Back during May sometime, Harley and I took off for the Moundville Archaeological Park as our destination for our ride that day. This historic park, located on Hwy. 69, 15 miles south of Tuscaloosa, overlooks the Black Warrior River and covers about 320 acres that preserves 26 prehistoric, Mississippian era Indian mounds. Visitors can stroll along a boardwalk nature trail winding through the forest and along the river, scale the Temple Mound and view a life sized diorama of ancient Indian rituals in their on site Museum. Camping and picnic areas are also available throughout the grounds.
Since I've already used two pictures from this day as my Pics Of The Week, I figured I'd better hurry up and bring you the rest of the story.
The Moundville site was home for a settlement of Mississippian culture from 1000 A.D. until 1450 A.D. The abundance of luscious thick grass covering the large mounds of earth and the flat areas between them was like looking at a hilly field of plush green carpet. As I rode through on the paved path, it was fun to imagine that over 800 years ago this peaceful quiet place was once alive with activity as the largest settlement in North America.
One of the most impressive sites for me was this massive stairway going to the top of the Temple Mound which overlooked the other smaller mounds on the grounds.
This reminds me of an awesome movie Mel Gibson produced called Apocalypto, about the Mayan Indian and how they would sacrifice each other to the Gods to bring them favor. The movie starts out with a dominate tribe sacrificing the warriors from a weaker less significant tribe. First they cut the heart out the man while he's still alive, then cut off his head and drop it down the steps, letting it roll and bounce down these massive stairs, landing at the feet of the those standing below. Pretty gruesome! As I stood there looking up, I could imagine the horrific site of a head bouncing down the stairs flinging blood along the way and landing right on my boots! Ick.
Harley wanted no part of climbing those stairs, but I knew I would get some great shots up there, so I went up by myself. Once at the top, I could look over the whole park see the other mounds spread out across the grounds.
My ol' girl looks so small from way up here doesn't she?
There is a nice big air conditioned pavilion overlooking the river that serves as a great venue for large gatherings and parties. The place was empty while we were there, so we could take our time stretching our legs and looking at the water below.
The view from here was beautiful!
We're always trying to find new places to ride to and now I'm glad we took the time to check this place out. I would say, if you ever find yourself riding through the central Alabama area, the Moundville Archaeological Park is worth a look see. There's something nice and relaxing about cranking it down a notch and cruising through the peaceful grounds.
I enjoy my nice long summer day rides. Harley and I don't always have specific destinations in mind, but sometimes we just pick a direction and start riding. Either way we usually end up having something unique to remember about each ride. I hope to share more of my collection of "somethings" as I continue to explore the beauty of the south.
Until the next time... ride safe and ride on!