So now we come to what surely will be the biggest find of the fall hiking season, codenamed “Dongoba” for now. The silly origin of this name is a abridged form of the title of a REM song: “Don‘t Go Back to Rockville”. Dongoba is sort of a town of rocks, see — well, never mind, I’ll probably change it soon enough anyways. 🙂
It all started innocently enough, as do many startling discoveries I suppose. I decided to get away from Wealthy Mtn. for a new hike, for a change, and while walking up a familiar trail in neighboring Frank Park, saw what appeared to be a faint path heading off to the left that I hadn’t noticed before. It continued for about 100-150 feet — again this was a trace path, barely noticeable — until I encountered what can only be described as a rock sculpture or rock art pictured below: 4 fairly large stones stacked on top of each other in a seemingly meaningful and aesthetically articulate way.
This was certainly surprising, but what I found within the shading rhododendron just beyond was plain breath taking: two more rock stackings, the largest containing probably *50* rocks or more, according to my guesstimation. My phrase of choice for all of these stone art pieces, presently, is “rock temple”, which especially seems to apply to the 50 rock version, the largest within what I define as Dongoba, centered around the head of a small stream or brook. But there are at least *6* separate stacks of 4 or more rocks in this defined area, as well as a few others downstream on this brook I’m presently also calling Dongoba, but might also be named NORRIS per more recent blog posts. I’ll attempt to get clarification from Hucka Doobie (and Dongoba itself!) on that asap.
Trees of Dongoba.
Mysterious humps or mounds also are found in the location.
Another rock obviously stacked on purpose atop a moss covered, dead limb. There are a number of isolated rock stackings like this at Dongoba, also.
Perhaps these sticks, as well, have been intertwined with each other by human or humanoid hands.
Before examining the largest of the rock temples in further detail, I decided to head up the ridge in search for more such stackings. To my pleasure, the woods remained open and easily hikable all the way to the top of the ridge separating Dongoba from the now familiar blog place of Whitehead’s Crossing. At the flattest spot on this ridge sourly exists the thickly pined Woods of Howl, and even a crisp, sunny day such as this cannot totally dispel its haunted, twisted essence. No way would I dare tread this small wood at night, or even in or near twilight.
Briefly contemplating a descent toward Whitehead Crossing instead of back down where I came from, I choose the latter, my thrist for knowledge about the Dongoba temples gnawingly unquenched.
As I descended, I took more pictures of what could be purposely stacked limbs to complement the stacked rocks of the area. I’ll have to think about that possible aspect further.
Curious patterns on a fallen tree limb. Meaningful as well?
Using trick photography, Dongoba lichen and moss covered rocks enlarge to become an unearthly forest of their own. More magic of the place?