Seemed odd since we started in the Shawnee Wilderness with snow on the ground!
Look who hiked with us again- Nikki!
When we entered Shawnee State Forest, we joined the backpacker trail which is almost all on a high ridge that winds through the park (and up and down- about 3000 total feet of elevation gain and ditto down). Some really steep slopes. I'm calling it training for western NY.
Possibly the best thing about today was not on the trail. But we might find some another day now that we know what to look for. Look at this odd cliff of shale with the orange balls in it.
This is an Ohio Shale cliff. The orange balls are called concretions, and they are a sort of limestone or dolomite "crystal" (using the word loosely) that formed when the shale was laid down in Devonian times and Ohio was south of the Equator (ha! You thought I was kidding.) Guess what is at the center of the balls? An Arthrodire- a primitive shark! There are various theories as to why these balls formed, but no one really knows. Nikki asked a friend from the Nature Conservancy, and he sent us a great article about them.
Apparently there are thousands of these balls scattered along a line that runs from about where we are all the way up to Lake Erie. Lots of them have weathered out of the soft shale and are often seen as lawn ornaments. We are going to start looking! They can be anywhere from a few inches to 9 feet across!
So there you have it- my sharkey cousins are captured in the center of orange balls in Ohio, south of the Equator! And you thought fiction was strange.
Miles today 13.2 hard ones. Total miles so far: 777.8
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