after Chris' half marathon on Saturday, we headed south to Heavener Oklahoma. whats in heaven Oklahoma you ask? nothing. absolutely nothing. except an ancient stone covered in what is believed to be Scandinavian runes. this little town hosts a small viking festival every spring and fall and we decided to go check it out. jack is very into vikings right now (thanks to the ranger's apprentice series and the skandian sea wolves :) so this was something he was really looking forward to.
we bundled up, parked at the base of the hill and took the shuttle up to the top. Owen loved the "bus" ride!
not sure why, but there were knights fighting at the top... not really vikings, but it was still cool and I bet it was a fun excuse for these guys to have a sword duel.
a viking blacksmith did a little demonstration. he was making heavy duty tent stakes made to go through concrete.
there were a lot of little tents filled with all sorts of costume attire made from leather, horns, bones, and furs.
there were ax throwers and all sorts of interesting things to see... including people :)
jack desperately wanted a weapon of some kind.
Chris asked this shop keeper how loud his horn was.
it was loud.
lots of people dressed up because, why not? sorta wished I had some viking garb. maybe for halloween.
Owen broke a bead bracelet, so Chris paid for it and the kids pocketed the beads.
Ellie getting to pet a real arctic fox tail. she's loved arctic foxes for a couple years now so this was pretty special!
we surprised the kids and let them each pick out a wooden sword or ax. they all went with swords. this is perfect for Owen because he is always pretending to be a knight and runs all over the hill across the street pretending he's on a horse trying to save someone. its pretty much the cutest ever.
we made the small hike down the mountain to visit the runestone. the history is pretty fascinating and we had fun learning more about it. but the main of it is this: the runestone was believed to be Indian for hundreds of years until a woman in the 60's studied it and realized the carvings are more like ancient Scandinavian. that means that the vikings would've gone around the southern US, up the Mississippi and onto the Arkansas river. that would also mean that the skandians were here long before Christopher Columbus!
the stone is in a little cabin with glass all around it.
can you spy the owen ghost?
when we got home the kids looked up some Scandinavian runes and then had Chris carve some into their swords.
jacks says jack with a symbol that represents the sea (he is a Florida boy forever) and a symbol for protection and strength.
Ellies says Ellie on one side with a symbol for magic and mystery on one side and Jane on the other with a symbol meaning friendship.
Charlie's sword says King Charles on one side and has a symbol for strength, power and courage on the other.
and Owen's says Owen on both sides and a symbol for luck and a symbol for strength and protection on the other.
it was a great Saturday!