Monday, May 27, 2013

Rockin' Walters Creek 40 Years Later

Yesterday I reminisced about the big rock my Dad lugged up out of Walters Creek for me back in the 50's. Forty years later, this same area became a rock hunter's paradise for me when we moved 'back home'. I never asked Bud to haul any huge rocks up for me, but we would bring back bags full of small treasures.

Just getting down to the creek meant fighting a path through smart weed, black berry brambles and beggar's lice. Summer attire equaled scratched arms and legs. Gentleman that he is, Bud went first and trampled a path. That first time we went we came home with some weird rocks that looked like petrified bones. I had one that looked just like a scapula. In 1978 in the Nodaway River not far from where we were hunting, some boys had found a mastodon skull. I imagined our finds to be some kind of bones from prehistoric animals.
When my sister-in-law, Ruthie, saw my treasures she wanted to go there, too. That time we took a machete and made a better path. Again we came home with lots of rocks. I would guess our bones were just weathered pieces of limestone, but I never found out for certain.

Of all the pretty rocks I found, this smooth, almost polished, caramel colored one was my favorite. It stands three and 3/4's inches high.

At its widest, it is two and 3/4's inches. Every surface of it is smooth....

except the end where it appears to have been broken in half. Every time we went back looking for more rocks, I kept my eyes peeled for the other half of this one. I just knew I would find it someday.
The shape of the rock is a curvilinear triangle. It is one and a half inches thick.

Frustrated artifact hunter that I am, I imagine this piece of quartzite (?) to be part of a Native American tool of some sort. Right in the middle of the flat side pictured above is a thumb size indention. So, if nothing else, this could be a giant worry stone.

If you follow the creek east for about a quarter mile it curves back to the north. This is the area we dubbed Rock Canyon. Over the years water had washed away a section where you could just stand and reach into the bank for rocks as opposed to picking them out of the stream bed.
The last time we went rocking in Walters Creek was a disappointment. The whole south side of the river bank had collapsed into the river bed covering what was one of the best areas to find rocks. You can see the dirt slide in the middle of this picture.
It is the same area where I found my curvilinear triangular smooth rock - further complicating the dream of ever finding its other half. Maybe I should just try to locate a geologist, archaeologist or plain old rock hound who can tell me more about this favorite Walters Creek rock of mine.

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