Pepper and I have known each other since our sophomore year in college (1992, y'all!). She and I were in the same sorority, along with Gina who was a year behind us. Gina lives in Wichita, KS, now and each summer takes her children on the self-named "Tumbleweed Tour". They check out historic, quirky, beautiful, and fun places all over Kansas (apparently, it's possible to fill more than one summer doing this - I know, I was surprised, too). Gina, being a 21st Century Mom, blogs about their adventures and Pepper and I follow along.
This year, Pepper and I are heading west and plan to do our own, miniature, Gina-inspired Tumbleweed Tour along the way. The trip's theme is "Geology" and our first stop is Rock City in Minneapolis, KS. The town's most famous resident was George Washington Carver, who actually went to high school here. Fun Fact: as a teenager, I lived across the street from John C. Crighton, a man who had worked with Dr. Carver. Six degrees, eh?
Rock City was not a town dedicated to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, as I had hoped. However, it was more fun than I anticipated - and fascinating, too! The park has giant boulders, specifically Sandstone Concretions. The spheres have been whittled and shaped by weather, wind and time.
A panoramic view of Rock City.
At first, all the rocks looked more or less the same. But after walking around for a bit, I was amazed by the many and varied textures. Rocks that looked like the surface of the moon, gentle waves, petrified wood, tire tread. It was extraordinary, really.
The rocks remind me of Rebecca Crowell's abstract paintings, which seem to spring forth directly from the landscape. Her work has the effortless patina of age that makes them seem authentically organic.
Pepper and I climbed on the rocks and the view from the top was great! It's the perfect spot to stop if you're taking a road trip with the kids. The park has picnic tables strategically placed in the deep shade of trees, and a charming cottage gift shop. Let them burn off some energy while you eat lunch and stretch your legs!