Monday, June 28, 2010

Wandering lost in the woods of Sterling

With all the best intentions, map in hand, sun over head, I still managed to head in a direction slightly different than the one I had planned with the result that nothing on the ground matched what I thought it should match on the map - so I was basically lost from shortly after starting my walk. As I have mentioned, the woods "out west" are quite hard to get through because of all the broken trees. So I exercised for a couple hours and managed to circle back to my car. I saw some nice flowers and an occasional stone feature. Here is a big split rock:What do you do? You go see if there is anything in the crack:When walking "deep" in the woods (this was probably all open land a few years ago) I often think about how the majority of sites are found nearer to the road or near to an old road but, in any case, rarely in the middle of nowhere. I might get this bias by only exploring near roads, (I don't doubt there is some of that) but I do get off the road and go deeper occasionally and would expect to occasionally find things there. But I do not. I believe most sites are near road or old roads. What do you think? So out in the middle of nowhere I did find an isolated ground pile that did not look to be random discarded rock. Just a humble little thing hardly worth mentioning:Since it won't be seen again and since it could be someone's last resting place, let's take a moment longer here:
Just before I clawed my way out of the bushes, giving up on seeing much and being rewarded for the scramble, I did come across a pair of rock piles, by themselves at the bottom of a slope, looking out over the wetland:
I am getting used to seeing this combination and believe the two piles are actually part of a single structure whose purpose includes the gap between the piles. It opens towards the water.


JimP said...

Since many of New England's old roads follow the network of Native American footpaths that once criss-crossed the northeast, I'm not surprised at all that we're finding these sites along old cart paths.

Bob Miner's farm is a fine example -- it occurred at the crossroads of two major Native American footpaths.

Tim MacSweeney said...

I'm still looking back at 1934 aerial photos of Woodbury CT and checking out the zigzag stone rows that still exist. My road is an Indian path, zigzag bordered still (in places)on both sides of the road, from the Nonnewaug Wigwams (and the stone pile grave of Nonnewaug) to Main Street (and Pomperaug's grave site) where there is a sign along the road telling about the Ancient Trade Path that existed before 1659. There are more Native built rows around here than colonial fences...

Larry said...

25% of the sites that I find are on or near known Indian paths or old roads.The Narragansett Trail is a good example of a trail with sites along it's entire length from Southern Rhode Island and into CT.
The majority of sites I find are found well off the beaten path. Some of the nicest stone work was found in the middle of nowhere after a half mile or more of bushwhacking. It's been my experience that if you want to find some nice stone work, you gotta get off the trails.

pwax said...

I have the opposite experience from Larry. I would guess (informally) that something like 80% of the sites I see are near some kind of road.