Last weekend my friends asked if I might like to go for a hike, so I said yes. I couldn’t really think of any place in particular, so they suggested this city park. I thought it would probably be full of people, but I had said yes, so this was where we went. That there was no parking available should have been the tip off that this wasn’t the greatest idea, I dislike crowds.
This is a great shot of “the Gateway” (really, that’s its name). I stepped to one side so that the vast horde that was there was not visible, but trust me there were scads of people milling about.
And there’s the Peak, with a few visitors that I could not crop out. It was a beautiful sunny weekend and was pretty warm, about 80 degrees F.
As it was about 5 pm when we finished our walk (3 1/2 miles by her Fitbit) and there were lovely shadows on the ridge to the north. We are outside of the park, because that’s where our cars were. But, it was a nice finish to the day (and we had certainly walked further than I had planned on).
This weekend was a completely different story. It was cold (about 50 degrees F) and the day was rainy. It was quite easy to find a place to park, I had my choice of spaces on a close in lot. And I always have an umbrella in the car, so I decided to take a stroll.
Here’s the Gateway again. The rocks look a lot redder when wet.
And the Peak seems to be missing! (Not to worry, it’s back again today, covered in fresh snow).
All and all it was a great day to be strolling about, there were no crowds to contend with, and I got some pictures that are different than the jillions of photos I already have. 😉
To the west of my house is a giant (14,115 ft) mountain. And as effects of the light is ever-changing I take rather a lot of pictures of this, although some of the most interesting views are the ones seen through the windshield as I am driving along running errands.
A recent evening view. I also get a snapshot of this every evening as the street light comes on, from my doorbell (Oh thanks).
What makes this picture unique is that it was taken on May 21st, last year!
April of last year.
I generally like mermaids and I generally like octopi. but I somehow don’t really like them when combined in this art. But, I suspect that one could not find another city that has one like this (I hope).
I have heard a rumor that there are also beautiful sunrises on the mountain, but I personally have never seen one (perhaps one day). 😉
We have had a string of rather fine days for this time of year lately. First there was the day for the eating holiday, then there was the day for the shopping holiday, and then today was perfect for just being out strolling around and enjoying the sunshine. There is a spectacular city park, so my friends and I, and several hundred other souls went out to pay the rocks a visit.
And it was a great day for taking photos of the rocks. It was cloudy and overcast when we first arrived, but the sun broke through and lit up these beautiful rock formations.
The rocks are so photogenic, I would not be surprised to learn that thousands of pictures were taken this very day. But wait, what is that tiny blob up there on the ridge.
Why it’s some girl, waiting to get to the top.
Here’s the gang at the top, no doubt contemplating getting down without killing themselves. That part is apparently much easier (like falling off a log) than getting up, which requires grabbing on to the tiny handholds in the rock and pulling oneself up. The ropes are just there in case you fall off the log rock.
Then it was goodbye to the rocks til next time (I do have jillions of pictures that I have taken here over the years), and onward to lunch and still more shopping.
There are several attractions here in town for tourists, and as I am a resident, I try to avoid them. But a group I belong to wanted to go to this one, so I decided to give it a go and see if it was worth seeing.
And it has been a tourist attraction for a very long time. The donkeys are no longer available, so we parked over by a fancy hotel and took a shuttle bus. Then we took a tram uphill to the attraction, and then there we were at last.
So this is what we were there to look at. Those tiny ants are people walking up the 285 steps to the top. After walking up all these steps, one can go hiking (in case one is not tired yet), or spend $149 to ride a zip line down. Or if one is old, like myself, one can ride an elevator to this overlook spot and take a photo.
There were scads of tourists roaming about the place, even though it was a rainy, gray day. This tourist was taking selfies with the waterfall as backdrop.
It was a good idea to take the photos before the rain, because afterwards it was a waterfall of mud. Not nearly as scenic as the before.
