Aug 282015
 
Day 53 - Lansing, IA to Monona, IA
71 44,117 4567,2 2837,93 16,5 18,38 799 28214 14 - 27
Today I learned about "Effigy Mounds" created by the Native people of North America between approximately 1000 BC and 1200 AD; for over two thousand years these gathering and hunting peoples created different types of hills, called effigy mounds. Within these, archaelogists found burial sites but also remnants of the culture these peoples left behind such as pottery, jewellery, flint tools ... The shape of these mounds could be oblong or show the outline of animals such as bears. The question on "why" these huge mounds were formed has been hard to answer. It is a fact, however, that over a period of two thousand years different cultures came together every year in an area where they might gather, hunt,bury their deceased whose bones they carried with them until they reached this place,  and strengthen ties with their neighbors. It seems they used baskets and furs to gather material and bone or wooden hoes  to pile up  "their" mounds. The archaelogical excavations have been prohibited by law now so what is still there, will be there for a very long time to come. More information can be found here. Very interesting! http://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm My hike took me up high onto a bluff over the Mississippi from where I had a magnificent view. I had a nice chat with the park ranger and a local biker (he was astonished I had no motor ....). When I told them the annecdote with getting rid of my bear spray both laughed and their unanimous comment was, "Oh those ignorant Westerners ..."! After all, we are now a lot closer to the "civilized" East Coast, aren't we 😉 My day's ride ended after a long steep climb, which I thoroughly enjoyed since always going flat is somewhat boring - my wife thinks I'm either crazy or hyperactive to feel this way ... Love you, Sue! So I'm now in Monona, IA  in a fantastic city park WITH FREE WIFI, hooray, I don't even have to walk over to the Subway ... 🙂 (Can't stand the stuff anymore.)
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Sure don't look like much and the first settlers just plowed thousands of them...

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If you look carefully you can see the outlines of a small bear

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And again, I counted 13 mounds in a straight row

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I have always admired the American "hands on" approach to their exhibitions and museums

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There were thousands of these seemingly inexplicable "mounds" when the first settlers came to Iowa alone - the rest of the States was full of them, too.

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The cycle of the Indian year is illustrated in this National State Park (the same foundation that protects Yellowstone and thirteen other parks) here very well

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Look carefully and you will find strange outlines, all mounds.

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Ten bucks for a nice shelter and free wifi isn't too much, don't you think?

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Packed in a dripping wet tent this morning, had to dry it first thing after "landing".

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