Sunday, December 28, 2008

The end of the year's in site - with weather that rocks and rolls! Going from temperatures in the single digits - and ice storms - to 'warmth' reaching into the 50's was too much of a temptation. I took in Mt. Tom down by the Connecticut River, reuniting with an 'old' hiking partner from years past. Copious amounts of fog was covering all of western Massachusetts this day. But on top of the Mount, the fog parted just enough to allow a grand view westward. Nearby - a lesser view and the remains of an old stone crusher dating back to the days of the CCC. On the way back down the mountain road, I dove on in to the adjacent ravine to visit a series of cascades. This immediate area is the likely site of an old postcard depicting the "Triple Falls" and the "Old Hundred Brook".

Monday, November 24, 2008

With another season quickly on the wane, I was contemplating what to do. A couple odds and ends presented themselves and I took to the road. Heading into the Connecticut River Valley my first destination was Laurel Park former Methodist camp/retreat, now a community of some rather 'unusual' homes. Recently I had obtained a second - different - view of the "Boulder Knoll" within that community. Expanding on what I did here last year I located - and photographed - both present day views of said Boulder Knoll.

Rolling north up the valley and heading a bit east towards the Connecticut River, I ascended into ledges bordering the Mohawk Trail highway. This was to examine the cave formation mentioned to me last year and finally seen a month earlier on my return from Cape Ann. 'Formation' is a good term as it is a niche formed by weathering and subsequent loss of material from the ledge. A similar but larger one has been examined in the past a little over a mile away near an old dinosaur track quarry.

Then the big goal of the day: a return to Erving Castle or the Hermit's Cave. This location is a well known local tale of hermit John Smith taking residence in a shelter cave at the base of high ledges on Hermit Mountain. Hard to believe but it's been ten years since my last visit. My own access is to climb directly from the highway in a rather steep and rugged ascent. Although it's over a hundred years since John inhabited the area, one can still find his 'cave', the Pulpit Rock, the 'gazebo', and a spring. Also present are old walls and a foundation. John, along with his cat Toby, are buried in a nearby cemetery alongside the highway.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The time of year once again arrived for the jaunt down on into Connecticut for a couple days. The first day was a visitation to the lands of the White Memorial Foundation on the Litchfield-Morris town line. Four thousand acres and something like 35 miles of trails provide much to explore. This day included an observation platform overlooking the bay of a much larger lake. Another section was a remote area of sylvan wilderness with marshes, ponds, a beaver lodge, and a circuit trail through a multitude of glacial boulders with a ledge ascent. The second day was casual walking through the State's capital to see historic monuments, buildings and parks. Very present was the famous "brownstone" quarried just a stone's thrown away, down - and across - the Connecticut River at Portland.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Since my end of August trip to Balance Rock (Hampshire County) where I met the woman telling me of a cave in the Mohawk Trail vicinity, I've been gathering information on just such a site. Taking to the highway, I accessed a resurrected part of the older Mohawk Indian footpath that the automobile highway has taken its name from. Deep within the woods, in a stand of tall white pines, the cave was to be found! What it really consists of is a huge chuck of rock that has broken off a ledge, positioning itself as a type of 'lean-to' against the parent ledge. Farther east - and north - in the town of Rowe lies the normally sleepy little stream known as Pelham Brook. One of the mysteries I've worked on is the Stone Face/Profile Rock in that vicinity. Never having definitive success, I decided to give it another try before winter. But a deluge of rain the previous night had Pelham Brook turned into a raging river. Still - I picked my way up the steam's edge photographing a few boulders along the way. One previously overlooked rock looks to be a good possibility and the images will be studied over the coming winter to see if a return trip is necessary. This area was photographed - and the subject of a number of postcards (including Profile Rock) - by Charles Canedy. Canedy was better known for being one of the early entrepreneurs behind the Mohawk Trail roadway. Another Canedy postcard in the Pelham Brook area shows a perched boulder along the road leading into Rowe. Although I've been told that rock was destroyed, one can still see high on the hillside, at least a couple more boulders sitting precariously above the road. Finally, taking the long - and very scenic route home (pass the home of Charlemont's local celebrity: Ernest Seguin) - I entered the most southwestern portions of Franklin County. Just in time for Halloween - a visit to Witch's Cave.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This time of year is traditionally devoted to visiting the Middlesex and Essex County areas.

