Posted in adventure in Ontario, archeology, best things to do in Toronto, Caves, conspiracy, creepy places, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, crystal ball, entertainment, exploration, extreme sports, fun things to do in toronto, guelph, Hamilton, haunted places, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, kitchener, my life, ontario, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, people, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, strange places, things to do in Toronto, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, What is an extreme sport, wierd, tagged Dracula, draining, exploring, Guelph, secret passage, secret tunnel, urban exploration, urban exploration near Toronto, urbex on February 17, 2013 |
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Leaving from Jeff’s house in Guelph, the three of us braved the winter evening and followed a secret tunnel to a place that is known as Dracula’s Garden. The garden is really a secret room beneath a city in Ontario. The trip there and back was exhausting. We were underground for just over 2 hours, crawling, duck walking and stooping. We waded through an old and crumbling passage that is known as the blood sluice – and at the end, a most incredible place that is decorated in soda straws and various other formations that are usually found in caves.
See video on the secret passage to Dracula’s Garden here
Jeff found a strange green marble that we called the “Dracula’s Eye” and SNAFU discovered a symbol part way along the hidden passage that was etched into the wall; I say it is for the Illuminati, but that is only wild speculation.
Most intriguing about the speleothems in Dracula’s Garden is the fact that they have formed so incredibly quickly.
Soda straws, curtains and stalactites are composed of calcite that has been leached out of the soil and rock above and re-deposited within an underground cavity. The basic process is that carbonic acid dissolves the calcite as acid laced ground-water passes through calcium rich substrate. Cool temperatures, lots of water and the presence of organic matter adds to the concentration of the acid. By the time the carbonic acid rich water reaches an underground cavity, and is is heavily laden with dissolved calcite, it gases off carbon dioxide and becomes super-saturated with calcite, thus it dumps this at the edge of a speleothem and grows it as some fantastic lacy rock pinnacle or curtain or cave pearl.
In Dracula’s Garden the speleothems have grown with amazing rapidity. Decorations like those seen here are usually thousands of years in the making, these formations are pure and white and hard and yet they could not be older than the cavity in which they’ve formed – about 100 – 160 years in age. Conditions for speleothem growth must be ideal. I had once seen a single soda straw in a sewer in Hamilton (Stairway to Paradise), but it was puffy and porous – more like tufa than the pure and well formed soda straws in this spot.
Two hours of crawling and duck-walking leaves my legs in agony today. I can barely walk and I’m sure my companions are suffering some similar pain as well – SNAFU more his knees being a problem as being the tallest he found the height most dehabilitating and he crawled more than duck-walked. In the video you can hear this strange whump, whump sound in the background, that’s him crawling in his hip waders. As it is now dark I think a little hot tub therapy might ease the pain – standing after sitting is the worst and going down steps is almost impossible (I have to go down backwards on my hands and knees).
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Posted in archeology, bizzare, bones, book on caves, cave conservation, cave formation, Caves, caving in mexico, cenotes, central America, creepy places, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, culture, cultures, diving, Education, entertainment, exploration, geography, geology, haunted, haunted places, Interesting, Mexico, News, photo, Photography, picture of, rocks and minerals, rockwatching, Scuba Diving, searching for caves, sinkholes, underground, vacation, tagged cave diving in Mexico, Cenote Calavares, Cenote dos Ojos, cenotes, Cenotes near Tulum, Gran Cenote, Manati Cenote, Snorkling in Mexico, Temple of doom, things to do in Tulum on July 2, 2012 |
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In case you were wondering why I stopped posting, I’ve been in Tulum for the last little while – exploring cenotes and just generally enjoying the culture of the Yucatan.
Check out this video on some cenotes near Tulum here.
we stayed in our usual hotel, the Punta Posada Piedra, spent time learning Spanish from Santiago, the night watchman, watched turtles crawling up on the beach to lay eggs – and one that changed its mind. We visited the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and to me, most significantly visited several local cenotes and snorkled in them.
Cenotes that I have documented on the video link above are Gran Cenote, Cenote Calavara (Temple of Doom), Manati Cenote and Dos Ojos. Of course there are plenty of others, but those are the ones that are most easily reached from Tulum.
