Sunday, October 8, 2017

Old Friends: The Sequel!

Recently, in my journey through Plymouth County, I re established contact with an old friend. Marjorie is a woman with many years behind her, a love of the outdoors, geologic features, and history. We originally met at Sachem Rock years ago when she, and her late husband, were tending to the property. Her family originally came from Western Massachusetts, and some years ago, she passed on to me several photographs of their excursions around the central Berkshires.

Balance Rock - somewhere around 1900

On this particular day, we talked, walked conservation land, and looked over a number of family photographs. Before leaving, she once again honored me with a small family album with photographs. Among those, was a family visit to Lanesborough's Balance Rock in 1927. Another photo, was a bit older, showing a child on Balance Rock with two possible options. Someone born in 1891 or 1901.

Balance Rock - 1927

So if rocks could talk - what wonderful stories they could tell!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Return...

Cave @ Crow Hills

It has been traditional in recent years, to find my way into northeastern Massachusetts during the Autumn months. In particular, Essex County. Recent times find myself making a cross State journey with stops along that way. Often in Middlesex, and sometimes in Worcester counties. This particular trip started off with such a stop - at Crow Hills. An old AMC hiking guide I've owned since the late 1960s mentions a cave here. And such a cave was located some years back. But I wished to double check that information on the possibility something else was missed. Despite a search off the southern end of the Hills, no other cave formation (other than overhang) was found.

The next stop did take me into the western regions of Middlesex County to look at a formation known as Cave Rock. Not to be confused with other 'cave rocks' looked at during the last month down Norfolk County way. This piece of geology was much more rock than cave. An erratic that had some fracturing involved and a dislocated piece that left a small opening ('cave') under one edge.

Cudjoe 'Cave'

The third stop of the first day took me much closer to Boston at the Middlesex Fells. A return visit to Panther Cave and old Cudjo(e)'s Cave were the goals. By middle-late afternoon, I was fighting my way through traffic to get out of the area and land at my campsite on Cape Ann.

Abandoned quarry and perched boulder

Day two started as an interesting day, as a sort of 'spur-of-the-moment' decision, took me down to a very urban Peabody. Which has a rich history in its rocks, including several boulder strewn moraines. I tried accessing a site located on aerial imagery, only to find condos thrown up - and in my way. A slight relocation, and I did a walking tour of a (mostly) highly developed area, once again searching for the long lost Wigwam Rock. An old bit of writing from the 1800s put it northeast of a certain body of water, but then the 1800s did not have block-upon-block of commercial buildings and pavement. Still: a later study of aerial images reveals future possibilities. A stop in South Peabody to check in on the Butts (boulder) before moving on to expand my search on one of the glacial moraines.

The third day was totally southeast Rockport. Mostly to check out a number of ocean access points. ALL for residents only. Most with little to nothing for parking. I did venture into the town center in an attempt to once again locate the site of "Oldest Inhabitant". A rocky profile formation depicted on an old postcard. Nothing definite here.

Castle Rock

A rainy fourth day kept the goals short while dodging rain drops. I headed off to Marblehead and Castle Rock. I peeked through fences of the opulent homes to try and catch a look at the Churn. Moved down to Little Nahant for a walking tour of it's perimeter (by town streets) finally ending up at a couple beaches that might make a good launch site for future kayaking. Ended the day up at Agassiz Rock reservation where I am still wowed by the enormity of Big Agassiz Rock. Close to 30' tall!

'Indian head' formation @ The Fells

Rain moved out on the fifth day, and me along with it. I cruised back on down to the Middlesex Fells to relocate small cave formations mentioned in my old AMC guide, and an 'Indian Head' formation also discovered on my previous excursion into that immediate area. Moving back out into Worcester County, I made quick work of a perched boulder reported. My final homeward bound destination, was to see another King Philip's rock that had escaped me all these years.