Over the years of travelling throughout the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial park I have seen many interesting things. Recently the possible existence of ancient dolmens being constructed as a means of navigation or otherwise in the wilderness has me wondering about the legitimacy of their origins. A dolmen is a megalithic structure that typically sees one large stone being supported by multiple smaller ones to create a tomb, but may also be erected as a means of navigation. The most well known dolmen in the BWCA is one on the Kelso River, which I investigated on a day trip in 2017. I found another one that looked suspiciously familiar to it later on that trip north of Wine Lake. Most commonly dolmens are found in western Europe and even there it generally remains unclear when, why and by whom they were constructed by. It remains even more unclear if the Kelso and Wine Lake dolmens are a contrivance of man or an anomalous glacial erratic. On two more recent trips into the vast wilderness I have come across two more suspiciously perched boulders atop extremely well placed smaller stones. Regardless of their origins the possibility of these massive perched boulders being designed by a group of people thousands of years ago for esoteric purposes is equally as fascinating as considering the odds of it naturally coming to rest in such a seemingly precarious position after the last ice age. After all of these years the BWCA is still finding ways to unfurl its wonders to me in ever intriguing ways, and I can’t wait for more.
Kelso River Dolmen: Adam Mella