Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday...from the hopewell road...entering the "mall" area...Irene...Ken says he still lives :) less than an hour to Geller Park.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From the Hopewell Road...
Wednesday, October, 14th...2:18pm

Technology helps and technology gets cranky sometimes...I have been posting several times a day on the walk...and it was last night that I found out that for some reason my mini text message posts have not been going through...

The rain has just started...the first on the trip and it has been a cold day today.  As we passed the local Waffle House, the waitresses came to the window and waved us in... 30+ walkers in the local Waffle on Richard Shiels...thanks, Dick!  I can't recreate everything but...I'll try to start posting pics this evening and tomorrow...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, October, 12, 2009: Indigenous People’s Day (previously known as Columbus Day)

It is the morning of the 3rd day of the walk. It is amazing how strong and committed this community of practice is…last night everyone was exhausted…blistered feet…aches and pains in parts of the body that folks had forgotten. But, this morning after a good night’s rest everyone is re-energized. These days are long and so much packed into them. It is hard to even begin to recall the highlights, let alone every detail. The first day offered tremendous views of the landscape. Many of us talked about how we were glad to hear Brad Lepper’s talk on the day we began because few of us knew what an interesting place this location is on a geographical level. Walking where on each side were carved by different sorts of glacial activity and walking the landscape this is very noticeable…something that I’m sure we would miss by car.

Our first night was really cold and damp and no one slept very well. We awoke to a good frost. We were on the road by 10 am on Sunday. We begin each day with a group circle…we offer our prayers, songs, and strength to each other. On Sunday we were blessed to have the staffs of the Miami Valley Indian Council with us. They were used during our opening ceremonies. But, they were not able to walk, so yesterday morning the group went out and built a staff so the Walk with the Ancients now has its own staff! I’ll try to get pictures to post. So we had this for our opening circle on Sunday morning and it helps keep everyone strong.

On Saturday we had a program at the Masonic lodge in Kingston. The women of the Eastern Star made an awesome dinner—turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and on and on. Thanks for the dinner. Afterwards we sang some songs and then Vinny Stanzione talked and showed us some film footage about pilgrimages in Guatemala. Its amazing to see/hear the similarities—the arduous journey, personal commitment, music, and offerings.

Last night we had dinner at the Lutheran Church in Amanda…another great meal! We were running late, very late. No matter how well we might try to plan things…a pilgrimage is outside of time and there is just no rushing it! We had a campfire back at our campsite at Cross Mounds and talked about the mounds, the milky way, and various interpretations. We finished the evening by singing around the campfire until around 11:30.

On of the greatest parts of the whole thing has been the way various communities have responded to us. Everyone has been really great. People stop us to ask what we are doing. Its wonderful.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

(2 of 2) sang a song for them...which they recorded on their cell phones...the word gets out one voice at a time!
(1 of 2) A wonderful morning on the road! Stopped to rest at a cemetery...children came to see what we were doing...asked for autographs from the walkers...we

Saturday, October 10, 2009

(2 of 3) Almost got lost :) a reminder about how disconnected we are from the land and our environment. Ironically it was techology that pulled us
(3 of 3) through...thanks for gps!
(1 of 3) Hi to all from the road! It's 2:30 pm the group 32 of us heading northeast on sulphur springs rd. @ 4 miles in. Great sendoff today at chillicothe!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Anticipating the Walk with the Ancients

In a few days, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I begin the seven-day, seventy-mile journey—Walk with the Ancients. When this idea was first proposed over a year ago, I was very excited about the prospects. Why, as a 55 year old woman (not in the greatest physical condition), would I want to participate in what is sure to be, for me at least, a physically challenging and taxing undertaking? It isn’t related to some “great cause” (such as fighting cancer, diabetes, or domestic violence) like the proliferation of other American undertakings be they walks, runs, or bike rides. It isn’t motivated by a religious practice like pilgrimages such as the Hajj that Muslims undertake to Mecca or to sites of professed miracles as my friends in Mexico undertake.

