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Runtrails' 2005 AT Journal
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"Our way is not soft grass, it's a mountain path with lots of rocks.
But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun."
- Ruth Westheimer

Interesting "puddingstone" rock on the Appalachian Trail in New York state.

Once I made peace with the rocks strewn in my path (in every state along the AT, not just Pennsylvania), I could enjoy their beauty. Such variety in one long mountain chain! You don't have to be a rock-aholic to appreciate them.

I collected some beautiful (small, of course) specimens along the way to remind me forever of this journey and the lessons I learned about overcoming difficulties.

Almost all of the interesting rocks shown below are from New York and points north. I'm not sure if they are just more colorful up there or if I didn't appreciate them enough farther south to take more photos before then. I think it's the former, because even when I was going faster the first two months in the southern-most states, a beautiful vista or tiny flower would still stop me dead in my tracks for closer inspection.

I was totally fascinated by the "puddingstone" in New York and often stopped to look at it more closely and feel its texture. Some of it was a conglomeration of bits and pieces of rocks in various colors and some had interesting patterns running through it. The photos above and below are from Days 92 and 94:



I enjoyed the beautiful marble and quartz rocks in northern Massachusetts on East Mountain and near the town of North Adams, where many buildings are constructed of white rocks found locally. The AT goes right up and over the marble slabs, below, and the colorful crystals in the quartz rock below that from Day 105.


Crystal Mountain in Mass. also has beautiful white, apricot, and orange-colored boulders in an area called The Cobbles. This photo is from Day 104:

Vermont intrigued me with its many smooth white or light gray boulders that looked almost translucent - but weren't! Most had contrasting bright green moss on them, lending the feel of an enchanted forest under the canopy of green leaves and pine needles. Other rocks had various shades of oranges or purples throughout.

These examples are from Days 105 and 109 in Vermont:



And then I hit New Hampshire and "struck gold" as far as gorgeous rock specimens! Some had flecks of silver (mica?) and gold that just glistened in the sun. Those were hard to capture with the camera. Others had long streaks of white that looked like they were painted on, but weren't.

Rock cairns in a myriad of colors, multi-colored streaks in a single rock, and the lichen-blotched rocks above tree line - all are common along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire.

These photos are from Days 114, 115, and 118 in New Hampshire:







And there were MORE colorful rocks in New Hampshire - too many to include here!

The area around Monson, Maine is noted for its beautiful slate rocks, which grace many a home across the United States. I was constantly slipping on the very smooth surfaces where the slate was wet. The first photo below, from Day 140, shows very smooth slate slabs. The next photo of another mountain summit on Day 139 shows slate bedrock that has ridges carved from retreating glaciers. The third photo is a chunkier version of slate.



Virginia also has some slate, as shown in this photo from Day 51:

Here's one last rock photo, a symphony of samples I collected from thirteen states (I forgot to keep one from Georgia):

Next up: cool cairns in Photos 3.

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2005 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil