A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Last week I volunteered to accompany Meghan's class to the Bonnechere Caves in Eganville - about 80 mins west of Ottawa. Had another great day for it, not that we really needed it, since we were going to be in caves - but actually spent most of our day outside - so the good weather was a good thing!

I've been on a few of these class trips lately, but this is the first time we rode at the back of the bus. I had completely forgot that that was where you got the worst ride... it was over an hour of bouncing down mostly country roads and was cursing myself the whole way for not bringing my noise cancelling headphones to reduce the screams for the trip.

My crew
Luckily I was assigned to watch over four very nice girls, all friends with Meghan and all kids that I already knew - so that made the day easier...

The history
We got off the bus, and were welcomed by the owner (was a bit surprised that it wasn't crown land) of the land and caves, Chris Hinsperger. He gave us a nice little speach about how the caves were found, marked by a map maker in 1853 by noting 'subterranian channels', and then told us a little about the founder - Tom Woodward. This guy must have been nuts - cuz most of the caves that we were able to explore were completely underwater when he started exploring. He eventually bought the land and blocked off some of the river entrances with concrete, and pumped out most of the rest of the water - and made it a tourist attraction!


At the beginning of the tour we were told about the land that we were on, and that it was one of the richest fossil deposits of the Ordovician period (about 400 to 500 million years ago). These were little invertebrates and plant life that should have only been able to survive in tropical climates - says something about the continental drifts doesn't it!

They had a number of fossils to pass around that had been found on site, pretty interesting little presentation, and the kids actually listened...

The Caves
So following that, we got to go in the caves - we were the first of three groups - was glad that we weren't the last!
The caves themselves were nowhere near as big as the Luray Caverns down in Virginia, and since the caves had been pretty much filled with water up until about 50 years ago - there wasn't much in the way of stalagtites or stalagmites. This was pretty much the biggest in there...

But it was quite interesting in the way some of the caves had been formed by having rushing waters flow through them for hundreds of millions of years.

You can even see how the different water levels created layers in the rock - it was like a big wall of razor blades.

There were a few smaller caves off the main path, that the kids (and some of the more adventurous volunteers) were able to explore.

There was something like an overall 50m drop from surface to the bottom of the caves, and a temp drop from 24c or so outside, to 10c inside! And since it had rained quite a bit lately, the kids were constantly getting dripped on - so cold and wet, I think they were ok to see the other end of the tunnel and get back out to the nice sunny day.

We had to wait for the rest to finish their tours, so had plenty of time to explore - although they warned us against going off the beaten path - poison ivy. I thought they were just trying to scare the kids into staying put - but I could see plenty of it lying around! The kids got to check out the store and shovel in mounds of sugar that they were able to buy there. The owner Chris said he wouldn't let anyone buy anything until they were done their tour - I think it was a clever way to keep kids relatively calm until being done with going down into the caves ;-)

The river that flows by is really nice, and had this old broken bridge - had to take the shot.
I wasn't looking forward to the ride home, but figured I could maybe sneak in a few minutes nap... Even with all the kids yelling and screaming - literally all around me - I put my knees up, head to the wall, and napped the entire way back! Now that's a good school trip.

4 Response to "Bonnechere Caves - School Trip"

  1. WOW...that looks like an AWESOME field trip. And such beautiful country, too. I'm used to our "nothing green" landscape down here in Southern California.

    And oh man, I feel for you on the bus ride. I spent many a field trip in the back of the bus. You sure can get some air on big bumps though. I used to work for a youth center here and our bus driver would purposely take bumps fast to give the kids a thrill. I STILL feel sick from it. :)


  2. mare ad mare Said,

    Hey SMD - you have your own natural beauty around - beach, beach, beach! But yeah, it's a nice drive through the country and like you said, full of massive bumps to impress the kids.


  3. Blog Said,

    Wow! What a field trip! Beautiful.... Worth the bus ride!! ;)


  4. mare ad mare Said,

    Thanks Hayley - definitely worth the ride - right up there with the ski trip! These school trips are pretty good.


    About Me

    My photo
    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!