Thursday, September 03, 2009

Colorado Springs - The Garden of the Gods

I finished up my conference early this afternoon, and Agnes and I decided to begin our miniature vacation here in Colorado Springs with a visit to the marvelous park called The Garden of the Gods. This is a truly breathtaking place, with beautiful rock formations, forests, and meadows crisscrossed with miles of hiking trails. And the best part is that it's all FREE! Yes, the property was at one time owned by a gentleman named Charles Eliot Perkins, whose children donated it to the City of Colorado Springs in fulfillment of Mr Perkins' wish that it "be kept forever free to the public." The operation and maintenance of the park are paid for by various municipal taxes and the proceeds of the visitors' center and gift shop.

We parked at the main parking lot and joined a nature tour led by a young park ranger who gave a very enjoyable rundown on the plants, animals, and - of course - rocks all around us. At the end of her tour, Agnes and I hiked up a trail to a higher elevation for some other views. It's hard to describe the sheer beauty and magnificence of the park, so a few pictures will have to serve...

Most of the major rock formations have names. I don't remember most of the names, but this one is called "The Kissing Camels"....

There are lots of bears in the mountains, and they often come down into the park looking to get an easy meal in the trash people leave behind. The park tries to discourage them by installing bear-proof trash cans set in concrete, with lids designed to be difficult for bears to manipulate and impossible for them to reach through in search of treats...

Here are a few random photos of vistas in the park...

Since this is, after all, my blog, I get to include a gratuitous photo of myself...

A few more gorgeous scenery pictures...

And a nice picture of Agnes and I, taken by a fellow who was repaying us for taking pictures of he and his wife...

Between Agnes and I, we took a total of 241 pictures, almost all of which are spectacular. It's hard to shoot a bad photo of a place as beautiful as The Garden of the Gods.

Tomorrow we're going to try to ride the cogwheel train to the summit of Pikes Peak, and visit Seven Falls. I'll try to put up more pictures tomorrow evening.

Have a good day. More thoughts (and pictures) tomorrow.

Bilbo

7 comments:

bandit said...

Fabulous scenery there!

Leslie David said...

In some ways reminiscent of Sedona AZ but I'll bet you don't have energy vortexes. :)

Mike said...

In the gratuitous photo, who's that Dr. Suess character next to you? Is it a Who?

Wv: detari - What you get on your footi when you step in fresh asphalt.

Mal's Team Gherkin said...

Amazing rock formations! Glad ur both having a wow of a time :)

KKTSews said...

Lovely photos! When I was there on business in May I didn't have time before the park closed to go see it. Lucky you had the time and so nice Agnes is retired so she can accompany you.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Is that mountain waving for you in that one pic Bill?

Amanda said...

WOW! No wonder its called the Garden of the Gods.