Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fort Ancient

Last weekend Nathan and I spent most of the day with our friend Andrew. It was a beautiful day, so we decided to go to Fort Ancient. Fort Ancient is a series of Native American mounds that were originally believed to be a fort (hence the name), but have since been thought to have been used for "social, ceremonial and astronomical purposes... The site is the largest prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the United States with three and one-half miles (18,000 ft) of walls in a 100-acre complex." (thus sayeth wiki). Anyway, they're large oblong mounds that usually seem to be situated in pairs, and are quite large. Wiki says that the Indians used the shoulder blades of deer to dig up all that dirt... wow.

The coolest mounds were these four though, which are covered with flat rocks. Wiki tells me (and who am I to question the tome of all knowledge?) that they were somehow used as a calender.

We spent our time there hiking, since that's what there was to do there. There's a museum, but they charge $8 a person to get in! As it was we had to pay to even get into the park. OK, picture time! Here's the coolest tree stump ever. It's a spiral! How neat is that??

Here are some of the deer bones that the Indians used to dig... OK, not really, but this pile of deer bones was sitting in the middle of the path for some reason.

Now this is a tree full of cement. Ummm.... how does something like this happen?! I'm assuming the tree grew around an existing cement structure, but I'm still really confused how something like this happens...

Look! Ohio can be pretty! And there are even hills! Actually, the part of Ohio where Fort Ancient is is incredibly hilly considering that it's probably only half an hour from here and it's pretty much totally flat where we are.

Here's Nathan and Andrew surveying their domain... everything the light touches... Yes, Nathan is wearing my purse. Because it was heavy and he's a good husband.

This is what most of the path looked like. A muddy incline.

Aaaand of course we took the wrong path and ended up leaving the park and coming out onto what looked to me like the end of The Village. Except this was a bike path that we walked down for 20 minutes before the boys decided it was time to turn around after talking to some random stranger who told them that there was no other way back into the park... if only they had believed me when I had told them that 20 minutes earlier... ;)

There was a plus side though! We saw these cool old telephone/telegraph poles. Apparently there used to be a town there on the banks of the Little Miami River, but there was a huge flood way back when that wiped the whole town out. I guess these poles are about all that's left.

It was a fun (and sweaty) day. We stopped at my new favorite place in the world on the way back, so I'll post pictures from there soon... if not right away.

I just found this picture (that I did not, in fact, take myself) of another mound close(er) to here, the Miamisburg Mound. It's the largest conical mound in Ohio, and it has a lot of stairs that are designed to convict you about your lack of leg muscles.

The end.
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