Saturday, September 29, 2007

The South Side

I went rock hunting on the South Side of the truck trail to find a platform cairn that I had read about. I didn't find it on my first hunt out there, but I did find a lot of boulders on a bank above a stream, as well as stone that was under foot everywhere. The bank is moist, with lots of water, either runoff or spring water (I'm not sure which) coming out in quite a few places. It runs off into Lander's creek, that feeds into the Susquehanna.

I took quite a few pictures of the boulders in this area, but the pics are dark because of the pines at this site, and the boulders are covered with ferns, moss and saplings so it's hard to tell if there is any stone on these boulders. Here's a pic of one of the boulders:

This particular boulder had an interesting feature to it...

...stacked stone to make somewhat of an enclosure on this side. Sorry about the ferns in front of the stacked stone - I was a bit nervous about something living under there - it looked 'occupied'.

These two rocks, well, I'm not sure if this is natural or man-made. There is so much stone around under foot here, this is probably just natural, but it is interesting.

Then there was this stone, which speaks for itself:

The second time I went to this area, I had success. I was 300 to 800 feet away from the boulder field in the photos above.

This is a cairn I found in an unusual spot - near what appeared to be a colonial foundation (complete with an old garbage dump), the main road, and also near boulders.

Here is a boulder that has some of the old glass bottles on it:

And this is the stone that appears to make up the colonial foundation, I think:

Then there is the platform cairn that seems to be by itself, about 450 ft. to the north of the cairn near the road and around 800 ft to the Northwest of the boulder field that has the boulder with the small stacked stone enclosure.

This picture is of the cairn at a distance:

This is a view from what I call the 'front' which is actually the lowest side of the slope/platform cairn.

This is the same side, but a little bit more to the right - I was trying to get a good photo of the stacked stone to the right of the boulder, which appears to have a niche in it - the downed tree was getting in my way.

These are two close up views of the niche that appears on the right side in the photo above:

On the upper or top side of the cairn is this rock, that is shaped like a bowl. I took some pine needles out of it to get an idea of the depth.

And here are two pictures of the top side of the cairn - one looking like the stone is not stacked (or was stacked and collapsed) and the other photo showing some stacking is still obvious:

I'm still not sure what to think about this large platform cairn. It seemed esoteric and beautiful.

I found a few more things that day, but will post those separately, since they are in a different area.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Open L Shaped Rocks

I mentioned in The Logan Site post that I have been seeing a lot of open L Shaped rocks lately. Here are some pictures of some small rocks. These rocks are at a site that has small cairns and also has stone wall on 2 sides that looks colonial. It is also a half mile away from a large cairn field. The large cairn field is to the SE of this site.

I apologize for the poor quality of this photo - I didn't want to get whacked in the head moving the hanging branch off the rock - I hope you can see the shape of this large rock is open L, however, I have to go back out and take a look to see if the 'pointer end' of the open L shape actually has a point on it or not.

At a different site, I found one open L shaped rock...

...and another rock that is not open L shaped, but is propped up in a very prominent way and appears to have a 'pointer' on it:

These two rocks are one tenth of a mile away from the same large cairn site. The large cairns are to the NE of the previous two rocks.

Then there's this stone, which looks more like the traditional L shaped rock that could have been used as a spirit portal. However, based on where it is located (on a very colonial looking stone wall) I don't think this rock has any significance and where it is...but it has that nice look to it.

This is a boulder with the open L shape - again I failed to notice if the 'pointer end' of the boulder was pointed or not. It is located 1.4 miles from the Logan site (not exactly 'nearby', but you could walk it in a couple of hours) and the Logan site is NW of this rock:

From this view of the boulder, it looks like there is a pointer rock on top - very similar to some I've seen on marker piles.

And the boulder also sported some stacked stone - very nice!

But from this view of the boulder, it doesn't look like much of anything, except a boulder in the woods.

This is a close up of the same picture I posted in the Logan Site entry. I tried to get the open L shaped rock a bit more close up but still leave the small cairn in the background. Looking closer at this one, I don't see any pointer on this rock. It may be worth a trip back out there to look at it again. This rock is located 3/4ths of a mile to the South of the Logan Site.

So, what made me want to post with all of these types of stones grouped together was that I have been thinking about this a lot and, surfing the web, I found a website that has some petroglyph interpretations of "Simple Locators and Directions" - click Here for the link.

I thought the symbol for 'near or close' on this website looked like the 'point' on some of the open L shaped rocks I'm seeing. I'm going to pay more attention to the open L shaped rocks I'm seeing, to look for the 'pointer' feature with respect to where the rock is located and what is nearby. Until now, I've really only been looking for the open L shape and not as much at other features of the rocks.

