Boston’s Freedom Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Freedom Trail in downtown Boston will take you back in time to before our country was born.  You will see where Benjamin Franklin was baptized, Paul Revere’s home, the tavern where the Boston Tea Party was planned, and the Old North Church.  Those are a few of the many historical sites along the trail.  It took me well over 3 hours to see everything.  The visitor center was closed upon my arrival, and I spent 30 minutes wandering Boston Common and the adjacent streets looking for the trail.  Then a compassionate street vendor showed me the narrow cobblestone ribbon which marks the Freedom Trail throughout the city.

Old North Church where Paul Revere signaled his famous warning.

Old North Church where Paul Revere signaled his famous warning.  Click to enlarge.

Along the way I bought some grapes at the outdoor produce market.  A woman in front of me bought them, and then backed out at the last minute. I was starved for fruit and vegetables after several days on the road.  “I’ll take those,” I said.  “Thank you,” the vendor replied, sounding relieved.  “You tell ‘em all day (the prices) and they walk off.  They must be afraid something’s going to happen between here and there.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is difficult to explain the amazement I felt at actually visiting the sites that played a key role in the American Revolution.  Some of them, such as the Green Dragon Tavern and Old North Church, are still operating.  One doesn’t often see places dating back to the 1600’s in our relatively young country.  I felt proud of our founding fathers for who they were and what they did, especially while still under British rule.

After three nonstop hours on my feet I plopped down on a public bench.  A man saw me opening a map and offered directions.  He and his wife spent the next few minutes telling me the shortest way back to my parking garage.  I had been warned about the rudeness of Bostonians, but everyone I interacted with was friendly.   Boston’s streets run at a fast pace similar to that of New York.  Most people walked past the historical sites as if they were nothing, as I probably would if I lived there.  I wonder how many residents took the time to walk on the Freedom Trail at some point.

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Meriwether Lewis Death Site, TN

Meriwether Lewis Grave, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN

Meriwether Lewis Grave, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN: Click to enlarge.

I visited the site where Meriwether Lewis of the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition was killed.  Lewis was traveling the Trace on his way to Washington, DC to present the expedition journals when he died here on October 11, 1809.  The cause of his death remains unknown.  Lewis’ grave lies within 100 yards of the pictured Grinder House in which he died.  The site is located near the Trace’s northern terminus in Tennessee.  As in many parts of the Trace I had it to myself.

Historical information provided by the National Park Service and the Tennessee Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Grinder House in which Meriwether Lewis died, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN

Grinder House in which Meriwether Lewis died, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN:  Click to enlarge.

Meriwether Lewis Gravesite, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN

Meriwether Lewis Gravesite, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN:  Click to enlarge.

Meriwether Lewis Grave, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN

Meriwether Lewis Grave, Natchez Trace Parkway, TN:  Click to enlarge.

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The Old Trace near its northern terminus outside Nashville, TN: Click to enlarge.