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Posted in adventure in Ontario, Adventures, best things to do in Toronto, bizzare, book on caves, cave conservation, cave digging, cave diving in ontario, cave formation, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Hamilton, Caving in Ontario, cool things to do in toronto, crazy things, creepy places, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, diving in ontario, Education, environment, exploration, extreme sports, nature, Nature/Outdoors, niagara escarpment, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, photo, Photography, photos, picture of, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, searching for caves, sinkholes in Ontario, sports, strange places, things to do in Toronto, underground, underground Ontario, wierd, tagged a cave like aliens, aliens, cave near Toronto, Caving in Ontario, new cave, Prometheus, spelunking in Ontario, spelunking near Toronto on June 10, 2012 |
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Today we busted open a tunnel in cave that we had thus far called the Void, it was somewhat nondescript, but Martin Davis said that he had seen a small passage when he visited the area 30 years ago. Well after exploring a nearby shaft on cable ladder (video on that later in the week) we went over to the void and began digging where we thought the water must go down.
We worked on clearing a plug of leaves and sticks. After about an hour the front digging wall fell away and the floor started collapsing and there in front of us was a passage that was fantastically ribbed – as Greg said, it reminded him of the trailer for that new movie Prometheus. So we have decided to rename the cave Prometheus, and of all coincidences, I got home to learn that my son was hoping to take me to that movie next weekend – obviously the cave was destined to be named this. If I recall correctly, was Prometheus not the Greek hero who bought fire to man and for his efforts had his liver torn out by an eagle?
Anyway Jeff has a theory that this is a feeder passage to the main tunnel that we are yet to unearth. I think there is a possibility that this is possible. I have been trying to determine from my picture of the scallops which way the water was running. I recall last weekend I copuld hear water rumbling away beneath the rocks in an area that was quite different from where we dug to open this passage.
Hopefully within a day or two I will have some video up on the initial opening of Prometheus, and maybe some video of aliens – actually no – I’m gonna sell those to News of the World.
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Posted in adventure in Ontario, best things to do in Toronto, bizzare, book on caves, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Ontario, cool things to do in toronto, creepy places, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, Education, environment, Eramosa Karst, exploration, extreme sports, fun things to do in toronto, geography, geology, guelph, haunted places, Interesting, mystery, Nature/Outdoors, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, paranormal, photo, photos, picture of, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, searching for caves, sinkholes, sinkholes in Ontario, sports, strange places, underground, underground Ontario, tagged book on caves, Caving in Ontario, creepy trees, forest, looking for caves, near Toronto, scary tree, searching for caves on May 29, 2012 |
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Looking for caves we spent a long hot day slogging through the forest near Toronto. The bugs were really bad and we were pretty much disoriented for a significant part of our search. Jeff had located some deep conical sinkholes on a high-rez aerial photo. It appeared that here were 4 or five of these pits somewhere out in the bush. we began by following fields, then a fence line that disappeared in the forest and then finally, just us, the mosquitoes and a bear.
Not having drunk enough water, this creepy looking tree seemed to have qualities other than just natural ones. I imagined it as some sinister kind of entity, inhabited by all sorts of odd figments of my imagination – but sinkholes and finding caves, were those a figment of our imaginations?
See video of our day of cave hunting here.
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Posted in archeology, best things to do in Toronto, bizzare, bones, book on caves, Buy The Book, Canada, cave conservation, cave digging, cave diving in ontario, cave formation, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Ontario, cool things to do in toronto, crazy things, creepy places, cryptozooology, Education, Eramosa Karst, exploration, extreme sports, FOTEK, fun things to do in toronto, geography, geology, haunted places, Interesting, nature, Nature/Outdoors, niagara escarpment, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, photo, Photography, photos, picture of, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, searching for caves, sinkholes, sinkholes in Ontario, sports, strange places, things to do in Toronto, tagged archeology, Caves, caves in Canada, caving, Caving in Ontario, creepy, death, exploration on May 21, 2012 |
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We descended by cable ladder into the cave that we call the Death Bell. That morning we had no idea what we would find. My greatest fear was rattle snakes. I have come across the Massasagua rattle snake in caves before, but being in Ontario, we are fortunate that the Massasagua is the only poisonous snake.