Where there are tourists, there is an opportunity to take their money. This rather mangy looking stuffed mountain lion is at the entrance to the restaurant, run by the fancy hotel. The lovely thing about the park is that dogs are allowed (and I don’t think that they have to pay the admission fee) and so there were lots of pups there enjoying the place. I vaguely remember visiting over 30 years ago, I think I shall wait another 30 years before I go back. 😉
It’s a snowy and miserable day to be outside today, so I thought that I would share some pictures taken last year, on Dec 30th. My friends asked me if I wanted to take a stroll through our most famous city park and I immediately said “Yes!”. As it was sunny and warmish I didn’t even need to wear a jacket and it was ever so pleasant a day to be walking about.
There are beautiful views of the mountain from the park; what I am not showing is that we were hardly alone in enjoying this gorgeous day.
The park has these lovely vertical cliffs that were caused by the mountain pushing it’s way to the surface. Again what I am not showing is the crowds of tourists swarming over the rocks, quite near the signs saying that this is dangerous.
The cliffs have lots of handholds and toe holds so that they are possible to climb up without any special equipment, but, it is quite a different matter to get down. So the fire department has to come and rescue people from time to time.
They are lovely and mysterious, looming overhead. And one could spend endless time photographing them (I personally have jillions of photos). One photographer was fined for cutting down a tree so that no one else could take the same photo as he. But I am a casual observer, so after a few shots (okay, the batteries ran out in my camera), it was off to lunch.
Today Miss P and I were on a mission, to find and photograph some hoodoos. What is a hoodoo? One use of the word is a synonym for voodoo, but what I’m talking about is a column of rock, where the softer rock has eroded leaving a little (or big) hat of harder rock on the top. It sort of looks like a person.
Why? Well they are the sort of thing one runs into when one is out walking. But when you are looking for them, they suddenly disappear. It was tremendously windy today, so we just couldn’t get to one spot, but we did come across a few.
These ones are near the house and we spotted them on a walk on Sunday. (Note to self: Do not wear Birkenstocks when out hiking).
This puny one barely qualifies, but it is technically a hoodoo.
These ones are pretty puny too.
These ones are more respectable examples, located over by Pulpit Rock. There are even some in a neighbor’s back yard, but none in mine.
This is sort of a hoodoo, but it doesn’t have a hat.
A related thing is a balanced rock, which is not formed in the same way. We have a premier example right in a city park, which is formed by erosion after the uplift of the mountain.
This is extremely popular with tourists who drive up, snap a photo, and then go on to next tourist thing.
Because the mountain sits to the west of town, the sun goes down pretty early in the winter. But we sometimes get fabulous skies because the sun is still shining on the clouds. The sky lights up in golden splendor until the sun sinks a little lower into darkness.
I grew up in St. Louis, which is essentially a flat prairie town where two rivers meet, the Mississippi and the Missouri. It’s the higher ground, the bit on the other side in Illinois floods frequently. As far as we know, the Illinois side was the site of a great native city, Cahokia that was abandoned long before European contact. St. Louis was established as a fur trading outpost and grew into a large city of brick houses and prosperity.
Of course that is the distant past, in my past it has a different story. I remember it as a place that is hot in the summer and cold, cold, cold in the winter. The winters are full of grey skies, the clouds hang so low that it looks like you could reach up and touch them, or bump your head on them if you are not careful. In contrast, the beautiful skies and wide open spaces are part of why I love Colorado and New Mexico.
In the far distance is Spanish Peaks, which is about 120 miles away. the bluer mountains are the Wet Mountains, about 50 miles away.
Cheyenne Mountain is in the foreground, it is the site of NORAD, a (not-so-secret) military installation that extends for a mile inside the mountain.
A different view of the Peak.
The bump on the horizon to the north is Castle Rock. It doesn’t look very impressive in this view as there is a pass (high point) between here and there. It’s about 45 miles away. All of these pictures were taken on one of the many trails that run throughout the city. Anyone can enjoy these spectacular vistas.