Ingrid and I recently returned from our annual trip to Ontario where we took in a week of fishing. We have been going there for over ten years now. As always, it's very beautiful there and we greatly enjoy our time on the water.
This year was different though. We didn't go to this location last year. We fulfilled a bucket list item of mine last year by taking a remote fly in fishing trip to north central Quebec. It was our first experience traveling in a float plane and we were two hundred miles from the nearest town for a full week. Propane refrigerator, manual flush toilet. lake water showers or in my case a skinny dip in the lake to bathe and no cell phone coverage at all. Totally unplugged. I can't wait to do it again. But, I digress.
As most of you know it was just over two years ago that the Ancestors brought me to Bear Spirit Mountain and began revealing their amazing Ceremonial/Burial site to me. I have learned so much in that short time and they have been wonderfully patient with me as they show me what they want me to know. I am sure they sometimes roll their eyes when I miss something or don't get it the first time. As my wonderfully patient wife will tell you, my head can be thick sometimes. :)
As we arrived at our destination in Ontario we were only thinking of enjoying our time there. But, when the Ancestors choose to reveal something I have learned to tune in.
I know this lake well. I know where the fish are usually holding. I know the water depths in many areas. I know the drop offs and points. And for many years in the past I was looking right at Indian rock art without understanding what I was seeing. Until now.. Now, this trip became as much about discovery as it did fishing.
Right about the third day we were leaving our cottage area in our small boat which is located at the mouth of the Gananoque River. This river eventually finds its way to the St Lawrence River and is also connected to Red Horse Lake to the north east. As I navigated to where the river actually joins the lake I looked to my right. I don't know why, as I usually don't. But located on a point that sticks out into the lake/river confluence I saw this image of a mans face. I recognize "what" he was doing because we have the same type glyph s at our site and at Short Mountain. This is a "Watcher." He is looking out over the main body of the lake. He was placed there to give the Warriors confidence as they were navigating to the lake to hunt for mink, beaver, moose, bear and to catch fish and fresh water muscles for food. When a Watcher glyph is carved the Shaman will place a friendly Spirit in this stone to help protect and watch over the men as they perform their tribal duties.
The location of this glyph at the confluence of a river and large lake was intentional. The river was used as a transportation waterway to the St Lawrence rive which feeds into both the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario. The lake of course provides the food and other resources such as furs, hard stones for tools, and burial sites.
I passed this glyph and decided I have to check this out again the next day up close. I wanted to be sure this had the markings of man's hands and not just a natural phenomenon. The next day I pulled the boat right up against it only five feet away and showed Ingrid. She agreed that it was definitely man made. This glyph is a "side only" profile glyph. Meaning the Warriors can only see this left side of a face from their canoes as they left the river and entered the lake. If you look at straight on you see a semblance of a face but not a clear image. The side profile was created intentionally so the Warriors can only see it from the right side of their canoe as they exit the river and enter the lake. It was put there for them. To watch over them, protect them from harm and to help them provide resources for their tribe. And just as they did when the Warriors passed by, I slowed my boat to pay my respect to it every time I passed it for the remainder of the trip.
The "Watcher" Outline Glyph
The second glyph I found was actually several miles from the lake. It is next to the river. As we were driving I was scanning rocks (as I always do) and saw a face poking out from a line of rock outcrops. At first, from the road, it was hard to identify. So, I pulled over and entered a field just below the outcrops.
When I got within about 50 feet I could see it was a petroglyph of a fish head. Fish are not unique as we have several fish carvings at our site and at Short Mountain as well. And, considering what a valuable resource it is even to this day it was even more valuable to the Ancestors as a food and tool resource as many of the fish bones and teeth were used to make tools. This area and almost all of south east Canada is blessed with a tremendous fishery and of course that is what brought us there in the first place for so many years.
Fish Head Petroglyph Near Gananoque River in Ontario, Canada
My last glyph that I discovered was one that our dear friend and fishing lodge owner Bob asked me to check out and confirm. It is located on the lake in a section called "the narrows." This area has a very large line of rock cliffs that are very old. Many large chunks of these cliffs have broken off over millennia and rolled down to the lake's edge and even into the lake.
