One peak rises highest in the vicinity of the ranch and that would be my 3 mile destination. This hilltop was supposed to have a cluster of cairns. Around here we call them HooDoos. I went to see them. These rolling modest clean hills around us are volcanic sediment and so sagebrush clung hold but not so often. Brief barren steps got me up hills to their tops which looked almost bald of vegetation. The wind has blown across these crests for so many centuries that bushes could never take hold, not in recent centuries anyway.
I’m under a tree smaller than the mightier cottonwoods which line the creek through the center of the ranch. Typing these words about yesterday’s ridge top adventure I lounge on lawn chair, I’m in the shaded apple orchard. My Macbook is made by Apple. The dappled light flickers as I type.
On the hilltops I’d seen the topping cobbled with rocks. It all looked so perfect I commented more than once that I thought it was bought at Home Depot and installed here. No grass or soil remained and down the sides the soil laid on top of black rocks that stream down in vertical trickles scoured, abiding by gravity. I call them the stretch marks where the soil has broken way to the rocks’ exposure. It becomes apparent that the entire hill is made of these big black rocks while the dirt had settled on top. All the hills are that way here, handsome.
I could see out over the valley of Haulupai to the Black Rock playa itself, glowing with white dust devils carving across it as the sun bounced its rays off the playa to meet with my eyes perched 12 miles away.
But these cairns were not all ancient. I think only one of them was. I say this from observation/experience. This feels like looking at crop circles, pondering how old these are and what people it was that made them. Graceful symmetry blessed the real ones. Precision placement ensure the pinched rocks distribute weight evenly throughout these constructions. Impatience permeated the “fakes”.
There’s this natural draw to stacking rocks. This seems to be apparent once you open the wiki page for cairns. They’re all over the world, everywhere there are rocks there are cairns. Hoo doos. We’re the king of nature’s builders and we see stacking when we look at rocks.
In the morning I was grinding a shipping container with Korean and French writing on it with doomsday rust that’s probably seen every vista the world has to offer, including the wide open seas and the interior urban cores. My grinder was wireless powered by a battery and spinning at super speeds. I’m using a cordless drill with stripper attachment. The other tool is a grinder which spins at much faster RPMs but the wire wheel attachment doesn’t do the job perfectly. The combination of the two tools is working well. It all wails like a sick stork.
My headphones are shiny blue and wireless playing tunes stored on my battery laptop. Mobile is important. The charging of the battery comes from wall sockets which here, on this ranch we’re off grid, meaning a huge ugly generator with it’s own building bulls this place with power. A few windmill on rooftops spin here, not for looks. Solar’s out back.
The horses are for looks only like trophy wives. I’m starting to love horses for very superficial reasons. There’s no where else I need to be. Thanks for being open to my journey.