Vacation Story

Last year we vacationed in New Hampshire. There weren’t a heck of a lot of obvious destination activities in that area of the country. But, since we liked interesting minerals, and one of Livia’s favorite activities was picking up rocks, we decided to give the Ruggles Mine a go.

The mine turned out to be beautiful in its own rocky, cavey way.


Ruggles Mine

Marshall could hardly be pried away from one of the caves. It was dark, chilly and muddy, like a cave should be. Sections of the wall were mica. Mica is the major mineral find at the Ruggles Mine. In fact, the mine is located on Isinglass Mountain (“isinglass” is an alternative name for mica).

mica cave

That’s my mom plucking a piece of mica from the cave wall.

When we were just about done exploring the place, I sat down on a large rock in the shade and looked around me.



I picked up an interesting rock and showed it to my mom. She pronounced it a “rock with character.” A couple of minutes later, my husband came by with a rock to show me. He said, “I doubt this is anything really interesting…” And I said, “But it’s a rock with character!” He was pleased.

Suddenly I noticed that all around us were rocks with character. I picked up several of them and put them in my bag, knowing full well how heavy they’d feel as I hiked back up the hill to the mine entrance. Laden with buckets and bags of characterful rocks, we trudged back to the car.

When we got back to the cottage, I got out of the car and noticed a pretty rock on the ground. Surely it had a lot of character! And there was another and another. The whole darned state must have been covered in rocks with character.

And then one day after we returned to Rhode Island, I was walking through the local woodlands, and what did I see? Why, it was a rock with character! And there was another and another. There were rocks with character everywhere!

The moral of this story is (take your pick) . . .

A. Everything is more interesting when you’re in a new place.

B. We take for granted the beauty in our everyday surroundings.

C. Rocks, as a general rule, have a lot of character.

D. Something else that seems obvious to you but which has escaped me and you are free to mention it in the comments.

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