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Fine Wine – Red and White Pines – Wolf Lake and Temagami

Fine Wine – Fine Trees Red or White?  Vintage Choices of Location Complement Your Big Experience by Back Roads Bill With all the thousands of wines in hundreds of styles out there, you can’t be expected to remember all the wines and how they pair with food, same with the trees of Northeastern Ontario and your next, not dining, but destination experience. To make it easier for you, here is a short list of red and white, pine trees that is.  And we have two species that are classified as vintage. White – Old Growth – Temagami For those that believe, coming into contact with a  big tree, particularly...

Selling Rocks – Trout Creek and River Valley (Sturgeon Falls)

Why the Rocks? By Back Roads Bill Rocks lend color, texture and a touch of Zen to your garden. This fall many people are preparing for the spring of 2014. Rock or scree (loose rock debris) gardens are becoming more popular.  Rocks, gravel and boulders last forever and solve many landscaping dilemmas. Scree gardens are a great way to spruce up your yard, especially if you have areas that are bare or need covering up. Even beginner gardeners can easily design a rock garden, and there is no wrong way to do it.  So where should we go or find the rocks? Selling Rocks Imagine having a rock shop...

Native Icons – Wawa and Garden River (Sault Ste. Marie)

Medicine Cave –Time and Place –Natural and Cultural Heritage by Back Roads Bill It is sometimes difficult to comprehend timelines with millions of years and then relate to the covenants of religion beyond what you know and practice. Time and religion, you would think these don’t fit together but at this next location, one is the reason for the other. For Native communities the relationship with the land and time is important to their heritage.  It is hard to believe the Northern Ontario landscape was once covered by a huge inland sea.  The rise and fall of the Great Lakes created some features that are truly unusual.  Some of...

Bridging Time – Mattawa/Sault Ste. Marie

Forgotten Bridges Remain Today Helping to Remember the Romans and the Great Depression By Back Roads Bill The Romans invented concrete (opus caementicium) and were great road and bridge builders.   The finest roads the Romans built used deep roadbeds comprised of crushed stones for moisture control followed by a layer of capstones or pavers. It is inevitable this summer; you will wait in line for the road construction flag person to eventually give the stopped traffic the go-ahead with the florescent green SLOW sign.   Use the delay to reflect on the new and old concrete bridges and why jobs are important; something you have wanted to do anyway. Presently,...

Values and An Island – North Bay

The Seasons of an Island Change Affects the Preservation of Values by Back Roads Bill As the seasons of the year change, so are the seasons of life and our values. This comparison comes from many cultures and many sources, the bible is one; Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 states,” To everything there is a season…” The beauty of autumn has arrived, the days are shortening and the shadows are lengthening.  It is the time to become responsible and to learn from the rewards the other seasons taught you. Camp Island is like an oasis and it represents many values to many people.     Generations of Trout Lake’s residents and visiting canoeists have...

Oldest Structure In Northern Ontario – Callander/North Bay

Not the Pyramids – Old Just the Same and Our Heritage Not Preserved or Recognized by Back Roads Bill   For thousands of years pyramids have been built by civilizations in many parts of the world.  Khufu’s Pyramid (2530 B.C.)  is built mainly of limestone and granite blocks and is considered an architectural masterpiece, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.’  These are the remains of a vanished culture.  Think about this and the following. Northern Ontario has less than 150 years of continuous, colonial, settlement history.  We are hard pressed to identify what is the oldest engineered, humankind piece of work that survives from our meager...

Science of Trees – Trout Creek

Science of the Trees – Non Fiction – Invaluable Fiction – A Wonderland Place – Pay Attention to the Details Gurd and Bonner Do Not Abandon – Values in Jeopardy by Back Roads Bill There are two destinations that are very enjoyable places to walk, in any season with lots of visual appeal;  both are an oasis of calm and solitude much like, in some respects,  Alice’s ‘Wonderland.’ One is called Gurd and the other is Bonner and the two are not part of a comedy team or to be confused, contextually, with the twins, Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  They may look like identical and orderly tree farms but these...