Motorcycle Destinations | Muskets & Memories
For many riders, a motorcycle can be a two-wheeled time machine, taking them back to earlier years of their lives in high school or college, when they got their first motorcycle or took their first long tour.
But there are other ways your motorcycle can take you back in time — even to the earlier days of the country.
One is the ride back to the days of the Civil War when you steer your bike to Boscobel, Wis., for its annual “Muskets & Memories” event on the first weekend in August.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the battle re-enactment involving hundreds of participants in authentic Federal and Confederate uniform, field artillery, mounted cavalry, fully-equipped period bivouac, and field hospital, along with traveling stores and vendors selling period correct goods. There are even the well-dressed ladies and gents that did congregate on nearby hilltops to watch the battles back in the day.
Throughout the weekend, there are living history demonstrations, guided encampment tours, period children’s activities, Civil War era workshops, live period music, and 1860s period sutlers. Saturday night there is a Military/Civilian Ball and much more.
For the 2014 event, the actual battle that was re-created, right down to replication of the major troop movements of the battle with narration to describe the action, was the Battle of Peachtree Creek that took place north of Atlanta, Ga., on July 25, 1864. In a historic context, the battle might be thought of as having been the beginning of the end for the Confederate defense of Atlanta.
Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, trying to avert the disastrous loss of Atlanta to Federal forces, replaced highly respected but cautious General Joe Johnston with the more aggressive General John Bell Hood.
When the fighting ended, Hood’s poorly coordinated attacks on well-prepared Federal defensive positions cost the south more than twice the casualties suffered by Federal forces, losing more than 4,700 soldiers killed and wounded. Atlanta fell to Federal forces on September 2, 1864.
Boscobel itself is a terrific motorcycle touring destination, in the heart of Wisconsin’s scenic Driftless area in the southwest corner of the state.
Excellent paved state, county and town roads meander through rolling farmland and wooded bluffs, and Federally designated Scenic Byway 60 hugs the spectacular Wisconsin river as it winds toward its confluence with the Mississippi.
County trunk highway E is a superb scenic route, as well taking you from highway 60 just north of Boscobel all the way to the Mississippi river at Lynxville. The road lifts you out of the Wisconsin river valley to the heights above and runs along the ridge until it begins its descent into the spectacular Mississippi river valley into the village of Lynxville. Along the way, there are expansive farm country panoramas north and south of the road.
In August, Wisconsin weather tends to be very warm, a little humid, with lots of sunshine, making for excellent riding conditions. Local accommodations and eateries all around the area make it easy to get a good night’s sleep, a good meal and a good day of riding.
When you start planning your 2015 touring destinations, think about taking a trip— back in time —to the Civil War and a beautiful part of the country in Boscobel, Wis.
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