Spent the weekend exploring some of Jefferson County, Wisconsin as I have for the past 3 years. My husband enjoys attending the Spyder Rendezvous in Johnson Creek and I selectively attend certain portions and catch up with friends from the event. The rest of the time, I am out exploring the area. Here is what I did…
Aztalan State Park
Aztalan State Park in Aztalan, Wisconsin Jefferson County
This year we stayed in Lake Mills and traveled a short distance between Lake Mills and Johnson Creek. I enjoy traveling the country back roads, instead of the highways because they normally provide me with sites I wouldn’t see otherwise.
On my first trip to Johnson Creek I saw a sign for Aztalan State Park. Since I have a state park sticker, I decided to take a quick drive through. The quick drive through, became a stop.
When you turn into the park there is a place to purchase a state park sticker. Since I already had one, I was able to skip this step. There is a paved, blacktop road that you travel from the top of the hill to an information center in the middle of the park and then onto a bottom parking lot.
Along the left hand side of the park I could see tall, wood beams sticking out of the earth and large berms of grass. It isn’t a site you see everyday, so I needed to find out what this was all about. The information center wasn’t open, so I continued along the paved road until I reached the last parking lot.
The area had plenty of parking, picnic tables, grills and several pathways heading in an assortment of directions. One led down to the river, others toward those huge logs sticking up from the Earth. I walked toward the huge logs of course. To the right of me there was a well pump with running water and directly in front of it was a box that said information. I reached into the box and grabbed a pamphlet. The pamphlet was in book form with walking tour and information.
I was standing on the Aztalan Indian community that flourished from AD 900 to AD 1600. The walking tour takes you through the ancient village starting from the kiosk. Giving you excellent first hand knowledge of the community through the archaeological excavations that have taken place.
The property was beautiful. There is something to be said for standing alone on a piece of land with so rich in history alone. The peaceful sound of the flowing river, the birds chirping and miles and miles with not another soul in site.
I couldn’t have timed my arrival any better if I had tried. The sky went from a dreary white fog, to magical cloud formations. Me, the birds and the land. Perfection.
I bid the land farewell, until the morning. Were I’d like to stop and take a walk before meeting up with my friends at the rendezvous.
The next morning I had time for a quick walk along the river section of the the property.
The property is situated on the Crawfish River. Which was perfect for a civilization, close to a water source for travel, fishing and bathing. Along the banks grow plenty of Wisconsin wildflowers, berries and native plants.
There were some informational signs to read along the way and beautiful, tall trees to walk between.
It was nice breaking up the sections of the property over the two day span.
Afternoon Visit With Lori
After I meet up with Lori at the rendezvous she asked what I had been up to. I told her exploring an old Indian civilization and at this time she was in between activities and wanted to check it out. I said sure let’s go.
As we were approaching we saw people dressed in full headgear and thought it was rather cool. What does one do, well you have to check it out, right? I took this one from below the hill so the photographer and people posing didn’t have me in their shots. I did ask the people in the photo’s permission before photographing them.
The group was doing a photo shoot for the State Park and I waited to ask after the fact for a few shots of my own. Some staged, some unexpected.
Me being me, had to grab a few shots of my own, while trying to stay out of the other photographers way and trying not having them direct their attention toward me and away from the reason they were there.
Nothing worse than having someone else in the way of your photo shoot; so, I waited until after the fact to ask for a few shots of my own. The headdresses they wore were half the size of their bodies.
Just amazing AND through a translator (most didn’t speak English) I asked the female pictured above if they were related to the civilization here. The answer was yes, great, great grandfather.
Wouldn’t be myself, if I didn’t ask to take a close up of the bell anklets. A work of art all on it’s own.
Thanks for tagging along on my visit to Aztalan State Park. See you back here next Monday! Have a fabulous week!!