Monday, April 15, 2013

The Grandview Boulder

Often on old maps you would see places where the cartographers didn't have much to depict.  Open ocean, deserts, terra incognito.  Sometimes they would just sketch in a bunch of dolphins, or a depiction of Ptolemy or some such.  To fill space you know.

Modern maps don't go in for that as much but there are still occasions where some "filler" is needed.

A map of the area near our cabin has lots of lakes.  There are trails for bikes, snowmobiles and ATVs.  There are roads and small towns.  But in one corner they seem to have been unable to come up with much of anything else.

So there is a notation for "The Grandview Boulder".

Here it is:

It is a rather nice rock, but really still....its just a rock.

Since these photos were taken the National Forest Service has put up a new information board.  It says that The Boulder is of impressive antiquity, some 2.5 billion years old.  And that the wavy lines in it are in fact "stromatolites", fossilized blobs of really ancient bacteria colonies.  I had never seen a stromatolite before... I guess they look like this:

If you are for some reason seized with a burning desire to see some good stromatolites The Grandview Boulder is the place to go.  But for something this substantial it is not actually very easy to find.  Go east from Cable Wisconsin on County M.  After Lake Namekogan you turn north on Namekogan Sunset Road.  Turn right on Taylor Lake Road/Old Grade Road.  It will be on the right side of the road in a couple of miles.

Don't try this in bad weather....these are the kinds of lonesome, muddy  roads that have defeated the Ambitions of Conquerors throughout history......

1 comment:

Shannon O'Toole said...

Saw it 20 years ago and tried to locate it yesterday with no knowledge of the name of the road. Came at it from the east on Old Grade Road, which was good because not far from where Namekagon Sunset meets Old Grade, the road is closed due to a complete break from the washouts last month. So go further along M until you get to Old Grade Road, almost to Clam Lake, take a left, northbound, on Old Grade and it will be on your left after a couple of miles.