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.)
Sure don't look like much and the first settlers just plowed thousands of them...
If you look carefully you can see the outlines of a small bear