The journey retraces the steps of the Choctaw ancestors. It is an enduring journey that gives each rider time to reflect and remember their heritage, seeking out Choctaw heritage sites to visit along the way.
Over the past week Choctaw people have found a way to make The Trail of Tears a time of remembrance, and a time to celebrate how far they’ve come since 1831.
“The purpose is to remember our culture and our history, and to honor those who have got us to where we are today,” Chief Gary Batton said.
Chief Batton joined the team at Blue, Oklahoma for the last 12-mile stretch. The streets were lined with friends and family cheering as the cyclists were escorted to the finish.
“It was a heartwarming feeling to see everyone come out and honor, not me, but the riders and what it represents,” Batton said.
Cyclist Teresa Eagle Road has ridden in the event seven times now. She noted how great it was to finish at the new headquarters.
“I thought, ‘Wow,’ when I saw all the people waiting for us. It was a great welcome,” Eagle Road said.