Imagine being out for a hike and stumbling across a wall that looked like it was made of skulls. Ancient unearthed grave? Cult site? Weirdly placed theatre prop? All would be fair guesses, but at Natchez Trace Te-Lah-Nay's wall in Alabama, the story behind the skull-like stone wall is more profound.
Also known as the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, this peculiar barrier was a creation of Tom Hendrix as a way to commemorate his great-great-grandmother, Te-Lah-Nay, the wall's namesake.
Hendrix was regaled by tales of her harrowing life by Te-Lah-Nay' daughter, his great grandmother, and knew he had to create something to honor her, according to the Natchez Trace Travel website.
Relocated as a girl, she went from her Alabama home to Oklahoma during the 1830s, a movement that would later be known as the Trail of Tears. After a year away from home, she made the arduous journey back to Alabama.
Each stone represents a step in her journey. The bends and dips echo the different obstacles and trials she encountered, while the shape, height, and width speak to the ups and downs of her life.
The resemblance of skulls is an ironic coincidence, however, as the wall features many different sizes, shapes, and geological features.
The project took over 30 years to complete, and Hendrix is famous for telling visitors that the wall “wore out three trucks, 22 wheelbarrows, 3,800 pairs of gloves, three dogs and one old man,” according to the trail's site.
A Yuchi tribe elder told Hendrix, "All things shall pass. Only the stones will remain."
Price: FreeAddress: Natchez Trace Pkwy, AL
Why You Need To Go: This stunning memorial wall is a must-see if you're visiting the Natchez Trace!