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Rock On

The big rock was deposited here in Pella about 500,000 to 720,000 years ago. It's fun to imagine what might have climbed on it since it was pushed to Iowa by a glacier. Dire wolves and Saber toothed tigers might have feasted on giant ground sloths. Elk and mastodons roamed and possibly were hunted by Paleo-Americans.. After the ice sheets retreated 12,000 years ago, passenger pigeons and bright green Carolina parakeets probably few over or nestled near the rock. Until 1842, Native Americans called Big Rock Park and the surrounding area home.

It's also fun to see how much joy the rock brings people today. How often do you visit the rock?

Climbing the rock can be a multi-generational adventure, as seen here with Jon Miller,Maddox , Lucas (the little guy), and their Opa .

Passing on the love of climbing the rock to the next generation.

Above are Sarah, Josie & Chester Lang with Mocha. They visit frequently from Minnesota and love to visit Big Rock Park!

Aspen and her people--Holden, Taityn, Emerson, and Breckyn --enjoy sunny days on the rock. You might say Aspen grew up on the Rock.

Teaching your puppy to climb the rock might be a local rite of passage.

You made it!

Dogs aren't the only pets who appreciate a good climb on the rock. Big Rock Park on occasion hosts a cat! Jack is well-known for his rock climbing skills and hangs with one of his favorite people, Maggie. Maybe Jack is imagining himself as the American cheetah, a now extinct prairie predator.

At one time, Alpine goats Jed and Gabby (above) hiked and explored the trails at Big Rock Park with their family, the Goodrich's.

The goats loved to climb rocks and downed trees. They had a blast climbing on the big rock at Big Rock Park. They loved to jump and would go flying off the rock and climb back up and do it again. They often wore backpacks and would carry water and snacks.

The rock was even used on the cover of a rock album in the 70s, featuring the Pella musicians and their dog.

You might say that the rock, deposited during or before the last Ice Age, has been free for locals to enjoy since before recorded time. It could even be called the Rock of Ages.

Thank-you to all who submitted photos!

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