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America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America2 days ago
Hopewell is not the name of the ancient people who built the earthworks in the first millenia of the common era, but the name of the landowner at the site where archaeologists first made the magnificent discoveries that prehistoric Woodland people of North America left behind. Sometimes referred to as “mound builders” due to the designs they left on the landscape that include precise geological shapes of massive scale—40 feet high, 100 feet wide, over 1,600 feet long—the purpose of which is still unclear. What we do know is that this was an intersection of cultures that spread from the Caribbean through the Appalachians, north to the the Great Lakes and west to the Yellowstone Basin. Since the publication of "America’s Sacred Sites," Hopewell Culture National Historical Park has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America1 week ago
The Appalachian Mountains were a formidable barrier that prevented westward expansion in the early days of the British Colonial period in North America. But once the Cumberland Gap was “discovered” by Judge Tom Walker in 1750, it wasn’t long before it became a passage for more than just the buffalo, elk, and the Native Americans who knew of its location. Danial Boone was among those commissioned to clear a path and open a way that by 1820 would see more than 100,000 people travel on the “wilderness way” to seek their fortune in the now accessible west. Today at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, you can hike the trails along the Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky state lines and see the remnants of Civil War-era gabions, now silent testimony to battles fought. Here you can experience the breathtaking view of three states where wildlife, flora and fauna abound and over 24 cave features await your exploration.
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America2 weeks ago
Seven brown bears in a meadow near Chitna Bay, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve (NPS/Jim Pfeiffenberger)
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America2 weeks ago
Grand Portage or “the Great Carrying Place” marks the point where travel and trade from the Great Lakes and St Lawrence watershed ended and passage to the Northwestern Canadian territories began. An 8.5 five-mile trail that rises 650 in elevation, is the path traders, travelers, and explorers took to continue westward by “water trails.” As a natural stopping place, it became a trade center and a gathering place for the native Ojibwa and the French trappers to exchange goods and ideas. Each August both a pow-wow and a Rendezvous festival is held to celebrate the Indian-French partnership. Grand Portage National Monument is the only NPS site managed jointly between the NPS and the Great Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Nation. If you plan to hike the trail, bring plenty of water and a copious amount of bug spray.
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America3 weeks ago
Fog shrouds the mountains on Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Newfound Gap Road (NPS photo)
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America
America's Holy Ground & Sacred Sites: 112 Faithful Reflections for America3 weeks ago
Three of the four major desert ecosystems in the United States surround the 186,000 acres of water that simply did not exist 100 years ago. The construction of the Davis and more famous Hoover Dam in the 1930s brought water to the desert. The 14,000 acres of Lake Mead National Recreation Area adjacent to the water is a recreation playground for hikers, adventure seekers, and campers, not to mention many species of plants and animals drawn to this oasis which was once the Black Canyon. But like other endangered parks, you may want to plan a trip soon. Changes in climate are helping the desert reclaim the land from an increasingly stressed Colorado River.

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