Monday, August 17, 2009

Route 7 is an old historic highway I've traveled much in past years. Not so much in recent time. It winds up past some of the best karsts in the northern half of Berkshire County. But on this particularly brutal hot summer day my destination was Massachusetts' most northwestern community: Williamstown. After hearing of Stone Hill for a number of years (and its associated geologic feature: Stone Hill Slice) I decided the time had come to investigate it. I also had two postcard images of an early 1900's couple at the "White Rock" and thought it might be worth a look for this feature also.

I made my way up the old road that is said was once the original road into southern Williamstown village. Deep into the woods I began to see the long, massive wall of quartz that made up the western face of Stone Hill's summit. Just beyond this was a stone seat constructed as a memorial to Williams College professor George Wahl. A bit farther to the north is a curious boulder lying in a small grove of trees. It appears at first glance to be a blue-gray rock - probably marble - interspersed with significant quantities of white quartz. On the return to my car, I gave the quartzite cliffs, and immediate summit area, a cursory exam saving the harder work for a much cooler day. So although the location for the "White Rock" postcards was not found, I already am working another idea of its locale.

A geologic cave entrance but not physically enterable
at Carmelite Caverns

A short drive to the nearby Carmelite Caverns (not visited in many a year) provided a previously unseen view into the cave's speleology. Here we have the rough boundary between the e and d marble units of the Stockbridge Formation. Interesting to note that this same bedrock alignment exist at a small series of caves about a mile to the south and at the Mc Master's Caves perhaps a third of a mile beyond those.