Day One: Heading on into the Middlesex Fells, I looked into an old lead from an even older edition of an AMC hiking guide. They mention "small caves" near a trail. My first discovery in the area was a splendid Indian profile amongst the rocks. Then I came across what is likely the "caves" but rock - or even "cave-like" - formations might be a better way to describe them. Farther along the trail, now in somewhat of a valley, a ledge contained another one of these small formations. Certainly much better examples of caves do exist within the Fells. Back on the road and heading past the Great Stone Face formation, I arrived at a rocky summit and park where another cave was reported. Again, a "cave-like" formation is all there was to be found near the top of a vertical ledge. Moving up the road, at the urban Pine Banks Park, I looked into the origin of an old postcard called "A Rocky Nook". I first thought it might be in the main picnic area but soon discovered it lay in a slightly more remote area around the back of the pond. Going out of Town, I passed the Old Indian Cave and a major road intersection where history recorded a large perched erratic once existed - or maybe still exists. Then on to the Bow Ridge area of Lynnfield where old quarries awaited me. One has some elaborate painting on the quarry wall depicting large clusters of skulls, hence the name Skull Rock. I had expected to hike on in to the Great Frog Boulder to give it a measure but took a wrong turn, a little past the Pirate Boulder, ending up almost back at my starting point. So another time. Just to the north, a quickie trip was made in to Ship Rock to get a circumference measurement. While in the area I gave it a go to find Wigwam Rock in light of some new information and picture I came across. Despite running across a number of 'worthy' erratics none seemed to fit the description and picture completely. Finally to complete the day, I took in Witch Rock.

Day Two: I revisited the Chief Wingaersheek profile in an old quarry quite near to my campground. Moving up the western side of Cape Ann, I investigated a new view on a postcard of an old site at Great Rock. Coming up - and around - Halibut, I made my way down the east coast to the granite pier where I took in the seashore with binoculars, looking in vain for the Profile Rock at Devil's Den and the Oldest Inhabitant profile rock formation. Just down the road, I entered Dogtown to tour the Whale's Jaw, measure Peter's Pulpit, and take in the Briar Swamp area including glacial boulder caving at Raccoon Ledges. The rest of he afternoon was a leisurely ride down the coast, stopping at Good Harbor Beach where massive waves pummeled Bass Rocks, likely site of the Old Man's Cave (rock formation). Finishing up the day was Stage Fort Park with Tablet Rock and the very picturesque Half Moon Beach.

