Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Serious Texas Hoodoo Cairn Controversy

Long ago, in the first decade of this century, I regularly hiked the Tandy Hills in Fort Worth.

At some point during that first decade there was a news story out of Utah about a scout master leading his troop of Boy Scouts in toppling over a Hoodoo in Kodachrome State Park. That state park is located right by Bryce Canyon National Park, at a much lower elevation, and features similar rock formations.

Around the time the scout master got in trouble in Utah an artfully stacked pile of rocks appeared next to one of the Tandy Hills trails. I remember seeing this and thinking it to be a remarkable feat of rock balancing. I took a photo and blogged about it, speculating on what created this remarkable feat of rock balancing. And with Utah Hoodoos fresh on my mind, I jokingly speculated about this, wondering something along the line "Was this a natural formation I had not noted before? A Texas version of a Utah Hoodoo".

Upon returning the next day I found the Tandy Hills Hoodoo had been toppled, just like that Utah Hoodoo. And then over and over and over and over again, new Hoodoos would appear on the Tandy Hills, always to be knocked down again.

So, yesterday I made mention of having been erroneous regarding the correct name of the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. This prompted an amusing comment from someone named Cowtown Crude...

Cowtown Crude has left a new comment on your post "Learned To Remove S Biking Wichita Bluff Nature Area With Thunder Cracked Window":

"...that I have been erroneously adding an 's' to Bluff.".

You also incorrectly refer to cairns as hoodoos.

Cairns - a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline. Man-made

Hoodoos - shafts of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins. Naturally occurring.

A recent episode of Jeopardy! included a clue with cairns as the answer.

I knew those piles of rocks were not really Hoodoos, and that such piles were often manmade trail markers known as Cairns. But, I think I will stick with wrongly calling these remarkable feats of rock balancing Hoodoos.

Scroll down past the below Cairns and you will see my all time favorite photo, and some Washington Cairns

At some point in time during the 1990s, my nephews Christopher and Jeremy took me to the Mount Baker Ski Area on a warm September day.

That is my Favorite Nephew Jeremy on the left, which would make that my Favorite Nephew Christopher on the right. If you regularly read this blog, a few days ago you saw a photo of Jeremy and Christopher kissing their mother during Christopher's wedding weekend in Cabo San Lucas.

Jeremy and Christopher are sitting on top of Tabletop Mountain. Behind them is Mount Shuksan. The Mount Baker volcano is in the direction Christopher is looking.

And behind Jeremy and Christopher, between the nephews and Mount Shuksan, you can see a row of Cairns. I am just about 100% at the point in time I saw these I did not refer to them as Hoodoos. I don't think I knew of Hoodoos then. I don't remember if I knew they were known as Cairns at that point in time.

Looking at that photo of JR and CJ it causes me that homesick feeling. I was looking forward to seeing such scenery this summer. I doubt the hike up Tabletop would have happened. That would be fun though. It's an easy hike with a long series of switchbacks taking you to the top.

I do not plan on visiting the Wichita Bluff Nature Area Hoodoo Cairns today. But, my current plans may change as the hours of the day roll on by...

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