I am often lured in by the promise of seeing the "World's Largest.. (your favorite animal name here..." and my wheels always turn at the sign of a history museum or the glow of a diner's neon.
But, the sight of a small cemetery makes my head turn every time. I can't help but wonder what history awaits to be found carved into the old stones. It started as a quest to find my heritage- but now I like to stop at cemeteries that bear no last names in my genealogical roll call. And more often than not my kids wander with me- and occasionally Bob the dog.
The artwork is amazing on many of the stones- symbols, poetry, maps and more. We have noted memorials in the shape of logs, trees, columns, lambs, urns, houses (Native American burials on Madeline Island), books and more.
Sometimes the brief inscriptions speak volumes:
"Step gently for here sleeps my dream..."
"They are coming..." (That one still makes me go "Hmmm..."
For a walk through history nothing beats a cemetery. Just remember to tread lightly, leave no trace, pick up trash when you see it and set right flowers and such that have gone astray.