Day Three: Rolling into the more northwesterly portions of Essex County I began a day that would see me visiting some extraordinary public lands. The first stop was at Den Rock Park (one old reference calls this the Devil's Den) home to a magnificent outcrop of rock. Very small caves have been formed in the fracturing and falling on parts of the ledge. There are several old postcards on this site including a nearby bridge called the Witch - or Den Rock - Bridge over the Shawsheen River. Farther north near the New Hampshire boundary, I had the report of a glacial boulder being an ancient land boundary. Not that this is unusual, even Wigwam Rock was a marker, but this historical report came complete with a street address! Successfully found, I wandered west once again entering Middlesex County. Here I had the report of another rock used by famed preacher George Whitefield, possibly near a local cemetery. I guessed which cemetery it may have been, only to find upon visiting, it was a very modern cemetery. Too modern to have been there in Whitefield's days. So on to the library where I culled through old historical records to come up with the probable site. Just as interesting was the mention of a rock in town, inscribed by the Native Americans with a map! This time I got the correct cemetery, found the likely Whitefield rock, and even found an elderly resident who told me the location of the 'map rock'. BUT the owner of that rock was not home, so I shelved it for another visit. Dropping down south to the land where granite was once quarried, I visited conservation land with old lime quarries. Then on to the local pulpit rock which I was told is at a pile of rocks. It was more like a rock wall extending a bit out from a slope in an adjacent home's yard. Hard to believe this existed over a century and a half ago, but very near to the 'wall' was a rock that would have served as a more practical pulpit. Nearby, the 'Fox Hunt rocks" was on more local conservation land. Just as I was finishing up my final photos, the predicted rain began to fall ending the day for me. One note of interest on the trip home: I had been told of a cave along the Mohawk Trail by the son of a cave owner last year. Since then I've looked for it several times unsuccessfully, but then the foliage and road conditions made that difficult. Finally on this trip home - a small cave entrance was spotted among the ledges to await future investigation.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prejudicially speaking, there's no finer time than Fall to be out in Western Massachusetts! A few old images had been accumulating and it was time to set out across the Connecticut River in search of their location . The first stop was an old haunt at the Rattlesnake Gutter, a geologic marvel in Leverett. I brought along an old postcard showing two ladies sitting amongst some ledges but a given location nearby to the Gutter. I slowly examined the ledges from roadside before entering the Gutter proper to visit a good sized talus cave. Further investigation down in the Gutter and along it's outer edges did not reveal the exact location in the old photo postcard. However, I still believe it to be in the immediate area as there are other ledges on private land. I traveled around town afterwards to search out the site - or possible sites - of a couple waterfalls recorded in past history. One old coke oven was also nearby. Then on to the most southern perimeters of New Hampshire to investigate the Pulpit Rock. I suspected two images to be from a site visited in the past which I erroneously named "Hidden Glen" unaware of its past history. Bushwhacking in to Pulpit Falls, I then moved upstream to the beautiful secluded glen where I did match up a postcard of Pulpit Rock but not quite an old image of two Victorian Age ladies sitting in a spot nearby. A couple caves are also located in the immediate vicinity. I had wished to head on over the State border to revisit Pivot Rock (also know as the Balance and Tipping Rock) but considering my location, the geography, and where my car was, I favored a retreat back to the north and the highway where I was parked. Home came by way (partially) of the Mohawk Trail where the Fall foliage begins its approach towards peak perfection.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On one glorious fall day, I was guided by an expert in southern Berkshire County history to a little known cave site. Last year brought the same company together to explore the northern reaches of Monument Mountain but today's goal was to go into its western territory. Some poking around amongst the quarzite boulders and ledges revealed a high slot-like entrance descending into the nether regions. We were rewarded to a spacious room with vaulted ceilings. Obvious signs of past inhabitants were present. And if we chose not to exit by the same route, another entrance lay near the cavern's end, up and over a rock pile, then out into the daylight.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time once again for the annual South Shore - and points thereabouts - adventure.

Day One: Coming on in from a westward approach, the early morning first stop was at the Borderland State Park. Here lies an assortment of glacial erratics in the Ames Boulder, Balance Rock, and Split Rock. The mighty Ames is a worthy seventy four and a half feet in circumference but is split pretty much through it's mid section. Balance Rock is a modest thirty seven feet around, but a fine specimen as it sits perched on the edge (and hanging over) a small ledge. The gargantuan Split Rock is a tremendous mass of rock that would rank amongst the very largest in Massachusetts if not for being split into several sections. Afterwards, a small stone chamber in the park was visited. I skipped on through a Bristol County town, hoping to research at the local library but alas it was a late day opening so I moved on further east into Plymouth County. An old friend near Sachem's Rock was not home so I continued the trek east to a Plymouth area town on the ocean shore. Two productive hours were spent culling through old manuscripts and papers from long ago past residents for definitive information on area sites Pulpit Rock and two Devil's (footprint) Rocks. Although I was somewhat successful, the search for these old gems has been narrowed down from a "needle" in a hayfield to the proverbial "needle" in a haystack. I did give it a go on the Devil's Rocks but this project will have to await a future day. Time though to move up the coastline and set up camp.

Day Two: Once again at early morning light I made my first trek on into Whitney Woods where a bountiful array of glacial boulders can always be found. I wandered old roads past Rooster Rock and eventually ended up at a magnificent rock that had split and leaned upon itself to provided a nice rock shelter. Then on to the Bigelow Boulder named for late nineteenth century local historian Victor Bigelow. I tried to find access to a more definitive location I came up with for Rattlesnake Den but no luck getting in. The location of Widow's Rock was given another go but left still unfound. I'm not quite ready to call it day on this one as the old accounts of its location are somewhat ambiguous. Then another unsuccessful attempt to find access to where Cleft Rock should be located. This is an all too familiar scenario where land, or growth - housing and/or vegetation - makes getting in to old sites quite impossible. I returned for a second look at what should be Aunt Betsy's Rock but with no landowner around to verify my hypothesis, I had to settle for a few pictures from the road. I relaxed in the local library for a couple hours before resuming by southward trek. Here I once again found indefinite access to old sites Wild Cat and Rattlesnake Hills. Supposedly a Rattlesnake Rock should exist on its namesake hill. Then on to Till Rock where a modest sized boulder lays perched upon a small hilltop. With low tide on its way, I turned northward and towards the coast to revisited the likely Nubian Head Rock. A positive ID may be nearly impossible as the old postcard shows a very dark and indistinct image. But I arrived at tide's lowest point and the face is there upon the rock. A nearby historic lighthouse provided the parking as I sought out identification from an old image of shoreline rocks Pebble, Junior Pebble, and Castle Rock. A bit more successful here and I turned back towards camp, stopping off to locate Indian Rock.

