Kings County, especially north-eastern Kings County (using the traditional Island compass rose of “north-east equals up and to the right”), truly is an undiscovered country. There’s just so much of it, relatively speaking, and, at least compared to the rest of the Island, so few houses and communities. You can drive for hours — well, okay, for at least 10 minutes — without encountering a single outcropping of people.
There are villages up there that I’ve never heard of. After you get past the relatively familiar Mount Stewart and Ten Mile House and St. Peters, you encounter places like Hermanville and Marie, and it almost feels like you’re on the bridge of the Enterprise making First Contact.
Oliver and I and our friend Gary went up to remotest Kings Country on Sunday for the big Rose and Snake Tour. According to the CBC, we were joined by 750 other curious people.
The “tour” part of the tour didn’t actually work — there was one poor tour leader and about 100 people following her around the hills and dales. Only the 10 or 15 people closest could really hear anything. I’m not complaining — they obviously had no idea the project would be so well attended.
Before and after the formal tour, we were free to traipse about the set of the film ourselves. It was very interesting. Made up to look like a 1960s-era hippie commune on the coast of Maine, the set had three or four quirky-looking houses of the type you might expect to find at Findhorn, complete with earthen roofs, geodesic dome greenhouses, and treehouses large and small.
Of course it was all mostly just a thin veneer — inside the houses was absolutely nothing, in most cases, other than supporting two by fours to hold up the earthen roofs. The veneer was compelling though — the houses truly did look like they had been there for 20 years, even though there was nothing on the site until May when construction started.
Rumour was the currency of the day. Most of the rumours seemed to involve Daniel Day Lewis, Sam Sniderman, and Teresa Doyle in some combination. There was much talk of the “on the screen they might be start, but in person they’re just real people.”
The RCMP provided excellent traffic direction and parking guidance.
We arrived at a good time, a lull in the proceedings. On our way out were about 50 cars lined up for parking. Nice to know we all got to experience the joys of driving through outer Hermanville to get there.