Sure," he answered with a soft smile, "If you like red and green chile."
"Which I do!" I exclaimed happily.
"Me too." he said.
There's a lot to like about red and green chile.
We got through one package of the green before taking off today for Moundville, Alabama and the Moundville Archaeological Park south of Tuscaloosa. It was a bright, clear fall day and the temps were perfect to explore around the site where 800 years ago a city of Mississipian Indians, ten thousand strong, thrived on the banks of the Black Warrior River. Called "The Big Apple of the 14th Century" by National Geographic magazine, this community was America's largest city north of Mexico. The park itself preserves 326 acres of where the busy ancient metropolis once stood. There are 28 large flat-topped mounds (much like earthen pyramids with the tops lopped off) arranged in sequence around a central plaza. The mounds were man-made and created for civic and ceremonial purposes and for the houses of the nobility of the tribe. The large population farmed, fished and foraged in the area and traded with communities from hundreds of miles away. Their pottery and artifacts are both beautiful and utilitarian and their history fascinating and mysterious.
After climbing the big mound (60 feet high) to take in the view, following the walking trail and checking out the small "Indian village" exhibit we had a picnic by the river and feasted on goat cheese, Greek olives, hummus and Dr. Pepper, while we watched a huge barge make its way around the bend and down the Black Warrior river ( "Tuscaloosa" is a Choctaw word meaning "Black Warrior").
Part of the University of Alabama, Moundville Archaeological Park is well worth a visit if you're traveling near west central Alabama. There's an RV park and campground on the site, with bathhouse. It's a very attractive area to bike, run, picnic or take your boat out on the river. Admission to the park is about $5 per person. Tent camping and RV parking is $8- $12 per day with a 14 day limit (that can be extended by permission) and pets are welcome.