The Fisher boys thought they had a pretty good crop of timothy for hay coming along with the wet weather and all. One morning last week a large portion of the crop sank fifty feet straight down leaving a gaping maw in the field. The Vermillion River, swollen with Riding Mountain rains, runs nearby and may have contributed to the phenomenon.
My cousin Vonda who lives at the foot of the north side of Riding Mountain, and I went looking for the sinkhole using directions from the land’s renter. We found a fallow field and trudged across it for a quarter mile toward a crop thinking the sinkhole was nearby. It wasn’t. When we got back to the truck, the land owner had turned up on an ATV wondering who was walking his field. We said we were looking for the sinkhole. Anthony Genik said, “You guys aren’t very good trackers, are you?” We weren’t as we’d driven right past the field less than a quarter mile back. We introduced ourselves and Anthony directed us to the pit, giving us a guided tour.
The sinkhole is huge, its edge clearly defined. Anthony estimated the hole is more than fifty feet deep in some places, it covers about three acres (the size of two Canadian football fields, no end zones) and it appears to have dropped right down. The trees around the field sank as well, also straight down, none falling over. Anthony said a geologist is coming out to view the sinkhole and offer possible explanations for it. Whatever the scientists think, the sight of the sunken earth made me realize our insignificance and yet gave me a thrill to be present with it. Watch my short video clip of the site.