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Nov 8, 2008

Freedom Rock at Nottawasaga Bluffs

That's my friend, Pieter Thoenes, in the top photo, standing atop the Nottawasaga Bluffs, just west of Creemore, Ontario, in Grey County. Pieter has a very Dutch name, is English through-and-through, and has lived in Canada for many, many years. He was and still is a world-traveler. Most recently, he and his wife, Annie, spent almost a month in the South Pacific. Pieter and I like to get together and go hiking and a week ago we explored the trails, crevices and caves of the Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area. Part of the Bruce Trail runs along the bluffs. Freedom Rock is the name given to two facing walls of a crevice and the cave at the bottom. Someone, a mystery person, carved dozens of aphorisms in the rock faces of Freedom Rock many years ago. The sentiments expressed by the carver seem to me to be the work of an agrarian Libertarian.
Consider these examples: 'Individualists are diamonds'...'To be fully educated one must farm 5 yrs'...'The greatest freedom of all is to spend your own money'. In the second photo, above, Pieter stands inside the Freedom Rock cave (which is known to some as 'The Tomb') and near to an inscription that reads: 'Single people are economic slaves of the state'. Unfortunately, someone has recently coloured in the lettering in an attempt to make it more legible. In the third photo, I too am in the cave inspecting the carving technique of a short and sweet message that says a lot in just two words. As a former stone-carver, I have an idea of how much time and effort went into this work: lots! Much of the work is spread over sheer rock walls that are 30' high. Locals say it was done over a number of years, but no one seems to know the person. The caves and crevices of Nottawasaga Bluffs are just one very interesting aspect of what I think is one of the best hiking areas, in this part of Ontario. I can't recommend it enough.

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