Friday, October 06, 2006

Vacation Stones, Part 2: The Hike

We went for a hike, one of those where you get to drive part way up the mountain before starting so it won't take all day to get to the lookout. Age has taken its toll on my vigor.
We were on the second part of the hike, from the main trail toward Huckleberry Point, when I noticed a gathering of stones set into the trail. They were flattened, but it still didn't look like a natural formation and I thought of pictures I'd seen on Peter Waksman's site. This could be a rock pile. It was a less distinct pile than the one in the picture above, but it got me looking around.
I found many piles all around us. A wall or two, too, but mostly piles, in varying states, some knocked over and some laid out to suggest effigies. The picture above doesn't do the pile justice, but if you click on it and enlarge it, you'll see a crecent-shaped rock on the ground on the right, near the crotch of that branch. The pile has several intriguing features. Note the two rocks at the top, set on a third that may have been chosen for its shape. But who knows--it could have looked different before the branch fell on it--or was it lain there?

It was one of those sites where some piles were close to one another and some were more spread out. I would have liked to spend more time looking around, as I didn't see them all, but one of us was only there for the hike. I didn't want things to get unpleasant that early in our long-awaited vacation.
Note the mix of flat and round stones here.

The above photograph was taken further on, away from the rockpile site but before the lookout. The rock on top looked unmistakeably snakelike to me. Even the big one up behind it had a reptilian air.

At the lookout, I noticed this rock, first from the underside which you can't see here. It is propped under that side, too, and the cavity formed is blackened, seemingly from human action, since I saw no other rock blackened in that way there.
The lookout--From the biggest flat rock, where my husband is seated in this picture, you face the high points seen here, from which the altitude falls to the Hudson Valley. You are looking at the point where the Catskills rise from the valley. They then go off to your right, hump after hump.
And to your left, you can see for many miles. That ribbon of lighter color in the distance is the Hudson River. We were so high up that we could see redtail hawks and turkey vultures soaring far below us. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the place made my heart tremble. It's not surprising that such a place would have a ritual site connected with it. More in the next post.

1 Comments:

At October 16, 2006 at 7:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger pwax said...

I just took another look at this. Some of them are really nice piles.

 

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