A Cry for Cairns

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October 27, 2012 by gossiportsmouth2

Don’t get us started on Hurricane Sandy. We’ve already stocked up on enough strawberry pop tarts (home made thank you very much) and ginger beer (imported from Brooklyn) to last us until at least Election Day if not the end of the world in December (that’s still a thing, right?). But there is something we did not prepare for, and we might just weep come Wednesday.

As you may or may not know, and if you are re-reading this you probably definitely know, people have built a rather huge collection of cairns at one of the rocky beach spots in Rye, NH — that beguiling town to our south. Many of the cairns are above the high tide line, but something tells us that a tropical storm or hurricane cares not for such markings, especially when combined with a full moon. So this transcendent manifestation of Sif, that Norse goddess of terra firma, might soon be bye, bye, bye.

We ventured out to this collection of piled rocks today to get one last good look before Sandy destroys a mesmerizing scene.

Piles of rocks are called cairns because that is what the Scottish demanded in the Magna Carta.

To get to these rock piles from Portsmouth, go through the Foye’s Corner traffic circle headed towards the Seacoast Science Center. Once past the SSC, drive into the second parking area on your left. Climb over the giant rocks to the beach and there, standing in front of you, are dozens of cairns.

The architecture of cairns is inspired by rocks stacked upon each other.

We are not certain who built all of them, but we did build two of them. Be careful not to knock them down because we heard that brings on a heart attack for the person who built them. Which reminds us, be extra careful when building your own because you could kill yourself if the rocks tumble by a slight twitch in your hand (which may be an early sign of a heart attack anyways, but just be careful please — these are people’s lives).

So strong, but yet, so delicate.

Rumor has it that cairns were historically created to mark trails or seafaring passages. Which is all fine and dandy, but we’d prefer a boat carrying us to use a GPS.

The cairns also remind us of the beautiful ocean front property up and down the New Hampshire seacoast. While during the summer months we are often found yacht gawking, it’s the autumn, winter, and spring that find us gable gazing. The cairns seem to say that those mansions over there are not really that great because the cairns have a better ocean view (an ocean view that might destroy it, but whatevs, right?). And even if cairns are just an analogy for the 1% and their beautiful houses, we still like cairns. Socio-political theory is draining by the way.

So before Sandy gets here, take a drive down Route 1-A and gander at those fine rock structures — maybe even add your own to the mix. But once the hurricane gets here and knocks out our power, know that those cairns are but history. A history of a bunch of people now having heart attacks because some stupid hurricane knocked over some rocks. Way to go Sandy, you’re a real winner.


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