Posts Tagged ‘Chimney Rock’

Mother Nature Gives a Sign

Imagine you’re part of a wagon train during the great westward migration. For days on end you’ve seen nothing but flat grassland prairie. You’re only marker on the trail is the rising and setting sun, and the North Star. You wonder if you’re even making any progress, of if you’ll even manage to keep your sanity amongst the boredom.

Suddenly, it looms before you. Chimney Rock, sticking straight up into the sky, visible for miles around. The first sign that the plains are ending, the first sign that the next phase of the journey – the crossing of the great Rocky Mountains – is coming. At least it represents change.

Chimney Rock © 2008 America In Context

The story of Chimney Rock is the story of westward migration, but (like most of the nation’s natural landmarks), it was also of sacred importance to the native people of the land. Then again, like almost everything else, that meant little to the newcomers, the white man. Just like the land and the environment, Chimney Rock was a cast-off on the way to prosperity, something to be used and then discarded. The sacred pillar was even used for target practice by army gunners during the Indian Wars, how’s that for a slap in the face?

When I see Chimney Rock, I don’t see the spire as a pointer to riches in California. I see the Great Nature Spirit giving us all the finger.

The Finger © 2008 America In Context

[A short post for a small site. Pics are mine & copyrighted thusly.]


Chimney Rock National Historic Site

Google map to Chimney Rock

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