My Trip Across America
To The March for Liberty

September 26, 1999 through October 9, 1999
By: Jared, age 10 years

Sunday, September 26, 1999
We left this morning and drove into the Idaho Mountains passing through Horseshoe Bend, Garden Valley and Lowman. We then drove over Banner Summit where the mountains were very pretty and the fall colors are starting to show. Then we drove through Stanley, Challis and Salmon, Idaho. Between Challis and Salmon it snowed on us.

Then we drove over Lost Trail Pass and then Chief Joseph Pass into Montana and it was snowing very hard up there for about 20-30 miles. We drove past the Big Hole Battlefield where Chief Joseph's Indians defeated some local troops as they were trying to escape into Canada. About 6:30 PM we got into Dillon, Montana where we used to live. We ate with my sister Rachel at a restaurant called Papa T's. We spent the night at Sacajawea motel.

Monday, September 27, 1999
My mother met us in Dillon and we left our 1979 Suburban (that my Dad and I drove to Dillon) with my sister to use during the winter. We left Dillon and drove to Billings, MT and got snowed on near Big Timber. At Billings we turned south and drove through Wyoming past the Little Big Horn Battlefield where the Sioux Indians wiped out General George Armstrong Custer on the Little Big Horn River.

We drove by Sheraton Wyoming and to Gillette, Wyoming where we ran into another big snowstorm. It snowed so hard my Dad thought we might have to stop in Gillette, but we got through it ok. The Rocky Mountains looked beautiful the whole way. The trees looked nice as they were changing colors in the fall weather. That night we drove through the Black Hills and stopped in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Tuesday, September 28, 1999
We left Rapid City and drove across South Dakota. There were no more Rocky Mountains and we were driving across rolling prairies. Even though there weren't many trees, there were lots of hills until we reached the Missouri River. After crossing the Missouri River we were in Iowa.

Oh, before we got into Iowa, we stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota and saw the Corn Palace. It's a big building and what's so weird about it is that the outside is covered with cornhusks. My dad took a picture of it with me and my mom standing there. That night we stayed in Des Moines, Iowa.

Myself and my mom at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Wednesday we got up and drove to Iowa City, Iowa. There, we got off of the interstate highway and headed south. I had to get off the laptop computer when we were not on the interstate. My Dad brought it and uses it to check his email at night if he can. He loaded games I could play while we drove.

Myself and my dad with his laptop at out hotel room.

We went south so we could visit Nauvoo, Illinois, a historical site for the Mormon Church where they lived before they were persecuted and went west to the great Salt Lake. We crossed the Mississippi River at Fort Madison, Iowa just before Nauvoo. The Mississippi is a huge river! After we crossed the Mississippi, Nauvoo was only a few miles away. We visited Nauvoo for several hours. They are restoring a lot of the buildings, including the Latter Day Saint Temple. It was all very interesting to me.

Here I am in front of a small replica of the Nauvoo temple and by Joseph and Hyrum Smith's graves.

After we left Nauvoo, we drove to Carthage jail. It was an old jailhouse that was used in 1844. Joseph and Hyrum Smith, leaders in the Mormon Church at the time, were murdered there by a mob. The jailhouse is the original building and the bullet holes that killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the room they were in are still in the door. After we left Carthage, we got back on the Interstate highway about 60 miles from Carthage and drove on. We spent the night in Peoria, Illinois.

The door with the bullet holes, and my mom and I under the window where Joseph Smith fell.

Thursday, September 30, 1999
On Thursday, we left Peoria and continued across the mid-west. We passed through Indianapolis, Indiana, Dayton, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio. At Columbus, we headed southeast for Washington, DC. We crossed the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia. We drove into the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. There sure are a lot of trees all over those mountains. We stopped in Morganstown, West Virginia. We stayed at a hotel with a bunch of teenagers who were there on a FFA convention.

Myself and my dad in the West Virginia mountains and a picture of the mountains from our car.

Friday, October 1, 1999
We left Morganstown and drove to Thurmont, Maryland. It was a beautiful drive, with lots of trees. Thurmont is where we stayed for the next two nights. We got a car wash and went to see the people who helped dad set up the rally in Washington, DC that was being held the next day. A friend of my dad's named Ron had arranged for people to meet at his house. There were people from all over the country there. One family, with 7 children, had driven all the way from Montana in a RV. One, Jonathan Mooney, was my age and we played with his younger brother Jeff. My Dad did some cowboy poetry for them. After this, we went back to our hotel.

My Dad and his friend Tom.

