Monday, September 14, 2009


Near the southwestern tip of Staten Island, on Raritan Bay, is the Mount Loretto Unique Area, a state preserve. We took the Staten Island Railroad, about 40 minutes to the Pleasant Plains station (next to a mall with an enormous supermarket; we were in Kansas, after all). Evidently, you only pay for the ride in St. George, coming and going. A 15-minute walk took us to the corner of Hylan Blvd and Sharrott Ave., past a Catholic cemetery which hosted a statue of a seriously ripped six-packed Jesus. I think he might have been taking notes from Lance Armstrong and all those ballplayers on the juice.
Along the shore for the last decade and more, Doug Schwartz (video profile) has been building cairns with all the nice rocks that pile up there under Pleistocene glacial drifts; red Triassic nuggets, Magothy clays, and ironstone (I’m cribbing from the Geology of New York City and Environs with little idea of what I'm saying.) More about Mount Loretto.

Raritan Bay has a rather narrow shipping channel, and these two behemoths passed each other near us.
Biggest spider ever (in these parts). Some kind of wolf spider species?


Beth said...

The cairns look quite different from those in our area. My friend recently blogged about the ones near the Back Cove in Portland, Maine. Go here for pictures:

amarilla said...

Wow, what beautiful light!! Good adventuring!