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Annual Sermon Against Rock Arrangements

 I usually look for a change in my walking route down through the canyon system.  I couldn't remember if it was possible to get into the last side-canyon from the south.  So I took my best stab at it and was immediately rewarded with rounded gravel, rather than the sharp rocks that are hard on doggie paws.

And indeed I made it down to the bottom and felt pretty cocky about it.  Soon there was a rock cairn.  I dismantled it.

Please don't think that I am unable to look at things from other people's point of view.  The person who built the cairn probably thought it was harmless or even helpful to other people or themselves.  They thought they were improving the situation, and that is a positive thing, isn't it?

But it destroys the mood that other walkers are trying to slip into.  Some people love getting confused and trying to make a route work.  That is why they use the term "adventure."  They (and I) can get annoyed by other people's "improvements" taking the mystique out of a route.

This is a trivial example of a common annoyance in the snowbird Southwest.  And yet it perfectly illustrates the split in two schools of thought:

1.  Conventional bourgeois snowbirds.  Everything should be clean and tidy.  And safe and convenient.  There can't be too much comfort or expense in their rig.  If camping can be made expensive, then campers will be better people.  They should wait until 11 am to start their walk, so that it is nice and warm.  They hope that, someday, all dispersed camping is reduced to rectangles of equal size and enrolled in a national database; would-be campers then go online and reserve their dispersed site six months in advance.  A new mandatory national-service bureaucracy takes charge in raking the leaves or rocks off their campsite prior to their scheduled arrival.

2.  Romanticists who need a little uncertainty or hint of danger in their adventures.  They see the RV lifestyle as a rebellion against the System -- that is, the bourgeois rat-race -- rather than the fulfillment of it, reserved for their emeritus years.

Rig like this don't increase the "property values" in this neighborhood. How can bourgeois snowbirds tolerate this?


Anonymous said…
I don't get it either.
Hard to comment about it without being rude.
Everybody's different & people are funny creatures.
Good thing we're still free to choose.
For now. Enjoy it while you can.
Anonymous said…
I kept pondering how to comment without being rude.

I thought of your cairn disruption and this came to me. Why would someone stack a cairn?
I have done this myself, in my yard, chilling in the sun, next to a pile of rocks. How high can I stack this pile, finding the center of gravity, flat sides, etc.

Could it be that someone resting there, did as described above? Why? Just for fun? That got me thinking about the rver’s mentioned. Do they collect and ring their sites to make some order out of the chaos of stones around them? Out of chaos – order. And you busting it up. Out of order – chaos.

Sure sounds like the world today!
Order versus chaos? Well, I never thought of it from that angle. I was thinking about tamed versus untamed, or discovered versus undiscovered.