Spring Creek Greek: Medusa LbNA # 66375
|Placed Date||Dec 31 2012|
|Location||20634 Kenswick Dr., Humble, TX|
In ancient Greek mythology, Medusa was a priestess serving Athena. She was beautiful, and though she had taken a vow of chastity, was nonetheless seduced by the god Poseidon. Or raped. It depends on the version you’re reading. Apparently so enamored, or overcome, Poseidon indulged his passion in the temple proper, thus defiling a holy space. Even in the version where Medusa was a helpless victim, Athena punished Medusa by changing her golden locks to writhing snakes, her come-hither gaze to blood-shot protrusions, and her maidenly blush took on a cursed green hue. Anyone who stared directly at her was turned to stone. She suffered this way until beheaded by Perseus who placed her head on Athena’s shield, where she continued to wreak lethal calcification on anyone unlucky enough to gaze upon her.
Images of Medusa have evolved over time. Prior to 5th century BC, she was particularly grotesque, with protruding eyes, writhing snakes for hair and boar tusks. She had lost the tusks and her snaky hairdo was more stylized on mid-5th-centry pottery images depicting her image on the shields of soldiers. By the Hellenistic era, she had evolved once again into being beautiful. Her name means “guardian, protectress.”
Gorgoneions were special amulets bearing an image of Medusa used to ward off evil. Zeus and Athena were often depicted wearing Gorgoneion. Gorgoneions portray a direct, forward-facing and rather confrontational stare that was unusual in Greek art, but was in keeping with their protective purpose. Gorgon images were used on temples and other buildings, placed at the thresholds or over doorways to prevent evil from entering the house. She continues to pop up even in Christian mythology, and Versace adopted one as his company logo, though we can see how well that worked. Your own Greek good luck charm awaits you in Jesse Jones Park, stylized in the modern way, in keeping with the times.
Trail map & directions to park: http://www.hcp4.net/jones/pdf/TrailMap.pdf
The map is of limited use, being both not to scale and inaccurate at intersections where you’d require it the most. This park has much to recommend it. There is an Akokisa Indian village and pioneer homestead. They have a canoe launch, a trail that is part of the Spring Creek Greenway and connects to Pundt Park, cypress swamps and a rather odd, loopy, disjointed but charming trail system. They have regular re-enactments of pioneer times, a nature center that always has poisonous snakes to look at and hands-on activities for the kids, a playground, recycling station, turtle food, etc. Currently they are asking people to notify them of box turtle sightings. I have been remiss in not planting in this park sooner, considering that I visit the area often and came often to the park when I lived closer. The nature center provides bug spray if you forget yours, and we often see snakes here, including zippy green-striped ones and copperheads.
I parked at the pavilion parking lot next to the trailhead for the Spring Creek Greenway where clues to other boxes originate should you choose to do that. Cross the road and dive right through using one of many social trail shortcuts. You’ll find yourself on the Palmetto Trail. Go left a short way to the first intersection and then go right onto the Old Logging Trail. Soon you’ll find yourself at an intersection, but not the one shown on the map. Take a slight jog to the left. Now you are at the intersection shown on the map. Proceed northeast onto the Magnolia Trail. This is one of my favorite twisty-turny trails. It makes a sharp left around a bench. Keep going. At some point the trail switchbacks around a distinctive bent tree. Keep going. Eventually you’ll come to a 3-way intersection. This intersection is not on your map and comes just before the northernmost intersection of the Magnolia and Old Logging Trail. To your right, the asphalt trail ends and a social trail slopes sharply downward toward the creek. On first glance, it appears to be an overlook. In front of you are two decaying benches. Stand in the epicenter where the 3 asphalt trails meet and backtrack 39 steps to a large pine on the right where the trail makes a sharp right. From there go 13 steps at 32 degrees to a large pine tree with a tall pine swag to its right. Box is at the base. I no longer bury boxes in debris. This one is anchored with a large branch and covered with a large piece of bark. You can return the way you came or take a left at the benches away from the creek. Take the next left and you will be on the Old Logging Trail again. Pass intersection of High Bank Trail and continue back to major intersection. This should look familiar. Jog slightly left, then take the last leg of the Old Logging Road to the right(though it isn't labeled as such.) The far left branch will work, too, but takes a little longer. Total hike is about a mile.