Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Precarious Balance

This world is a wonderful place. Amazing things abound. Even in a place that you have visited countless times before, you can be surprised. My family and I were surprised this weekend. We were back in the Smokies, hiking a trail we have hiked many times before. On the Middle Prong trail, we found this rock scuplture left by some other hiker.

We thought it was a neat find on the trail. And we even tried our own balanced scuplture.

We did pretty well for amateurs on our first attempt.

The drive to and from this particular hiking trail follows the Middle Prong river. As we drove along the river after our hike, my oldest son spotted something unusual in the river.

Someone had balanced a variety of river rocks atop other river rocks.

We stopped for a closer look...

...and found a modern mountain Stonehenge.

It was all very surreal.

All known laws of gravity and physics appeared to be broken, but still the rocks stood unaided. The scene had a mystical feel.

I researched a bit and found that rock balancing is an art form and hobby. At the river, all of us tried to balance rocks with various amounts of success. None of our sculptures were as impressive as the ones we found. But here is Helios' example of balanced stacking style.

I wonder how long all these stones will remain standing? We'll be back in the Smokies again in a few weeks and we plan to check.


  1. love the pictures and the pagodas(sculptures) Reminds me of a place in MA. called "the Peace Pagoda" where all along the trail people make rock sculptures. Very cool photos.

  2. My nephew-in-law does this. I've also seen the tradition of adding just one stone to an existing "monument" as kind of a solidarity thing. Very cool.

  3. That is SO awesome!!

    It makes me want to go for a hike (which I never, ever want to do) and try a little rock balancing of my own.

    Love it.


Whaddaya think about that?