Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Cairns of Upper Hutt

Mysterious piles of stones have been appearing along the banks of the Hutt River over the last few months.
P2041217 One of the large cairns
The mystery builder turns out to be Finn Howell, a local man who started his building projects in memory of a friend.  Since early September, he has built 23 cairns and pyramids dotted along the river bank, working at quiet times of the day to avoid being spotted, and he is inspired by the stone structures he had seen at Machu Picchu and Stonehenge. "I just went to the river and did it. They're just cool because they're built from the rocks and it's fun and it's free."   The interest from others has spurred him to keep building, aiming to get the structures to at least head-height – taking up to 20 hours to construct each one. "I've got to search for each rock. Each one has to be the right shape."
Finn HowellPhoto by PHIL REID/Dominion Post.
There was no one building more cairns this morning when we went down to the river to check them out.  We saw one little pile of stones after another dotted along the river bank, and several rather substantial cairns too.  Some had painted stones with messages.  A tremendous amount of time and hard labour must be invested in making these cairns.
P2041222 A cairn built of tiers
Other river-goers had begun to help add to the tally, with about 15 "random" cairns now scattered between Lower Hutt and Kaitoke. 
P2041223 Smaller cairns dotted along the river bank
It all seems good clean fun to us and is a bit of local interest.  Let’s hope they remain there and escape the attention of the regular river grading for flood control.

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