We cleared loose rock from the lip of the shaft and Greg joked that it was like an episode from the X – Files where Skully and Mulder found the black slime alien in a cave much like this one.
See video on the Death Bell here.
As we followed into the cavern – down the swinging ladder it soon became apparent that this shaft was like no other that we had visited. You step off the ladder onto a boulder that is perched atop a 10 foot high mound of bones. Some of the bones were those of animals likely thrown in, along with some garbage from a nearby farm, but by the size of the mound you would imagine that it would have taken thousands of years to grow and depending upon the initial depth of the shaft, the pile might go down well beneath ten feet.
A tunnel led off at the deepest point, following downward along a joint. I crunched through a sediment of tiny black nuggets similar in appearance to charred rice. A puff of wind blew from the terminal pinch-point. Possibly the tunnel goes onward, but it has been blocked by the crunchy fill-in. I believe it must be the casings of a thousand years of maggots that have feasted on the ever-growing heap of corpses from fallen animals.
I am optimistic that this is a solution cave as opposed to a sea cave. Sea caves in Ontario; Rover Cave or Grieg’s Caves for example are generally wide mouthed and narrowing like a funnel. This cave seems to have no surface connection but the porthole in it’s roof, and that hardly provides a suitable portal for erosion.
Whatever the case, an animal that falls in to the Death Bell is doomed to a slow and lingering death – there’s no way out. And for a human, much the same without a ladder.
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Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, accident, Admin, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, adventures in Europe, animals, ANSI, art, articles, Asia, backpacking, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, bats, beading, beads, bigfoot, bizzare, books, british army, btk, bull fighter, bull fighting, Buy The Book, Canada, Canadian Army, cave conservation, cave digging, cave diving in ontario, cave formation, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Cuba, Caving in Hamilton, Caving in Ontario, central America, cities, climbing, Cobalt, collecting rocks near Bancroft, commerce, conspiracy, corundum, Costa Rica, Costa Rican bull fight, crazy things, creepy places, crime, crime in Costa Rica, crocodile, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, crystal ball, crystals, Cuba, Cuban life, Cuban people, cubans, culture, cultures, cute, diving, diving in ontario, Dodge, dogs, eco tourism in Costa Rica, economics, Education, electronica, England, entertainment, environment, Eramosa Karst, exploration, extreme sports, Family Stuff, fashion, feldspar, fluor-richterite, fossils, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, Germany, ghost, Gibraltar, gold, gold mining, golden retrievers, Guanacaste, guelph, Hamilton, haunted, haunted places, Havana, health, health and safety, hiking, history, holiday in Costa Rica, holiday in Cuba, howler monkeys, humor, India, industrial archeology, Interesting, Internet Stuff, Kansas, lapidary, Las Vegas, lay lines, Life, London, looking for gems, magical, malagan, Matanzas, media, military, mine, mines in northern Ontario, morality, Moroccans, Morocco, motocross, music, musicals, My Book, my life, mystery, nature, Nature/Outdoors, New Guniea, News, niagara escarpment, occult, Old Havana, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, panning for gold, paranormal, pegmatite, people, people in Costa Rica, people in Cuba, Personal, pets, philosophy, Photography, photos, pickpockets, picture of, planes, PNG, Portugal, religion, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, Roman, sandstone, sapphires, sasquatch, science, scotch, Scuba Diving, sculpture, searching for caves, serial killer, shopping, silver, silver mines, sports, strange places, surfing, Tamarindo, theater, Toronto Cave Group, tours in Costa Rica, trade, Travel, travel writing, tree planting, treeplanting, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, vacation, varadero, vicious bulls, visiting Costa Rica, volcanoes, war, waterfalls, waterfalls of Ontario, West Virginia, wierd, wildlife in Costa Rica, world cup, tagged Blogging Protocal, blogging standards, caving, Caving in Ontario, polite blogging on December 27, 2010 |
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Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.
We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).
So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on
1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.
8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).
9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.
Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick
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Posted in art, articles, bizzare, Canada, crazy things, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, culture, extreme sports, guelph, Hamilton, Interesting, Life, magical, motocross, my life, mystery, ontario, people, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, Travel, Uncategorized, wierd on September 11, 2010 |
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Incredible tattoo, amazing tattoo – Walton 2010
What kind of mythical creature is this?
