It’s time to tie up a loose end, people.
A few months ago, reader Mark, who has been kind enough to post comments from time to time, had a question, and it was about the image at the top of this post. You’ll probably see that image if you click on the hyperlink I often insert – like, here – when I make reference to Hastings County in my posts; the link takes you to the official website of the county – which, I would like to add, is quite a nice-looking and elegantly done site. Its attractiveness is enhanced by the three photos that scroll on the home page, one showing a woman working at a laptop while sitting on a dock on a pretty lake, one showing the same woman on that laptop while sitting on a rock beside a lake, and the third, the image above, of a woman on her mobile phone, laptop open in front of her, with a lake and – here’s the key thing – some high hills (some would say mountains) in the background.
Those hills are what aroused Mark’s suspicions: “I didn´t know there were mountains in Hastings Co.,” he wrote. And as a followup: “They look to me as if they’re snow-capped mtns … and the lake looks like it’s from western Canada or something. Since it looks like summer weather when her pic was taken, it is highly unlikely it is anywhere in Ontario.”
Donning my Nancy Drew perky blonde wig and jumping into my roadster, I promised Mark that I would get to the bottom of things. And I have – but it’s taken a while, and I’ve learned something about the hills of Hastings County in the interim.
I made some inquiries of the tourism and economic-development folks at the county, and learned eventually (it took a while, and a bit of persistence on my part, for them to get back to me) that the photos were “purchased from a photo site,” which pretty much means they could have been taken anywhere (possibly even Hastings County, I suppose – but probably not). The county people – who were very nice and quite forthcoming when I did get them to reply – said that they and the site’s developer and designer felt that the photos fit well into the theme of the site, “The Best of Both Worlds” – in their words, “showing that you can still do all your work and be connected, while enjoying the rural life.” They also said that they felt the images were “consistent with typical images found in Hastings County.”
Now, on the issue of being connected (through your mobile phone and the internet) while enjoying the rural life, I have to say that some people in Queensborough (and, I expect, other parts of rural Hastings County) would probably take issue with the county’s assertion about having that connectivity – and you can read my posts here and here for more on internet issues, and this one here about having to retreat to a far bedroom at the Manse in order to actually have a conversation with someone on my iPhone.
But as for the photo showing the hills, or mountains – well, despite Mark’s skepticism, I have learned that in the northern reaches of Hastings County there really are some pretty high hills.
This past Thanksgiving weekend, for instance, Raymond and I took a trip along Detlor Road just south of Bancroft (and east of L’Amable) to visit the funky and wonderful Revival Store. (And yes, purchases of vintage stuff were made – including a second midcentury hassock for the Manse!)
As we drove east on Detlor Road I was quite stunned to see how high the hills off in the northern distance were. I took some photos, though unfortunately they don’t do the hills justice. But if you look at the background in this one, maybe you’ll get a bit of a sense of it:
Anyway, I suspect that if there’s a pristine lake up in them thar hills – and I’d be shocked if there weren’t – you probably could get a photo very similar to the one on the Hastings County website.
Ah, but here’s my question (based on my previous remarks on connectivity issues in rural Hastings): would the woman on the phone, with the laptop open in front of her, be saying anything other than, “Can you hear me now?”