Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Go West: Garden of the Gods: May 30th, 2013

We continue on our Colorado Journey with a trip to Colorado Springs. It was a beautiful day for two very different Colorado landscapes: Garden of the Gods, and the Crags.  First off, the Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods is a public park that is administered by the city of Colorado Springs.  The main features of the park are the crazy rock formations - it looks like a giant was playing with clay and left balled up bits and half-built sculptures lying around.  The sky was a remarkable shade of blue, the rocks were red, the trees were green, the scattered clouds were a brilliant white - it was a great day to get out the camera!

Welcome to Colorful Colorado

Although the scenery is definitely on the wild side, the park itself is not.  We casually ambled amongst the crowds - people with baby strollers, people walking along in flip-flops, people smoking cigarettes, all along a paved path.  At first I was kind of turned off by the crowds and the asphalt.  But then I decided that it was a good thing - a great thing, really - that such a neat park was accessible to all who wished to see it.  It wasn't just for those folks who can handle a strenuous hike.

Garden of the Gods, growing giant boulders and spires

It is possible to climb ON some of the rock formations.  We saw a few actual rock climbers (with equipment and ropes and such) climbing up the face of one of the rocks.  We also joined some regular, flip-flop wearing folks by climbing up some of the rocks that did not have fences around them.  It was actually pretty easy to get up and feel like you were the only person in the park, in the wilds of the west.  I wonder what it was like for early explorers to come across these rock formations.

This is another situation in which nailing down an exact mileage is difficult.  We climbed, we wandered, we doubled back.  I'm going to guess that we walked about 2 miles total.  But this hike was less about the traveling and more about the scenery, to be sure!  I'm glad Joe has his awesome new camera - takes much sharper and more vibrant pictures than mine, no?

the only one of these pictures taken by me, considerably less vibrant (except for Joe, ever vibrant)

More to come on the second half of the day - a very different kind of Colorado Hiking experience.  :-)

Total miles hiked today: 2 (at Garden of the Gods)
Total miles hiked in 2013: 24.8
Total Superior Hiking Trail miles hiked in 2013: 6.8
Total ticks today: 0
Total ticks in 2013: 4

1 comment:

  1. That is one of the more bizarre land formations! Definitely ranks up there with Devil's Tower for me. I'm glad you had a beautiful day to enjoy it.