Over the weekend I lost a battle with a cairn. Or at least my finger did. I was over in Leavenworth to give a talk to the fine folks of the Wenatchee River Institute and the Barn Beach Reserve. It was a great event with about 70-75 people attending. They were definitely a hiking crowd with many quite familiar with cairns, particularly in their own backyard of the Enchantments. On Saturday we regathered for a cairn building session on the Barn Beach property. A trail passes through the area and the cairns would help direct people from one trail segment to another.
We began by collecting rocks from several nearby rock piles. It was good rock: blocks of granite with rough surfaces. We then picked a conspicuous location, as discussed in my book, a began to build the pile, always seeking to provide enough batter for stability. It was during this part of the cairn building that my finger was wounded. I distinctly remember thinking that I needed to avoid crushing my right hand when placing the rock I carried. I was successful there but unfortunately I omitted to notice that my left hand, and in particular my pointing finger, was about to be placed between a rock and a hard place. The result is below. Rather ugly but much less painful than it looks.