Locals call him “old yellow mane”.
Though Doug Shier tells me that all roads in the area lead back to Cobalt, I am warned by an older gent in the Silver Load Hotel’s restaurant to be careful out there if I am exploring the ore piles. It was a little cryptic; you might say kind of creepy. I thanked him for the advice, finished pouring my coffee and headed out. I wondered what he might be alluding to. Maybe he was talking about getting lost or falling down a shaft like the Chinese laundering family-hmmmm (They all disappeared one night leaving the food still cooking on the stove – never to be seen again – see one of my earlier posts on Cobalt).
Once out there it really began to play on my mind. I had followed an old tramline down a narrow valley between towering white pines. I was in a hidden valley that for some reason had escaped the miners axe. There was supposedly an abandoned mill a few kilometres up the path. My source told me that it was on the left hand side just before the tailings swamp.
From the impressive “Little silver Vein Mine” I had followed a short incline up to the tramline. I soon found myself pushing along a tree-lined tunnel of soft, feathery-limbed tamarack and cedar. It was a wonderfully “organic experience” that started off in a relatively wholesome way but eventually began to feel quite creepy.
The further I went the more subdued the forest became. Eventually there was only deathly silence. I found myself dwelling on the oddly disturbing feeling of being watched. I thought back to something that I had recently read of. It was the appearance of “Old Yellow Mane”. He is Ontario’s northern Sasquatch. Yellow Mane had first been seen in 1906 by miners at the nearby Violet Mine. He was seen again in 1923 by two prospectors who surprised him while he was picking blueberries. They supposedly threw rocks at the poor fellow and he ran away. As was reported in the North Bay Nugget, Yellow Mane was seen for a third time in 1946. A woman and her son saw him ambling along beside some rail tracks. I never found the mill or “Old Yellow Mane” but the walk was quite surreal.