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Seasons Greetings from the Privy

Privies Enduring Symbol Holiday Season Outhouse by Back Roads Bill Full Christmas Card  Christmas images pdf The ground is almost frozen but not everywhere, not in an outhouse anyway. And I wanted to match the Back Roads holiday season greeting card with a story. One of the rural ways of life’s most enduring symbols has been the outhouse and you can see them on the back roads. It also goes under the name of back house, john, the wee or little house, the house of parliament , the inconvenience or the privy. “Thunder boxes” without the protective shed are most often found along canoe routes at designated Ontario Parks’...

The Only Hebrew Cemetery in Northern Ontario

Not Forgotten on the Back Roads by Back Roads Bill Steer While other things fade, stones and souls endure. It is said that one of the first communal obligations is to provide for the dead. In the case of some Jewish settlers the establishment of their cemetery took on certain urgency. Northern Ontario Jews from other communities are buried here; the only such dedicated Hebrew cemetery in the northeast. There are more than 100 burial plots in the cemetery including a war grave. Krugerdorf was founded as a farming homestead in Chamberlain Township in the early 1900s, about 25 kilometres south of Kirkland Lake. Not officially named Krugerdorf until 1949,...

Rock Carvings – Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs – Temagami’s Rare Works of Art By Back Roads Bill Sometimes you find and see things that are truly extraordinary or different.  This is one of them. Long before writing was developed, people recorded events, ideas, plans, and feelings by marking them on a rock.  Rock art is a rather vague term which denotes prehistoric humankind markings on natural surfaces. The rock was their canvas. keep reading Listen: http://www.steerto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Petroglyphs-june-5-2016.mp3 Google...

Moving Our Animals – Under and Over in NE Ontario

Overpass and  Tunnel Benefits to Animals and Humans Animal Bridges – Wildlife Crossings by Back Roads Bill You’re driving north  to your next BIG experience in Northeastern Ontario, most likely on Highways 11 or 69.  You notice the change in landscape, the flora; consider the fauna though, the animals are part of your experience. Why do animals cross the road?  They always seem to run on to the road at the wrong time. It occurs because wildlife and people driving vehicles are on the roads simultaneously cannot predict the behaviour of one another. You most likely have had a close encounter of the animal kind. Review these stats.  In the...

Watch for the Animals Crossing – Slate Islands (Terrace Bay)

Watch out for Animals Crossing! by Backroads Bill One minute you’re concentrating on fishing the green and the black, the next you see a caribou approaching your boat.  And that’s not tackle tangled in their rack. A trip to the Slate Islands can satisfy the senses of the outdoors enthusiast in a number of ways.  For the angler there is the excitement of landing and experiencing some of the finest red-finned lake trout anywhere.  There are no caribou crossing road signs, but there should be, they’re everywhere.  Keep your camera ready as they swim from island to island.   For the kayaker/canoeist it is an opportunity to explore the natural...

Two for the Price of One – Nipigon

Two Destinations – Dramatic  Ice  Relief and a Railway Tunnel Highway 11 – Nipigon – Winter and the Rest of the Year by Back Roads Bill You often hear the expressions “two is better than one,”  “the more the merrier” or perhaps “good things come in pairs.”  When you are exploring, two finds make for a good day; especially when they are so different but close to one another. We have two Trans Canada Highways in Northern Ontario and they start in North Bay and meet again in Nipigon; that’s a story in itself.   The present layout of Highway 11 along the east side of Lake Nipigon is a...

Rock Hounds – Gowganda and Gogama

Rock Hounds – Abandoned Mines – BIG Rock Discoveries Tourism – Lapidary- Nature Avocation – Rock Hobby- Rock Pirates by Back Roads Bill There is the idiom: “You’ve got rocks in your head.”  Something about having poor judgment or a supposed substitute for brains.  The loose definition of a rock hound is one who collects rocks.  We like rocks, we pick them up. So why did more than 25 people, families for the most part, travel more than 700 km to find and collect rocks?  They will tell you that “we’re insane” and “we’re always looking for the next rock,” or “my wife says don’t bring any more rocks...