Turtle Mountain

May 31, 2009

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain

May 16, 2009

Paul Maybee

Ross Curtner

Graham Waugh

Setting Out
Setting Out

We set out for Turtle Mountain at around 10:30 am by the side of the highway.  We have a vague idea of where we were going and the directions are patchy at best.  I am with my good friend Graham Waugh of Local Motion and his friend, and my new friend Ross Curtner.

Through the Gate
Through the Gate

We embark up the dirt road, that could easily have been driven, but we wanted to know how far it was to walk the whole way.  Also, this trip was about getting out and enjoying the weather, not sitting in a truck until we got to some place.  You miss out on a lot of the benefit of doing something like this if you drive the whole way.

Robin Hood Lake
Robin Hood Lake Camp

A short distance up the road we came to a few houses with nearly a dozen trucks parked in the driveways.  We met a man coming up the road who was Read the rest of this entry »

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A Walk in the Park

April 7, 2009

Wasteland - Paul Maybee

Wasteland - Paul Maybee

Most of us Haligonians can remember what Point Pleasant Park looked like before September 28th, 2003.  It was a lush thick forest with beautiful tall trees – a great escape from the busy streets of Halifax, a little taste of nature when we’re too busy to really get away.  Now, almost six years later, the park Read the rest of this entry »

Abandoned Annapolis

April 3, 2009

With the start date of the Boundary Rock trip drawing nearer, Cody and I took a drive down to the put in site to check out the condition of the roads and the ice.  Along the way, we made a few stops to explore some abandoned houses in some of the more remote rural parts of South Western Nova Scotia.  We ran into some pretty messy roads along the way, and some ice still on the lakes, but we’re not ready to give up yet.  There is still time for the ice to melt and the channels are opening up.  So here is a photo essay of sorts of our adventures on the back roads of South Western Nova Scotia:

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

Windsor Wear - Paul Maybee

I spotted this from the highway and decided to pull in to get a closer look.  I loved the look of the old bricks with arched windows.  I thought this was abandoned, but when we got closer, we could see people working inside and it obviously has all new windows.  It’s nice to see something like this being restored for a new purpose.  Such a beautiful old building.  Is it for offices?  loft apartments?  Either way, this one doesn’t technically count, because it’s not abandoned.  It’s just being given a new life.   …and we’re back on the road:

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

Abandoned: New Minas - Paul Maybee

The next thing I saw from the road, was this old farmhouse on top of a hill.  I pulled in to try and get a better look, and we decided to stop in for coffee at the Just Us cafe.  After fueling up on coffee, we continued up the road to try and find Read the rest of this entry »

Abandoned places

March 24, 2009

I have recently come across some of my old photographs and I noticed an interesting theme occurring.  I have many photos of old abandoned places.  I did some snooping around the Internet, and it seems this is something that has captured the attention of many photographers and so called urban/rural explorers.  I guess what sparked my search was the photos I posted a few days ago of the old fishing shack in Kingsburg.  I knew I wanted to put together a project consisting of old fallen down houses, churches and schools in Nova Scotia, but I didn’t realize just how many of these photographs I’d already taken.  So for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the highlights:

Rose Bay Barn - Paul Maybee

Rose Bay Barn - Paul Maybee

Let’s start with this one, close to Kingsburg- on the way, in fact.  Here is a barn that no longer exists.

Rose Bay Barn (back) - Paul Maybee

Rose Bay Barn (back) - Paul Maybee

Actually, here is a photo from the other side of this barn.  I forgot I had this one until I posted the previous photo. Read the rest of this entry »

There are many versions of the story of Jim Charles, like any good story that has been told around campfires for many generations.  A great version of the story appears in Mike Parker’s book, “Wood Chips and Beans” and another good version comes from a blog by “the nature writer”, Laurie Lacey.  Basically the story goes like this:

Jim Charles was a man who lived in the Kejimikujik area in the 1800’s.  He was one of the most skilled of the guides in those woods and frequently took sporting fishermen and hunters deep into the woods where the fishing and game hunting were prime.  He and his wife lived on what is now known as Jim Charles Point on the Kejimikujik Lake.  Jim had discovered a gold mine deep in what is now the Tobeatic wilderness and became quite rich.  Now the men in the village became jealous of Jim Charles’ fortune and tried to get information about the location of this gold mine which he kept a secret.  One night a man became quite forceful with Jim at a bar when he refused to give up the location and picked a fight with him.  Jim knocked the man clean off his feet and several hours later, the man was dead.

