Tuesday, November 13, 2007


NaBloPoMo #13

On the way out to the Valley of Fire, yesterday, we noticed the highway and different areas lined with stacks of rocks. We were on the Moape Indian reservation, and my imagination ran amok with the possibilities of their significance. I asked one guy at the first stop we made, and he said "they mean nothing. People just do that."

Well. My wonderings of indian spiritual prayers were prematurely dashed. That's not very romantic.

Still, I couldn't believe that people would just pull over and stack rocks. There had to be an origin! The emperor has to be wearing some clothes here!

We stopped to ask a park ranger. After trying to convince us that they themselves place them there in memory of every tourist that was abducted from the park by aliens, he told us that they're actually called HooDoos.

The ranger was unsure of the origin, knew that it had been around a couple hundred years, but explained that with each rock you stack, you say a prayer. The higher your stack, the more likely your prayer is to be heard and wishes granted. They are, basically, indicative of fortune and good luck.

Ha! I knew there was some romantic spiritual connotation behind them.

High Five!

"But," the ranger went on, "we park rangers hate them."


He went on to tell us that though they do give folks inclined to spray paint rocks and carve their initials in them another avenue of expressing themselves, it's also one of the most frequently asked questions to the rangers, and they want folks to focus more on the petroglyphs, and the history of the park. There are bigger and better things to know there. They knock them down.


Maybe the emporer really is wearing no clothes.

But at least he's got his spongebob boxers on.


  1. We wondered the same thing. It's sad that they knock them down!

  2. Hey, are you guys going to try or have plans to meet up with Mary & Q?
    They are there now too ... aren't they?

  3. Very interesting. When we were in Korea in June, we spent 24 hours at a Buddhist temple in the mountains, and those little pile of rocks were all over the place there. The Buddhist priests, likewise, try to discourage people from setting them up, but don't tear them down. There is still a lot of animism in Korea, and they apparently have something to do with animist prayers. Fascinating that the same religious practices exist on opposite sides of the globe.

  4. The best natural hoodoos of all are at your Bryce Canyon NP. Fantastic to walk through.

  5. It is a shame the rangers knock them down...we had some college students doing that here in our local park this past academic year and it drew quite the crowd.

    Great post loved it.


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