20160611

A Boulder Field? Thursday, 6/9/16


The first thing I want to note is we awoke to a cloudless sky!!  That hasn't happened in a while, and it was very nice to see.  We left Rohrbach's, continuing east.  We don't always go far from camp place to camp place, and this was one time when we skipped lightly, maybe 50 miles, to Hickory Run State Park, in Eastern Pennsylvania.  Neither of us knew a thing about it, but it looked good on the atlas!  With a weekend coming on, we wanted to secure a site for Thurs/Fri/Sat, and when we pulled into the park, it was a surprise to find it so empty. Settled in, we looked over the park guide to see what this beautiful park had to offer!  Boulder Field?  OK, we'd check into it.   


Parked in the shade, good.  Look at that greenery!


Straight away we learned that Boulder Field is a fossil, a relic, a leftover.


I'd call it an anomaly!  Smack out in the middle of a Pennsylvania woods is a 400 ft wide, 1,800 ft long, about ten feet deep, and surprising flat field.  It isn't glacial moraine, but it is glacially related.  If you'd like to more about it, I suggest clicking on the link above ... it's fascinating.  A process called gelifluction was at work in its creation (also a good learning link).  The field is a jumbled assortment of loosely packed boulders, which are predominantly red sandstone, with some quartz conglomerate is mixed in.  I suppose other parts of the world might claim a boulder field like this one in the middle of a forest, but we're here seeing this one, and it is simply extraordinary!


While Jimmy and I gingerly stepped from one boulder to another, a van pulled into the parking lot and disgorged several school-age boys in red shirts.  Those boys whooped and hollered when they saw the boulders and took off, hopping lightly over the boulders like they were gliding on a dance floor!  In only a few minutes they were out in the middle, happy to scramble from one end of the field to the other.  I didn't like seeing black spiders on the boulders, but they fled from approaching feet, for which I was grateful.


Meanwhile, Jimmy, who is celebrating his one-year new-left-knee anniversary tomorrow, decided to park himself on a boulder and just take it all in.  Smart man.


The field is shrinking as trees encroach on the field, and eventually might cover all of Boulder Field.


I knew it was big, but this signboard photo blew me away (obviously taken in autumn).


After leaving Boulder Field, we ended up walking around Sand Spring Lake, through a rhododendron "forest," not in bloom yet, but they'll be stunning in about a month.  The lake has a beach, which, as you can see below, wasn't popular today.




This is one of the runs that feeds the lake.  Run is a colloquial name for a stream ... Pennsylvania talk, I presume.


There is so much history in/at this park that I can't begin to relate it all.  It covers nearly 16,000 acres in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains.


Many of the park trails were created by the CCC.  We didn't hike the above Shades of Death trail; the name alone was enough to deter me!  Actually, the gruesome name is attributed to the thick forests and rough terrain experienced by the early settlers.


After dinner I strolled through the campground, admiring mountain laurel is full bloom ... some are pink, some white, and some shrubs are mixed in with berry blossoms.  This is a gorgeous park and I'd recommend it to everyone.

More good stuff tomorrow?

5 comments:

  1. Yep, seeing a boulder field in the middle of Pennsylvania would certainly be a rare sight! It is huge. I wonder how much bigger it used to be, if the trees are encroaching on it now, you would think that they already have on the outer parts already.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  2. I remember camping at that state park way back when the kids were little and we only had a pop up trailer.

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  3. Strange, the boulder field! Reminds me a bit of the lava fields we saw - just slap dab in the middle of no where, there it is!

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  4. Ok, we have to go there so we can add to our rock picture collection:)

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  5. Wow! That's a darn big field of boulders ... I can see why the kids would have been whooping and hollering.

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