Zebulon M. Pike Expedition and Pike National Historic Trail Association Web Site
Zebulon Pike National Historic Trail Association

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Membership in the Pike National Historic Trail Association
[a nonprofit, charitable association]

Members and nonmembers receive:

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Members also receive:

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  • access to our future Publications
  • discounts on future Association merchandise (books, guides, map collections, interpretive materials, etc.)
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Colorado Trio Commemorates Pike Expedition with Album of Acoustic Colonial-Era Songs

A Voyage of Such Nature: Acoustic Music in Celebration of the Pike ExpeditionThree Colorado acoustic musicians have combined talents to produce an album of Colonial-era songs commemorating the bicentennial of Zebulon Montgomery Pike's travels in Colorado. Colorado musicians Tom Munch of Pueblo, Don Richmond of Alamosa and Rex Rideout of Conifer have just released a CD titled "A Voyage of Such Nature: Acoustic Music in Celebration of the Pike Expedition." The dozen songs on the album correspond with twelve points of interest on Pike's journey in Kansas and Colorado in 1806 and 1807

."The album is a collection of songs from the era of the expedition that express the emotions and adventures we envision Pike and his men went through," Munch said. "The songs are circa 1600 to 1800 and are acoustic instrumental renditions that are faithful to the past, yet also influenced by the present and freshened to appeal to modern ears."

The concept for "A Voyage of Such Nature" was the brainchild of Munch, who started reading Pike's journals in 2005 and was inspired to find a musical interpretation. Pike's journals include very little about music, so Munch set out in early 2006 to find songs that could represent Pike's journey. He researched approximately 250 songs of Colonial America in his quest for the flavor of the expedition. " I was struck by how beautiful some of the melodies were and how much they could be used to express the mental state of Pike's men during their journey up the Arkansas River and into the mountains," he said. "I believe that music can transport one back to the trail in 1806 as much as any other vehicle we have. This recording has some gorgeous music that you can listen to without knowing it is historic, yet when taken in the context of the Pike journey, can relate the listener to the trials of that epic expedition." To listen to clips of the music, click here.

The CD cover is a copy of Pike's original map with his trail highlighted and the twelve songs listed along the route according to what was deemed "a good fit." Listeners are encouraged to follow along with the map. For example, a moment of reflection on Mt. Rosa during Pike's attempt to climb Pike's Peak is represented by the song "Mist- Covered Mountains." Pike's miserable stay near present-day Westcliffe, where he nearly froze to death, is expressed by the plaintive, sorrowful song "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Other songs include military marches, country dance tunes, soulful derivations of well-known songs of the time, and even the first American musical advertisement, "Nottingham Ale." Instrumentation was discussed by the three musicians at the beginning of their project. For example, Pike mentions in his journals the use of the guitar in Mexico (In their houses the ladies play the guitar, and generally accompany it with their voices). But while Americans were playing the guitar back East, this was not an instrument they would play in the West at the start of the 19th century. "If we had stayed true to the instruments that may have been found in Pike’s expedition, there would be few to choose from, so we elected to make use of the full range of acoustic music today," said Rideout. He added that other historic instruments were a natural choice "It was well known that the Lewis and Clark expedition had fiddlers within the ranks. Pike also writes in his journals of his men enjoying the music of the fiddle during their exploration of the Mississippi."
Munch said he wanted to make this album as a way to spotlight Pike's importance in American history. "His contribution both to our country's early geography and to the commerce established in the Southwest (which helped build the nation's fledgling economy) cannot be overstated. For me, he is one of the linchpins in our country's history."

The CD includes a full fold-out page highlighting various quotes from Pike's journals so that a glimpse of the man can come through in his writings. The album title is taken from Pike's entry on Dec. 25, 1806, in which he laments the various difficulties "of a man on a voyage of such nature."

A concert tour is planned for the fall into 2007 in the towns where Pike actually traveled. To listen to sound clips or to order the CD directly, click here.

Pike’s Journal Back in Print!

Book Cover for "The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807"Just in time for the Bicentennial, the University of New Mexico Press has republished the complete journal of Pike’s southwestern expedition, making this historic work available to the public again after being out of print for nearly forty years. This new edition, titled The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807, was originally published in 1932 when, under the capable hands of editors Stephen H. Hart and Archer B. Hulbert, it became the first version of the journals to make use of Pike’s maps and other navigational data confiscated by the Spanish in 1807 and later returned to the U.S. by the Mexican government as a result of the 1906 Pike centennial.

