The redness of the Utah deserts kept me company as I trekked through its canyons, hiked upon it vast mesas, and explored it unusual rock formations. I went to the desert to see naked geology. A land striped of its lush greens. A land where space is felt. A land where great distances of time can be hard to fathom.
One would not think that our Shawnee Hills would share much in common with the Utah deserts, but I was surprised to see that there was a connection. On my fourth day of travels, I encountered Natural Bridges National Monument located in southeastern Utah close to the Arizona border. As, always, I headed to the visitor’s center to see if they had any hiking guides or literature on area. I, also, checked out their displays on geology, culture, and history. As I was reading the display (see photo on above) I was shocked to see the link this park had with the Shawnee Hills. Near the bottom center of the display was our Pomona Natural Bridge located in the far depths of Illinois amongst other natural bridges located around the US.
I was instantly taken back home and felt a sense of wonder and pride that our area was being seen by people everyday. It reminded me just how special our area is and that even though the Shawnee Hills is not a massive area it does hold national treasures that are just as important as our western friends.
I left the visitors center and explored the three expansive natural bridges of this area, but my mind kept slipping back to the Shawnee Hills and the photo of the Pomona bridge and I smiled to know our region was being exposed to the world.