You see him every day, that icon of the Hamden landscape ever rising up on the local horizon. Have you ever wondered what Hobbomock is made of?
If asked, and if you are like most of us, you would most likely say “Dirt” or “Rocks.” Well, yes, but … what kind of rock? How was it formed? Where did it come from? Is it all the same?
These are questions that Danny Brass, chair of the Sleeping Giant Park Association’s Hiking Committee, answered and elaborated upon this past Sunday as he led a group of 32+ adults and children on the annual Geology of the Giant Hike.
Meeting at the kiosk near the main entrance of the Park, we learned (simply and briefly) the origins of the continents and the formation of the land masses. With graphics and language, clear and succinct, Danny explained how our Giant was formed and how he got his unique shape.
As a group, we then headed up the Tower Path where geology ‘station markers’ dot the trail. As we climbed, we learned the process by which sandstone was formed, what a glacial erratic is, how to identify quartzite, and the way the diabase columns came to be.
Passing by numbered “geology stations,” we learned to ‘see’ more of what we passed by: a glacial moraine, tree-root wedging, fossilized plants and more. Why is that stone reddish and this one dark grey? What causes the rock columns to crack, and what’s the rock ‘litter’ at the base of the Chin called?
As we made it to the Tower and a bit beyond, we came to appreciate that it’s not all “just rocks.” Danny led the group back down the Tower Path to veer off onto Violet and on to the Quarry, where past quarrying has laid bare the internal structure of the Giant’s head in spectacular fashion. After a quick detour a short ways up the back of the Head to see a contact surface, the hike concluded back in the parking lot.
Beautifully clear, breezy, and cool, it was an ideal day for a hike! Although lengthy, the route was designed to provide ample opportunity to leave the group easily and head for home as needs required. If you were there, you know what an illustrative and informative hike it was! If you couldn’t make it this year, watch for it next fall.
In order to raise awareness of the Giant’s uniqueness and his special natural features, the all-volunteer Sleeping Giant Park Association (SGPA) offers fourteen guided hikes throughout the year. You can find the hiking schedule at sgpa.org or follow us on Facebook for notices and updates on park happenings. Hope to see you on a future hike!