Search Lobsterland

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Rock City (Kansas)

After my Lucas adventures, I camped at Wilson Lake and then headed out to take the blue highways tour going home. That lead to Lincoln, Kansas, where I had a fantastic breakfast at a diner. An old-timer two stools down from me told me about how his father had been a stone mason and had quarried the post rock by hand. The old timer told me stories he said he'd heard from 'old timers.'

The City Hall for Lincoln is a huge structure made of this hand-quarried limestone. My old timer wasn't too keen to talk until I said I'd been admiring that building and pondering how much work it took to build with low-tech hand-tools.

That opened him up like a can of sardines.

One of the waitresses at the diner tipped me off about Rock City, not the one in Michigan known for making cars.

This Rock City is made of what are called 'concretions' — sandstone that's been calcified basically. They were harder than the sandstone around them so they're still here.

Not that they're all that hard, they're marred by a seemingly infinite amount of graffiti carved into their surfaces, but still quite impressive.

This is not the sort of stuff you picture when you picture 'Kansas.' Growing up here in this state, I think I had a bit of an inferiority complex, that somehow every place outside Kansas was hipper, more interesting, in every possible way superior. But if you travel the state with open eyes, it's amazingly varied and thoroughly interesting. Yes, there are vast expanses of flat land in the southwest portion of the state, but there's also the rolling prairie, the Flint Hills, there's freaking Rock City. Mushroom Rock, too (I think that'll be another post). And some chalk features I didn't get quite far enough West to scope out on this trip, though I hear they're quite impressive. Not to mention the motorcycle museum (surely another post).

I wonder if I'd have had the same inferiority complex if I'd grown up in, say, California or New York. Do kids like me grow up in New Orleans or Anchorage thinking their home is so pedestrian it couldn't possibly interest anyone? I mean, really, Kansas isn't even actually flat (some of it is, but most of it isn't, get out on a bike and find out for yourself).

No comments: