This Cairn, located in Owen Sound, marked my final destination in Canada. It was erected by the city a few years back to commemorate the abolition of slavery and to honor the memory of the many slaves who made their way to Owen Sound via the Underground Railroad and went on to contribute to the development of the region. I didn’t know what a cairn was, but soon found out that it has its origins in Celtic tradition and is a manmade rock formation typically designed to serve as a memorial. Indeed that it is the purpose of the Owen Sound Cairn.
The tiles in the foreground represent the squares of the quilts that were used as signals to the freedom seekers.
Concealed in the quilt patterns were hidden signs and coded messages that were passed on to runaway slaves. The quilts were generally hung on lines or fences to serve as guideposts.
I apologize for taking so long to write this final blog entry. Returning to the normal pattern of life has kept me distracted. I miss the solitude of the ride and the contemplative evenings at the campsite.
I did make it safely home from Ontario, although it took me three days to do so. What a contrast – to go from 41 days where I had reasonable control of my destiny to 3 days at the mercy of the airlines. I am still awaiting the return of my bicycle, which I shipped. I hope it gets here this week, as I have become quite attached to it!
This has been an amazing journey, and your encouragement and support of the cause throughout has made it all the more so. I never felt alone out there, knowing that you were following along each day via the blog. And your contributions in support of the WUWF program fund have never been more important. As of today, 78 individual and corporate sponsors have contributed a total of $16,328. THANK YOU!! If you still want to make a contribution and haven’t done so, it is never too late. And remember, I covered all of my expenses on this adventure myself, so 100% of your gift goes directly to support your favorite programs.
I’m going to take a little time to catch my breath before I finalize plans for the next adventure in 2011. Stay tuned …
Large versions of all my blog pics can be found at my photo gallery
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