a reply to: Night Star
I've not seen this exactly, but something very related to it I have seen extensively.
In Wyoming where I grew up there are piles of stones known as "cairns', and these 'cairns' have a very interesting history. Cairns are created for a
number of reasons, but the Basque sheepherders who roam the wilds of Wyoming have created a whole language with them.
I worked as a surveyor for a while on pipeline projects and we'd get into some pretty remote country. I have always been very outdoorsy too so I
spent a lot of time in the wild. I was always amazed when I'd be somewhere where I was certain no other human had ever set foot, and suddenly I'd see
a cairn. I wasn't the first person to stand in that spot. One time I had an old Basque herder explain the stories of the stones.
Cairns would start out as a navigational marker, but over time they would grow and diminish over time. The rocks were stacked in such a way that
other herders could tell not only where they were going, but also the last time someone had been there, who it was, and what direction they were
traveling. As each Basque herder passed by they would add, or take away certain stones. In some cases they would rearrange the cairns completely.
Everything had a meaning. It could be decades or even centuries before someone would visit a cairn someone made, but that was the whole point; they
endured time. In some cases herders even had their own signature and left 'calling cards' of stones, they were greetings of sorts.
It was really fascinating!
One day when we were out surveying in a very remote area (hundreds of miles from the nearest paved road), we were looking for what is known as a
'Section Corner'. The western United States had originally been surveyed back in the 1880's, and many of the markers they left behind by what was
known as the "Wagon Wheel Survey" were markers which still existed. Some of these markers were made of stones, another form of a cairn. We had some
of the most sophisticated electronic distance measuring equipment available at the time, and this one particular marker was proving very difficult to
locate. Our job was to re-establish the marker (or "monument" as they were called) if the original one couldn't be located. All day long we had seen
a cairn in the distance but it wasn't where the marker should have been, so we kind of ignored it thinking it was probably put there by a Basque
sheepherder for a different purpose.
Back at the truck that day, while eating lunch, we were reviewing our math and calculations for what we had done so far. The crew chief found a math
error at an angle we had turned earlier in the day. This meant we were going to have to go back to before that point and redo the rest from scratch.
(bummer! this was probably 10 miles and 50 points or so). It would take the rest of the day and we still wouldn't be back to where we were until the
The next day when we returned, we swung one final angle with the instrument and guess what was directly in the bullseye of the instrument?? Yep, you
guessed it...the cairn we had seen the day before! That pile of rocks had patiently waited for us in the high deserts of the American west for over
100 years. That pile of rocks had endured freezing winters, hurricane winds, scorching sun, rains and all manner of weather. It stood there like a
time machine from the past. Not far away we found some remnants from an old wagon and some arrowheads. Whether that event happened at the same time
or a different time we never knew, but it was pretty amazing to experience history like that.
P.S. - We documented the location of the wagon and the arrowheads and turned them in to the Historical Society of Wyoming. They would piece together
historical accounts and records in an effort to determine what had happened. I never did hear anything further.
edit on 12/23/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)