Portland Arch Nature Preserve is located near my hometown of Covington, Indiana. It features this opening in the sandstone walls which was formed by Bear Creek. The creek flows through a deep ravine with high rock walls.
My dad, Sam Miller, was the volunteer steward for the preserve for more than 30 years. He led nature talks through the preserve, maintained the trails, and identified the plants and wildflowers. He worked with the Indiana Nature Conservancy to do what he could to make sure others could experience it.
I think that I can speak for my family in that the preserve is where we feel the closest to being with him again. As you pass the visitor sign-in and walk down the rocky path to the Arch it feels to me as if I am entering into a cathedral-like quality of quiet and peacefulness. It’s like dad is walking with you and nodding at the features that catch your eye. Knowing this unchanging beauty is always there is a calming image even with the many miles that keep us from experiencing it firsthand.