I am always intrigued by those brown “historical marker” signs along the highway. Sometimes they lead me to just a plaque describing a place that once was or sometimes I hit the jackpot and it turns out to be amazing. In early May while driving to Lake Shetek State Park I saw such a sign along the winding prairie road. I made a mental note to stop on my way home.
My way home came sooner than we would have liked. It was freezing and Lucy well she decided that her ticket home was barfing on her mom’s covers. It did the trick and Sherri and I broke down our camp and loaded up the dogs. I mentioned to Sherri the sign that I saw and she was game, so off we went.
I know you are wondering “AJ what was the sign!?” Wonder no more, I saw the sign for the Jeffers Petroglyphs and I had to go see them. Like really really had to go see them, otherwise I would have regretted it.
So stop I did and I was not disappointed. We walked for what seemed like a half mile out to the petroglyphs. It’s beautiful, the raw natural prairie envelopes you and makes you feel like you were always meant to be there. Signs dot the path explaining Dakota heritage and the plants of the prairie before you. Soon a reddish stone appears and you quickly realize that there is a rope lined path dotting the hillside. Plaques call out which petroglyphs is which, some are harder to identify than others. Some are obvious and you start to realize that you are viewing a history that is older than you could have ever imagined.
A hand print in the stone, turtles, Buffalo, Thunder bird, and so many more drawings of the past. This place was sacred, this place had meaning, and as you feel the wind on your back you realize deep down that just maybe you passed this way once before.
The petroglyphs site touched me deeper than I thought it would, this place was spiritual and for that I was thankful. It doesn’t matter what type of Indian runs through your veins, Indian is Indian and this place is a place you were always meant to pass through.
If you find yourself in southwestern Minnesota, a visit to the Jeffers Petroglyphs site is a must. It’s beautiful, spiritual, and worth slowing down to just take it all in.
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