Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ohio with Hopewell Mounds - into WV

Bryn: We started the day by re-visiting Dayton Aviation NHS so Bret could turn in his booklet and earn his Junior Ranger badge. The boys are learning so much from the J.R. program. Each park produces their own booklet full of questions about the area's natural and cultural resources, and they learn by doing fun activities like sketching, word searches, talking to rangers, and scavenger hunts.
Next, on to Columbus. Randy had a tip from Matt about a bookstore there - it was grand. Randy says "thanks, Matt!" This was in the German Village section of the town. It was very pretty with brick sidewalks and roads to go along with the brick buildings. We picked up some bread, cheese, and goodies at a German deli. Later we stopped at a farm store and got wonderful tomatoes and fruit. Then on to Hopewell Mounds National Historical Park in southern Ohio, where we had a great picnic before touring the 2000-year-old mounds and the museum. I was thrilled to see them, I can remember first learning about the Moundbuilders in anthro 101 way back in my first year of college. Reed and Bret both earned Junior Ranger badges.
Bret: I feel proud and lucky today because I earned two Junior Ranger badges!
Reed: The mounds were very cool. One was flattened when they were making Camp Sherman, a World War I army camp, but then it was rebuilt. I recognized one of the copper birds on display, they think it is a peregrine falcon. There was a picture of it in my science book this year. The book talked about how different metals and elements formed in different places.
Bryn: Ohio farm country changed to woodlands of the Appalachian Mountains. We passed several Ohio barns with big, colorful quilt squares painted on the sides - maybe Ohio stars? I tried to get a photo for our quilters who are reading this, but I wasn't able to, sorry. We drove across the Ohio River into West Virginia. They have very good road signs here. If you're confused, they tell you things like "straight ahead." This is better than Ohio, where we saw a sign that said "stay in lanes"...I would hope so!

Another great thing about the National Parks is the fact that most of them recycle cans and bottles, so we save them up and leave them there. Our friends recycle as well, even though there aren't local programs in Nashville nor Indianapolis that pick it up regularly. Otherwise it's very, very difficult to find a place that takes recycling. I just can't throw that stuff away when there is already so much garbage. Carlsbad Caverns was the best park. Besides recycling, their store and restaurant were very green industries.

Bret is reading the Iliad, having been inspired by his camp. It is in English prose, not the original Greek poem! He tackles about 10 pgs at a time. Reed has been reading Civil War stories - about battles and ghosts. He also picked up a book about USAAF Fighter Plane Pilots, and he's reading some of Randy's Robert Heinlein sci-fi stories. Today's book on tape was Tom Sawyer, Detective. Bret liked hearing another story about Tom. We have Huckleberry Finn at home, so you know what he'll be reading later this summer.
And for our librarian friends (yes, there are a few of you out there!) - All text and photos in this blog are copyrighted. If you would like to use any text or photos, please post a comment to the blog asking permission. Marilyn, I hope I worded that correctly!


  1. Hi Potter's,
    I hope you are keeping an organized scrapbook in order so you can share this awesome adventure with future friends and relatives. My parents would love this trip as would the entire Libery's. My mom is a museum buff, and we love the National Parks. Cade is missing Bret, but he doesn't have the great distraction that Bret has. Keep on adventuring.
    The Liberty's

  2. Bret misses Cade too and just yesterday was talking about all of the play days he'll need before school starts!
    Basically, this is our scrapbook! We have more photos, postcards, and a few other things. We mail them home so the van doesn't get stuffed.