Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cairns: Valuable trail markers

Carin by Upper Lyman Lake
Hart Lake Cairn
 Throughout the long hike I noticed occasional piles of rocks gathered together to form pyramids. These piles of rocks are called cairns, which are a means of marking the course of the trail. I discovered many cairns were along clearly defined trails and served nothing more than simple reassurance that someone had gone before, and this was indeed the trail. However, there were times, especially when through long rocky sections, when cairns were the only means of identifying the trail.

Unlike the multitude of signs in the city, where all of the street corners are most always identified, out in the wilderness there simply is very little signage. Even when arriving at the lakes, there were no identifying signs, except to remind folks not to camp within 200 feet of the lake. Cairns provided reassurance as I went on my way that I was on course.
Isn't it great to receive an affirmation from someone for a job well done?  Seems a lot like a cairn, indicating we're on course, utilizing our talents.

Cairn on rocky trail

Trail questions…         

When have you been down a long rocky path with little to indicate you’re on the trail?

What helped you to get through this rocky stretch?

What have been the cairns in your life that help you to know you’re on the trail?
What cairns/affirmations might you share with others to help them know when they’re on the trail?

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