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  • Writer's pictureEric Anders

Monument Rocks

I hate going through states I've never been in and not doing something or seeing something special in that state. As we traveled to and from Colorado, we passed through a state I'd never been in: Kansas. I knew finding something special in Kansas, with regard to travel, was going to be challenging as it's known for the three B's: basketball, barbecue and boring. However, with optimism in my heart, I set out pre-trip to find a place of utter beauty and interest to satisfy my requirement. After exhaustive research, I narrowed it down to three potential options - acres of Tallgrass Prairie (😯), the Shivering Sheep yarn shop (🤨) or what I ultimately decided on: Monument Rocks- a national landmark. Upon our return home, we ventured about 30 miles off-route to visit these pillars of chalk. Apparently my family felt that I was having my own Clark Griswald moment, taking the family to what I felt was a unique, and enriching destination, filled with family fun - one they'd remember for the ages! After traversing down 6.5 miles of sparsely maintained dirt road and turning a final corner, these large, cream-colored formations emerged...a thing of beauty to the well-trained eye! Becky immediately began laughing, noting the remoteness of the chalk pillars in the middle of nowhere Kansas, surrounded by cornfields and oil rigs, that I've dragged my family to. As we approached the parking area and stopped, I immediately busted out of the family van to get a panoramic view of these ashen, natural structures. I felt like the Dad in "A Christmas Story", looking streetside back into his house at his "major award" as I exclaimed, "Would you look at that! It's just beautiful!" At this point my wife was choking on her spit with laughter, knowing I was thee only one enjoying the best thing the entire state of Kansas has to offer. None of the boys had yet lifted up their eyes to even recognize the existence of these chalk pillars. I alone appreciated their majesty! After a few minutes of exploration, Sam emerged from the vehicle - finally, at least one of my sons would share this moment with me! As he oozed out of the side door with the alacrity of a turtle pulling a piano through a sand pile, he said, "My turn to drive?" Awesome. Glad we could share this moment together. I took a couple more pictures for posterity, and off we went, back on course to civilization. Enjoy the photos - "they were 'beauts,' Clark!" :)

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