Archaeological State Park Part III

…..or Moonlight Madness

So I figured if I couldn’t sense the ghosts of the ancient precolumbian inhabitants of the Crystal River Archaeological State Park on any old random weekday, I was sure to be able to do so at their  “Moonlight Over the Mounds” tour. It was a perfect night for it on the night of the full moon in February; clear and cool, so I loaded up on bug spray, donned a sweater and headed out.

February full moon at the state park.

We started in the park building with a history lesson which was given by volunteers.

Early gathering. Hey, they cast for fish just like they do in Nfld. for caplin though I don’t suppose the weights on their nets were lead balls. 

There was such a good turn-out that we split into two groups and started at opposite ends of the trails. It was like an episode of Survivor – the trails and the stele were lit with tiki torches.

Only the steps to the ceremonial mound had modern lighting.

Safety first.

We stopped at six or seven locations and listened to a retired archaeologist fill us in on the known history. It was an excellent talk in that it was so professional. No speculation or embellishment or exaggeration for effect. Some folk had arrived hoping for a mystical experience or some enlightenment into the ways of the ancient people that would make our hair stand on end. They may have been disappointed. Only facts based on knowledge of similar cultures or on artifacts recovered were presented.

An excellent lecturer.

But it was far from dry – the volunteer had a great wit and made us laugh frequently. Of course there were the few annoying people who chatted away while we were trying to hear the guy at the front and the other annoying people who took pictures with their cell phones, bright enough to attract attention from any possible life forms on Titan, the moon of Saturn, and completely wrecking our fresh night vision in the bargain. I may have been a little annoying myself, darting around taking pictures, tripping over my tripod.

A dozen phones capture images of the stele.

Thus the poor selection of photos for my blog; I didn’t use my flash at all. And did I get goosebumps? The willies? The sense that there were ancient spirits hovering? Nope. Just another Florida night under the full moon with a bunch of folks as curious as I.

The Spanish moss and tall trees would have made it plenty spooky were I alone.

That’s it for Archaeological State Park adventures. I might look into volunteering if they schedule another dig.

© Judy Parsons 2017

email comments to – the comment links on the webpage are duds.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

Sign up on upper right to get an email when a new Tickle Trunk blog entry is posted.

Leave a Reply