Lake Erie cairns

Are you guys familiar with cairns? A cairn is literally just a human made pile of rocks. Sometimes they’re used to mark trails, or signify someone has died in a certain spot. In certain areas they’re used as a hunting implement to direct animals toward a game jump. Other times, and in this case, they’re made just because they look really awesome. Basically there are tons of reasons one might build a cairn, and tons of places you might find one!

I remember the first time I saw cairns. I was on a camping trip, and we were kayaking down the river. We rounded a corner and, to the left, the rocky shoreline was covered in these stacks of rocks. There were TONS of them, and some were taller than me. I didn’t know what they were, or why they were there but I instantly loved them. I excitedly took a few photos. It was another year before I saw another one which I shared a photo of here! Four more years passed, and finally last week I spotted another while walking on the beach. It was only three rocks high, so hardly a cairn at all but it inspired me.

Before I knew it I had built a whole bunch of them. Our beaches here in Cleveland aren’t very rocky, at least not the ones I frequent but we do seem to have an abundance of bricks. I used a combination of rocks, bricks, logs, driftwood, styrofoam, and even trash to make mine.

wendy park, cairn, whiskey island, ohio
Rock stacking

They’re just piles of rocks but I can’t get over how awesome my little creation looked. I built them on a section of the beach that sometimes completely disappears when the tide comes in. I doubt my structures lasted more than a day or two but I hope someone spotted them before they washed back into the water. 

Don’t be surprised to see if you see more of these popping up on the blog later this summer. I’m hooked! I’m excited to go back and see what I can do with a little bit more time, and on a day when there are more large pieces of…well, whatever waiting for me! Building things on the beach is easily one of my favorite hobbies.

Check out my found on the beach tag for more interesting beach related posts!

Author: Kaylah Stroup

A collector of weird things. Plant Enthusiast. Wanderer. Beachcomber. Forever longing for the desert.

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