Wednesday, 22 May 2013

From the Legend of the Sleeping Giant to the Legend of the Inukshuk

After our first winter in Terrace Bay with multiple trips to Thunder Bay (The land of the Sleeping Giant) for medical appointments, we will be travelling west to the land of the Inukshuk; Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Finally, a trip of pleasure and not necessity.

Our 14th wedding anniversary and our Mother,
Margaret Meharg's birthday. Unfortunately, she had passed away a few weeks ago, after a long and adventurous life filled with love and happiness. Mom would have been 90 years old.  A toast with a cold beer on May 28th , just as mom would have it.

So, another trip to Thunder Bay as our trip west will begin on Friday with an early flight 5:40 am on Saturday morning.  We will hope to meet our good friends in as we have on previous trip to "T Bay" enjoying a 4 hour dinner at the Prince Arthur Hotel, or at Vanderwees Garden Centre for a delicious lunch!  Maybe Naxo's for a traditional Greek meal.

Thunder Bay Harbour

Spring has been slow to arrive in Terrace Bay, as "Old man Winter" dug his heels in the frozen ground a little too long.  We will miss the trees budding as we will be on Vancouver Island where the flowers are in full bloom and the grass is green, amongst the Luxurious Wilderness of Tofino and Ucluelet of Vancouver's west coast.
Bob has set the intinery for our anniversary adventure.  Naniamo, Tofino, Ucuelet, Victoria and the big city of Vancouver.  Yes, another drop in the bucket of  lifetime adventures. 

Standing on the shores of Thunder Bay at the head of the great Lake Superior, one can perceive on looking out across the waters, a great land formation situated directly in the mouth of the Bay.
On an island just outside Thunder Bay, now known as Isle Royale, once lived a great tribe of Ojibwa Natives. Nanabijou, the Spirit of the Deep Sea, decided to reward them. One day he called their Chief to his Great Thunder Temple on the mountain and warned him that if he told the secret of their rich and abundant life to the traders, that he would be turned to stone and the Ojibwa tribe would perish.

The Great Spirit told Nanabijou to go to the highest point on Thunder Cape, and he would find the entrance to a tunnel that would lead him to the centre of a rich silver mine.  The Ojibwa people found the mine and became famous for their beautiful silver ornament. So beautiful that the Sioux warriors saw the ornaments on their wounded enemies, strove to steel their secret from them without success.

The Sioux summoned their most cunning scout to a pow-wow and a plan was formed.  The scout entered the Ojibwa camp disguised as one of them. In a few days he learned the secret of the island of silver. Going to the mine at night he took several large pieces of silver to prove to his chief that he had fulfilled his mission. The scout never returned to his camp as he stopped at a trader's post. He  had no money to purchase food, but used a piece of silver.
Upon seeing such a large piece of this beautiful metal, the two traders pressed to find the whereabouts of its source so they could become wealthy. They persuaded him to show them the mine.  When almost in sight of "Silver Islet" a horrible storm broke over the Cape.  The traders were drowned and the Native was found in a crazed condition floating aimlessly in his canoe. An extraordinary thing happened during the storm where there once was a wide opening to the bay, now lay what appeared to be a great sleeping figure of a man arms folded across his massive chest. 

The great Spirit's warning had been fulfilled and he had been turned to stone.  On a little island at the foot of the Sleeping Giant, can still be seen the partly submerged shafts of what was once the richest silver mine in the Northwest.  Traders tried again and again to pump out the water that keeps flooding it from Lake Superior, but without success.  Is it still under the curse of Nanabijou, Spirit of the Deep Sea Water?
Who can tell?

As for the legend of the Inukshuk...

We will travel west to the land of Canada's tallest waterfall, ancient cedars, and rich aboriginal history.  Along with a touch of Old World style and plenty of excitement.  Vancouver Island stretches 460 kms north to south off the west coast of British Columbia. We hope to experience the spring migration of more than 20,000 grey whales of Pacific Rim National Park, sleep on Chesterman Beach spotting seals and eagles, hike the centuries old rainforest.
A Superior Inukshuk

and of course... hang out at some of the jazz bars in Naniamo, the home of Diane Krall, our favorite Jazz artist. 

The Mystery awaits................

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