|Flickr: buzz.bishop [creative commons]|
Ap. 13th- Started for the Black Foot Camp on Bow River. Launched forth for the 1st time on the Plains. Weather cold & hard wind. Dined near the carcass of an old buffalo. Towards evening reached the Banks of O-mis-ce-nipe or writing gulley. Saw Indians running buffalo. Encamped with the Indians. Sang & prayed before we retired. Very cold.A note from published version of The Rundle Journals 1840-1848 (1977) by historian Gerald Hutchinson, suggests the location of "writing gulley" was,
probably near Big Hill Spring Provincial Park, north of Cochrane. In 1885, J.C. Nelson recorded "Picture Rocks" on a stream at the Big Hill above Calgary, and identified them as omisinah. (Hutchinson and Dempsey, Rundle Journals, p. 63, 327)
Tufa is a limestone sediment created from carbonates drawn from the water itself. The waters from the springs were useful for Alberta's first commercial dairy, and in the mid-twentieth century were utilized as a fish hatchery. The site then, has had numerous uses since Rundle visited. The chances of a visitor spotting a buffalo at today's provincial park, however, are slim indeed!
Tufa Flickr: trickydevil [creative commons]