Saturday, October 2, 1999 - The March for Liberty
We got up at 5:45 AM and waited for everyone else to join us and then go to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC about 45 miles away. We got there and I could see the Washington Memorial across the Mall, which is a big area that runs through the city, like a park, that has most of the monuments in it.

The rally lasted all day. It was called, "The March for Liberty". It was about the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms. It was in support of the 2nd amendment and how important it is for people to be armed if they are to stay safe from any kind of criminal. It was also about the dangers to our other rights and what liberty really means. My dad says that in order to have liberty you have to recognize that people have unalienable rights that come from God, and not from government. He also says you have to have moral values and be able to freely choose to be moral as long as you don't hurt anyone else. They had a petition they passed around to get signed at the rally. About 250 people signed it. I am including a copy of the petition here. Here are some photos from the March:

My Dad speaking at the March and sitting with his friend Bob listening to others.

People listening to the March and the band that played there.

The Lincoln Memorial behind the rally, and my dad listening to a speaker.

More people at the rally and one of the many speakers.

(The March for Liberty - October 2nd, 1999, Washington DC)
" Congress shall make no law... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In accordance with the Constitutional right provided all citizens of the United States,
We therfore, the below signed, Petition the Congress of the United States of America for redress of the following :

Grievances :

1. Gross infringements on the right of individual citizens to bear arms, as enumerated in the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution, through the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Brady Bill of 1993, the Assault Weapon Bill of 1994 and any other infringing Bills or Acts.
2. The establishment and perpetuation of a national State of Emergency and associated unconstitutional Emergency Powers through the National Emergency established by Franklin Roosevelt in March of 1933 and perpetuated by Executive Order ever since.
3. Heavy foreign influence of US trade, foreign and domestice policy resulting from membership in and treaties with the international institution know as the United Nations.
4. Excessive and direct taxation and unconstitutional social restructuring through the Internal Revenue Service as a result of the 16th amendment to the Constitution.
5. Infringements on the rights to due process and to be secure in papers and possessions, as enumerated in the 4th and 5th amendments of the US Constitution through excessive asset forfeiture laws and excesses in Crime Bill legislation..
Redress Petitioned :

1. Repeal or rescind all acts and regulations which infringe on the citizen's rights to bear the common infantry arms of the day.
2. Rescind the State of Emergency and any and all agencies, acts and regulations that derive their power and existence therefrom.
3. End membership of the United States in the United Nation, or any other similar global organization, and remove said organization, its financing and its housing from the United States of America.
4. Immediately do away with the Internal Revenue Service and then repeal the 16th amendment through Constitutional amendment.
5. Repeal or rescind all acts and regulations which, through asset forfeiture, wire tapping, warrantless searches, general warrants or any other instrument, infringe on a citizen's right to be secure in their papers,and effects and their right to due process of law.

We swear, or solmenly affirm, with each individual signature, that we are citizens of the United States of America, and do petition the Congress of the United States of America on account of the above enumerated grievances, for the redress as stated :


During the rally myself and my mom visited the Lincoln Memorial. He sure has big feet! We also visited the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Institute. We walked all the way there and all the way back. It sure was a long way! There were a lot of really neat things in the Smithsonian Institute, more than I could imagine.

Here I am at the Smithsonian at a chair-making exhibit (I made that chair), and a telegraph exhibit.

Then we went back to the rally and I played with my new friend during the rally and we caught a duck next to the reflecting pool and let it go. Then, a running club called the "Hush House Harriers" came by. There were nearly a thousand of them! They ran, drank beer and dressed up in red dresses, even all of the men dressed in red dresses. They were weird!

During the rally we saw other people from all over the world. My dad made a speech to Washington, DC and was the Master of Ceremony for a lot of the March. There were several hundred people there, and hundreds more who stopped and listened during the day. There was an open microphone for anyone to talk for five minutes about Liberty in our country. Lots of people from all over used that microphone and there were lots of patriotic speeches all day and a patriotic rock band played too.

Here's a picture of the Capital and the Washington Monument.

We weren't able to go to the White House, the Capital Building or the Jefferson Memorial, but we saw them all. When the rally was over, we drove to Andrews Air Force base to give a ride home to Tom Goffnet, one of the people who helped organize the rally. Then we ate dinner with Tom and Bob Baird (who also spoke and helped organize the rally), because it was too late to get back to Thurmont and eat with some of the other people who were meeting there. We then went back to our hotel in Thurmont and got there about 11:30 PM. Boy that was a long day!

