The Heavener Runestone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_runestones in southeastern Oklahoma is an anomaly. A sandstone monolith, it stands at the bottom of a valley with carving that some say is as ancient as the Vikings who could have arrived on this continent before Columbus. Others disagree. But it is interesting and the forests around it beautiful.
Gloria Farley wrote a book about the Heavener Runestone, and others in North America, touting the possibility that Columbus wasn’t the first white European to visit the new world. In her book In Plain Sight (https://www.amazon.com/Plain-Sight-Records-Ancient-America/dp/1880820080/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=in+plain+sight+gloria+farley&qid=1587913269&sr=8-1) she describes the Heavener Runestone as well as others and gives her opinion as to where they came from.
Standing stones occur all over the world. The most famous are the stones at Stonehenge in England but they’re placed all over Europe. There are even stone statues on Easter Island which sits 2300 miles off the coast of Chili. Who knows how they got there and how they were lifted into a vertical position. But they were.
The Heavener Runestone Park https://heavenerrunestonepark.com/ was originally a state park and funded by the State of Oklahoma. During cutbacks it became the property of the city of Heavener. The city struggles to keep the park open and have festivals several times a year to help fund the stone. It is now encased in a glass and wood structure enabling you to see but not touch and preserve a part of the history of this region.
When I first visited this park, I fell in love with the lore and decided to write a book about it. That book became two and I have visions of a third. There is a certain magic about the woods and there is a feeling of all things Viking. The Glome’s Valley series (https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm Glome’s Valley, http://tinyurl.com/ybdsqr6w Return to Glome’s Valley) was born in this valley and I’m sure you would enjoy them and so would your kids. They are written as young adult novels.
You should check out the park. It is still open even during the pandemic though there are some restrictions about camping. It is a family friendly place and hiking and sightseeing are everywhere. You can drive or climb to the top of Poteau Mountain and look across the landscape and you can still see the stone.
Go see it and let me know if you think Vikings were once in Oklahoma. And if you go, let me know what “Glome’s Valley” means.