The University of New Mexico Press enlisted noted Southwest historian Mark Gardner to write a new introduction to Hart and Hulbert’s work, and he has ably delineated the place of their original edition in Pike scholarship, as well as providing additional historical insights helpful for today’s reader. Readers will also find the edition a nice balance of historiographical styles, with the running text of the journals periodically interspaced with other primary documents, such as pertinent letters, that help further clarify particular expeditionrelated events in a wider context. But in the end, it is the immediacy of reading Pike’s actual words that provides the ultimate window through which people and landscapes live and breathe again, and the editors’ light touch deftly let Pike remain our ultimate guide to this great adventure.

The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike is a crucial traveling companion for those who are embarking on the expedition’s exciting trail—whether it’s via the open road, or from the comfort of an armchair—and is the welcome return of an old friend for historians of every stripe. Copies of The Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike, 1806-1807 are available from the The Last Chance Store or by phone at 888-321-7341.

DVD Cover of the movie: "Zebulon Pike and the Blue Mountain"Classic Pike Film Released on DVD

The bicentennial release of the award-winning film, “Zebulon Pike and the Blue Mountain” is available to the public on a digitally remastered DVD from Colorado-based Tamarack Productions.

As the title suggests, while the film presents an overall view of the expedition’s Southwestern journey, “Zebulon Pike and the Blue Mountain” centers around what is arguably the most exciting and challenging part of their amazing saga, their harrowing winter adventures in what is today’s state of Colorado. Most of the footage for the film was shot on actual locations along Pike’s route, giving the viewer a keen sense of historic place that is enhanced by the filmmaker’s efforts to replicate as accurately as possible all of the expedition’s equipment and uniforms.

Where scenes involve Indians, such as the tense meeting on November 22, 1806, between the explorers and a Pawnee war party, the realistic effect is appreciably heightened by the extensive use of actual Indian tribal members, accurately attired, who speak the dialogue in subtitled native languages.

It’s a great adventure story, made all the more so by the use of the voice of renowned actor Burgess Meredith as narrator. “Zebulon Pike and the Blue Mountain” is the only film devoted exclusively to relating Pike’s saga in the Southwest, and offers both entertainment and a valuable educational tool for classroom use.
To view a clip of the movie and get additional information, click here.

Pike NHT Cross Stitch

The cross stitch of the 1806-1807 Pike Expedition route you view here has been produced for the Pike enthusiast. It is now for sale in kit form.

The kit includes: Aida cloth {cross stitching cloth], plans, DMC thread, instructions--- all youʼll need are included. The product is a 21”x23” size which be easily framed into a 24x26 inch presentation.

Currently a bonus set of plans are also included: Pike's portrait, sextant, elevation profile, and more.

$24.99 w/ postage included.

Available from the Pike NHT Association; 10060 Blue Sky Trail; Conifer CO. or harv.pike@gmail.com.




Zebulon Montgomery Pike’s Great Western Adventure 1806-1807

Dr. Jack Kyle Cooper, encouraged by his good friend John Murphy, completed Zebulon Montgomery Pike’s Great Western Adventure 1806-1807 in 2007. the
book is a fresh look at what Pike accomplished giving aire to opinions about Pike. The book was published and is available from Clausen Books; 2131 N Weber St., Colorado Springs, CO 80907 or from The Last Chance Store or by phone at 888-321-7341.

“To Spare No Pains”“To Spare No Pains”

“To Spare No Pains”, a Bicentennial Commemoration of Pike’s 1806-1807 Southwest Expedition published in 2007, is a collection of presentations given at
the Pikes Peak Library District’s 3rd annual Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium in 2006. It features authorities Matt Mayberry, Donald Jackson, John L. Allen, James P. Ronda, Don Headlee, Bruce C. Paton, John R. Sweet, John M. Hutchins, Leo E. Oliva and others on topics such as ‘Exploration of the SW,’ ‘How Lost was Zebulon Pike?,’ ‘ZMP & Amer. Science,’ ‘Pike & Empire.’ ‘His Struggle to Survive,’ ‘Leadership,’ ‘A Veteran Prosecutor looks at the Evidence,’ ‘Enemies and Friends.’

The book was published by the Pikes Peak Library District and the Pioneers Museum and is available from Clausen Books; 2131 N Weber St., Colorado Springs, CO 80907, 888/412-7717.



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