|Formal entrance station to Washington State Park|
And, in addition to the recreational stuff, it has History, both ancient and modern. It has Civilian Conservation Corps constructed structures (lots of them) and it has petroglyphs. Indeed, the park is one of the few places in Missouri where pre-European contact rock carvings have been found in the state. The CCC-constructed structures have an additional layer of significance; the only African-American CCC camp in Missouri was at Washington State Park.
|Interior of interpretive center.|
That trail reminded me that the next time we decide to do a hike, I either need to be wearing my Tevas or my hiking boots. The shoes I had on just didn't feel right, probably because they've got the orthotic insoles and I don't wear them often enough to get used to them. The orthotics are supposed to position my feet in a way that prevents under-pronation, but as far as I can tell, all they do is make me feel like I'm walking on rocks barefoot. Which probably explains why I avoid using them, which in turn means I never get used to them and my feet will continue to under-pronate. But that's a digression. . .
|1000 Steps Trail|
We were curious about the petroglyphs so after we finished the hike we went looking for them. There are two locations in the park that are easily accessible to visitors. We only visited one. It was interesting. Two things amazed me about the petroglyphs we saw: one is the fact that anyone ever found them to begin with. The carvings are not large, and there isn't any contrast between them and the rock they're carved into. It's possible that at the time they were carved, the Native Americans doing the work rubbed charcoal or colored soil into the carvings to highlight them, but if they did no trace of that remains. The other amazing thing is that they're still discernible at all. They're carved into limestone, a notoriously soft rock that weathers easily. I couldn't help but marvel that they'd survived centuries of exposure to the weather. They're under cover now, but that's a pretty recent protection.
|What the steps for 1000 Steps Trail originally looked like.|