Day Three: The final day was divided between one Norfolk and one Plymouth County town. In the first town I once again visited House Rock to identify a number of other rocky sites mention to me in communication with a former resident. Here are local attractions Eagle Rock, Indian Rock, Turtle Rock, and another Split Rock. A bit to the southeast I spent three good hours in the library's local history vault primarily looking for clues to a Wolf Rock but coming away with another gem in Absalom's Rock. Old maps and historical manuscripts gave me a rough idea where to find Wolf Rock but a small amount of time in the dense woods and vegetation proved unsuccessfully. Greater success was to be found at Absalom's Rock with just over a hundred feet in circumference making it the largest in Plymouth County (so far) and worthy of inclusion into the list of State's biggest boulders. Rain was moving in, so back onto the Boston Beltway and westward home.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A couple times a year, I head down to Connecticut for what is mostly a time of R & R. Usually some outdoor advetures get worked into the mix. After dropping in on an antique car and truck show, Black Rock Park was visited. The second day was at the top of Meriden's Hanging Hills to locate the site of an old YWCA retreat. Only a chimney foundation now remains. Then on to a bit of bike riding along an old canal towpath which later was used as a railroad line. The day was finished visiting an old trolley right-of-way. Here a steep descent of hundreds of feet in elevation was achomplished by way of "Merriman's Curve". This, as the trolley made its way down the mountainside into the Marion section of Southington.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Returning to an oft explored region from years past, I finished up the search for the "Walking Club Plaque". This commemorative relic, paying homage to it's leader, dates from 1926 and is bolted to an outcrop of rock high in the hills of Hampshire County near its border with Franklin County. Afterwards, a southerly bushwhack brought me to the local Balance Rock - a modest sized (at 34 feet circumference) perched boulder but still a fine specimen of this phenomena. While trying to work some photographic magic amongst the marginal lighting of the day, a woman of some years came up the side of the rocky ridge. From that point on, all the way down the mountain side, an invigorating discussion of area's features and history ensued. Included in there was a brand new cave lead. Many thanks to my new nameless friend! The day was finished up just to the north where I traveled in to the remote Ladder Cave (not visited in nine years) for updated photos and definitive GPS location.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trying to work things around inclement weather on a vacation week, I took on the Blackstone Region. A slamming day enabled me to make a dent in a lengthy list of projects for this very historic region, some of which I have not seen in years. First on the list is one of Massachusetts' premiere geologic sites at Purgatory Chasm. In the intervening years I had accumulated quite a bit of old photography and postcards on this now State Park. I did not set out to identify every cliff and crevice in my image inventory but a significant amount, nonetheless, was located. I also did an exploration of the first few feet of little known "Damnation Cave" and located the 'lost' "Devil's Stairway". On to the east another town brought me to Town Hall to search out a possible "Dead Man's Cave". Although I was unable to come away with any new information here, I cruised the reported area locating one small, previously unknown, cave. I will work on confirming if this is Dead Man's or not. While in town, I dropped in on Murder's Rock, not seen in many a year, to take photos. On to the north, I revisited another cave that came to light in recent years boasting a whole 23 feet of passage. On to the Upton State Forest and the Mammoth Rock Trail, home to Mammoth Rock - a big glacial erratic. A much more interesting boulder lays farther to the south (and a bit north of Whistling Cave) in an unnamed erratic with a 60 foot circumference and over 12 feet in height. Meanwhile, I returned to the car by way of Whistling Cave, perhaps the most interesting geologic feature in the forest. On the way out of town I made a passing (and unsuccessful) attempt at locating the local stone chamber now property of the historical commission.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rolling on into the Land of Granite and Arches, the early morning stop was the Keystone Bridges trail. A miracle of engineering in its day, these bridges helped the railroad cross some of the most rugged and remote terrain in western Massachusetts. Thanks to the good folks at Friends of the Keystone Arches these are now more accessible than at any time in the recent past. Since those early days, the right of way was somewhat relocated (previously using a part of the old Poontoosic Turnpike) and now some bridges carry no tracks. The second part of the trip returned me to the old pink granite quarry first located back in the spring. This time all the snow was gone but - as one can imagine - the old quarry held some water. This was a comparatively small operation, run by one local family. The remains include old pipes, cables, and pulley assemblies.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

