The surprise of Monument Rocks

For my first real post here on True Kansas, I’m going with an image of Monument Rocks in Gove County, KS. Future posts will feature plenty of the “expected” Kansas (farms, cowboys, never-ending wheat fields, etc.), but I want to be sure to also share some of the lesser-known surprises that the state holds — if you make the effort to get off of the Interstate to explore.

Some of you may feel that Monument Rocks isn’t all that unknown, but I’m surprised how many Kansans, are shocked when they are shown an image of it. It is stunning, especially the first time you see it in person, rising out of the flat, surrounding plains. The chalk spires are the result of erosion, and they do continue to erode. Over the years that I’ve been visiting (maybe more than 40 years now?) I’ve seen changes. The “keyhole” you can see in this image was actually a pair of openings on my first few visits — a very small one centered over the top of the larger, main hole. Whether natural erosion joined the two, or if humans “helped,” I can’t say. But I will encourage anyone that visits to take care. These are not “permanent” granite formations, they are fairly soft. So soft that walking and climbing on them take their toll. Please be respectful of them, and the property owners, by admiring them from a safe distance. But do admire them.

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