It should be mentioned now that Jim Charles was a Mi’kmaq man and though he was well respected within the community, there was no guarantee of a fair trial with the murder of a white man hanging over his head.  So Jim did the only thing he knew to do and took to the woods.

jimcharlesrock1

Jim Charles Rock

Photo Courtesy of Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management

Reference Number: N-2516/ Album 43, #2

Author’s Note: It is mentioned in other online sources that this is Boundary Rock.  It is not.  This is what I believe is Jim Charles’ Rock.  Boundary Rock is much smaller than this rock as is apparent from the size of the man standing in the bottom right hand corner of the photo.  It is believed that this photo was taken by J.A. Irvine in 1899.

It is said that Jim Charles stayed in those woods for years.  He stayed in there for fear that the men of the village were looking for him.  He hid under a enormous rock, where there was a cave underneath, and from on top of which he could see anyone coming from miles around.  This is what’s now referred to as Jim Charles’ Rock.  It is said that it is near Cofan Camp on the Sand Beach Lake, but like the Boundary Rock, little is know as to its whereabouts.  He also never returned to his gold mine, for fear that the ghost of the man he killed was haunting it.  Also, he had no need for gold unless he could spend it, which would require him returning to town.

Some of the stories about Jim Charles claim that he did in fact return to town and stood trial and was found not guilty for the murder of the man.  Some say he never returned from the wilderness.  Whichever is true, the fact is that the exact location of the mine, and the rock died with Jim Charles.

So we will spend a day on our trip to search for Jim Charles’ Rock.  Here is a draft of our itinerary as it stands now:

trip itinerary - The Search for Boundary Rock

trip itinerary - The Search for Boundary Rock

Trip planning

February 28, 2009

One of the first questions we had to answer in planning a trip to search for the Boundary Rock was “where shold we look?”.  Where do we think this rock might be?  After looking at the photographs at the NS Public Archives I looked at some old maps showing the county lines from the 1800’s to present.  There are many beautiful maps there but the problem I kept running into is that the landmarks would change over time.  Many older maps show a Dunbar’s Lake just Southeast of Sporting Lake, which is nowhere to be found on newer maps.  Dunbar’s Lake seems to have disappeared.  Some maps (like in the back of older versions of Albert Bigelow Payne’s “The Tent Dwellers) show the rock just North of Handsled Lake.  This would put it right around where the junction is today…  at Junction Lake.

Some say that from Junction Lake it’s just 400m or so upstream from a cove on the West bank of the Lake and it’s right there on the left.  There is some clarification needed, I think, as to what we’re calling the Boundary, or Junction Rock.  The one we’re looking for is the one with John McEwan’s name and others carved in the side of the rock.  It’s in a flat bog with easy access from a canoe.  There will be no question when we find this rock…

Although a part of me (and I’m certain I’m not alone) almost wishes that we find something that’s not the Boundary Rock.  I have a feeling that when we do find this rock, that there will be a sense of disappointment that will follow closely on the heels of the celebration of our discovery.

Still, I am going to look for it with every intention of finding it.  And if we find it, I will celebrate.  And if we don’t…  maybe the search itself was the thing we were looking for in the first place.

photo of the day

February 28, 2009

Halifax Citadel

Halifax Citadel - Paul Maybee

I took a walk yesterday around the Citadel Hill in Halifax and took this series of photos.  It was such a warm sunny day that it almost feels like spring will be here eventually.