Sunday, October 3, 1999
We left Thurmont, Maryland and drove to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, only about 20 miles away. In Gettysburg, we visited the Gettysburg Battlefield from the War Between the States. There were a lot of cannons. There were more casualties at Gettysburg in the three-day battle there than all of the deaths in the Vietnam War which lasted ten years.

We looked at Cemetery Ridge where the major Confederate charge was defeated. The worst fighting occurred at a place called "Bloody Angle" where two stone walls meet and where the Union soldiers were shooting from behind the walls. There, General Armistead of the Confederate forces broke through with 150 men and destroyed a bunch of cannons that were shooting confederates. He got to the last man controlling the last cannon and shot him, but General Armistead and the rest of his men were also killed. My dad spent a lot of time there at the Bloody Angle, just sitting and thinking about what happened there.

An artist's drawing of the Bloody Angle fighting and General Armistead's breakthrough.

Here I am at a Union cannon behind the bloody angle, and my dad is standing where Armistead died.

After seeing the battlefield, we started driving again. We drove right through New York City and a big traffic jam in a part of the city called the Bronx. My dad said he wished we had gone a different way. New York City was huge and we saw the Empire State building and the World Trade Center buildings in the distance. Then we drove up into New England to Boston, where we stayed at my uncle's (my mom's brother) that night.

Monday, October 4, 1999
Monday was a very busy day. We got up and went to eat breakfast with my aunt. It sure was good! We then went and saw my aunt's new house that they will be renting right next to the ocean in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Then we went and saw Plymouth Rock. It's not very big at all. They also had a replica of the Mayflower there. We didn't go on board, but it was sure a small ship for all of those pilgrims to cross the ocean in. It's hard to imagine how difficult and hard it was for them, especially the kids.

Plymouth Rock, you can tell the size by looking at the footprint behind it, and the Mayflower II.

Then we drove into Boston and dropped my mom off at the public library because she wanted to work on her genealogy. My dad and I went to see the USS Constitution. It was the first naval ship commissioned in the US Navy after the Constitution was written. It had 44 cannons and was a good-sized ship. It is the original ship and they have kept it up all of these years. It is still commissioned in the US Navy and navy sailors man the ship even now and take people on tours. It was neat.

Then we went to the World War II destroyer, USS Cassin. It had four huge, 5-inch guns. It fought in the Pacific against the Japanese and had been hit by a kamikaze pilot. These were Japanese who committed suicide in war by crashing their planes into American ships. It was fun seeing this ship. Then we went and ate and visited the USS Constitution museum. They had a computer game there you could play and re-fight one of the Constitution's battles in the War of 1812 against someone else. I played my dad twice. He won one, and I beat him once too, ha!

Then we went to the Bunker Hill battlefield. This was the first big battle in the Revolutionary War after Lexington and Concord. Colonel Prescott was the American commander and the British lost over 1000 men taking that hill. An American patriot, Nathaniel Greene said, "I wish we could sell them another hill at that price". We climbed up the Bunker Hill Monument. It was 300 steps to the top. It was tiring, but my dad said we should take it "slow and steady" and we did. We ended up passing other people who had tried to climb faster before they reached the top. After this, we went and picked up my mom and then went back to my uncle's and ate dinner and went to bed.

The USS Constitution, the USS Cassin and Colonel Prescott at Bunker Hill.

Tuesday, October 5, 1999
We got up and left my uncle's and drove to Lexington. We looked at the historical sites and where "the shot heard around the world" was fired as the British government and troops came to confiscate the patriot militia's firearms back then. We followed the "Freedom Trail" the British marched from Lexington to Concord. We stopped at the new Minutemen National Park along the way. We saw where Paul Revere was captured just before the fighting at Lexington and then talked his way into being released.

Lexington Green Monument and the place where Paul Revere started his ride.

Then we went to Concord. We saw the Alcott House where the book, "Little Women" was written. We saw Ralph Waldo Emerson's house and then went to North Bridge where the minutemen patriots fought and stopped the British and began chasing them back to Boston along the "Freedom Trail". In that running battle, almost 300 British died and 94 patriots. We then ate at the Colonial Inn in Concord, which was built in 1716! Then we left Concord and started driving west towards home.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Home and me and my mother at North Bridge in Concord.

We stopped late in the day in the Vermont Green Mountains and got some real Maple Syrup, which Vermont is famous for. We then drove into eastern New York and stopped in Manchester, New York.

My mom in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Today we got up and drove to Palmyra, New York. We visited a print shop and saw how books were printed up in the 1830's. This is also where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed and the print shop has been restored.

Palmyra is known for the four churches it has at one road intersection in the middle of town on all four corners. There is a Presbyterian, and Episcopal, a Methodist and a Baptist church. They each have big buildings, one on each corner.

