Friday, September 07, 2007

A typical beautiful eastern Massachusetts Hilltop - Little Wachusett

There is a small hill south of Mount Wachusett called Little Wachusett, which I climbed last weekend with my son Joe. We parked on the road south of it and walked straight up hill. There were occasional rock-on-rock on the slope but since this might have been quarried I do not know if they are significant. I guess they look typically ceremonial.As we got near the top of the hill we saw a couple of hikers pass along a trail there and then, when we got to the top, it was a typical Massachusetts hilltop. Blueberry bushes, scrub oak, bare places, and little arrangements of rocks that looked modern or at least recently moved around:
Some looked like the might be trail marking cairns, even off the trail:
Some looked more deliberate and not so trail-related. Note the quartz in the foreground:
Whenever I look west from a high hill around here in Middlesex, I see Wachusett with Little Wachusett riding like a child or smaller companion to the south. It has always intrigued me. But when I am closer to Wachusett and find a rock pile site it is, more often than not, on a slope facing the main mountain. I hope I am not being misleading. There are other kinds of sites that do not face the mountain. In any case, I had my highest expectation of seeing something interesting on the northern side of this hill where the view was back northward towards Mt Wachusett.

Here is what I found: three slightly more substantial but small rock stacks in a row and a large white quartzite cobble next to the middle one.
Here is Joe looking towards Mt. Wachusett,
Here is the northward view itself:
Also at this spot a 5" diameter tree had been sawn off to create a clear view of Mt Wachusett from the bear spot next to the quartzite cobble. So really this was the kind of vestiges of structures facing north is what I should have been expecting.

[That blurr in the middle of the pictures turned out to be worse than dirt: a scratch on the lense made by the automatic lense cover which had been failing to open and close properly. But I called HP and 20 minutes later was giving them my mailing address so they could mail me a new camera. Good service!]

There was also one stone wall crossing the hilltop from roughly east to west.
I do not understand why walls sometimes do this: becoming higher as they rises up over a bump - as if to smooth out the actual topography.

All in all a nice hilltop. We spiralled down counter-clockwise to descend the outcrops and cliffs on the western side of the hill, got back to the road and walked back to the car.


Geophile said...

Looks like a great place to walk. Nice to see your son, too. Any idea what kind of rock that is?

pwax said...

Except for the quartzite, it is all granite.