Saturday, August 14, 2010

A 'dry stone story' break.

Im taking a break from Stone Story today. Monday begins with a whole new segment continuing from where we left off on Friday.

Right now I'd like to tell you about the plans coming together for Rocktoberfest in Canada. The site for this year's festival is at Landon Bay Center Bio-reserve, half way between Montreal and Toronto not far from the bridge to New York Sate, and it looks like its going to be an event you won't want to miss.

As you can see there are already children parachuting in be part of this event. (We saw these kids having a lot of fun today. They are actually attending the summer nature program at Landon Bay Centre)

There was lots happening there today in preparation for this Canadian Thanksgiving Event where wallers from around the world, among other things will be coming to help construct ''Kay's Bridge', a 12 foot span, totally dry stone arched footbridge to be built on the side of a forested granite knoll, over a craggy stream. We visited this Canada Parks run campground/ecological park on Friday and talked with some of the people like John MacLeod and Margot Miller who are helping make this dry stone walling event happen.

We gathered more stone from along the the forest trail and brought it to the bridge site. (Thanks to Lee with the tractor and wagon) We shaped the bedrock either side of the creek to accommodate the sandstone springers that the bridge voussoirs will 'spring' from. The newly constructed form was carried down and placed into position too. It fit beautifully.

We also prepared 70 feet of foundation for the two dry stone wall workshops that are going to be taught Saturday and Sunday at the festival (please write to for details)

We decided where the dry stone fire place was going to go, which John Scott, Heritage Masonry Instructor at Algonquin College in Perth, along with alumni and students are going to build during the festival weekend. We chose a place for the dry wood wall we are going to be building out of firewood with some of the children at the festival. We also did decision making about the dry stone arch which will become the entrance way to the hiking trail. This park feature will be built by a group of volunteers from all over Canada headed up by Evan Oxland.

We checked out one of the restaurants where wallers and students will be eating on the Saturday night. The Ship's Galley, a fine dining establishment on the St Lawrence, will be the venue where stone walling experts Patrick MacAfee and Michael Weitzner and Bobby Watt will, (after those attending the festival partake of a hearty rib and chicken meal) give their audio visual presentations on fascinating walling related subjects. Patrick will be showing photos of the amazing network of walls on Aran Island in Ireland, and Michael will be giving the talk he plans to give at the Dry Stone Wall Congress in Ambleside this September. Its exciting to think that all this is coming up so soon, this October, and that entrance to the park and all demonstration walling events are free to the public.

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