Category Archives: History

Love the Ride for the Pure Joy of Life and the Never Ending Dream

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I knew that it would be another tough day at the office filed with turbulence and strife.  My commute is about an hour and felt a profound satisfaction that my hectic work day would start and end on my motorcycle.  During my ride, I dwelled upon the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.

As the sun peaks over the horizon and shares its warm vibrant rays, I realize that winter has retreated north.  The scent of new life has permeated through the plains and mountains and one can almost smell the land coming alive from a winter’s desolate exile.  The rivers are more vibrant, fed by melting snow and the birds chatter among the trees in an epic devotional of the miracles of spring.   For motorcyclist living in a multifaceted climate, this time of year represents an open door to freedom which removes limitations to our ability to ride.   The warm air and gentle breeze call us from afar to find new paths to places rarely visited.

Motorcycling in spring is like waking up to find that one’s awe-inspiring fantasy has indeed become a reality.  Seize the moment and ride.  Find a new adventure, research the wonders of history in your backyard, visit a friend long-lost, and cherish the majestic environment that only spring can display.  We are our own leading restraint in finding happiness in this world; don’t let any obstacle get in your way.   Now is the time to leave the chaos of life behind and chase smiles and grins on black top covered dreams.

We live a life of risk and rewards.  Every day may be the last day but we are always planning for tomorrow.  It’s a life of balance and one must never lose touch with rationale thought but an occasional jaunt living on the edge builds character.  Find time to live and breathe the fresh air of an uncluttered mind.  Focus on the Ride and let the road be your long-lost muse.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn” –  Hal Borland

happiness


American Travesty Tour, Research before the Ride- Sand Creek Massacre and the Granada War Relocation Center

change behavior

I am in the process of planning a ride through Southeast Colorado which I am calling the American Travesty Tour.  I try to research the historical significance of places that I plan on visiting on my motorcycle.  I find that a bit of inquiry before the trip, makes the sites I see more vibrant and impactful.   Planning this ride really made me reflect upon the concept of the duel Characteristic of Man.  The notion that an individual can be both good and evil is not all that easy to swallow until one really dwells upon the deep unending depth of an individual’s soul.  Were all capable of doing wondrous positive things as well as committing horrific acts of evil.  What is an even more bazaar is that individuals often can do these things in conjunction with one another.  Researching the historical significance of the Sand Creek Massacre and the Granada War Relocation Center in Southeast Colorado put into perspective the wrongs that my own country has committed.  These are not the only sins that burden my own cultural identity but give me a sense of what we are all capable of doing if we do not live with an ethical and spiritual conscious.  As a combat veteran, I can tell you that I am proud to be an American but one also must keep their hearts open to learning opportunities that we can learn from the past.

On November 29th 1864, America lost its moral compass when a force of Colorado US Volunteer Calvary under the command of US Army Colonel John Chivington attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans.  The encampment was filled with mostly women and children, since the men were out hunting food for the upcoming winter. The band of Indians were requested to move to the Sand Creek area of Southeast Colorado and were guaranteed their safety by the American Government.    In their village flew an American Flag along with a White Flag underneath the stars and stripes which was raised by the tribe to show their peaceful nature.  Most adult Cheyenne and Arapaho men in the encampment were either sick or too old to attend the hunt.  There is no real accurate causality list but it is safe to report that more than 100 Arapaho and Cheyenne Native Americans were killed, mostly women and children.  This attack became known as the Sand Creek Massacre.  This blood bath lead to further violence throughout the region when countless reprisals were made against white settlers in response to the Sand Creek Massacre by Native American Warriors.     It’s a classic sad tale of hate begetting hate.   Not all the military personal under Colonel Chivington participated in the massacre.  Captain Soule who was in charge of Company D of the 1st Colorado Calvary ordered his men to stand down and did not attack when given the charge orders.  Captain Soule latter testified against Colonel Chivington.  On April 23, 1865 Silas Soule was murdered in Denver, CO while on duty as a Provost Marshal.  Evidence suggests that his untimely death was payback for his eye witness testimony against Colonel Chivington.

Granada War Relocation Center, also known Camp Amache was a Japanese Relocation Camp located just outside Granada, CO in Southeast Colorado.  In the spring of 1942, Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced from their homes and made to move to one of ten such Japanese Relocation Camps.  Individuals were only allowed to bring one bag to the relocation centers and were forced to sell their valuables and property including pets and livestock before getting forced out of their homes.  It’s hard to fathom such fear and hate which lead to such an abysmal act.  While their family members were stuck in War Re-Location Camps, Japanese Americans were fighting the fascists in Europe.  The US Army 442nd Regiment was made up of mostly men of Japanese ancestry and was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American Warfare.  The 442nd Infantry Regiment earned 9486 Purple Hearts and was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations.  Their motto was “Go for Broke” and they lived up to that creed with twenty-one of their members being awarded the Medal of Honor.

I never have posted my pre-ride research before an upcoming ride but felt so affected by what I learned that I wanted to put in words and share.  I plan on taking this journey in the next few months and will hopefully be able to share more information.

442nd