Several years ago, while on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN, I began building cairns and taking photos of them. I post the photos on social media quite often and usually get asked by at least one person, “Why do you do this?” The other question I am asked is, “What is a cairn anyway?” So, we will start by answering that question first.
Why Build a Cairn?
The answer to the question of why I build them? There are a few reasons. The first is because my husband is a landscape photographer. While he is setting up to take a spectacular photograph, I often have time to sit by a stream and balance rocks. Which leads me to the second reason why I build cairns. It is therapeutic y’all! I find such a peace in searching for the perfect rocks and spending time trying to stack them as high as I can. The third reason is because I love to leave my mark. It serves as a conversation piece for those who follow behind me on the trail, on the beach or down the creek.
Where to Build a Cairn?
Anywhere! Anywhere you can find rocks that will stack anyway. I am obsessed with trying to build my cairns taller and build them using more difficult rocks to stack. My kids even ask now, “How many rocks did you stack this time?” I have built cairns just about everywhere we have vacationed since we visited FoxFire Mountain, near Gatlinburg. I caught the bug after that trip and have built them in Shenandoah National Park, the creeks of Indiana, the beaches of Florida, and the mountains of Georgia, to name a few.
Take Your Cairn to the Next Level!
I absolutely love that my friends tag me in their cairn pictures when they are on vacation now. I can’t help but think that I might have inspired them to take a few quiet moments to stack some rocks and enjoy that same peace I find when I do so. I’m officially that crazy cairn friend that they think of when they see one and I love that! I started a Pinterest board to pin inspirational cairn photos of new ideas and more challenging stacks that I would like to try. I honestly can’t wait to find the next spot to build something awesome!
Have You Built a Cairn?
Tell me about your cairn building experiences! Share photos with me and tell me about the fun places you visited when you built one. I would love to hear from you!