So I am scouting the landscape in the Minneopa State Park near Mankato, MN when before my eyes there appears this lone boulder just sitting on the forest floor like some massive beast, taking rest in the shade of the day. I could imagine a large bison, with it's legs folded underneath it, slowly breathing in the cool air, watching the day go by, not caring at all about the threat of coyotes, or wolves or any other carnivorous predator that would come it's way. It seemed in that moment that the boulder was at rest and at peace with itself and where it had come to lay.
I have no idea where it came from originally, or how far it had traveled. I only know that a very large sheet of ice, a glacier, over a mile thick or more, had scrubbed this rock from the surface of the earth at some point and carried it for thousands of miles only to melt and calve this rock out of itself, leaving the landmark as a remembrance of it's passing. The landscape of the park is riddled with the evidence of the torrential waters that flowed out of the melting ice with such force that it cut bore holes and "riverlets" into the rock surface.
In fact, there are hundreds of other boulders this size and larger all over the landscape in this state park. They offer shelter to many creatures, and act as landmarks to the many hikers that visit the park.To the aboriginal Minnesotans of a few thousand years ago, these many large boulders marked their sacred places. They would have seen these large rocks and never known of there origins, except by word of mouth and spoken legend. These rocks would become part of their stories and lore, and given them refuge from the storms and places of rest in their shadows. They respected these places, and traveled among these giants finding a kinship with the land, the animals that shared these rich woodlands and prairies, and the trees that would grant them shelter, rest and warmth.
You can still experience this same wonderment as it was a few thousand years ago, and it makes the perfect place to practice bushcraft. And that's why I like being here so much. This large rock is getting to be an old friend. Happy exploring...