Archive for June, 2008

Knocker 7

30 June 2008


This is the last knocker I’ve documented in Mountain View Cemetery. It’s by the second road down from the one leading to the top, on the uphill side. It looks like the gray sandstone that makes up much of the Franciscan Complex.

The bulk of the upper cemetery is underlain by Franciscan mélange, a mix of rock types in a weak, shaly matrix. You never see the matrix except temporarily in roadcuts; it quickly crumbles into soil and becomes covered with vegetation. The chunks of other rock types emerge from this soil, and that’s what knockers are.

There are other exposures of bedrock along some of the cemetery roads, but I don’t count them as knockers. And there are several knockers in the off-limits land at the very top of the cemetery. Maybe I’ll document some of them next. And I really should do one more concerted search to see if I’ve missed any.

Siesta Valley

26 June 2008

siesta valley

Last week I took a nine-mile ramble up Claremont Canyon, then along the East Bay Skyline Trail as far as Lomas Cantadas, then down to Orinda and the BART station. The trail goes across the head of Siesta Valley, an interesting geologic feature and a wonderful view (click full size). Route 24 cuts across the valley right in front of the construction, which will be Orinda’s newest neighborhood some day.

This valley is not a streamcut valley, but rather is formed by the folding of the rocks beneath it in a syncline. That’s a shape with a trough in the middle and upturned sides. (The opposite is an anticline, a ridge with downturned sides.) The notch that route 24 goes through is cut by a stream. My guess is that it’s a water gap, cut by the stream at the same time as the rocks were being folded. The rocks of the Siesta Valley are sandstones and mudstones belonging to the Siesta Formation, the next youngest set of rocks after the basalt flows of the Moraga Formation. Speaking of which, I also took this shot of Round Top from the north, with the old basalt quarry grounds in front of it.

round top


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