Here in the southwest we mark our trails with neatly-stacked rock piles called cairns. When one follows cairns a lot, one becomes cognizant of the countless different ways stones can be piled up: messily, artfully, crazily, larger-to-smaller-ly, monochromatically, unbalanced-ly, demurely, or with a surprise on top. I’ve photographed many beautiful cairns in the past three years, each time with a nod of appreciation to its builder whose personality shines through in the making.
Yesterday on the Alcove Spring trail I added a new adverb: FISHILY! Rounding a bend in my 11.2-mile hike, a rare desert carp occupied the trailside. Made my day. Whether an ichthyologist or an artist had a hand in this, I tip my hat to the one whose creative spark has brought many a smile along this daunting trail.