Turning a break into a new adventure
Today (May 31), we were given a break from our work in the fields. The professor from Geneseo, who is called “Paco” by all of the students, had been checking weather reports and determined that this was going to be hottest day during our trip.
This was easily the most thankful I have been for Paco’s foresight thus far. So, since we were not going to get anything accomplished in the field, we toured the local earthworks instead.
First and foremost, the extra two hours we were able to sleep in were greatly appreciated. It really made myself and a few others more receptive to the whole “hiking” experience.
The first stop we made was Seip Mound, which contained a few houses but the really cool thing was a huge mound that looked a bit like a giant, rounded wall.
We were able to go on to the top of the mound and take pictures. Some of the more adventurous students chose to roll down the hill, which looked like an enjoyable time.
I personally was not trying to risk motion sickness on the crowded van rides I knew were going to follow.
The next stop we made was Fort Hill. There was about a mile and a half hike to the top of a mountain where we were supposed to be able to see some really interesting earthworks that Dr. (DeAnne) Wymer and Paco believe have some connection the “earth diver” myth.
I would go into the myth, but there is not a lot of room for me to operate with. Still, I recommend checking it out. It’s actually really interesting. Long story short, though, we turned off the path sooner than we meant to and were weren’t able to see some of the unique earthworks we had wanted to check out.
Still, the hike was enjoyable and we were able to see a few slightly less impressive, but still very cool, earthworks.
Finally we stopped at my personal favorite, Serpent Mound. Serpent mound is a fairly large earthwork in the shape of a snake. The really cool thing about it, though, is some of the curvatures of the snake pointed out where the sunrise would be during certain astronomical events. It really impressed upon me the Hopewell were probably gifted stargazers.
Well, back to work tomorrow!
— Ian Gebhard, a senior anthropology major