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.]