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Cairns: Messengers in Stone

Cairns: Messengers in Stone

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Writing messages with rocks is an ancient gesture that continues to speak to our imaginations. From meadow trails to airy mountaintops and wide open desert, cairns -- those seemingly random stacks of rocks -- are surprisingly rich in stories and meaning. They can indicate a trail, mark a grave, serve as an altar or shrine, and reveal property boundaries or hunting grounds. Built the world over as essential guides to travelers, cairns help people connect to landscape, find their path and communicate with others.

In Cairns: Messengers in Stone, geologist and acclaimed nature writer David B. Williams (Stories in Stone: Travels through Urban Geology) explores the history of cairns from the moors of Scotland to the peaks of the Himalaya -- where they come from, what they mean, why they’re used, how to make cairns, and more. 

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