Thursday, April 26, 2018


Ah how sweet it is. Success! Several years ago a couple of old postcards (reputed to be the same location) came to my attention. Along with (one of) Great Barrington's finest, we attempted to track down this site. Several failures were encountered along the way until an internet discussion brought valuable clues. So finally with Spring here, we set off with great hopes to finally visit Tramp Rock, possibly known as Weary Willy's Haven of Refuge.

Tramp Rock, as seen in modern days.

Acess proved to be a bit tricky as I had to wade a swift current across a somewhat deep river. But just inside the woods, on the opposite shore, the prize was waiting! A massive glacial boulder surrounded by many other smaller ones. The story here is that it may have been a hobo camp long ago when a nearby railroad line ran through these parts.

Tramp Rock from an early 1900s postcard

An added 'bonus' to the trip were visits to several other nearby sites including Point of Rocks, Cemetery Ledge, and the old Beckley (iron) Furnace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tri-State Romp

Starting off four days of beautiful weather was one of the eminent geologic features in all of Massachusetts: Purgatory Chasm. Although I have visited it several times in the past, my more specific goal was the location of a lengthy cave I call 'Fish Diet Cave' - or aka Damnation Cave. I took the opportunity to visit most of the major features in the Chasm and update photos on some of them. A couple of the smaller caves I have not visited in the past were also explored.

USGS file photo of pothole in the Blackstone Gorge

Unable to locate Fish Diet, I moved on to the mighty Blackstone Gorge where high waters made for an impressive site! Downstream from the Rolling Dam, the river eventually enters the George with high rock walls. One has been depicted in the past on a postcard as Lovers Leap. A massive boulder in the river is also known for the king-sized pothole that runs through it. Before leaving the Woonsocket area, I made a trip to look the Cold Spring which sits in a park by the same name.

The Cold Spring

A likely King Philip and H P Lovecraft site overlooking the Pond

Next up was Lincoln RI whose Lincoln Woods boulders are a favorite amongst climbers. I concentrated on northwest portions of the park where I wanted to take a stab at identifying an old photo as well as photographing a minor cave formation. In the nearby settlement of Lonsdale, the Indian Red Rock was given another look after many years to see if it could be matched to its old photo.

The Wolfs Den, as portrayed on an early 1900s postcard

Day Two started off by connecting with RI authority, Mike G., from whence we proceeded down into the southwest corner of Connecticut to take on Wolfs Den. Then it was all the way back up to northeastern Rhode Island to see Bigfoot Cave, the site of the mineral Cumberlandite (state rock of Rhode Island), and the possible site of an Indian encampment: Mollie's Bedroom.

At the main entrance to Bigfoot Cave

Leif's - or Norseman's - Rock

By the third day I was back traveling solo making an early morning excursion to Rocky Point Park. This was a relatively quick trip, seeing the shoreline, catching the image represented on an old postcard, and a stroll past the cave formations located nearby. Hopping across the upper end of Providence Harbor/Seekonk River, I was able to make a mid-morning low tide at Leif's/Norseman's Rock before returning northward to Massasoit's Spring.

King Philip's Cave (above) from an early 1900s postcard

King Philip's Cave - modern day

Back into Massachusetts, I took a quick look at conglomerate outcrops in the area of Luther Corner before going on down to Fall River at Creeping Rock. North again to King Philip's Cave and a look at future water access to someday visit Gary Rocks. Moving on to the Foxboro State Forest, I attempted to look up a letterbox, mostly because its description included the 'stone face'. This proved unsuccessful, so off I went to the Wrentham State Forest to Boulder Cave before retiring for the night.

Boulder Cave

The likely Cart and Oxen Rock

The fourth day was somewhat abbreviated doing more rocky formations in Wrentham, which included a likely success at finally locating Cart and Oxen Rock, a couple caves, and a giant rock pinnacle. From there, another quick run was made into Purgatory Chasm in a final attempt to locate the Fish Diet Cave. Once again - no luck. But maybe next time!

The Pinnacle

Onward home!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Across the Wide Connecticut!

From time-to-time over the years, I've mentioned a large-scale project taking place in the mountains across (east) of the Connecticut River. I've also touched upon the fact, it is largely on hiatus due to a lack of information. But every so often, a little bit of something new dribbles in and breaths new life into it! So on Easter Sunday, I began the 'rebirth' of a new season by making that trip.

The general area under examination, are rock-cut terraces and cirques whose erosion have provided some of the most spectacular rock formations across Massachusetts. They were often visited, and fell under the keen eye of a local clergyman and photographer, during the 1860's. On this day, the section once known as 'Home of the Rocks' was the objective. A couple previously unknown antique images were uncovered, and I hoped to continue on with the identification and photographing those sites, along with others already found.

The likely Cozy Cave

The first stop was 'Kitchen and Pantry', (the likely) 'Cozy Cave', followed by the 'Curve Rock', under the 'Rock Shadow' and out into the 'Grand Porch'. The area below the Porch is 'Titan's Pasture', with the immediate area containing several caves formed by frost wedging/gravity assist. Weathering has also left massive rocks that long ago peeled away from the ledges and a few caves might also be found here. Just beyond the Pasture we run into the 'Bear's Den' and 'Kendall's Recess'.

Kendall's Recess: circa 1870. Bear's Den: lower left

After finishing photographic work in this area, it was needed to re-locate (whatever happened to my GPS coordinates?) the Devil's Pulpit and Cave. This colossal block of rock has moved away from the parent ledge but still remains physically connected. However, a cave was formed by the vacated space.

Looking through the Devil's Pulpit Cave

This much climbing on rocks and ledges is probably best suited for a bit younger individual. So after a long half-day, it was time to bid farewell till next time.