FoRM Geology Hike

AT Near Roan High Knob
Originally uploaded by Unaka.
The Friends of Roan Mountain Spring Naturalist Rally took place this weekend. Friday night's speaker was Dr. Pete Lemiszki, Chief Geologist, Knoxville Office, for the State of Tennessee. His talk was on the bedrock geology of Roan Mountain. A fascinating story of 1.3 billion years of geological history. With his information still fresh on the mind I participated in a geology walk with Bob Whittemore the Chief Geologist with the geology department of General Shale in Johnson City, TN Saturday afternoon.
Protected by umbrellas and ponchos and starting at the old Cloudland Hotel site we imagined the views as Bob described the geology of the surrounding ranges. Then armed with a geologist's pick, he led us down towards Carver's Gap.
We examined pieces of Cranberry Gneiss, intrusions of Bakersville Gabbro, and learned how to distinguish white quartz from feldspar.
This is only about a 2-3 mile hike with a side trip to the High Knob, but this section of trail is a nearly mystical experience. Ancient rocks, thick moss, lichen, liverworts, rhododendrons, all in a mature spruce-fir forest makes for a very enriching experience.

Roan Mountain Geology

still in the clouds ii
Originally uploaded by Unaka.
words and phrases for the weekend:

Cranberry Gneiss

Beech Granite

Bakersville Gabbro


Mylonite and Mylonitic Cranberry Gneiss


Head in The Clouds

Head in The Clouds
Originally uploaded by Unaka.
I missed the JC Hikers this last Saturday, but I could see the ridge they were hiking on...

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This blog is a work in progress. An ardent perambulator and nature enthusiast; I take pictures of what I see and post them here occasionally.