Then, one day, I saw some orange peels, eggshells and a candy bar wrapper next to one of the glacial tarns. And I lashed out: I destroyed every single one of those goddamned cairns. I mean to say, I obliterated the motherfuckers. This was no subtle carnage. I made no effort to aesthetically replace the rocks used to construct those cairns to their natural environment. As I kicked those cairns, I cursed the people who had built them.Is this where I admit to building an occasional cairn—never more than two or three rocks stacked—the way I learned in Boy Scouts? There is one in the photo, two rocks stacked on a boulder, that used to guide me to Camera Trap Spring before the forest fire made everything visible.
With regards to Pilgrim Gulch, I was likely too late. I ought to have disassembled the very first cairns I saw. I vowed then and there to never again make such a mistake.
And thus began what to this day remains a love/hate relationship with cairns and all they represent, both literally and figuratively.
January 30, 2013
Fayhee on Destroying Other People's Cairns
benefits of going off-route, getting lost, and not marking your path.