I can't think of a more appropriate quote than the one above regarding my
initial battle with rocks on the Appalachian Trail and my eventual acceptance
and even interest in them.
As some would have said earlier and more succinctly, "Deal with it!!"
I really did learn to appreciate the numerous types and formations of rocks I
encountered along the AT. The geological history of the mountain chain is
fascinating. Even though it was difficult sometimes to wind my way over, around,
through, and even under some of these rock formations, they made my journey more
interesting. And some of designs within the rocks themselves were just gorgeous,
especially in New England.
In this entry I'll present photos of my favorite rock formations and in
I'll continue with unique rock colors and designs. I promise to keep these
"photo essays" shorter because of all the photos and the time it takes some
computers to download them. (We were finally able to get a DSL connection
recently on our little rural road. What a relief from the glacially slow dial-up
connections we had previously!)
Virginia has some of the most interesting and unusual rock formations
along the entire AT. Here are several examples, starting with Fat Man's
Squeeze (above) in the Mount Rogers NRA on
32 and the well-known McAfee Knob
near Roanoke, modeled by Graham Zollman on
Equally-popular Dragon's Tooth, near Catawba, is shown below on
and an interesting layered rock from the same day is below
The Guillotine, found on the north side of Apple Orchard
Mountain, is really cool to walk under. (Who can run the first time under that
thing? I had to check it out pretty thoroughly first!) See
Also in Virginia are the balanced rock and fluted
rocks in the next two photos below, from
New York has a really interesting rock formation right on the AT in Harrimon
State Park, the infamous Lemon Squeezer, shown in the photo below from
It would be difficult to get through it with a large pack;
I barely made it with my small one. Not only is the crevice narrow, it is also
at a weird slant. There is an alternate trail around the thing but it's a lot
more fun to (carefully, at an angle) ooze through the slot. An additional challenge is the steep wall to
climb just beyond it. Hint: long arms and legs help.
Here are two views of the Lemon
Maine, of course, has the notorious Mahoosuc Notch with its
moss-covered boulders the size of dump trucks and houses. If you have time, good
weather, and adventuresome companions, it's fun to crawl up and over and around
and through and under these rocks like kids on a jungle gym.
I took these
Day 127. The rocks
are bigger than they look; unfortunately, no one was around for
The rock pile above was easier to crawl through (dark space on left) than over!
Next up: photos of beautifully colored and patterned rocks.