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Cyclists return home from Trail of Tears bike ride

Posted: 1:51 PM, Jun 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-20 14:51:35-04

After a three-week journey along the Trail of Tears, nearly two dozen cyclists are back home in Tahlequah.

For the past 35 years, cyclists have traveled the same path as their ancestors - retracing the long and grueling steps they were forced to walk to their new home.

Through sweat, endurance, and tears, nearly two dozen cyclists biked the Trail of Tears.

Beginning the journey in New Echota, Georgia on June 2, riders covered 60 miles each day - crossing through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas before reaching their destination in Tahlequah.

Kevin Tafoya traveled from North Carolina with his kids, so they could watch their mom and aunt finish the 950 mile journey.

"Teaching them about that is just kinda helped me grow as a father and helped me understand that there's a lot of stuff for them to see," said Tafoya. "There is so much of their history that they need to know."

Throughout their 21-day ride, the group visited several historical sites significant to the Trail of Tears, which included the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park in Blythe Ferry, Tennessee - where cyclists were able to find the names of their ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears.

Governor Kevin Stitt also declared this week as Trail of Tears Remembrance week.

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