2018 Geology Rocks Talk




I grew up near the Appalachian Mountains, the oldest mountains in the US. When little, we camped on the ridges above “The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania”. In fact, when I was very little, I rolled out from under the tent’s side where my parents and sisters were sleeping. So the story goes, they found me missing at daybreak and went looking for me. I was under the picnic table which visitors had moved to the edge of the cliff. The story goes that I was within inches of death or breakfast and I must have chosen breakfast. (I was very, very little, but had a huge appetite they told me.)

When I became a mom, I took my child to the same area. She was about 2, around the same age I was in the camping story. We spent most of the day with her little shovels and pail, digging in the topsoil near some bushes over where forest started. When the shovel I was using bent to almost breaking, I used my fingers to uncover this unusual rock.

Bigger than my fist , this heavy rock looks like it was dipped into different geological materials. Parts of it have flakes attached. Parts have smaller rocks embedded into it. Parts are unrecognizable to me. I still have it.

Since the Appalachians were supposedly formed from volcanic activity millions of years ago, I wondered if it was a metamorphic rock?

If I can get some pictures taken, could you tell me more about the kind of rock it is?


Oh, you’re bad! Took your child to the edge of the cliff? Shame! :wink: :rofl:

I’ve always loved going up to the stone quarries. Lots of giant quartz crystals (with flecks of gold and silver in them), marine fossils galore in the shale, and many different types/colors of rock.

One other thing… when I first saw the title of this topic, I thought @kateg created it. :laughing:


No, to the camping area. slap!


@cageycat, I was just thinking… did you have a pet rock when you were little - and talked to it? Maybe the title of this topic was a dead giveaway. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Definitely, I’d love to see a picture. If it is really heavy/dense, it could have formed at high temperature and/or depth. It could be metamorphic or igneous (cooled beneath surface in a magma chamber). Sedimentary rocks are less dense. The geology is so warped (metamorphic pun :joy:) there. If you can focus your camera close at high resolution, that could help me identify the minerals and rock type.


Cagey, you got me stuck reading about rocks on ThoughtCo.com! I just realized I’ve been reading about them for about an hour now - between waiting for H. Maria tiles to load. :laughing:


Have you been to the Gore Mountain Garnet Mines? 35 years ago they would let you pay to go in and collect your own rocks. Garnets as big as your face! Basically the rocks are igneous feldspar and hornblende matrix with huge clumps of garnet crystals. Not gem quality- originally mined for use in sandpaper. But the rocks are so pretty. Even if they don’t let you walk out with 50 lb rocks anymore, it sounds like they still have tours. Your grandkids would love it. I think it is in your neck of the woods. As soon as Brianna is old enough to form memories, you should take the girls there! Collecting rocks at Gore Mountain is my first memory of “rocks” and a highlight of my childhood. Here is a website to one of the quarries that give tours: http://www.garnetminetours.com/mines.html

I remember feeling like I was in Willi Wonka’s chocolate factory.


Never been there. That is north of me… a good drive. But I have been to New York Quarries in Alcove, NY where there are exposed layers of rocks, including some thick veins of quartz. The owner let the town come in and take shale out where they had dug the soil away and wanted to mine the blue and brown slate. I was operating the front end loader (a Cat 966-C capable of lifting 6 tons). While the trucks were gone and I was on my lunch break, I walked down the road below where I was working and found a cliff face with the thick quartz vein running the entire length. I collected a beautiful quartz crystal about the length of my forearm and as thick as the upper part of my forearm. There wasn’t a flaw in it It was one big solitary crystal! I also collected a lot of smaller chunks of quartz that had flecks of gold and silver in them. I let my grandson take them to school for show-and-tell. Of course I had them wrapped in bubble wrap so as not to get broken. He did great keeping them safe - until he was getting off the school bus. In his haste to disembark, he swung his backpack and it slammed against the door jam. When we got home I examined my quartz. That big beautiful (and clear) crystal had “spider cracks” all through it and was now cloudy. Arrrgh! Even the small chunks that had the gold and silver flecks were broken into smaller pieces. I still have most of them down in my basement. I would like to go back up to the quarry, but they don’t give tours and I haven’t spoken to the owner in 20+ years. My wife and I did take our other two granddaughters to Howes Cavern two years ago. They loved it. Now that I think about it, they also loved the kiddie rides and eating just as much. :rofl:


Have you’all been to Ringing Rocks in Pottstown, Bucks Co., PA?



Someone needs to put together a rock bell choir! That is so neat- I hadn’t heard of those. Thanks for posting :grin:


Ok this is not a “choir” but some people did manage to create a tune out of them :wink:


The first comment after the video was “best rock band ever” :rofl:


10 posts were split to a new topic: 2018 Geoloogy Known and unexplored caves


I guess the next part of this topic on the newly discovered cave in BC was moved to… “2018 Geology Known and unexplored caves”…just in case you cannot find it.


@TerriB Any moved topics are noted in the same thread; see the entry above your post.


Yes I know it is. Just giving further info.


Hey @kateg and everyone!

I’m not a photographer and I have one of the oldest Olympia cameras (2.0) made. But I finally got pictures!

I have not moved these rocks in ages. I forgot how heavy they are.

I’m not a good judge of weights, especially since I’ve been in declining health.

The little rock I estimate is less than 5 pounds, but it would definitely break a toe if dropped. It is thick, dense. I don’t think it is a cement mixture. I took it to a guy a few decades ago that lays patios and walkways and he said the embedded materials would not be put in a cement mix.

The bigger rock is surprisingly heavy. I estimate maybe 10 pounds? or more. Would break any bone it falls on. With the feathery white “paper” sticking out everywhere, you’d think the rock would crumble, but it is a heavy-duty solid boy! It looks like the “bottom” side has iron in it (reddish brown), but the other side (where it looks white) is that papery-feathery things.

Now, I took lots of pics, from all sides. I think most turned out pretty good.

I am the proud momma of — rocks! Now, let them “talk”…