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The Dolmen "Sibley-Rock"

GPS-Coordinates: (WGS84)
N44 49.483
W63 31.945

Winter 2002 was a long one. The ground was covered with snow and ice well into late March. 12 April. With the first warmer days and the snow finally gone I took off to find the Dolmen "Sibley Rock" I heard about over the winter months. I had GPS coordinates from a hiker marking "the strange rock" on a geocaching site. According to those coordinates the Dolmen was "only" 3 km from the dirt trail my little camper van was parked.
3km doesn't sound like a lot but the woods (forests for our british crowd) in Nova Scotia are extreme thick and dense. Trails are barely marked and the long winter sometimes erases all signs of it. 200m in and you are stuck. Without a machete there is no going ahead. Trees and shrubs are so dense that one has a hard time seeing the sky once you are among them. Just check out the next photo I took alog the way.

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It took me two hours to walk about 1km because I forgot my Machete at home! The ground was soaked with moisture from the winter and was more like a swamp like anything else. I had to be careful not sink in and get stuck. With my GPS I would have been completely lost.
To make matters worse it started to pour rain and I was soaked. After another half a kilometer I decided to give up.
The next day wasn't better. The weather got even worse. I had to wait at least another month until conditions improved.

The friendly CBC meteorologist said the weekend of May 4 looks nice. No arctic cold front, no hail storms or flood waters in sight.
Early in the morning I was standing again on the trail head ready for another "Dolmen adventure". I found another hiking trail that was in better condition then the one I tried three weeks earlier. The trail started out in the same direction I needed to go, so I could follow it a little bit for about 1 km. But then it branched away from the direction I wanted to go.
This time the ancient gods smiled onto me a bit more and I found more of the way pointers that the GPS Geocaching site included. But the brush was thick and nasty. This time I was smarter and brought a machete with me.
The GPS indicated that I had managed to get about 1/3 of the way closer to the Dolmen. I'm not the most experienced hiker and I got a bit exhausted from the strenuous walk. What would be 1/2 hour stroll was turned into a 3 hour hike because of the thick brush. The last kilometer was the worst. It led through a swamp and over a huge cliff. After 3 hours and 5km I finally arrived at the Dolmen.

Please click on a picture to enlarge
and read the 
Copyright notices, that I gathered here.

{short description of image} At the beginning of the Trail there is still a visible trail...
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... but after about 0.5km the wilderness swallows the path and you need a GPS to find your way.
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After about 3 hours of hiking through brush, swamp and cliffs you arrive at the Dolmen that rests on a plattform of gigantic stones which looks man made. The dolmen is about 2 meters high, 3 meters long amd 2 meters wide.

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Like many other Dolmen all over the world a big roof stone rests on smaller base stones. This Dolmen here has three base stones. The roof stone has a pointy end that points directly North.
{short description of image} Here a second look at the base stones.
{short description of image} On the smallest of the base stones you can clearly see man made tool marks.
{short description of image} The Dolmen is set up in North-South direction.
{short description of image} Here the Dolmen as seen from East.
{short description of image} And as seen from the South.
{short description of image} At the southern end of the Dolmen lies a square block. If one stands on this block you can overloock the Dolmen in South-North direction as seen in the next photo.
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Was the Dolmen used for astronomical observations? The exact North-South alignment, the observation stone on the south end andthe location on a plattform in the middle of a swamp area seems to indications for this.
{short description of image} I estimate the weight of the roof stone at about 25 tons. If you look closely you can see tool marks. One has to be careful in Nova Scotia to determine what are tool marks and what are marks left by glacial movement. Ususally marks from glacial movement go in one very destinct direction (the direction of the receeding glacier. The toolmarks on the stones that I'm talking about as man made are in different directions to the glacial marks.
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On this photo (top left) you can see what Im talking about. You see fine lines along the sides on the stone in the foreground. Those are natural glacial marks. Natural stones formed by glacial movement like this one also have a very characteristic shape to them. They are rounded of as the glacier polished the rock while moving. But look at the stone behind it. It is square and has a completely different shape as the natural one in the foreground. In my opinion those square rocks where added to the rounded natural ones to form the plattform the Dolmen is resting on today.
In the second photo (bottom left) you can see those stones closer. I put my SLR camera on top of it to give you a reference according to size.
This plattform that the Dolmen rests on is nothing short of stunning. Who build this here in the moddle of nowhere?
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Archaeologist claim that all the stone formations I describe in Nova Scotia are natual stone formations left by glacial movement. I confronted them with the tool marks shown on the left. "Nothing but marks from the glacier" they say. The problem is, that those marks to the left are going from top to bottom, while the other glacial marks are running back to front.
{short description of image} Here you can see how the plattform (that I'm standing on) with the Dolmen is located in the middle of a swamp.

More thoughts and infos about the Sibley Rock

The roof stone of the Dolmen weighs about 25 tons. The geological formations of Nova Scotia belong to the oldest on earth. The type of Granit is the same as on the outer hebrides Islands of "Lewis and Harris" in Scotland.

The dolmen is a "classic" Dolmen. The type can be compared with Dolmen of France, England and other parts of Europe. But also Dolmen in Asia e.g. Korea.

If you want to visit the Dolmen, you should be in good physical shape. In Spring you should bring weatherproof clothes and shoes. In summer insect repellent with deet is a definate must. You will be eaten alive if you don't bring it.
A GPS is also VERY helpful. If you go alone, use the usual precautions that are valid for all trips into the Canadian wilderness. Let somebody know where you are going, bring a whistle, emergency flares and a bear bell as there are black bear in the area. Bring lot's of drinking water and a hat. I forgot my hat on my trip and the sun was so strong that I got sun strocke when I got back. I was sick for a week!

Here the GPS-Coordinates for the trail (WGS84):
Trailhead : N44 51.272, W063 32.545
You will pass a bridge at: N44 50.510, W063 32.402
The trail is getting really narrow and leads past a survey marker at: N44 50.460, W063 32.374
Follow a very narrow footpath until you get to: N44 49.496, W063 32.177
Now it will get tricky as the visible trail disappears completely and you will have to find your own wayl: N44 49.496, W063 32.177,
You have to climb over a rocky cliff and cross a swamp. This section is only about 500m long, but is quite difficult.
You will get to a clearing: N44 49.560, W063 31.945
Now you will see the Dolmen. The exact coordinates are on top of this page.