Saturday, August 16, 2008
A River Runs Through It
We ventured out to Chesterfield Saturday afternoon, to check out the famous Chesterfield Gorge, yet another outdoor gem managed by the Trustees of Reservations.
One of their members, Mike, greeted us as we pulled into the parking area, and we paid our very reasonable 2 dollars per person admission.
For those six bucks, Mike not only assured us the open Jeep would be watched by him until 5 o'clock when he leaves, but he also immediately gave us a brief history of the Trustees organization as he escorted us over to the beginning of our hike. We reached a spot with a commanding view of the gorge, and Mike provided us with a couple historical and geological tidbits:
He described for us a thorough lay of the land and what to expect on our hike, and sent us on our way. We got a closer look at the rocks down below, at the pot-holes and amazing wavy indentations, where thousands of years of churning water and glacial ice slowly left their marks.
These rock slabs appear to have shifted upwards, giving an even better view of the wavy erosion wrought upon them.
A geologist would have come in handy, to explain what those very white rocks were made of. I'm guessing they're coated with some kind of calcium..?
We continued our walk down the edge of the gorge along a park area, where the high cliff edges are cordoned by a sturdy cable fence.
After a short ways we were in the mood for a longer walk, and strayed past the park's limits, venturing down along the cliff-sides on the river's edge on our own.
The water swirling below is crystal clear and clean, though tinted a rusty-orange color, due to tannic acid from the decay of leaves.
After a short mostly downhill walk, we found several areas where we could access the river's edge.
Upstream some kids were enjoying a little splash-about. This place must be great to cool off in the heat of summer.
We continued on downstream, to another river access point. Chris immediately found a big rock perfectly carved by Ol' Man River into a comfortable easy chair.
The glacial erratics abound in this section.
We hung out here for a while, exploring the rocks and churning waters. Tiny new-born fish could be seen near the banks, protected in between the crevices and rocks.
As was this guy. He was so sure about his hiding place, he didn't even flinch as I got in close for the picture.
Then this giant spider crept by, a little too close. I think it's a Wolf Spider. We broke out a dollar bill for scale.
With neighbors like that hanging around, this guy decided it was time to molt, and get out of Dodge...
Chris manned the camera for the following shot; For the past year, and God knows how many pictures, I've managed to hold on tight to my anonymity since I started this blog. It was a good run. But seeing that this post marks 'in the valley's one year anniversary, eh, what the heck. Hi everybody...
It's been a fun blogging year; and thanks again for viewing...
The trail continued on, parralleling the river on one side, and a dirt road on the other, on into the Gilbert Bliss State forest.
Fly fishermen began to appear on this section of the river.
I've got to learn how to do that someday...
We turned back here, and made it back to the Jeep just a couple minutes after five o'clock.
And true to his word, Mike was standing there watching over the parking area, and waved to us as he got in his vehicle to leave. Did he wait a couple minutes after five o'clock, waiting for us to show up? I don't know, but I wouldn't doubt it. Mike just seemed like that kind of person...