Also check out "Instructions, Directives and Commentary" under the website link above. The author comments about how a single petroglyph conveys a long meaning which was done because carving a message in rock takes so long. My thought is that carving in wood also takes a long time - but of course not as long as carving a petroglyph in stone - and wood is not as permanent and/or could sustain damage from insects or animals. But if you use stone that is already in a shape you want or just requires a couple of quick modifications to convey a message and then put it in a prominent place with some other stones or marker features, you've got both a quick and permanent way to convey a message. I am just pondering this and thought I'd put it out here. If anything, I'm hoping that folks will pay more attention to the 'less significant' sites to see if they are not just there to mark a spot or position on a trail, but also to send a message or tell a story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One interesting stone

I'm posting two photos of something interesting I stumbled upon. I'm not sure if it's 'just a stone' or an implement - perhaps a stone axe or celt.

This picture is of the flip side and is a close up of two very small grooves that run up and down the middle of the stone.

I turned the stone back over and left it exactly as I found it. If anyone has any ideas, please post a comment - thanks!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Logan Site

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a locally renowned stone pile site in Melondy Hill, called 'The Logan Site'. I had not been there before, and had only seen photos of it on the Rock Piles blog, prior to my venture out there. From all accounts, as well as my knowledge of that general area of Melondy Hill Forest, I was anxious about the area being devoid of wetland or headwater. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found a wonderful swamp with a seemingly 'dug-out' feature at the run off side. My understanding is that this headwater feeds into Lander's Creek, which runs into the Susquehanna just below Middle Bridge.

I was ecstatic to find this headwater. It is nearly identical to the headwater in the Steam Mill State Forest, about 6 miles away, which also is near a large cairn site. I haven't posted photos of the Steam Mill cairns yet, but stonepilewhisperer has posted some photos on his blog at (sorry - links don't seem to be working right now).

The majority of cairns and stone piles at the Logan site are NE of the swamp. However, there are a few stone piles/cairns and one boulder with stone on it that are WSW and SE of the swamp.

This was the first cairn I found and, I believe it is the tallest (I'm working on getting my hiking/measuring stick made - can you tell?). It is the most southwestern cairn of the field, save the exception of one rock pile that is right next to it.

This is a close up of the top of the cairn, showing two round, red rocks that face in the direction of ENE (my reading was 80 degrees true). It's almost like the 'eyes' of the cairn are looking into the swamp. The bulk of the Logan Site cairns are to the northeast of this cairn, 500 ft. away. I also thought the flat rock in between the two red rocks was interesting - it almost has the shape of an animal's head.

This is another photo of the first, large cairn on the south side. I didn't notice this when I was out in the field, but now looking at the photos, the rocks at the base of the south side seem to be 'supporting' the somewhat tapered off side of the cairn. I have seen a lot of rock piles around here that are well stacked on one side and taper off in a looser structure on the other side.

This is a boulder with at least two rocks on it that was to the southern-most point of the site (that I observed). One of the two rocks on the boulder seemed very different to me and I took a close up of it - in the second picture below.

This rock pile looks like a marker pile to me because of the rock on top (this is very similar to the marker pile in my last post, located at an elevation of 1841 ft and is almost 4 miles to the south of this site). Although I question using the terminology 'marker pile' for this particular pile because of where it is located (in the cairn field). It looks like the rock is pointing at the cairn behind it. I took a waypoint of all the cairns and rock piles in a very un-scientific manner (it's easy to get confused out there with just one person), and thought I'd be smart and map them when I got home. When I put it on the map, this pile came up over 150 ft to the SSW of where I thought I had remembered seeing it at the site! I definitely need to go back out there and re-map the site when the leaves are off the trees!

Here are some photos of the cairns:

This one has an odd 'new' look to it - I don't recall if it looked this way at the site or if this is just my camera giving the stones a brighter image:

Nice tapered off side on this cairn:

There was some tampering at this site, which was (year 2000) documented by Don Windsor. Evidentially, a cairn once stood here, and now there is a hole with stones all around.

This stone is right next to the hole. I am trying to educate myself in geology, but currently, I have to admit I'm quite ignorant in the subject, so I don't know what type of stone this is, but I don't recall ever having seen anything like it around here before.

And one last bit of possible tampering - I noticed this rock pile or cairn...

...and right next to it was this:

Now, I wonder where they got the stone to put around that surveyor's pin??

On the way out, 3/4ths of a mile to the south of the Logan Site, I found this small cairn, right next to a dry creek bed. I don't know how I missed it on the way in - I walked right by it (I think I was more interested in the dry creek - imagine that!). Looking at the photo, I can't help but notice the open L shaped stone in front of the cairn. I've been seeing a lot of those around, too!