With gasoline still fetching a good premium, it is hoped early summer rationing can allow me to resume a more normal schedule in the near future. But right now it is typical hot and humid summer weather. A good chance for a country drive out into Franklin County and to pass through towns that figured prominently in my travels some ten or more years ago. By chance the Conway Historical Society was featuring a talk on eminent Victorian Age geologist Edward Hitchcock. I was able to connect with society members to discuss an early town resident - Joe Herrick - who has a local geographic feature named after him. He also lends his name to a local cave as well. On the way home - a quick pass by Camp Rock out in the wilds of Hawley where an early settler to the area camped out at one point in time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Although my ultimate destination was the South Shore, the goals of this trip were primarily the area of the "Boston Beltway" or Rt. 128, perhaps better known to some as I-95 and some of I-93.

Day One: Coming in off the Mass Pike, and heading southward, a series of stops were made to visit caves in areas adjacent to the Beltway. First stop was the cave of many names: one Devil's Den but also at least three other names have referenced this site. Moving closer into town along another historic road - the old Boston to Worcester Turnpike (Rt. 9)- I revisited Gooch's Cave to at least sort out which one it may be portrayed upon a old postcard. Back to 128, and farther south, I dropped in at a small cave/rock shelter on DCR property. Another old time mention was of a "pothole" on property of one of the early town's inhabitants. My inclination at this point is that it is/was a large depression that is now a pond. Something along the line of a glacial kettle hole. Farther back to the west I sorted out an abundance of reports and photos (both modern and antique) on another Devil's Den to see how many caves were involved and what went with each reported site. Ultimately they all pointed to one location but this at least clears up a bunch of confusion. Moving on down south I hiked a property that was the site of an archeological study a few years back. I was reported two Indian rock shelters existed here - one large enough to shelter 30 people! I saw no real evidence of such sites but the local attendant did confirm that archeological digs had taken place here. Before setting up camp on the South Shore, I finally was able to locate a rock that I've looked several years for. It takes its name of "Glad Tidings" from two stories surrounding its history.

Day Two: Somewhat backtracking, I dropped in to the Blue Hills to search out a cave deep in its forests that I've seen on a couple past occasions. Interesting here was access was along an old right-of-way that was Rt. 128 in it's earliest days. I continued working this area trying to gather information on the possible site of a reported (1898) "Rattlesnake Den" which included walking another old section of the Rt. 128 highway that is abandoned, but still mostly paved. Moving on to the south side of present day 128, I sought out the "Garden of the Gods" in a local town forest, a serene location of glacial boulders. A reported Devil's Den (got to love that name!) is reported in the area and needs to be worked on in the future.

Day Three: Returning once again to the Blue Hills Reservation, I visited a large hunk of rock that has been known in the past as Grepon. A small talus cave lies along one side. I then got my first chance to visit the famed Quincy Quarries now managed as part of the Blue Hills, DCR, property. having time to kill while waiting for the local library to open, I retreat to the South Shore once again to visit House Rock. This old favorite is said to be the largest glacial boulder in the State and well represented on old postcards. The Rock has been portrayed with numerous "profiles" including Queen Victoria, the Sphinx (same view), as well as a minor sphinx and a couple other humanoid faces. Meanwhile at the local library, I followed up on last year's discovery of Writing Rock and a local Indian cave in an adjacent town. But the bad news was inclement weather moving in later that night so I pulled up camp and headed back up the good old Boston Beltway leaving at least one more reported Devil's Den and an Indian cave to work another day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I guess we're all feeling the pain of gas prices but I continue to focus on some well planned adventures into far reaching places. BUT a nice day in the woods can be priceless so I took to the Savoy Mountain State Forest - that is until the black flies and allergies were a reminder why May is a tough month for me in the outdoors.