What draws me to participate is a deeply felt connection to and awe for the Newark Earthworks.

There is something about the Newark Earthworks that seem to evoke that sense of connection for people from all walks of life and all sorts of ancestry. Be they Native peoples from all varieties of tribal affiliations, archaeologists trying to understand cultures of the past, international tourists drawn from faraway places, a variety of “new-age” practitioners, Mormons from Utah, or golfers—the Newark Earthworks call. This was true for the early citizens of Newark, who recognized the earthworks as something valuable and worth protecting, as well. I, for one, appreciate the foresight that prompted them to protect a significant portion of the earthwork complex for future generations.

I won’t be undertaking this journey alone, to date there are thirty people who have committed to participate, for the entire distance, in this walk—some I know, many I don’t. Many others have committed to walk part of the way. The diversity of participants reflects the diverse groups of people drawn to the earthworks and I’m sure that our individual motivations are as varied as well. There is however one point of commonality amongst us, each of us will be leaving our ordinary lives for a period of time to participate in an extraordinary activity. For the duration of the walk, we will become a community. Although we can’t anticipate everything that will happen on this walk, I have no doubt that it will be transformational on some level for all of the participants—whether walking the whole way or for a few hours.

I’d like to invite you to participate in some way on this walk. Maybe you can come to send us off at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park next Saturday at 10am, maybe you can walk a day or hour along the route, maybe you can attend one of our evening programs, maybe you can join us at Geller Park on Friday, October 16th at 3pm and walk the final 1.5 miles with us, maybe you can attend Newark Earthworks Day at the OSU-N campus on October 17th, or the open house at the Octagon at the 18th… in some way, I hope that you’ll share this experience with us!

You can follow the walkers by reading our daily blog at  .

Information about all of this year’s Newark Earthworks Day activities and directions to each of the events can be found at –click on Newark Earthworks Day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Newark Earthworks FAQ

What are the Newark Earthworks?

The largest complex of geometric earthworks ever built anywhere in the world.
Ancestors of today’s Native Americans built these earthworks covering more than four square miles two thousand years ago. Two huge features remain today: a Great Circle 1200 feet in diameter with walls 14 feet high and an Octagon (enclosing 50 acres) connected to another circle (enclosing 20acres ) with walls that are five to six feet high.

Recent research has uncovered a high level of both geometric and astronomical understanding encoded in these walls. The perimeter of the Great Square is equal to the circumference of one circle, for instance; the area of the square is equal to the area of another circle. Further, all eight stand-still points in the 18.6 year cycle of the moon are encoded in the structure of the Octagon and surrounding features.

How did they function in the ancient world of Native Americans?

Shells from the Carolinas, copper from upper Michigan and obsidian from the Grand Canyon have been found here which demonstrate that ancient people came here from hundreds, even thousands of miles away. The breadth of passageways defined by the earthworks suggest that people came here in very large numbers. One portion of the complex which was separated from the Octagon and the Great Circle and was defined by an earthen elipse was used for burial. Other portions were probably used for ceremony. Tens of thousands could have gathered within either the Octagon or the Great Circle. It must have been important to come here; it must have been important to be here when the moon was in a certain place. Very likely people came here for important seasons or events; very likely people came here on pilgrimage for spiritual ceremonies.

How important are they today?

Many Native Americans consider the Newark Earthworks a sacred place. Archaeologists consider them a world-class site. An international team of archaeologists selected the Newark Earthworks and only two other sites in the entire United States to be included in The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World, Chris Scarre, ed. (London: 1999.) The United States Department of the Interior announced in January, 2008, that the Newark Earthworks are on a short list of sites our government intends to nominate for UNESCO World Heritage status.

Why Newark Earthworks day?

Newark Earthworks Day is intended to educate the public about the site. A broad-based committee including archaeologists, educators, Native Americans and community residents planned the first Newark Earthworks Day to coincide with lunar alignments in the autumns of 2005 and 2006. The committee functions today under the auspices of the Newark Earthworks Center, an interdisciplinary academic center of the Oho State University which works to support research and education about the site.