Refuelling My Soul

Once per summer I like to get myself to Hecla Island.

hecla landscape

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 4.31.50 PM

At the very northern tip of the island is a cliff. It seems to be a power spot for me.

Hecla one

A 5m cliff face exposes a portion of the Precambrian Shield which shows the 400 million-year sequence of events that formed this eastern edge of sedimentary rocks that underlie the plains of southwestern Manitoba. (I sort of paraphrased that from the park brochure.)

It’s also one of the few places where I can find crinoids.


Crinoids are marine animals stem parts which are found in limestone, millions of years old. They sort of look like coral.

(Fossilized crinoid columnal segments extracted from limestone quarried on Lindisfarne, UK, or found washed up along the ocean, were threaded into necklaces or rosaries, and became known as St. Cuthbert’s beads.) Just so you know.

This year they added a new observation tower to the Hecla Island North Point.

tower65 steps up gets you above the trees.

tower view

Away in the distance is a lighthouse on the tip of the spit. The original Gull Harbour Lighthouse was built in 1898, the present one in 1926.

IMG_7267We love to cycle to the lighthouse.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 4.47.37 PMThrough the woods on a path along the Lake Winnipeg. From one end of Gull Harbour to the other. Rich pine smells in lush tall forest. Up the little spit of land poking up the east arm.


And wind, lots of wind. Especially at the tip. We always stand on the same rock and put our arms up in the wind. The wind is nice because it keeps you cool in the hot sun.

bert flying

And that’s where the pelicans feed.


On either side of the spit are rocks. Lots of rocks. Pushed up by the ice.

bike and rocks

And everyone who knows me, knows that I’m addicted to collecting rocks.

ev hunting

But not just any rocks. Hecla is known for a certain type of fossilized shells. Only found here.

This is my entire lifetime collection.


Wow, are they hard to find. I can only manage to find about one per year. I think that I have a good chance at harvesting because a new crop should certainly come up every summer because of the pushing of the ice.


The seeking is a challenge. They are so utterly illusive. Like a needle in a haystack. I just stare and stare, thinking that my next step will be the jackpot. Sometimes I just pretend not to be searching and just let the Creator place one right at my foot, which never happens. Sometimes I think that if I kick a few over there might be one hiding. Piles and piles of rocks, there’s gotta be one spiral somewhere!

If I find one I do my little happy dance.


And the rocks and waves inspire me to do stuff like this….


Hecla Island Provincial Park has never disappointed me. Bald eagles, beavers, snakes, foxes, I have seen all of these on different trips.

I can’t really put my finger on why Hecla works its magic on me. It’s just that when I get on my bicycle there, each metre I go, I feel a little penny going into my love bank. And I feel refueled.


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