Sunday, May 18, 2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

A couple very interesting pieces of old photography surfaced a few years back: Prospect Rock in Becket, and a view from Prospect Rock, towards Blandford. Both were somewhat poorly scanned images intended for an internet auction. One hypothesized location might be near the old Becket quarry. Since I was already interested in further explorations of that property, I set out in search of rocks!

My goal was to hike the trails on the perimeter of the old quarry preserve. Maps indicated several features worth looking at, and I'd keep a look out for Prospect Rock along the way. Ultimately, Prospect Rock did not show itself. But the geologic features marked on the quarry's trail map - and one that was not -proved worthwhile.

Prospect Rock - from an early era stereoview image

These included a large deposit of glacial boulders with very small caves/dens. This was perhaps the largest accumulation I've seen in Berkshire County. Now if this was Essex County, in particular Cape Ann it would be considered very minor. A couple other boulders were marked on the trail map. Both were located, one being quite large but fractured in several places along its length. The other was of minor interest, being quite 'average' and not even very large. But near this one was a slightly larger rock with a large metal ring attached. Likely associated with one of the 'motions' (small quarries) right in that vicinity.

Upon completion of the quarry circuit, a small pink granite quarry was visited about a mile and two-thirds away. Some remnants of a cutting/finishing shed, and equipment, remain.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Two birds with one stone.

Down in the southern Berkshires lies a most beautiful lake. It had been my goal for a couple years to kayak on across its waters as part of a small project. On this lake, numerous postcards portray a "Bull Head Rock". And the impressive Indian Cave Lodge can also be found along the shore.

Bull Head Rock from an early 1900's postcard

So on a sunny, but sometimes very windy Sunday, the lake was accessed. The Lodge was sighted from the water and Bull Head Rock visited twice. Once on the way to the lake's end, and once on the return. It does appear to be a marble boulder. Not terribly surprising considering this is an area of marble, generally highly calcitic, and the home to a more inspiring local landmark: Elephant Rock.

Bull Head Rock - present day

Friday, May 2, 2014

Always interesting to see how a trip unfolds. The Spring vacation plans had me eventually ending on Cape Ann. One thing was clear from the beginning: it would once again be overshadowed by the prospect of lousy weather.

But the adventure began by reaching the Mohawk Trail and making a quick jaunt up to the Town of Rowe. In going over photographs of boulders taken in 2008, something significant caught my attention. A possible, more likely prospect, for the Profile Rock from that town. The effort to gain additional information was mostly thwarted by high water levels in Pelham Brook so this will warrant a return visit.

On to Worcester County, for verification of some unidentified antique photographic material. One image I had already identified from my own records as the Pulpit Rock/Devil's Pulpit. But the second necessitated a personal visit. It also turned out to be the very same rock, but photographed from a distance, probably over 125 years ago. While in the area, a stop was made to Half House (Rock).

The Devil's Pulpit - from an antique stereoview image.

Moving on to Cape Ann, I made a brief visit to the ocean at Pigeon Cove before settling in for the evening.

By the second day, the threat of inclement weather was already a real possibility. So keeping things short - and local - I looked into a 'sliding rock'. This is one of those old local sites from people's childhood memories where as youngsters they would slide down an inclined rock surface. The interesting part is the 'smoothing out' of the rock after years of use. Then a warm up hike was made to Goose Cove after checking out the water level at the Goose Cove Reservoir. Here a couple of Babson's marked cellar holes can be found.

A hike followed into the outer perimeter of Dogtown where a nifty cave was located. A bit more hiking brought more boulders and the possibility of future explorations. This is a section of Dogtown I had barely touched upon in past visits. On the way back to HQ, I returned to a perched boulder formation first discovered in October 2013.

Perched boulder at Gloucester

Uncle Andrews - or Spiritual Power - Rock at Dogtown

The third and fourth days were basically devoted to working around the rain. I decided early on to use the time to extend my explorations of Dogtown into areas I had never seen. The third day ended with the discovery of another cave, while combing through an area of significant boulders. The fourth, saw a visit to an old quarry within the perimeter of Dogtown, and a quick searh through 'Joppa' for it's Old Man formation.

The 'lost' Old Man of Joppa formation

Before leaving town on day five, I took my guide, from earlier in the week, back into Dogtown to see my own modest cave discovery. Then over to the "dead pirate boulders" before saying goodbye. Heading home, I made a final stop into Fitchburg to look over geologic features (apparently there may be some I missed) including old Moses Rock.

Moses Rock