On Monday, Drew and I went for a drive out to Woodside, CA, to visit the Tafoni Sandstone that he has told me about for years. To get there, we first put on our walkin’ shoes, then we drove about 30-40 minutes south. Then he remembered how to get there (after not having been there for years). We found the parking lot and the trail entrance and started walking.
We walked through the trees and I prattled on about the Apple IIe computer game Oregon Trail, until he said kindly that he apparently didn’t play as much as I did and didn’t remember such details. Here is a picture of one of the many trees we saw, and imagine me saying, “And there were all these jobs that you could have, and bankers started out with more money, but money only gets you so far when your entire family has dysentery…”
Soon thereafter we saw a banana slug, which led to me theorizing why I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to kiss a banana slug, and why is it super mean to pour salt on a banana slug but not a regular slug? (I’m starting to realize that Drew may have felt like something of a babysitter or possibly a camp counselor right about now.)
Then the hills started to get steeper and breath started to get shorter and I started to talk less, which may have been why he took me out there in the first place. Eventually we arrived at the sandstone:
This particular formation is called stone lace.
Tafoni refers to any of the formations that occur in sandstone, I’m given to understand. This particular piece used to be in a deep ocean cavern and has been pushed up over time by tectonic plates. Geology, etc. Water containing CO2 seeps into the stone, and meanwhile, particles build up on the outside, forming a crust. When the water evaporates, it it sucked out of the stone, leaving pits inside where the CO2 has eaten up the rock. Then the crust breaks and it erodes more. But it’s pretty, right?
We completely ignored the sign about how delicate this structure is and how we should please stay on the path and preserve this for our grandchildren, and we climbed over the fence to see the other side. There were caverns and columns over there, we were almost gypped out of seeing them.
There were also some large caverns that, I’m sorry to say, looked like they had been defiled, as there were remains of fires and possibly a beer can or two left inside them. We did not really hurt the rock, we just climbed around it, so I think we didn’t really do any damage. Our grandchildren are safe.
If you are ever hankering for some geological adventure, I would recommend hiking out there. I’ve never seen anything like it (although maybe you have, if you have frequent hankerings for geology). It was a nice little walk too, altogether quite the outing.
Next Monday: I want to cook things out of this cookbook I found today called “Passion for Cheese.”