What a beautiful day we had! My husband and I decided to go for a hike in the Moshannon State Forest. He wanted to find Wolf Rocks, and had done some exploration in that area a week or two ago. So we hopped in the car, took a main road to some dirt roads, followed another dirt road, and parked the car along the road by a couple of cabins in the woods.
There was a sign that said Wolf Rocks Trail, and so we followed it - it looked like it was heading straight up the hill via what may have once been an old logging road. "This isn't right," my husband said intuitively. (Somehow he always just "has a feeling" about these things.) "The rocks aren't up here."
So eventually, he checked the map, and indeed we were well above where we needed to be. So back down the hill we went. We were glad we'd explored a bit, though: we saw some amazing tall, old trees, many of them hemlocks.
We walked down a road that might have had a name like Horse Hollow Road, and followed the Allegheny Front Trail as it crossed the road and went up the hill. Within a few minutes, we spotted the rocks. They were right along the road, but pretty well obscured from it by rhododendrons.
Above is a photo of one of the rocks we encountered. The yellow blazes signify that there is a trail through here, and indeed there is: the Allegheny Front Trail. I searched for information online, and I found this description of these rocks, written by a geologist.
"Wolf Rocks is a picturesque outcrop of thinly layered, olive-colored calcareous sandstone. The rocks are Mississippian in age, about 340 million years old. The calcareous portion is known as the Loyalhanna Member (or Formation), which is thought to have been deposited in a shallow marine environment.
Here it is mapped as part of the Mauch Chunk Formation. Other features at the outcrop, such as pits, small holes, and rounded edges, are evidence for long-ago dissolution of the rock by groundwater."
So there you have it. To sum up, in case you had not noticed, these rocks are QUITE OLD! They are also surrounded by the largest piles of porcupine feces that I have ever encountered in the natural world! (My advice to you would be this: if you camp nearby, jealously guard your boots!*)
So we hiked all around the rocks, and then we walked down to the creek where a brand new wooden bridge had been installed. We hiked back behind some wetlands and beaver dams (yes, the beavers are VERY active here!), and I stopped to take pictures of the reflections (see extra photo), when I noticed something neat!
The surface was disturbed because water was burbling up out of the ground and there was white sand all around the hole. I suddenly realized I was standing by a natural spring, with clean, fresh water coming right up out of the ground! Isn't that just marvelous?
These rocks have a tie-in with history, too. The Wolf Rocks Camp, S-119, one of the work relief efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps, was active from 1933 to 1941. The CCC was a public program to put to work hundreds of thousands of unemployed men in the years between the stock market crash and the start of World War II.
So there you go. A picture of rocks (and a spring!). A few tie-ins with history, both recent and ancient. And all of it on a glorious, mild, sunshiny, almost summer-like day! Here is a song for some really old rocks: Def Leppard, with Rock of Ages. Say it with me now:
Gunter gleiben glauchen globen (which means nothing, by the way)
Alllllllll right! :-)
*The porcupine/boots story:
Years ago, I camped out with the dude who is now my husband. We slept on the ground on a ground sheet with sleeping pads and sleeping bags, but without a tent. While I slept, one or more porcupines came and chewed my boots to smithereens. (I guess those boots had a flavor.) The shocking thing is that the boots were right by my head, and I never woke up! I sent the boots back to L.L. Bean (hello, lifetime guarantee!), with a very sad note of explanation. They sent me my money back. So I guess it's a happy ending, though I sure do miss those boots!