Welcome to my blog, "Tales of the Travelling Man." A bi-monthly blog to chronical some of my past, present, and future travels. This particular blog site is an off shoot of my main blog, "Exploration Southeast," which reports on some of the amazing places located throughout the southeast one can and should visit. As I was thinking about my motivation for starting my original site, I thought I should also have a place to share some of the more interesting stories about trips I have taken or will take in the future with my family. Make sure you check back with us and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Etowah Indian Mounds

Recently, I visited the Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, GA with family and friends. I thought it would be a great way to get the kids out of the house and have them learn something about their own back yard without spending an arm and a leg. Well let's just say the idea of spending the day learning about the Etowah Indian civilization and seeing the wonderous works they accomplished before European colonization was not as exciting as the real thing! Darn my expectations! Okay, let me be fair! It was inexpensive, which is what I was going for, and it did have its moments. The real let down was that the park was mostly empty fields. I was hoping for a few replica Wattle and Daub huts in the village area, or at least on top of one of the mounds. So much for authenticity!
The day was extremely hot, and after visiting the only bathroom on the 54-acre site(nice to know), we paid and made our way out onto the site. Immediately after leaving the building, we were greeted by the only replica Wattle and Daub hut. Make sure you get a real good look because you will have to recall it later to picture village area as it would have been. From there we crossed a bridge onto the actual "site" and made our decision of whether to take the one mile long path or the 1/2 mile path. We decided to take the shorter path straight to the mounds across an open field. Did I meantion the hot Georgia weather and lack of shade? Soon we were sweating to death, and the kids were losing interest. As we approached the first mound we looked off to the right and visualized the village that once stood under the Temple mound.

We continued to walk until we were at the base of the Temple mound, rising into the sky. A quick look to the left for a view of the "village plaza,"another empty field. I really found it hard to picture how the Etowah used it from down here. Now, already hot and sweaty, with no shade in site, we dared to climb the 132 steps up to the top. Not for the elderly, out of shape, or weak hearted!!! I have to say though, I found the panaramic views from the top amazing. From up top I could easily picture the village below, the other mounds, and the shape of the plaza below. A quick look south, I could see the Etowah river flowing by and knew where I wanted to go next. Unfortunately, I still had to more barren mounds to climb. Again, it would have been nice to have had a replica hut on top of one of them. You know, to help picture what was and for some shade. Finally, drenched in sweat and tired of walking, we made our way down to the tree lined river bank.....AAaaaaaaaaaa!!!!
After resting alongside the river, the best part of the day, we decided it was time to make our way back to the museum. I wanted to take the longer, tree-lined path back to the museum, but my girlfriend's youngest son had different plans. Because it was so hot, he had chugged an entire bottle of water and had to go to the bathroom. So once again, we trekked through the wide open field past the mounds for the shortest trip back. They really need more bathrooms!!! To make it worse, we had to double time it back. Needless to say, by the time I made it back I was sweating like a pig. I mean drenched!!!!!

Bathroom emergencies done, we started the museum tour. I was embarassed by the amount of sweating I was continuing to do. People were giving me some looks as they moved away..haha. The museum was okay. They had numerous artifacts that help define the Etowah people, but it was small.

As I said earlier, my expectations were too high, and I left feeling a little let down, frustrated with the little ones, who were so over the whole thing, and feeling nasty. Would I do it again?

Absolutely!!! I would wait for cooler weather, but it was so worth it being able to spend the day with the kids. If you would like more information about the Etowah Indian Mounds you can visit the official site at www.gastateparks/Etowah.org or you can visit my other blog site http://www.explorationsoutheast.blogspot.com/, where I have more information and photos.

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