Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present.
In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. However, since prehistory, they have also been built and used as burial monuments; for defense and hunting; for ceremonial purposes, sometimes relating to astronomy; to locate buried items, such as caches of food or objects; and to mark trails, among other purposes.
Of course you know as soon as the husband saw all these constructs…
He was going to have to build one of his own.
And it was going to have to be made with boulders.
Oh… the effort and planning that went into this.
Meticulously searching the shore for the perfect shaped rocks.
The rearranging… the balancing.
Don’t let them tell you size doesn’t matter.
His very large cairn.
He particularly liked the way the bottom stone looked from this angle.
For his sake, I’m hoping the first high wind doesn’t knock it over.
FYI…. there are no cairn memes that don’t involve cute little dogs.
Never let it be said I’m not up for a good waterfall.
Sadly, this Mother wasn’t.
It sounded promising, so we headed down.
And while it was a pretty spot, I didn’t see a whole lot falling.
Oh, there were stacked rocks.
And precariously balanced rocks…
But even when we followed the sound of running water, there wasn’t much falling.
I’m sure it’s much more impressive in the spring.
But we still enjoyed the walk, the day, and…
A scenic drive…
And a lovely old bed and breakfast later….
We followed someone’s advice and stopped for a meal at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel.
Tucked away out back, down some dark steps… we found what I can only describe as the local dive bar.
Local workmen at the bar (shooting us disgusted looks) and slumming prep school students from Gould Academy made up the clientele. Uncomfortable chairs, spotty silverware and a disinterested (borderline surly) bartender/waiter… who made us wait longer than he had to… made us question why we were there.
But despite the business card decorated ceiling and questionable decor…
There was surprisingly good food and at least 2 dozen beers on tap.
Mr. Personality even accommodated the husband’s preference for grilled chicken with his chicken parm.
Which just goes to show you can’t judge a bar if you’re from out of town…. or something like that.
Our 4th day ended at our resort with us walking past the strange carved bear out front.
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was praying for new carpet.
We kept climbing higher, getting closer to the falls.
But did you see it? In the bottom right hand corner…
I didn’t when I was filming, but then I took a picture.
While I usually pick up litter we find along the way while hiking? This I left alone.
I don’t even want to know….
Up a thoughtfully constructed rock staircase.
Deeper into the woods.
I kept thinking, geesh. Are we ever going to reach the top?
One required sun drenched selfie later…
Past the well marked trail tree…
We finally saw the top.
The view was going to be killer… I knew it.
Anxiously preparing for the money shot, I found this –
You mean I hauled my (considerable) butt up this hill/ gorge/ mini mountain for bupkus?
They even had the flags running across the falls themselves.
Damned right it is! Why would you open a waterfall up to the public, create a trail, install a bench, mark that trail very carefully so people could find the top….and then not let them access the top? It’s criminal, I tell you.
And it made me wonder if the discarded unmentionables I saw down below were in way of protest.
I felt the same outrage! But not quite enough outrage to leave my own behind. There are limits… even for me.
Making our way back down to the parking lot I was so ticked off I didn’t take any pictures, until I saw this…
Early morning day 4, we woke with the sun and headed out for a hike to Step Falls.
I wish I could convey the sense of peace that envelops me when I walk into a forest. The fresh air of natural places, the gentle breeze swaying the leaves. The sweet songs of the birds, the whisper of the trees. It’s pure magic.
I don’t know who’s responsible for finding these wild and beautiful places and opening them to the public… but I’ll be forever grateful.
Step Falls in Bethel, Maine. In October when we visited… gently cascading streams. In spring during snow melt season? Torrents of angry water rushing down the mountain not caring what lies in it’s path.
Many of the places we visit are free to the public, but are maintained by local volunteers who ask that you donate to help with costs. Most people never do, so we make a point of it each and every time.
And with this Cycloptic donation box…. how could you not?
The paths were wide and friendly…
Although I couldn’t help but feel I was being watched.
Into the woods…
Up the hill, where we first heard the falls.
Up some stone steps.
Up some fortuitously placed tree roots.
We see a bit more water.
Not even close…
Past some weird trees growing right around the rocks.
More of the falls.
And a not very comfortable but necessary granite bench to stop and let the husband take a breath.