Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013 A visit to Garden of the Gods

The day before Sandy and Sam were planning on leaving, Sam, Willow, Gabe and I went to Garden of the Gods.

This is the signature park for Colorado Springs, as far as I am concerned.  But it doesn't have swings and picnic benches and large grassy spaces to play.  This park is/was sacred ground for the Indians.  You can drive around the perimeter, and there are places to pull off, park, and get out to expolore.  If you want to visit the center of the park, you have to walk.

This place is an attraction for rock climbers, but if you're not registered at the visitor center and do not have the technical equipment, then you are only able to do some bouldering, and not more than ten feet off the ground.

There are hiking trails, and horse trails through out the park.  On our way to balanced rock from where we finally found a parking place, we walked past blooming barrel cactus.  Very pretty, but very stickery!

We also walked past a couple of deer.  Here is one laying on the ground.  He didn't even get up as we came closer.  The deer are used to the humans that invade their home.

At Balanced Rock, Gabe decided to hold up the rock so it couldn't fall!  What a strong boy!

Willow and Sam climbed on the rocks also.  There was a lot of people there that day.  Pretty much bumper to bumper traffic the whole way thru the park.  It is better in the spring and fall, and even in winter when the tourists all go home.

You can rent horses and go on a trail ride, or you can bring your own horses and ride without a guide.  Colorado Springs has several parks where there are horse trails, and horse riding is allowed.

At the end of the drive, Willow took a load off her feet and sat under a tree at the visitor center.

And I went out on the balcony of the second floor of the visitor center and took the iconic shot of the garden.  The park is full of these upright rocks that were turned on their ends millions of years ago.

This shot is looking west, at the very right, you can see the 'kissing camels'.  In the very back of the photo, above and a little to the left of the left rock, you can see Pikes Peak under the storm clouds that are rolling in.

I feel a painting coming on.....too bad it's such a common view of the Garden.

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