Sunday, August 14, 2011

A trip to Plymouth Plantation

After battling traffic for what seemed an eternity, my family and I finally reached our destination ... 1627AD.  We arrived just at the outer edges of a Wampanoag Indian village where natives were busy hollowing out a felled tree to turn into a mashoon, or canoe to use for fishing and transportation.   There were some who sang native chants, mended clothing, cured animal hides and mended their nush wetu (bark covered house) which has 3 fire pits.  In the nush wetu a  young native spoke of traditions, tools and weapons that were often used as well as what a typical day would be like.

 We then traveled a short distance up a trail to where we reached the outer walls of the English Village.  As we entered we almost instantly could feel the rhythm of daily life as it would have been in 1627.  We begin exploring the numerous timber-framed houses where the colonists would greet us with smiles and questions of where we were from and to inquire as to the status of the Spanish and Dutch war was.  The colonial men were busy repairing the plaster on their fire places because their mortar mix wasn't long lasting and would crack with the varying temperatures.  Others were splitting wood for fire places and mending tools.

We bid a farewell to our new friends at the village as we headed out to see the Mayflower II.  We were greeted by a sailor who shared tales of the sea, his homeland and offered opinions on a variety of topics and peoples.  You can really get a sense of what life may have been like for the 102 people who sailed on the original Mayflower.

And of course it wouldn't be a trip to 1627 without stopping in and seeing the "Rock".  While at first impression, the rock is merely, well a rock with the numbers 1620 carved into it.  When you take a moment to stop and really think about it, the significance of that rock and what it represents is fascinating.

All in all it was a great day.  As we began to leave we heard music from the local festival so we walked over from Plymouth Rock and listened in on a couple of classic Led Zeppelin tunes that were performed exceptionally well by the tribute band "Heartbreaker".

We topped off the evening with a quick stop down by the beach at low tide to see a few small crabs scurry away and bury themselves in the mud to await the quenching waters of the ocean to flow back in and cover them up.  Fortunately, the traffic on the way home was minimal which made the drive short but our memories will be long from this great day.

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