Thursday, March 28, 2013


I'm not referring to the town Down Under, but those piles of rocks that line trails and direct travelers. Be they made of stone, wood, bone, old cans or whatnot, these stacks of stone have been used throughout the world and across time. Some are obvious trail markers, some are the last known points of explorers lost to the pages of history, some are the repository of fatigue or fear.

In my friend David B. Williams new book, Cairns: Messengers inStone, he investigates the silent monuments, their meaning, their history. From foreign lands to Arches National Park, Williams covers the globe to uncover the story of stacking stones.

One of my favorite chapters dove into cairns the ill-fated Franklin exploration party had left that contained tin cans and other objects indicating that the group had passed through an area. Searchers could only tear apart these stone monuments and examine the pieces, wondering what had happened to the party.

Silent Stones

Not all cairns are constructed equally
So if you are in for a good read, check out Cairns; you'll never look at another stack of stones the same way...

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