening and a beautiful moonrise. The wind was at our backs today and the DFL team was me, Itza, Jeimy, Maysa and Kate. No repairs has to be made today and all was good.

Everyone went to be in good spirits as I’m going to do now. Enjoy the slide show.

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