Petrified Stories

Three portraits of metamorphic rocks in Idaho’s Gospel-Hump Wilderness. This area sits near the ancient west coast of North America, just east of the zone where islands began crashing into the old continent, delivering many of the rocks of Hells Canyon and eastern Oregon. The mica in these schist formations reflected brilliantly in the sun, as did the bright, white outcrops of quartzite.

I can’t seem to find a really solid geologic map of this particular spot (it may well not have been mapped in serious detail), but suffice it to say there’s been a lot of metamorphism, folding and igneous intrusion in here. We saw a bewildering array of schist, gneiss, granite veins, quartzite and possibly marble all intertwined. These stony scenes always make me think of songs without words, evoking long-forgotten stories that we can feel but never truly grasp.

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