If you are ever cruising up highway six toward the Chi Cheemaun or a scuba diving, hiking or rockwatching weekend you might have noticed a sign on the side of the highway. “Cheap Smokes”; beside this is a painted wigwam and a tarp-covered shed outside of which stands two near-life-sized aboriginal carvings.
Some of the work can be very artful and I am fascinated by careful soapstone staturary as my sister Melissa carves amazing “peace pipes. The lady who worked the store turned out to be from Kitchener but was living up here – (on the Saugeen land) though I regret now not pursuing her story; the inside of the shed was too amazing a distraction. A huge moose head glared down from the roof and the carvings were detailed and intricate. An antler morphed into an eagle and logs of solid cedar had been worked into various Indian images.
I spoke of another nearby shop that I had stopped at a few weeks ago and the lady proprietor seemed to know the owners. I got the impression that the several venues in this area considered each other as more artists than as retailers, a calling more than a business.
Unable to photograph her wares I was suitably compensated by a picture of this amazing schooner tattoo. It seemed appropriate to our visit as Maggie and I had just spent the day viewing sunken ship wrecks from the glass bottomed “Blue Heron V”.
The Bruce Peninsula is a hikers, divers, amatuer geologists, cavers and general “rockwatchers” paradise. The turquoise waters and bone white rock are too me so very representative of a northern paradise. It is the picture that I carried with me on my world excursions, it was how I idealized the beauty of Ontario in my mind.
SEE ANOTHER TATTOO RELATED POST; “TATOOED TRAVELLER EXPLORES ONTARIO” (May 8th 2006), Archives are in the sidebar to the right.