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Sunday, September 03, 2006 

Bon Echo (1 of 3): The Rock

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Christa and I went camping to Bon Echo Provincial Park last week.

We left somewhere around 11 a.m. and arrived somewhere around 5 p.m. We did have a very brief stopover in Mississauga to pick up some extra groundsheets from her parents though.

The park is named after the rock pictured above. On our first full day there we took a tour boat along the base of the cliff to see some of the over 200 pictographs. Before we got to the base, they stopped the boat and we all shouted 'Mitch' - one of the other tour boat passengers - at the cliff.

Two or three seconds later, the cliff shouted it back. The echo is so perfect that it sounded as if they had planted a group of people at the top to shout names back at us.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis is one of the pictographs. They were painted by natives on vision quests.

Estimates of how hold they are range from 300 to 1,000 years.

Just think about that for a second. This image was painted using natural substances more than 300 years ago. Isn't that cool?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe young turkey vulture to the right was pointed out to us by the tourguide. My eyes must have been on the fritz because it took me forever to spot him.

Clearly he wasn't actually posing, but it almost seemed as if he was because as soon as I snapped this picture he brought his wings in to his sides.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe next day Christa and I rented a canoe for the day and went across the lake to hike along the Bon Echo rock trail. The steps that were there were steep enough, but look at what had been bolted to the rocks until the mid-70s. Christa's posing beside one of the old ladders that had been put in back when the rock was the focal point for an inn on the other side of the lake.

Men used to climb that wearing full black suits and top hats. Women wore corsets and dresses and carried umbrellas to block the sun. As they climbed things like that. It boggles the mind.

The last is my favourite picture from the top of the rock.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThis little bird drove Christa crazy because it hadn't stayed still long enough for her to identify it; I just barely snapped this picture. That coupled with the fact that she'd left her bird book in the car had her talking to herself for a while.

After getting back to the canoe we went to look at the pictographs for ourselves, which was pretty damn cool.

Yes, there's a screw up somewhere with the pictures. I'm tracking it down.

Well, it's fixed on my screen anyway. Hope so on yours.

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