Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stockbridge Marbles of South Berkshire

Peering into the 'Frying Pan'.

On this beautiful Sunday morning, I was favored with some fine company. Gary from the Great Barrington Historical Society took me out to check into a report of a filled cave along a major stream. There was evidence of an entrance that was 'brought down' in the past along with a few, very small, remaining passages in the "e" unit of Stockbridge Marble.

Our second stop was an abandoned marble quarry in the "g" unit of Stockbridge Marble. Up in the back was a small karst area taking in a good amount of drainage. One large opening leads to a historic cave with the sound of falling water resembling that of a pan of frying bacon.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The ultimate destination was once again Cape Ann. But always nice to pick up a couple things on the way. So on Day One I came off Rt. 128 to check on the status of two pieces of property: The Pirate's Glen and Indian Rock. The Glen apparently has no formal access and the actual ownership/access of Indian Rock still seems to be a bit up in the air. However, one town official says he will investigate it for me.

Returning to Rt. 128, I proceeded to roll on into Cape Ann making brief stops to look up a possible location for the "Green Canyon", one of those childhood retreats. Talk of caves did not materialize but certainly many a quarry pit was passed in the process. Afterwards, a quick look at some shoreline sites in Pigeon and Lanes Cove, with a return to "Muffy Howards Haunt" (some boulder cave formations) where an old rock quarry lay upon the way. Then on to camp!

Muffy Howards Haunt

The second day found me traveling down to Magnolia for a kayaking adventure but pea soup fog made that probably not a good idea. My second choice was back to Lanes Cove where fog still prevailed but a little easier to follow the west coast of Cape Ann north, and over Halibut Point. This was a repeat - and expansion - of last year's trip, this time taking me down into Pigeon Cove and the Devil's Den. On the way I got to see all my favorite old sites along the shore including the Great Gargoyle, Bathtub, Cathedral Rocks and the Giant Steps. On the return around Halibut, I pulled around to once again look at the sea boulder caves and make another stop at the old Folly Point Quarry.

Day Three: I worked a few leads at a leisurely pace. These included looking for erratics perched upon Wolf Hill in an old late 1800's geologic publication and a 'sliding rock' in East Gloucester from a local resident's youth. I also took in part of the Old Rockport Road that I had not yet seen before. This is an area I'm always on the lookout for the long lost "Old Man of Joppa" formation.

Bull Dog Rock - from an early 1900's postcard

The fourth day was also a repeat and extension of a kayak trip from last year. I finally made it out of Magnolia with the Lady of Rock/Great Stone Face watching me pass by. Then I shot over to Rafes Chasm before making a line across Gloucester Harbor to Eastern Point. Then it was up the east side, past Bull Dog Rock and Brace Rock, to look for possible clues verifying the exact location of Sea Rocks - the old Jacob Loose home. I did find old stone steps carved into the sea side rocks just about where the house use to be located but I will have to study the present - and past - photography for any further clues. The return was pleasant with a stop in Brace's Cove and a quick look over the small section of land that divides it from the fresh water Niles Pond.

The old entrance to Sea Rocks

My last day was spent enjoying some down time hiking Poles Hill with Sunset Rock. Then on up to Pigeon Cove to visit my stone seat by the ocean where a 'footprint' formation was see in the rock by the old Swimming Place.