This tour is Part 3 of a four-part eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike series that eliminates turnpike boredom. To access the rest of the series, just tap on my author profile.
It tells incredible prehistoric tales of ancient Indians who once walked this trail. Compelling historic dramas unfold from the time that the cultures of Indians and European settlers collided here.
This part of the tour begins at the Sideling Hill travel plaza, in the Allegheny Mountain range. It continues over and under wilderness mountain ridges before leveling off and crossing the broad Susquehanna River Valley.
By the time you reach the other side of the valley at the Highspire travel plaza, you also will have reached a new understanding about life and death here centuries ago. That's guaranteed!
We'll hear the story of Tree Worm and his controlling mother-in-law. We'll learn why a tribe was called the Hemp People.
Do you like Indian Summers? The people who coined the term absolutely dreaded them. I'll tell you why.
We'll learn to speak a little Seneca, and get the story on a boarding school that served as the model for turning Indians into true civilized Americans.
There's a lot more, too.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks for the contributions of Paul A.W. Wallace, whose 1965 work "Indian Paths of Pennsylvania" cleared the way for all to follow; and Henry Schoolcraft who in the first half of the 1800s put tribal stories, legends and myths into writing -- as best as a Victorian white man could -- as Indian culture was thought to be on the verge of extinction.