I’ve become used to the idea that concretions can lead to some strange rocks. Several years ago, for example, Peggy and I had wandered about as far south on the Southern Island of New Zealand as you can go and had come across the rocks shown below. Bone, who is about four inches tall, perched on top of the rocks to provide perspective. These large boulders, known as the Moeraki Boulders, are concretions formed from Paleocene mudstone.
Up until I found the sandstone concretions on Pt. Lobos three weeks ago, I was sure that New Zealand would win the prize for really weird rocks. Now I am not so sure. For some murky reason, according to geologists, these concretions form as lumps in sand and grow in concentric rings cemented together as the sand turns to rock. The weathering of the rocks at Pt. Lobos exposes a cross-section of the concretion, which is what you see in the photo at the top of the post. Like the rocks in New Zealand, I found them almost alien.
The concretions are found on the South Shore of Pt. Lobos, which is considerably different from the North Shore that I featured in my last blog on California’s Central Coast. Sedimentary rocks of the Carmelo formation replace the granitic rocks and the terrain is more accommodating to roads and parking lots. Consequently, there are a lot more visitors. While I had mainly hiked alone before, a number of people now joined me along the trail. I preferred the ‘splendid isolation,’ but my hiking companions in no way detracted from the beauty of the area.
As might be expected, given that it was spring, the trail around Pt. Lobos was filled with flowers. Having ‘borrowed’ Peggy’s camera since she was playing grandmother in North Carolina, I was able to get up close and personal with several of them.
My final view of the ocean from Pt. Lobos was looking south at the Big Sur Coastline, which is where we will travel next on my posts about the Central California Coast. The buildings you see on the left are located in Carmel Highlands. I once stood on one of the rocky outcrops and watched a whale breach just off the shore. The Highlands Inn, a fine old hotel hidden up in the trees, offers fine views of the ocean. I’ve eaten in the restaurant a few times but never stayed there. I could fly to Europe for the cost of a one night stay: $600 to $900. I said goodbye to the coast and hiked back toward the entrance station. Along the way, I met a tree that belonged in Tolkien’s Fangorn Forest. It leaned over the trail and watched me as I passed.
Next Posts: Lost in a snow storm, Big Sur, and the Man at Burning Man.
Special Note: For those of you who follow Bone’s wandering ways, he has traveled up to northern Oregon and will be out having adventures with Crystal Truelove at Conscious Engagement. Not sure all of what he will be involved in (you never know with Bone), but I think he will be attending a gathering of Cherokees. Last I saw of him he was perched on a beehive at Crystals.
21 thoughts on “A Fangorn Forest and a Really Weird Rock… Pt. Lobos Part II”
We also enjoy rock formations and once unsuccessfully sought out a local geology course. The New Zealand rocks are particularly interesting.
I took a couple of courses in college and really enjoyed it. I have several geology books among my natural history books. I think some basic knowledge adds a lot to travel. New Zealand was my introduction to concretions, and what an introduction! –Curt
Amazing, especially the third one!
One very, very strange rock, Cindy. –Curt
Ah, he surprising beauty of nature.
Always, Lulu. And in so many different, marvellous ways. Thanks for stopping by. –Curt
I took one look at your blue-eyed grass and thought, “What?” It sort of looks like ours, but not really. It’s the same old story: same genus, different species. I like the stripes on yours: missing on ours. I didn’t know there were wild hollyhocks, either. We had the cultivated ones, and I made dolls from them.
I thought about you after that huge mudslide on the coast highway near Big Sur. I can’t remember how long it’s going to take to fix that, but I recall reading that “a long time” would be specific enough. I’d hate to have been a tourist hoping to explore Big Sur and take the highway. There must be detours, but still — that’s one of the iconic drives in the country.
Dolls from hollyhocks— interesting Linda.
I’ll be talking more about Highway 1 as it runs through Big Sur in my post. The whole coast is subject to landslides. I am always concerned when I drive the road during winter storms. And there have been some scary situations. But you are right, it is one of the iconic drives in America. People can get in there via detours, but not easily. Businesses along the coast are suffering tremendously. –Curt
Weird rocks indeed. I thought the first NZ one looked like a petrified soccer ball, but that second one is a lot creepier and reminiscent of an oozing brain! Thanks for providing a few flower shots to take my mind in a different direction!
Glad the flowers could help, Lexi. 🙂 –Curt
Spent a happy afternoon wandering about Point Lobos and this has brought it all back – thanks!
You are very welcome, Dave. Even though I have been there several times over the years, I always love to go back. –Curt
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Would love to see Pt. Lobos, weird rocks or not. Great photos. And great rocky finds!
Should definitely be on your bucket list if you get anywhere near. “great rocky finds” Love it. 🙂 –Curt
A most excellent post. Really enjoyed concretions. I have never seen one, but there is still time! Rocks and geology just so much fun. As is the entire California Coast. Thank you.
I think you said above that you are preparing for a trip along the California Coast! Enjoy. –Curt
Those photos of the wildflowers turned out so good! I enjoyed each one of them. Glad to finally have a name for Asters, which I had not looked up yet.
What amazing rocks, though. Wow. I am really fascinated with their formation and the end results, which are not consistent and make for even more to look at. The one at the top: really weird rock, wins it for me. That is one curious rock and I love it.
Bone is well so far. Went for a walk with me yesterday along Mingo Creek here in Tulsa. He may be bored this weekend as we will sit through workshops, but after that we will head in to Tahlequah for more interesting stuff.
Can never go wrong with pretty flowers and fascinating rocks, Crystal! And our beautiful west coast has them in abundance!
Glad to hear Bone is keeping out of mischief. And don’t think he is bored because he is quiet. He’s absorbing. I suspect he will have a great deal to tell me when he returns. 🙂 –Curt
I’m wondering, Curt, has Bone ever expressed a fear of buffalo? I met a herd today, and Bone stayed in my pocket the whole time. I don’t think he wanted to come out and meet them.
It’s possible, Crystal, but I have a photo of him resting between the horns of a full-sized metal sculpture of a buffalo at a site where first nation people would run the buffalo off a cliff. I think it was in Canada. I am pretty sure he will be delighted if you find some buffalo bones. 🙂 –Curt