Leech Lake Indian Reservation, Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota—June 2016  47° 15’ 03”N 94° 13’ 17”W Elevation 1,297 feet

The “ground” on which the cairn rests is essentially a raft of grasses growing from a thick layer of moss and decaying plants, floating on 1 to 4 feet of brackish water. Stabilizing this tall and fragile tower was difficult because it is composed of many glass pieces that needed to be carefully stacked on-site.  This was difficult because the ground sank under the glass when the installer moved. The cairn toppled many times until it was perfectly balanced.  Because the ground was as soft as a wet sponge, the glass didn’t break when it fell.

This site is near the Leech Lake Dam and the town of Federal Dam.

History of the area from the Army Corps website:

Leech Lake Dam is located on the Leech Lake River at the outlet of Leech Lake. It is 27 miles above the junction of the Leech Lake River and the Mississippi River. Construction began in 1882; the dam was the second to be built in the Headwaters reservoir system. It was put into operation in 1884. The riverbanks are about 3,500 feet apart at the dam site, the largest span in the system.