Cape Cod reaches out from New England like a great strong arm, elbow bent, hand curving inward as if to clench a fist. Cape Cod fights against the crashing Atlantic as its land is carved away and slowly sinks below the rising sea. Behind the crumbling bluffs backing Nausett and the other Atlantic beaches lays an historic land where Pilgrims landed in 1620, Puritan settlers built houses and mills, and Wampanoag Indians mustered the resilience to match the colonial enterprise back then and for the next 400 years.
October 9 is Leif Erikson Day. It has been since 1964 when congress approved it and President Johnson proclaimed it (it is a federal “observance”, not a federal holiday). Leif Erikson Day usually passes relatively unnoticed where I live in New York State, although I imagine things are a bit different in Minnesota and other places around the upper Midwest.
While looking into the subject of Vikings in the New World, I came across a magazine article on an often untold part of the Vinland story, comprising an afterword about what happened next.
The Vikings of the Vinland sagas are said to have stayed at most about three years and then returned home. Eleventh century life went on, with a seeming lack of ambition for sustained colonization west of Greenland.
It seems to me that there are several phases in the reporting and investigation of Viking sojourns in North America....
Interest in Viking voyagers has even touched New York State, with various claims of Viking evidence from the vicinity of Lake Ontario (reachable, with determination, by longboat) to Lake Chautauqua (which would have required some pretty extreme portages).