I love cairns. I love their literal purpose, showing the trail, keeping me on track. And I love their symbolic purpose, showing the trail, keeping me on track. More of a treasure hunt than blazes on a tree or a clearly marked trail. Just far enough away that there’s always a moment of doubt that you’re on the right path before you see that reliable pile of rocks. There have been cairns where I couldn’t see them and had to look straight up onto a rock race, cairns that stand out in a stark scene or are hidden behind other rock formations. Some seem purely decorative, some make you wonder if it’s a trap to lead you into a river, and some make you wonder what could have possible happened here to merit so many cairns so close together. Some are a few rocks gathered from the area, some are true construction marvels designed to stand up to feet of snow to save you from a glacial white out with no chance of finding the trail. I love them all indiscriminately.