Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Canal, two bison and my imagination

Here it is the middle of May and I still haven’t shared much of our vacation to Illinois this past April. I am still editing the pictures and trying to decide how many to post here, how much to bore you with. I think I just need to dive in, tell the stories that come to mind and cut myself off when I feel I have rambled enough.

Here we go.

I already wrote about the quaint and historic town of Ottawa. Here is one last picture. 

It is of the I&M canal toll house, or collectors house, which is the little house along what used to be the canal. The caretaker there, or collector, collected the tolls charged along the canal when it was fully operational. Now, only sections of the canal are filled with water, and that mostly for tourism purposes.

This form of transport has fallen to the wayside, in favor of rails and the interstate. Another example of the romance of America having come to an end. I could write much more about it, but that would lead me down the rabbit hole of information I would find on the internet. So I am going to move on. 

Buffalo Rock State Park is part of the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor. The area has quite an extensive history, dating from way before the Canal was built in the 1840s and involving several Native American tribes, missionaries and even a tuberculosis sanatorium.

These two American bison, commonly mistakenly called buffalo, are not original to the park.

One of the things I really wanted to see here was the "Effigy Tumuli". In tribute to the Native American burial grounds, these mounds depict a snake, turtle, catfish, frog and water strider.
 It was ridiculously cold out the day we walked these trails and maybe my mind was just too cold to imagine these animals, but I didn’t see much.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Olmstead McBride said...

I have been to those effigy mounds too, back in the 1970's, and I didn't see much either.