I was especially curious as to the meaning of this piece of artwork. Looks like there is some kind of clock that is melting like its made of wax. An elephant whose legs are stretched way out to stringy tendrils and a checkerboard that is crumbling in the background.
I took this picture at the Walton 2010 – Monster Energy CMRC Nationals, where tattoos are the norm – but this one was spectacular.
Any thoughts as to the symbolism?
Check out this tattoo of a schooner.
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Posted in Adventures, articles, bizzare, books, btk, Buy The Book, crazy things, creepy places, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, culture, Dodge, Education, exploration, geography, ghost, haunted, haunted places, history, Interesting, Kansas, lay lines, my life, mystery, paranormal, people, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, serial killer, strange places, Travel, travel writing, underground, urban exploration, vacation, tagged broadview hotel, btk, clarence, ghost, ghosts, Kansas, paranormal, serial killer, wichita on January 17, 2009 |
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BTK spent some time here – Broadview Hotel
By all descriptions Clarence seems harmless enough, but as with any place thats haunted, it seems that a one-off paranormal situation is the exception not the norm. Some have felt cold patches in their rooms, others shaking at the doors. A disembodied voice – a small child, is sometimes heard in the halls at night. Apparently Clarence likes messing with the phone – endless dialing down to the front desk from such and such a room, but when the staff go up to investigate, there is nobody there. The lady who ran the tour told us that sometimes orbs appear on people’s pictures.
I wonder if some places are more conducive to paranormal activity than others? I have long been interested in the lay-line theory. I know from a few examinations in Ontario where I have accompanied the highly acclaimed paranormal investigator – Patrick Cross that paranormal entities seldom occur in ones. In Burlington – Patrick’s place of residence, the very streets are oozing spirits – here a poltergeist, there a moving statue and of course the infamous tree – posessed of an evil energy – I myself almost came “acropper” at that dismal spot, but thats another story.
Lay lines, you have to wonder, they supposedly stretch between places of cultural and religious significance – threads quite plainly seen by some, only felt by others. Witchita is dead-smack center of the continent, a veritable power house of culture and religious worship. Odd though it might seem, BTK was some kind of church elder at Wichita’s Christ Luthern Church and he is known to have spent time in the Broadview Hotel. Not being an expert in lay line divination, I wonder what a dowser would find in the plains around the city.
This picture above is the bar in the Broadview Hotel – a beautiful tin ceiling’d space with stained glass and plenty of pints of my new favorite beer – “Amber Bok”. The Flapper tour that takes residents down to the basement starts in the bar – led by the lady on the left in the red dress.
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Posted in abandoned, Adventures, bizzare, books, Buy The Book, cryptozooology, culture, Education, exploration, geography, ghost, haunted, haunted places, history, Interesting, Kansas, Life, My Book, my life, mystery, occult, paranormal, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, strange places, Travel, travel writing, underground, urban exploration, wierd, tagged cryptozoology, ghost, ghosts, Kansas, paranormal, supernatural, tunnels, urban exploration, witchita on January 17, 2009 |
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“Oh Good Lord”
I just got back from a Conference at the Broadview Hotel in Wichita. It was nice to get down to a place that was relatively warm, or so I believed – the Texans thought quite different. I suppose the sky had something to do with the intense cold front that was moving in, the wind was just howling and it got to the point that my eyes were watering so bad, I just had to hope the auto focus on the camera was doing all the work.
This picture was taken from the corners of Douglas and Waco streets. And to the right – “The Broadview” a haunted place – literally put chills up my spine.
It certainly was atmospheric – a beautiful Victorian interior, walked by both the living guests and also those who had lived there – the dead, though it is said that some dont know it yet.
Is it better the ghost you know than the ghost you dont?
I took what they call the flapper tour and was aquainted with the hotel’s rather sinister basement…… And Clarence, “their ghost in residence”. “He generally lives in one specific room – a room with a balcony, but we dont tell guests exactly which room, but as we are starting renovation soon he has started moving around”. “Oh good Lord”, the lady from Georgia muttered, “I’m sleeping with my light on”.
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