I come from a family mad about hats....no wait,that's another post.
I come from a family prone to stacking rocks. Not to any purpose other than just to stack rocks. It's not worth any money(hmm, maybe it SHOULD be....or not). It gains us nothing tangible to the world at large. It's just fun. like stomping in a puddle...only someone else can come along, some time later, and see what you did.....maybe understand what you meant....even if you're not sure what you meant
Usualy, about five. round river rocks seem to be our favorite. less than five is too easy. more than five is just showing off(and maybe a little obsessive).
Boy scouts used to stack rocks, or so the handbook said, to mark our trails. We never went anywhere we needed to mark the trail. We were all there together, and it was hard to get lost very far at Camp Wilderness in Kansas. Indians did that too. The hand book said so. I kinda think maybe they KNEW where the trail was. It was okay for the Boy Scout manual to call us/them Indians then. Or Native Americans as we're called now, even we "mixed bloods"..and yeah "Indians" is just too confusing - Indians like New Mexico or New Delhi?)
I believe my brother Michael probably first incited me to stack rocks, though I'm pretty sure our oldest brother, G. has also indulged in a bit of rock stacking of his own over the years. I would not be surprised to find out that my Mom or Dad or maybe one of my Grand Dads had stacked a few for no good reason either.
Michael, he seems to always have been stacking rocks, at home, in public or out in the middle of nowhere. by the river. next to a tree. water seems to increase our urge to stack. I think it's like the urge for him to fish. Michael is always ready to fish at the drop of hat, or the flip of a single fin above the water surface. The Main family fisherman. No big Bass Masters aspirations or big deal buddy drinking trip weekends...just....fishing. out there in the woods, or pasture, or hills, down by the lake, the river, the creek...just him and the fish...and the rocks to be stacked and left for someone or no one...either way is fine.
It's something kinda primal. it touches the artistic, the architectural, the spiritual, the communicative. It says to whomever finds it "I was here. I came, I felt, I stacked - and I left it for you" Occasionally, I find a stack someone else has left. It always brings a smile to my face, "gotcha, I see you. I understand."
I once googled stacked rocks. I was surprised how much I came up with.
One report from Northern California was about some hikers, way up in the Sierras who found what appeared to be recent stacks, which they seemed to think must have been done by Sasquatch because "what human would do this way out here so far from anything" Um, My brother & I absolutely would. Sasquatch...maybe. Barnes....definitely.
So, if you're out in the woods, next to the creek, or walking down town, at the edge of the park, and you happen to look over and see five rocks stacked up for no apparent reason, think of us. we're out there. We stack rocks.