Scones (was The bizarre nature of scones in the Bay Area)
It's not just the Bay Area. I live in the Midwest, and whenever I've tried scones they've been these hard, dry lumps. I don't know if that's what the original poster meant by "rock cakes," but the word "rock" is certainly appropriate.
Actual rock cakes are different from scones. Both have a low baked-good life span because they have no yeast and, often, a low amount of fat. The more fat in a non-yeast baked good (cornbread, biscuits, scones), the longer it will keep and be palatable. And the worse it will be for your waistline. If you can, bake early and often!