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Old 12-16-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
JoeCedar
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Large Nail or Spike

I was recently eating lunch on a big rock in the Opalescent river just below the old bridge site on the trail to Allen Mt. Looking down I saw a large nail lying in the sand of the riverbed. It is square (3/4"), about 12" long, weighs 1 3/4 pounds, and tapers to a point on two sides. The head is angled on four sides (called a rose head) but if it had been used the head showed little impact. The pitting on the iron indicated it had been in the river for many years.

Logging operations occurred on the Opalescent in the past and a nail like this could have been used to tie logs together, but it seems awfully large.

Does anyone know what a nail like this would have been used for?

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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Looks like a tie spike Joe. Espescially with the rosehead on it. Its possible that they were used for the construction of a bridge or dam way back when from materials that were used to build the rail line. If I am not mistaken they used to pack things like this in bushel barrels, and likely there were lots of extras around. No need to get something else and spend more money if you alread had a supply of these on hand. Very cool find.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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FYI:

http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/services/233/srv233law.html

(specifically #4)

There are many artifacts throughout the Adirondack Park forest preserve that should not be collected. If something looks old it should be left to lie where it was found. I assume this includes relics from the logging era and even "garbage" left behind in old dumps now on state land. If something appears to be particularly interesting, take coordinates and report it to the State Museum.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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FYI:

http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/services/233/srv233law.html

(specifically #4)

There are many artifacts throughout the Adirondack Park forest preserve that should not be collected. If something looks old it should be left to lie where it was found. I assume this includes relics from the logging era and even "garbage" left behind in old dumps now on state land. If something appears to be particularly interesting, take coordinates and report it to the State Museum.
Does that mean we can stop packing out other person's trash that we find? Following the letter of that law leads me to that conclusion. I really don't think a rusty nail in a riverbed rises to the level of "archaeological significance".

A trove of Clovis Points would.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Except as otherwise provided in subdivision three of this section, no person shall appropriate, excavate, injure or destroy any object of archaeological and paleontological interest, situated on or under lands owned by the state of New York, without the written permission of the commissioner of education. A violation of this provision shall constitute a misdemeanor. The discovery of such objects shall be forthwith reported to the commissioner by the state department or agency having jurisdiction over such lands.
I did say "if something looks old". One should probably be able to tell the difference between what could be an artifact and what was left behind by sloppy campers last month. Let's take for instance Cedar Lake LT#1. The large piece of rusted steel that looks like it was once a ski to a sled should be left. The plastic sled and teflon cookset can be carried out.

The reason for this is that if there is ever a study of the area a lot can be discovered by where certain artifacts are located. I have been required to attend archeological training twice before being allowed to volunteer to pick up trash in Yosemite. They were very firm in saying that even a fragment of something old (piece of glass or ceramic for example) should be left as is. To remove an artifact there is a misdemeanor on NPS lands just as it is on NYS lands...I would imagine for the same reason.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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The reason for this is that if there is ever a study of the area a lot can be discovered by where certain artifacts are located. I have been required to attend archeological training twice before being allowed to volunteer to pick up trash in Yosemite. They were very firm in saying that even a fragment of something old (piece of glass or ceramic for example) should be left as is. To remove an artifact there is a misdemeanor on NPS lands just as it is on NYS lands...I would imagine for the same reason.
I was with a group who while bushwhacking stumbled upon some pottery shards protected under an area of large boulder rock fall deep in a wilderness area of the Adirondacks. There were enough large pieces to determine a pattern. The pieces were left as is in place, and the NYS Museum was contacted. The museum sent out an archeologist who confirmed the pottery was indeed at least hundreds of years old of native design. The pieces were cataloged and removed to reside in the museum, for fear that they would end up in a later hiker's pocket and lost from further study and public display.

You will find in the NYSDEC State Land Camping and Hiking Rules: "Removing plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal."

When it comes to plants, you wont be bothered if you forage for personal use (berry picking), but you can't harvest more than you can use in a short time. Ranger LaPierre likes to tell the story of a group from NJ who he found with several large bags of fiddle-head ferns. Approximately 3000 of them, as I recall Joe's story. They could have been fined up to $100 for each fiddle head, but the judge was much more lenient with a considerbly smaller fine and told them to go away.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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I was with a group who while bushwhacking stumbled upon some pottery shards protected under an area of large boulder rock fall deep in a wilderness area of the Adirondacks. There were enough large pieces to determine a pattern. The pieces were left as is in place, and the NYS Museum was contacted. The museum sent out an archeologist who confirmed the pottery was indeed at least hundreds of years old of native design.
Wow, that's a pretty awesome find!
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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How is the crossing Joe?? how will the crossing be in winter? Do they freeze?? thanks
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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How is the crossing Joe?? how will the crossing be in winter? Do they freeze?? thanks
Blackspruce expressed her opinion over on Viewsfromthetop a few days ago. When I was there last week the Hudson was clear of ice and about 8" deep (I waded across barefoot). After a rain it will obviously be higher, ice or no. The old metal bridge has been pulled out of the river, but has no decking for about half way across. It cannot be used at all. The Lake Jimmy log bridge was not quite frozen but will freeze soon. The Opalescent was not frozen all the way across and will be tricky till it freezes fully. I rock-hopped to get across. Usually, without rain, it is OK most of the winter.

So, the message is that hikers will have to be very careful with both river crossings, depending on recent weather/temperatures and especially rainfall.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:26 AM   #10
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Blackspruce expressed her opinion over on Viewsfromthetop a few days ago. When I was there last week the Hudson was clear of ice and about 8" deep (I waded across barefoot). After a rain it will obviously be higher, ice or no. The old metal bridge has been pulled out of the river, but has no decking for about half way across. It cannot be used at all. The Lake Jimmy log bridge was not quite frozen but will freeze soon. The Opalescent was not frozen all the way across and will be tricky till it freezes fully. I rock-hopped to get across. Usually, without rain, it is OK most of the winter.

So, the message is that hikers will have to be very careful with both river crossings, depending on recent weather/temperatures and especially rainfall.
thanks Joe.. I was told about that TR and looked, missed it somewhere. Ill recheck..
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