Boundary Rock Expedition 2009: A Photo Essay by Paul Maybee

Join us on an epic journey to the centre of the Nova Scotian wilderness as we follow historic river routes of the Mi’maq guides and sporting fishermen in search of Boundary Rock.  We embark on a five day journey which will prove to be a rite of passage, a true test of integrity and determination as we face challenges that we never could have anticipated.

Background:

What is it about?  Why are we looking for one rock in the granite-speckled Tobeatic wilderness?  A rock would be easy enough to find.  I could find ten granite boulders in my backyard.  So what’s so special about the so-called “Boundary Rock”?  I’m here to tell you.

The story starts for me when I was eleven, looking through a pair of old binoculars at the full moon on a clear summer night.  It was then that I decided to be an astronaut.  I wanted to go there, to see it for myself, so I could know that it was real.  It seemed to me at the time strange.  I knew that we had been there, and we had taken pictures and we even brought some of it back with us to look at through microscopes.  But somehow, still, in a world where we had named everything we could see, where our maps showed every piece of land and every lake belonging to something, that there could still be something that we knew so little of.

It seemed so close through the binoculars, and I’m sure it seemed even closer under a microscope, but there was so much about this strange glowing rock in the sky that was unknown to us.  I was filled with wonder and excitement, and I wanted to go there.

I am not an astronaut.  So what’s this got to do with Boundary Rock?

It was only a few months ago when my friend Cody told me about Boundary Rock.  It is a granite rock that marks the boundary of four counties in Nova Scotia: Shelburne, Queens, Digby and Yarmouth.  Something about it caught my attention.

It has historical significance; the names of the Mi’kmaq guides and sporting fishermen who visited there sprawl across its side, as well as the dates of their expeditions, mostly in the 19th century.  There’s the lore aspect to it; many know of the rock, though few people are alive who actually know if its whereabouts.  Many people have searched for the rock, though the most recent photographic evidence of anyone having been there is dated circa 1929!

Naturally, this reminded me of looking through those old binoculars at the moon.  There is this rock, that seems so close to where I am right now, but there is so little known about it.  It is refreshing to me that in this information age, where there is so much knowledge at our fingertips, and it can seem that what can be discovered already has, that there still is something I can be searching for.

I am filled with wonder and excitement, and I want to go there.  I want to see for myself, so I can know that it’s real.

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14 Responses to “Boundary Rock”

  1. Jon said

    Get in touch with me. I have some resources on this topic worth checking out. I am not sure if you are a member of the NSExplore or Paddle Nova Scotia groups, but we’ve talked about this. I do have information that can be used to pinpoint a location. It would likely be a two day (or one long day) paddle trip from Jakes Landing.

    I can see that you’ve been quite close just by reading these articles. 🙂

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hello Jon,

      Firstly, thanks for reading my blog. I didn’t know if anyone else was as interested in this as we were. I guess so! Yes, I have looked at the NSExplore, and the Google groups. I’ve also seen some photos of an attempt on Flickr. Is that you? I would love to hear what insights you may have into finding Boundary Rock. We’ve done some research, but I’d love to hear another angle on it.

      Cheers!
      Paul

  2. Beth Johnston said

    This is great !
    give me a call or drop a line.
    away this weekend and all next week with kids backpacking but would love to connect ………
    how about a phone number …….. ??

  3. William Thompson said

    Congratulations! I really enjoyed the story. I was a surveyor with SNSMR. Took helecopter in to look. got picture of small mound of rocks on shore of Junction Lake where I believe present county boundaries meet.As a note, Boundary rock is over 1 mile from there I suspect. I surveyed all county boundaries and had old notes.Original intersection of boundaries was near Big Dispatch Lake.Imagine prolonging the Annapolis/Queens line SW from Peskowesk Lake to intersect with prolong of Shelburne/Queens line.Would like to get gps location rock.if possible.Email me for accurate info.

  4. geek said

    Awesome story! I hope you find the rock.
    -geek

  5. sherman gosson said

    great trip ihave been to junction lake area twice looking for b rock found the new boundrys ibelieve the rock is between junction lake and house lake my phone number is 1 902 837 5052thanks

  6. Bob Johnston said

    I have very much information on the location of the old boundary rock. Glad to share. Contact me.

  7. W Turner said

    Will you be adding your recent trip. The quest continues for others. I myself have considered the adventure. It was also the old photo that that caught my eye. Having done the tent dweller’s route I am familiar with the locations but was as with most bound by time. Is the Bob above the keeper of the 1875 map? tt

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hello! Thanks for visiting! Yes, I will be adding the recent trip here, and I’ll do one better actually, as I am working on a video documentary of the trip. I do have a copy of the 1875 map as well if you are interested in it, and I hope you do take on this adventure for yourself!

      Cheers!
      Paul

      • Anonymous said

        Thanks for the reply. I was wondering about the video, Is it a CBC production? For myself maybe Sept, depending on my son’s time off. Probably going the Kedge route and a side trip hopefully, the map would be great if you could e mail. thanks tt

      • gypsyproductions said

        The video is an independent production just by me. I hope to get some support from festivals like the Banff Mountain Film Fest and I will submit it to the NFB and the archives as well for the historical aspect of it. I am not even going to guess at this point when it will be done as my son will be born in August, at which point, this will be pushed to the sidelines for a while! I will email you the map I used and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like. I’d love to hear about your trip when you get back!

        Cheers!
        Paul

  8. Anonymous said

    Hi Paul, can you contact me via Twitter at @PoitrasBook? I have a similar story that may interest you.

  9. Krista said

    I grew up looking, fascinated, at my Dad’s black and white Boundary Rock photo. This spring I plan to make the trip in, coming from the Yarmouth area. Clearly, paddling would make lfe easier, but does anyone know if there are passable trails that might lead to somewhere near the junction of the counties? Any other info would be appreciated. I’ve scoured the Yarmouth Archives and come up with little.

    I hope someone out there can help!

    • gypsyproductions said

      Hi Krista,

      Great to hear that it captivated you in the same way it did me. Also very exciting to hear about your trip in in the spring. Any trails that were there are long gone, paddling is the only way to get in there. Feel free to email me and I can send you some more information that helped me find the rock. paulmaybee [at] gmail.com

      Cheers!
      Paul

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