Tuesday, October 9, 2007


(this is one of our trips up Katahdin - when I was in highschool. All six of us, plus Torrey Sylvester, Jamieson, and Joey Adams). What a great day...

What is it about cairns that intrigue me so? I remember seeing these mysterious piles of rocks on the way up Mt Katahdin as a kid. It was a good thing they were there, too. It was a very foggy day up on the plateau above tree line, and we needed to know which way to go. These beacons, marking the trail, helped us on our way. There was also a big mound of rocks at the summit of Mount K, too. They call the mountain "Mile High Mountain" but apparently it was just under a mile....so people made a huge rock pile on the top and made it 1 mile high. Isn't that how the story goes?

I have been drawn to these strange sculptures for a long time... and my obsession was renewed on our trip to Iceland in August. I have had a small cairn in my front yard since I put in the landscaping a few years ago...it is a very modest one only three or four stones high. They are rounded rocks which makes it a little more difficult for balance. Every time I come into the driveway I glance over to see if it is still there. Sometimes it falls due to birds landing on the bigger rock that it is perched on, the wind sometimes knocks it over, but I always rebuild.

Another cairn I created (and maintain) sits atop Mt Sentinel, overlooking Missoula. I scattered some of Dad's ashes below two ponderosa trees and the cairn sits right next to them. It is a very special place.

Cairns have a lot of different meanings and purposes throughout time. Historically they have marked burial sites, marked trails, symbolized peace, friendship, balance, hope, and more. It can take on any meaning that you wish... This is the reason that I made Mom, Aunt Carlene, and Kathy a cairn.

Could I keep it a secret until Thanksgiving? NO! I gave Kathy hers, told Mom over the phone, and I assume Aunt Carlene will learn from Mom or by reading this blog. I just can't keep a secret this exciting. The next question is how do I transport these home to Maine?

Here is my write-up that is included with each cairn.

Here are a couple pics I got from Anne Marie!
One is a cairn in Norway...the other is a picture of Anne Marie!

1 comment:

Art said...

nice post - who's that aloof girl with the intense look? (boy do the shorts date that picture!) You still, amazingly, look the same.