The particular boulder that Bob suspected of having been carved on is well known to many of the locals. So well known, that someone humorously painted white teeth at the bottom of the mouth. What is striking about this outline glyph is the sheer size of the boulder. It was a massive piece that broke of from its parent cliff. It is over thirty feet tall and twenty feet wide. And, as in so many cases the artist simply took the existing shape and carved around it to create an image. The image though is a bit strange. It is either a odd looking image of a mans face. Or, it is an image of a Ape's face. Specifically the profile of a Gorilla face similar to the two Gorilla glyph s I found at Bear Spirit Mountain. Of course, this will be controversial because Ape's supposedly went extinct in North America over 100,000 years ago according to science.
Despite Archaeologist and Scientists tell us "we have no bone or fossil record of Apes being here after 100,000 years ago" glyph s and paintings are being found all around North America. My friend Rocky in New Brunswick, Canada ( https://www.rockartmuseum.com/ ), has several examples of portable rock art glyph s of Ape faces and he is just east of Ontario.
I am not here to stoke the fires of controversy. It is up to the people with the long titles and fancy degrees to explain why we have these ancient art images of an primate that is not supposed to have been here. I just find them and record them.
Outline Glyph of Man or Ape Face on Gananoque Lake
These glyph s are amazing pieces of Spiritual art that my Ancestors created long ago. But they also left another amazing rock structure behind that thousands of fisherman look at every year, but don't understand.
Lodge owner Bob asked me to take a look at this pile of rocks on Big Island and see what we can find.
Big Island is not far from the "Watcher" glyph. Just a few hundred yards. It is located just a few hundred feet from the lakes edge and it is one of the largest islands on this lake. I understand that the water levels at this lake are now controlled by a Dam. I don't know if during the period of the construction of this rock structure Big Island was an island or it was connected to the mainland. Regardless, it has something that is very special!
Simply put, it has a rock burial mound. A very large burial mound constructed out of thousands of rocks. It measures at 22' tall, 50' wide and over 150' long.
When Ingrid & I (and a hundred biting black flies) visited the island we first found a small cluster of stacked stones with a triangular stone at the top. At first I was thinking this is a separate burial mound. But, I remembered a similar arrangement of stones on the ten acre site we just bought at Bear Spirit Mountain. Its purpose, and I believe this new find's purpose is not a burial mound. After I took a compass reading at this new find I saw it points northeast to southwest. This is the bearing for Summer and Winter Solstice events. The triangular stone is pointing in those directions. So, I believe this is a Solstice marker stone. I also noted that it is at the highest point of this island. It is clear as well that this is not a rock outcrop. These stones were stacked and arranged in this way intentionally.
The Solstice Marker Stones
As we continued our investigation of this island we arrived at the rock mound. It is quite impressive in its size and its positioning. The mound was built at the far west tip of the island. As you know, ancient Indian cultures preferred to build their burial sites overlooking a valley, or on a mountain plateau. They wanted the deceased to have a great natural view from their graves. This view looking west is a beautiful view overlooking the lake and the sunset. A view to die for.
Sunset at Gananoque Lake
As we walked around the mound, we came across a square chamber that was attached to the rock mound. Sadly, it had been opened and looted many years ago. I looked anyway but did not see any bones or artifacts inside this chamber.
Square Chamber at North Side of Rock Mound
After examining this chamber we started looking at the construction of this mound and one pressing question came to mind. Where did the thousands of rocks, some of them several hundred pounds each come from? There are no signs of rock cliffs on the mainland nearby as it is mostly marshy and flat. As we looked around we saw a large line of rock cliffs on the island approximately 75 yards from the mound itself. And, we noted that between the rock mound and this rock cliff line that is was very clean. No rocks of any size. We realized that the rock cliff had been quarried to produce the thousands of rocks needed to create this amazing rock mound. I took a sample of the rocks on the mound and matched it against the rocks at the rock cliffs and they are identical. They had literally cut thousands of rocks from a rock cliff to make this monument. Do you fathom how much work that entails? Are you seeing how utterly incredible these people were to go to these lengths to create a sacred burial site?
Cleared Area Between Rock Cliff and Rock Mound
Rock Mound Looking West