Then we visited the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith's farm home where he was a boy and the Hill Cumorah where Joseph Smith received the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. The wind was blowing hard on the top of that hill, but you could sure see a long ways.

The Hill Cumorah Monument and me on top of the hill next to the monument.
We then left and drove on across New York and into Ohio. We saw lake Erie and it sure was pretty. Just inside of Ohio, a lady who had heard of my dad and the March for Liberty drove to meet us and eat dinner with us. She is a well-known author whose pen name is Claire Wolfe. She brought us some apples, bananas and other things and talked with my mom and my dad. She sure was a nice lady. Then we drove on and spent the night outside of Toledo Ohio.

Thursday, October 7, 1999
We left Toledo, Ohio and drove across Indiana and saw Lake Michigan just before we got into Illinois. In Illinois, we got stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour. Then we drove across Illinois and crossed the Mississippi River going west at Davenport, Iowa. We got caught in another traffic jam in Iowa outside of Des Moines, but then traveled across Iowa and crossed the Missouri River at Omaha, Nebraska. We drove a little further and spent the night in Lincoln, Nebraska, home of the Nebraska Corn Huskers college football team.

Friday, October 8, 1999
Before we left Lincoln, my sister called us and let us know her husband, Nathan, was traveling across Nebraska that day and had spent the night only fifty miles away. My dad and I drove to the Interstate and waited for him while mom got ready to go. He came by and saw us and stopped and we talked with him and his dad for about 20 minutes. It was neat to see him, my brother in law, like that. Then we left Lincoln and headed across Nebraska. We turned off at Grand Island and visited the Mormon Island State Park where Mormon Pioneers had built a supply station.

We then took off the interstate highway and rove to the Nebraska National Forest. I never knew Nebraska had a National Forest, and thought it was all rolling prairies. But, there it was, in the middle of the state, and it was a nice pine forest, but it was small. Only about 15 miles wide and 20 miles long.

Then we drove to Scott's Bluff, Nebraska and also saw Chimney Rock. Both of these are historic points on the Oregon and Mormon Pioneer trails. Then we drove towards Casper, Wyoming. We stopped in Douglas, Wyoming and ate at a restaurant in the middle of town that is part of an old hotel. The food was really good! Then we drove to Casper and spent the night.

My dad at Nebraska's National Forest and me by a wagon at Scott's Bluff National Monument.

Saturday, October 9, 1999
We got up early and left Casper, Wyoming. We drove along the Pioneer trail. When we got to Independence Rock, we stopped. This is a landmark that all of the pioneers saw as they passed along the trail. They estimate that over 330,000 pioneers passed this way on wagon trains, or pulling handcarts, or walking. They had to reach this rock before July 4th if they were supposed to be able to get to California or Oregon before winter. When many of them got there, they chiseled their names on the very top of this huge rock. We climbed up to the top (you really can just walk up the slope of granite) and saw thousands and thousands of names. The earliest name we saw that you could still read was dated 1849! We took some pictures there. Then we climbed down and drove on.

We stopped at Martin's Cove, just the other side of Devil's Gate. Devil's Gate is a short canyon in the Sweetwater River that looks like a rock gate in the mountains. Martin's Cove is just two miles past Devil's Gate. This is where, in 1856, a Mormon Pioneer Company pulling handcarts across the plains, was stranded by early winter storms. About 140 out of 550 people died there before a relief party could help them from Salt Lake City.

Names carved in Independence Rock and me on top. My dad near Martin's Cove, Devil's Gate behind.

After leaving Martin's Cove, we drove through Muddy Gap, crossed the Continental Divide and drove across the rest of Wyoming. We stopped in Evanston, Wyoming to eat and then drove across northern Utah. We entered back into Idaho near Snowville, Utah on Interstate 84 at 4 PM, yea! We stopped and got a subway sandwich near Burley, Idaho and finally got back home to Emmett, Idaho around 8:30 PM. This was the end of my trip across America with my mom and dad. Dad said we drove more than 6800 miles in fourteen days. It took pioneers three months to go one thousand. While we traveled, we looked for license plates from different states. We saw 49 out of 50. The only one we didn't get was Hawaii.

It was a really fun experience and I saw and learned a lot about our nation and its history and how it got started, and also a lot about the Pioneers, especially the Mormon Pioneers. All of the pioneers went through a lot of hard times and trouble to settle our country. Here's a map of the entire trip:

(I want to really thank my mom and dad who helped me with this journal and this computer version with all of these pictures.)

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