I continued up the rest of the road, and then the Tunnel Brook Trail, to the point where it encounters the the narrow runout tracks from the northern slides. I climbed up to the lower gravelly swath of the northernmost slide and took this photo of a patch revegetating with red spruce, white and red pine, and shrubs such as rhodora and sheep laurel.
Farther up the slope are the first bedrock exposures on the slide, composed of schist, a metamorphic rock of the Littleton Formation. I had visited these lower ledges a couple of weeks earlier.
Looking north across the slabs.
Reaching the lower ledges wasn't too difficult, but above here the bushwhacking was steep and rough, including areas of talus hidden in the scrub. Around the rocks the scrub was dense. Slow going.
Careful foot placement required.
After a prolonged struggle I emerged on the upper northern slabs of the northern slide, at the elevation where the fossils were discovered.
I edged out onto the slab for a look down.
Partway across the ledge was an unusual gouge in the bedrock, with an interesting trio of deep scratch marks just to the north.
I'm sure it's wishful thinking, but I thought one of them had a shape similar to the rock surrounding specimen #8709 collected by Marland Billings.
The next set of ledges - the upper southern part of the northern slide - appeared ahead.
This large outcrop featured many fractured tiers of rock.
Don't trip here!
This unusual fold caught my eye. Geologist Peter Thompson, who will soon be working on a new bedrock mapping project on the Mt. Moosilauke USGS quadrangle, commented, "The fold is beautiful, with two digitations marked by the inner distinctive layer. It appears to be an early fold in that the shape is quite isoclinal."
Looking back across the ledges.
More thick stuff heading to the next slide to the south.
There it is!
Casting a long shadow on the steep ledges below.
This bedrock is noticeably lighter in color than the schist beside and below it. Geologist Peter Thompson agreed that this was likely an igneous rock known as Bethlehem gneiss, which makes up the upper part of Mt. Clough. This is one factor that could point to this slide as a possible site of the fossil discovery, as Billings had mentioned the Bethlehem gneiss appearing above the site.
Neat spot to hang out for a while.
Zoom on North Kinsman. Mt. Cabot is on the left, above Bald Peak.
Bird's eye beaver pond view.
I started slowly descending on the slide in switchback fashion, admiring this view to Moosilauke's South Peak.
Not taking the direct route down.
Looking north across the slide.
The slide extends farther across to the south. This one must have been massive.
I backed off from the dropoff at the bottom of these slabs and took to the woods.
Luxuriant moss growth on some lower slabs.
The moss-grown slide track deep in the woods below.
Birch glade on the floor of the valley.
Last sun of the day on the Tunnel Brook Trail.
I paid a visit to the northernmost beaver pond.
The slide from which I descended was in plain sight above. The contrast between the two types of bedrock is plainly visible from here.
A three-slide view. The big one on the left is the most open of all the Clough slides. I've gone up on it several times and once used it as part of the route to Mt. Clough's summit.
Thanks to Peter Thompson for his insights into the geology of the slides.