I revisited all three balance rocks located there and previously studied in the past. A local newspaper article from 1956 (as well as a recently secured first edition of the AMC trail guide for Massachusetts [1964]) mentions three in number and two of the rocks are pretty well confirmed. The third is still somewhat up in the air as to it's exact location but the old news article does mention it as being "extremely small" and indeed this "baby sized" balance rock shown to me several years ago by a member of the State Forest staff sure is small at 24 ft in circumference

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lots to go over after fours days out. So let's go

Day One: Using the Blackstone Valley as my entryway to Rhode Island, work was begun on various projects to take place in the region. Much will be updating information on sites - some of which have not been visited in almost a decade.
First up was a reexamination of the Castle Cave(s) site, then (one of many) King Philip's cave sites, and on the border with Rhode Island the Blackstone Gorge. The Gorge is the likely site of old postcards Lover's Leap/Rock. A ways to the south, the former site of the Old Man's Face off Narragansett Beach was searched for any possible, identifiable, remains of what was Rhode Island's most famous profile rock formation. Apparently none survives to this day.

Day Two: Starting off the early morn was a visited to Purgatory to examine sand lens within the Purgatory Conglomerate (My thanks to Professor Jan Tullis at Brown University for helping out with this one). Within these sand lens may be found the site of the historic "Squaw and Devil Tracks" (Newport area folklore) and an abundance of historical graffiti. The Hanging Rocks were photographed from a couple different angles (one old postcard depicts this as a profile formation with the politically incorrect "N" head name attached) before moving up the shore to spend time amongst the rocks looking for "Swallows Cave". It is not clear after searching - and talking with local sources - if this is ineed a "cave" or just another rock formation. Moving somewhat west in the Narragansett Bay, several sea cave sites were worked with one cave being dived at low tide. Finally, an extensive investigation was made of pseudo-karst features along a section of coastline.

Day Three: Starting off by cruising the southwestern most shores of Aquidneck Island and catching the errie site of the Jamestown Bridge seemingly "suspended" - and protruding - out of the fog. Rolling on into an old fort, I tried to catch a glimpse of the Newport Profile hidden away in the rocks across the cove. However it was probably too far away and not the right angle. Then farther on down the coast, a chance to once again look at a series of sea caves linked to the pirate history of the area. With rough seas and tide at maximum height, no water exploration was undertaken on this day. The Forty Steps was up next where the whole area was looked over, and photographed, for possible signs of past 'Steps' construction, along with cliff side photos to compare with those from the past. Then moving on north some time was spent trying to gain access to an old mill site and valley now surrounded by modern day expansion. This was suspended after a couple of people - and their leads - did not pan out. Still farther to the north, I returned to the area where King Philip/Metacom ruled from, and ultimately met his death. One old postcard of "King Philip's Rock" (an inscribed boulder) was investigated but likely the rock was destroyed in making a government facility on the mountain top. A search of that mountain top did not reveal it still to be in existence. STILL father north, Kings/King's Rock finally was located, the local library director was 'worked' for information, and Abram's Rock once again visited as well as other boulders in the area with names like Wildcat, Kittens, and Lion's Head.

Day Four: Returning to the "Land of Abram", Devil's Rock and a rock with the history of one "Margaret" - or Meg - were investigated. Also found was a likely location for Spinning Rock where the ladies would meet in days of old to work their looms and talk of life. Devil's Rock does present a number of the "Devil's Footprint" formations including the much rarer "cloven hoof" type. Rolling on into Taunton, the Old Colony Historical Society was visited and several rocks in the town's history discussed. On up in Norton (home to it's own famous Devil and his footprint story) I dropped in to visit an "old" friend at their historical society before heading into Foxborough to check out a local campground for future use - NOT! Slightly west, I once again investigated an old route of the Warner Trail for possible access to what was once know as the Cart and Oxen Rock (formation) which is presently pretty much surrounded by private land. Returning to my "roots" of the latter 1990's, I took a short hike into the local State Forest where I spent much time investigating rocky formations and small caves in years past. I hope to continue on with that at a future date. Route 495 and the Mass Pike returned me to the Berkshires.

[Update: Going over the photos of the trip give a "very likely" possibility to Lover's Leap/Rock (Blackstone pc's) being in the Blackstone Gorge. A more precise location for the former "Conrad's Cave" near the 40 Steps was obtained. And just in: a new pc of the Devil's Den area in Rockport, MA that compares favorably with my photo of the conjectured site from last fall. Profile Rock is supposedly located at the Den.]