Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keji in the Spring

Back on the weekend I decided to pile the kids and dog into the car and head to Kejimkujik National Park for a tromp around in the wilderness. The never ending specter of report card writing kept it from being a complete family trip but, I am sure that more report cards were completed because we were out of the house. Nonetheless, we packed everyone in the car, made a stop in Lequille for the requisite snacks and made our way to Keji.

I think that my favorite part of the afternoon was coming upon the Mi'Kmaw encampment site that is used for programming during the warmer months. While I knew that this site was at Keji, I had not previously been to it so I was a little bit surprised to see it appear as we walked along the edge of the lake. Sitting there was a replica birch bark tee-pee and a fire pit. We walked over to the site and I was immediately impressed by the strength of the people who once lived in these structures. Winter would be much more of an ordeal in this type of building than even in the draftiest of modern houses. The thought of spending a winter in a tee-pee is almost unfathomable to a modern sensibility. It made me wonder what the first Europeans would have thought when they saw this style of construction.

Since there was nobody in the area other than ourselves, we almost felt that we had come upon an ancient abandoned campsite. This was compounded by the knowledge that we were within walking distance of the petroglyphs which depict Mi'Kmaq life in the 18th and 19th centuries. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be on a tour that went to the petroglyphs. These stone drawings are very moving and are certainly one of the attractions of Keji.

After leaving the encampment we continued to wander along the lake until we found a tree that had been chewed by a beaver. We had a goof chat about why beavers chew down trees and what they do with them. As always, we had a grand time a Keji and are waiting for our next chance to visit.

All for now,
RGS







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