Thursday, January 29, 2009


One of my favorite outdoor activities is one I stole from an artist named Andy Goldsworthy. This amazing fellow spends hours and hours building stuff, creating, using just the stuff he finds around wherever he is.
I started creating this when I was kayaking in the Abel Tasman Park. I went out for a two day, one night experience and had a few hours before I had to board my houseboat at Anchorage.
To be honest, this is only half mine. I found it on a walk to Cleopatra's Pools, a series of pleasant drop pools in a small river. After walking about an hour, I passed two German hikers who decided that since they'd hiked the requisite 60 minutes, the water they were looking at must have been Cleopatra's Pools. They shrugged as it didn't look much like a pool to any of us, but I decided to keep on going. With a week of New Zealand parks under my belt, I figured (correctly) that there would be a sign. Sure enough, ten minutes later, I found the sign and made the detour up the side trail. Soon after, I came upon this rock decorated with round stones along its top rim. I decided to play along and run the spine up the middle. It was tricky because I couldn't place round stones on a sloping rock, so I had to find flat stones. I began at the top with larger stones and after placing a few, the slope of the host rock increased and it took quite a while to find stones sharp, flat and balanced enough to stand on their own and not slide off. I had several failures, but since I was working from the top down, I avoided any domino effect that would have taken out the whole run. As I worked, the stones became fewer and fewer until all I had were small ones. That's why I tapered their size along the route. I quite liked the vertebral effect that contrasted with the round stones above. For more of Andy's work, check out:

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