Friday, September 12, 2008

Freedom Trail

Still in Littleton Mass. Caught the train into Boston this morning and played tourist.

First stop was the Cheers Bar in Faneuil Hall for lunch and some carbo loading. Faneuil Hall is known as the "cradle of liberty" as it was here where the discussions of the revolution took on a real meaning and spurred the colonists into action. Much of this was lead by Samuel Adams, an outspoken revolutionary who is given credit or blame for inciting much of the activities that eventually lead to the revolutionary war. And yes, he was a brewer, tavern owner and has a local Boston beer named after him--Sam Adams Lager.

Spent the rest of the day walking the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile U.S. National Park System walking tour through central Boston visiting historic sites. Only made it part way through the tour and plan on completing it tomorrow.

Highlights of the day included seeing the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The Constitution was commissioned by President Washington and much of the iron work was done by Paul Revere. The ship's cannons pictured above each weigh about the same as a standard SVU, were manned by a crew of 9 to 11 sailors, fired a 24 pound shot that could pierce up to two feet of wood at a distance of 400 yards and backfired at the rate of 40 mphs. The Constitution won all 33 battles it fight and earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" as it's wooden sides were so strong the British cannon's could not penetrate the ship even at close range. The hammocks above were the sleeping quarters of the sailors.

Climbed to the top of the Bunker Hill Memorial which was dedicated in 1843 and got some great shots of the Boston sky line. The Memorial recognizes one the bloodiest battles of the War for Independence--the Battle of Bunker Hill. Even though the British won, their losses were large compared to the patriots and it inspired the continued resistance and independence was won several years later.

The church steeple pictured above was used to hang the lanterns to signal Paul Revere that the British were advancing and he went on his midnight ride on April 18, 1775 to warn the patriots of Charleston. Lastly, the home above is Paul Revere's. It is the oldest home in downtown Boston, built in 1680.

Some other highlights of Boston--it is the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin; it is home to the first public school in the U.S.; and it is home to Boston Common, the first public park in America established in 1634.

Lastly, as some of you know, when I stop for the day, I park the bike and walk to wherever I need to go (restaurants, stores, etc.). I've probably walked 300+ miles to date on the trip. So today, I catch a ride to the train stop but didn't arrange to get picked up since I planned to get back in plenty of time to walk back to where I'm staying. After almost 7000 miles and 3 and 1/2 months on the road you would think I would be prepared for anything, especially rain which it was doing when I returned. But no, I didn't take my rain jacket, it was extremely dark, no street lights and I really didn't have a clue about directions back to the B&B. While several cars were kind enough to stop and give me directions, no one offered a ride. Needless to say, I will not be walking without my rain jacket tomorrow!!!

Back to Boston tomorrow and off to Southern Conn on Sunday to visit a friend. Have a great weekend.

Tomorrow is PAFE's initial 150 mile bicycle ride through beautiful Northern Idaho. Good luck to all the cyclists!


At September 13, 2008 7:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for posting photos of the Boston area and for the added historical comments. I happen to be reading about the American Revolution right now, so the info is particularly appreciated. I guess I'm just trying to understand how we got from the freedom-loving spirit that drove the creation of this great country to the police-state behavior our people put up with from our government today. I know things could be lot worse, but I don't want to ever see them get that way!


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