From Pittsburgh I am headed west ultimately to Minnesota where I have a long-awaited visit planned with a bike-riding buddy. This piece of travel is going to be moderately-quickly paced, but I made time for Moundsville, WV, site of the Grave Creek Mound, an earthen mound some 69 feet high (as measured in 1838; it has sunk somewhat) dated from 250-150 BC. The Adena people constructed this mound by hand, hauling basketloads of earth: it is estimated that some 3 million basketloads were required.

If you think a big pile of dirt sounds a little boring, it’s quite impressive in person; the sides are much steeper than I expected (and steeper than pictures can show). I got to climb it, via a stone pathway with steps curving around the mound (please stay on the pathway to preserve the mound!). It’s a lovely walk and vista from the top – on one long side, of another very ornate jail, in this case a West Virginia State Penitentiary (tours were offered, but Hops was already tied to a fence while I was on the dog-free mound, so I stopped there).

such pretty jails they have in these parts

I spent some time in the adjacent museum, and if it weren’t for the dog (a refrain), I would have stayed longer. There were exhibits for Ron Hinkle Glass and Homer Laughlin China (as in, Fiesta ware), as well as information about the Adena and the mound, which has housed a museum (in one of the burial chambers) and a saloon (on top) since us white folks starting poking around in it.

mound with pathway

This is a place I wouldn’t mind visiting again – maybe when I live in the area!

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