States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13th

It’s my birthday! I got a Nintendo dsi, I’m sure I’ll lose it often to all 4 kids but I tried to keep it to myself today, there wasn’t much time to play with it but hopefully it will give me something else to do while we’re on our long drives. It has a fun photo distorting feature that we’re all glued to.

We had a relaxing morning, made lunch and went to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park for a picnic lunch. The Hopewell were the dwellers in this area in 500BC – 200AD and left a number of mounds, mostly used for cremations and burials. Most of what we learnt are mainly theories as there was nothing written or drawn of this era. I’m so glad we visited this park; it gave the kids a glimpse of really ancient history. The 20 minute movie we watched, giving details of this time kept their interest. Jake was amazed that all of this happened and the mounds have been around for 2,000 years – it is hard to even imagine.

The Junior Ranger program wasn’t overly challenging, thank goodness. I actually think that they learn more if these programs are do-able, rather than constantly having to ask for assistance, even Nathan was able to complete a couple of activities without too much input. It was exactly what we needed. Some of the items found in the mounds, buried with the bodies, were on display and came from as far afield as Yellowstone and the Gulf of Mexico, it is assumed that they ended up in Ohio from constant trading. It was all very interesting. The site was also used as a training area for 120,000 soldiers from 1917, as world war 1 was coming to a close. Many of the mounds were unfortunately disturbed by their presence but archeologists were still able to preserve quite a number.

Bizarrely, the National Park is located between two huge prison areas. Each time we passed the prisons, with their barbed wire fences, the kids were fascinated and asked lots of questions. We could see many of the prisoners out in the yard, playing basketball and exercising, hard to stress what a tough life the prisoners have when all the kids could see was guys outside playing! Good discussion starter though…..

We went out to dinner in downtown Chillicothe, the first capital of Ohio. The road we were on was clearly the capital of chain restaurants; we had quite an expansive choice!

It was a good birthday, so glad it was at the weekend and not on a travel day. The kids have now started working out which day their birthdays fall on and how they’d like to spend their birthdays ie: NOT schooling!

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