Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rockin' in Helena

Imagine a roughly square block of granite, something like a cubic yard in volume, with a score or so of railroad-spike sized holes on its top surface. To my knowledge, no one else in the world has such a boulder sitting beside a 100-year-old lilac tree near his back-yard garage.

OK, I'll try to explain. A person who owned my house back in the late 1960s discovered the boulder near Marysville, a ghost town about 25 miles northwest of Helena not far east of the Great Divide. It was a relic of mining past, in which miners would gather for festivals, perhaps on the Fourth of July, and have contests. One of those contests involved pounding spikes into rock. (In the mines, a stick of explosive would be shoved into the resulting hole and set off, thus expanding the mine.)

Anyway, this fellow wanted it (today one hopes such scavenging would not occur), rounded up a bunch of helpers, drove to Marysville, and somehow got it into his pickup truck and drove it back to his house. (I learned this from a friend of the guy, and I regret that I didn't ask more questions. But the opportunity ended shortly after when, in a casual conversation about drugs, my then-wife mentioned that, oh, yes, we had tried pot in college. My up-to-then friend and his wife were shocked to their gentle cores, and shunned us from then on.)

I did learn, however, that unloading the boulder involved the loss of a tailgate.

At any rate, this afternoon, while staring into the backyard hoping to see some hissy does or feisty bucks but only seeing this dumb rock, I got to thinking - just how much does that thing weigh? To the computer I hurried, Googled the question, and learned that an average weight for granite is 166.5 pounds per cubic foot. If my boulder is a cubic yard, that makes 27 cubic feet: about 4,500 pounds!

If anybody wants to see this wonder, just come around. And if you want it for your own backyard, heck, just pick it up and take it.

1 comment:

  1. You CAN'T give away the rock! That is my inheritance.

    -Your greedy son.