Rock or Rocks?
If you ask a Hoosier about rocks the first thing that comes to mind is limestone. The second thing to come to mind is limestone. And, the third thing to come to mind is limestone. Indiana, particularly the area in and around Bloomington and Bedford, produces the best limestone in the country. While we still like our limestone, we have a growing appreciation for the beauty of sandstone. Steven Higgs and I ventured southwest on a short trip today to the Shoals area to scout some new locations.
Bluffs of Beaver Bend Preserve
Our first stop was the Bluffs of Beaver Bend, a Nature Conservancy preserve. There is a trail with sandstone cliffs on one side and the river on the other. Looking upwards, you can see some beautiful features in the sandstone where parts have broken off to reveal a variety of interesting geological formations. These formations reveal a wide variety of color variations in the cliffs ranging from grays to greens to blues to tans to tans and orange. We also found a number of ferns and a few wild flowers still in bloom.
According to the Nature Conservancy’s website, this area was used as shelter by Native Americans who gathered mussels and other food sources from the river. Later, moonshiners, bootleggers, and gangsters occupied the area and led to the development of folklore of hidden treasures.
This small preserve is well worth a visit.
On our return trip, we stopped at a pond in the Hoosier National Forest and surveyed the area. Noting the steep climb down the path and a steep climb back up the path, we decided it was much too hot and humid for a hike without doing some more research. We also found an overlook that should produce some great photos when the leaves turn colorful this fall. There are several other geological features to photograph later this fall or early winter when plants die off. Last, we made our way to Williams and the dam across White river. Many years ago and then again later, the dam was used to generate electricity. I remember taking Sunday afternoon drives with my family to watch the water pour over the dam. I was surprised to see that only the foundation of the generator building existed today. Driving further down the road, we found the old covered bridge but could not find a vantage point to shoot. Another day when the colors change!
Here is an album from our trip today.