|Sun, 29 July 2012|
|8:00 AM||to||5:00 PM|
The Black Bear Bicycle Tour is a 100 mile bicycle tour that starts in Grayling, Michigan, winds through the beautiful forests of eastern Northern Michigan and follows portions of the AuSable River to finish the tour alongside the AuSable River near the end point of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon in Oscoda, Michigan. (The tour is completed just upriver from the Marathon ending point.)
Riders in waves of ten will depart each minute from 8AM to 9AM until all are gone. Riders will be assigned starting minutes according to request, availability and date of entry. We will do our best to place riders on requested minute and with riders of their choice. Please sign up early to increase the probability of getting your requested starting minute.
Proceeds will benefit the numerous community projects sponsored by the Grayling Rotary Club.
|Sat, 28 July 2012|
|9:00 AM||to||4:00 PM|
|Sun, 29 July 2012|
|9:00 AM||to||12:00 PM|
Range 35 at Camp Grayling will echo with the sights, sounds, and smells of historic ordnance, in use once again. For the 22nd year, a long range competition with historic ordnance is sponsored by Loomis’ Battery of Michigan light artillery at Camp Grayling and the public is invited to observe the activities.
Approximately twenty Civil War and Spanish American War field guns are expected to take part in the competition, as well as a dozen Civil War mortars. The use of historic cannon in modern recreational competition began back in the 1950’s and continues in various organizations, most notably in the North – South Skirmish Association east of the Mississippi, and the Civil War Skirmish Association, from there to the West Coast. Since most all of the completions are tied to private civilian ranges the historic cannon have rarely been fired beyond 200 yards, until the Camp Grayling matches began in 1990. Now the historic guns are firing at realistic ranges up to 1200 yards, and their real potential can be appreciated.
The Civil War saw the first use of rifled cannon and they predominate at the 1200 yard event, but bronze smoothbores also attend, firing at a realistic 500 yard range. Also attending in significant numbers are the smaller class “mountain rifles” as used in the 1860-1898 period. Most are early breechloaders of 1.65 inch caliber.
All ammunition is inert, but impacts are easily observed, making it interesting for spectators. Targeting is both “bullseye” and simulated counter-battery. Field guns fire 15 shots for score and five at replica field guns built as targets.
Spectators get an extra thrill out of the mortar match since the balls are quite large—from six to eight inches—and are easily seen throughout their slow trajectory. Mortars fire at a downrange flag and the winner is the one with the aggregate of closest hits, computed as the re-useable balls are recovered after the match.
The event is sponsored by Loomis’ Battery of Michigan Light Artillery, which was founded in 1960 to study and interpret the light artillery of the Civil War. Spectators with any interest in the big guns of the past will find the program on Saturday, July 28th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. very interesting. A cash trophy rematch will also be fired the following day, simulating a documented event in January 1862 when the original Loomis’ Battery fired at a single newspaper sheet at 1000 yards. Also on Sunday, July 29th, a brief mortar match will be fired as well as a match for smaller mountain-class artillery. The Sunday program will end by noon.
The range can be accessed from the I-75 Business Loop to North Down River Road and follow the signs. The event is located on Camp Grayling’s Range 35, located off of North Down River Road. Hearing protection, binoculars or spotting scopes and lawn chairs are recommended. There is parking at the site; the area is not paved and is very sandy. Concessions are available. Be prepared for lots of smoke and loud explosions; get a feel for what a Civil War battlefield might have been like. Competitors are willing to answer questions and talk about their various units. Ear protection and binoculars or spotting scopes are strongly recommended! There is no cost to attend this event.