2009-02-08

MTM: Big Rock

This week I am taking you to Southern Alberta. Just outside of Calgary, lies a bedroom community called Okotoks (although, I am sure they consider themselves a town) and if you travel along hwy #7 about 10 k to the SW, you will come across this amazing sight.

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Sitting bold as brass out in the middle of the flat prairie are chunks of granite known as Okotoks Erratic or simply The Big Rock.

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The Okotoks Erratic weighs 16,500 tons. It measures 9 metres high, 41 metres long and 18 metres wide. The rock has been eroded into pieces, but is still a large landmark on the flat prairie.
(For the geological explanation, visit the link above please.)

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These are very old rocks and they are a very long way away from where they originated. I like the explanation offered by the Blackfoot Indians.

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This might be easier to read:

One hot summer day, Napi, the supernatural trickster of the Blackfoot peoples, rested on the rock because the day was warm and he was tired. He spread his robe on the rock, telling the rock to keep the robe in return for letting Napi rest there. Suddenly, the weather changed and Napi became cold as the wind whistled and the rain fell. Napi asked the rock to return his robe, but the rock refused. Napi got mad and just took the clothing. As he strolled away, he heard a loud noise and turning, he saw the rock was rolling after him. Napi ran for his life. The deer, the bison and the pronghorn were Napi's friends, and they tried to stop the rock by running in front of it. The rock rolled over them. Napi's last chance was to call on the bats for help. Fortunately, they did better than their hoofed neighbours, and by diving at the rock and colliding with it, one of them finally hit the rock just right and it broke into two pieces.



If you look really closely at this photo you can barely make out the rocky mountains in the background and you can tell just how flat the prairies really are. Unfortunately this was the only website I could find and they do not mention how far away the mountains are.

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These were taken a few years ago on a small 35mm point & shoot camera, so I apologize for the quality.

Have a good day all.

Drop by Travis Erwins blog for links to more My Town Monday posts from around the world.

24 comments:

Sepiru Chris said...

Its been a long time since I've been to that particular erratic. Thanks for the visit.

Passage of a Woman said...

Gorgeous photos. I have never travelled much, so am enthralled by sites such as these. I hope to visit someday. Thanks for the virtual travelogue.

Reb said...

Chris, I don't remember ever seeing it before this trip with my friends a few years ago. I'm sure I must have as a kid though.


P.o.Woman, thanks for dropping by, glad you enjoyed the visit.

Barbara Martin said...

I've been to the church down the road from there, but never went to see the rocks up close.

Reb said...

Barbara, they are very big! ;) They look so strange sitting out there by themselves.

Leah J. Utas said...

Love the erratic. Never walked up close to it, but I love how it stands out on the prairie. We have something similar right here in town.
Great pics and thanks for the tour.

the Bag Lady said...

Great post, sis! I don't recall ever seeing the erratic, so perhaps that was your first visit!
Makes me long for summer so I can go touring. Yeah, right.

Reb said...

Thanks Leah. I had a hard time finding info about it as I had never heard about erratics before.

Sis, it must have been then. I guess we need to spend more time in the southern portion of our province.

Jenn Jilks said...

In such a large country there are so many places to visit. Thanks for sharing yours.

Jay said...

That's pretty cool. That's the kind of thing I would go out of my way to visit while on a road trip.

Reb said...

Jenn there sure are, I love this country and have been coast to coast, but yet, I keep finding treasures in my backyard.

Jay, it is the perfect excuse to get out and stretch your legs.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

you want to CLIMB those things, don't you, and look off into the distance!

Linda McLaughlin said...

I'd never heard of the rocks so that was very interesting. Loved the story of Napi and the bats.

kcinnova said...

Big Rock = Big Fun! Please tell me they allow you to climb on it!

Our favorite camping spot in the desert southwest is at City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico (USA). Like this rock, you are driving along and there it is!

Lauren said...

Interesting random rock. I like the bit of local mythology that you threw in there. Very cool.

Travis Erwin said...

I love these kind of mysteries. And thanks because you've given me an idea for a future MTM post.

Monnik said...

Beautiful pictures! And I loved the story of how the rock was cut in two.

Reb said...

Gary, I'm afraid of heights, so no, I'm not a climber ;)

Linda, that is a great story isn't It? I'd never heard of them either.

Kcinnova, they request that you don't climb them. There are aboriginal pictographs and the quartzite is slippery and can break off in your hands.

Lauren, thanks. I thought is was pretty cool too.

Travis, it is almost like our own Stonehenge. Glad I could help ;)

Monnik, thanks. I like the story too.

Hilary said...

You always have the most interesting posts and photos. I'll bet you could make my boring ole town sound exciting. :)

Reb said...

Thanks Hilary, although I am sure you could do a pretty good job yourself.

lyzzydee said...

I find that there are loads of things around here that I have investigated because to have a trip out feels like the right thing to do!!!
Interesting post thank you

Reb said...

Lyzzydee, yes it does! Thanks.

Barrie said...

I really must visit Alberta one of these days!

Reb said...

Barrie, you should, it is an amazing place.