Monument Rocks, Kansas
One of the things I love most about social media is the ability to discover a place you might never know about. Thank you Instagram for Monument Rocks National Landmark in Kansas!
I've seen the argument that you shouldn't share whatever amazing place (especially a natural one) you've found because people will flock to the spot and ruin it. But I'm thankful to all the travelers and photographers out there who do share. I'm also a firm believer in leave no trace and being respectful of people you meet along the way. Just an FYI, no one likes to be buzzed by a drone in a secluded spot.
When I think about Kansas it's all corn fields and cattle ranches, my great-grandparent's farm, and the pond where I learned to fish. The memories are flat and slightly hazy. So when I saw a photo from Monument Rocks I knew we had to go.
Monument Rocks is located on private land and accessible to the public from sunrise to sunset. I wouldn't say it's out in the middle of nowhere exactly. It's surrounded by oil drills and related traffic (giant four by four extended cab trucks being driven by men wearing cowboy hats going eighty on gravel roads) and a well traveled state highway, but it's far away from anything big and even the smaller towns in the area are pretty far out. It's all cattle ranches, big skies, and dirt roads. In the forty-five minutes we were there a handful of other people came and went but we had the area mostly to ourselves.
Monument Rocks is unusual and beautiful, stark and otherworldly, surrounded by prairie under a wide blue sky. The country is beautiful and surprising, not at all the flat landscape remembered from my childhood, and I'd love to go back.