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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KatsZoNe - Issue 92 - Spirit Rock

2 Sep 2012

Hi everyone,

Last month, I wrote about past road trips.  Well, August was definitely the time for more road trips this year! 

Larry and I went to Sauble Beach and surrounding areas, by Lake Huron.  We had a fun-filled, beautiful weekend by the beach, eating ice cream, hiking and watching auto racing at the Sauble Speedway. 

One of the places we went to, which we were very impressed with, is called the Spirit Rock, just one of the Grey Sauble Conservation areas, located on the north end of Wiarton against the cliffs facing Georgian Bay.  We happened to bump into a guy at Sauble Beach, who was waiting for his buddies to come pick him up by boat.  He told us about the hiking trails at Spirit Rock.  There was much more to it than that. 

We saw signs for Spirit Rock Conservation Area , but, the entrance was a bit obscure -- which we easily passed by when we were trying to find it.  We found our way down a very dusty, winding road, and finally reached a parking area, surrounded by trees.  A couple signs informed us of some of the sites.  The 87 hectares of land consisted of the Niagara Escarpment, historical ruins (called The Corran), a spiral staircase leading down to the water's edge, a trail of rocks (not soft dirt), but, not indication as to a story behind the name, "Spirit Rock."  (Source:  http://public.greysauble.on.ca/ca_lands/spiritrock.html

The Corran, which means "point of land running into the sea" in Irish Gaelic, built in 1881, was the home of Alexander McNeill, a Federal Member of Parliament for the North Bruce County, and his wife, Hester, and his son, Malcolm.  Hester died young, before the estate was completely finished.

The Corran is not the only interesting part of Spirit Rock.  The name, Spirit Rock, is derived from an Indian legend.  An Indian maiden fell in love with the chief of an enemy tribe.  They were married, but, her family turned against her and she threw herself over a cliff after being disowned by her own tribe.  It is said, that when the lighting and angles are just right, one can see the face of the maiden in the cliffs below.  In 1897, two skeletons were found in a cave, and people claim that these are the skeletons of the Indian maiden and her husband, proving that the legend is real. 

When we went hiking on the trail, I had no idea what the Indian legend was about.  The words, "spirit rock" implied something spiritual, so I had believed.  Larry marched ahead of me, hoping to see a Point which we had seen on a large map near where we parked.  We had already gone down the steep spiral staircase and held on to iron handrails down stone steps which appeared to have been placed there with human hands.  We knew the boy scouts hiked in that area, and although there were signs of hikers in the past and present, we also knew that we were there at our own risk.  A couple times, I heard loud hissing sounds.  I cried out to Larry that some huge snakes may be lurking around the trees, but, he tried to convince me that they were just squirrels or chipmunks greeting me.  I tried to tell him that I am only familiar with quiet squirrels in my backyard -- I have never heard them hiss!  I was grateful, at least, that during the August Civic holiday long weekend, there were no mosquitoes or other bugs hanging onto us on that trail because if I had to deal with that too, I would have been really annoyed!  I did not need news of West Nile tormenting my brain now.

With Larry ahead of me and nowhere in site, the hot and sticky weather, hissing in the trees, and me trying not to trip on large rocks and possibly twist my ankle (which would not be unusual for me), that path to some "point" which we read on the map which did not seem any closer than when we first started, all of this made me uncomfortable.  I wanted Larry to come back, next to me, but later, he told me, he knew if he did not stay ahead of me, I would have turned around and head back.  I told him, those were the exact thoughts on my mind.  He knew me so well.  His leadership, persistence and insight about me helped me move forward when I was terribly uncomfortable. 

When I heard his voice that he was at the destination (and I don't even know if that's what we saw on the map), I was glad.  We took a few photos and I was finally enjoying the experience!  Larry picked up a small rock which he said looked like the face of an "evil rock", I thought that was hilarious.  I kind of thought it looked like there was a smirk on its face -- like it was laughing at me!  For those of you on my mailing list, I will send you a photo of me with that "evil rock".  It is kind of ironic that the legend of Spirit Rock involved the face of an Indian maiden on the side of the rocks -- even though Larry also had no idea what the legend was about when we were there.

On our way back, on the trail, I was not so tense.  We took some photos at the spiral staircase too.  For those of you on my mailing list, I will send you the Facebook link to my photos which is part of my Summer 2012 album.  You do not need to be a member of Facebook to see it, however, if you cannot access Facebook at all, then unfortunately, you will probably not be able to view it.

I have told a couple of people about what I had personally experienced at Spirit Rock.  That unknown rocky path, going down the steep spiral staircase, Larry going ahead of me, all taught me something.  I have said, that whether it is a relationship, job hunting, or some other area of life which you may have been waiting and waiting for answers or something to happen, I know that it is easy to get discouraged.  I hope that we will all have patience and just hang on a little longer because in time, we will arrive at a good destination.  If we turn back too early, we could miss the opportunity to enjoy the perfect moment, or success that we are meant to experience.  We could miss that important point of life which could lead to somewhere better.  Yes, I complained a lot while we were walking on that trail!  If I could hear myself on a recorder, I know I would have been annoyed at myself!  If I could think out loud, I would have heard myself saying:  "It's too far.  It's too hot!  I'm tired!  The snakes are out there and I'm going to get bitten.  I want to go back!"  I would have been more comfortable at home, I suppose.  GOOD GRIEF! 

If you ever have a chance to go hiking or on a road trip and are lucky enough to have a friend, companion, spouse, kids, to have fun with, JUST DO IT!!!  I am very blessed that Larry put up with me at Spirit Rock.  I feel even more blessed to have someone like him, who's a great friend and companion, with me on my life's journey.  Life is not always fun, but, in good times and bad, I think it is good not to be alone.  We will have to take some paths on our own, but, it is so enriching to have wonderful companions join us on some of those pat
hs.  Hopefully they will stop us from throwing ourselves off a cliff!!!  I know, I know, I have to stop being so melodramatic as my time is up!!!

Enjoy September and hope to touch base with some of you soon! 

Take care,

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