Monday, July 16, 2012

Colorado Vacation July 6, 2012. Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods.

 The next day, we headed about an hour and a half south of Denver to Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was a very overcast, rainy day, but we knew the people of Colorado Springs needed the rain. This is the town that saw a horrible wildfire. We originally planned our entire vacation (the majority of it anyway) here, but had to change plans at the last minute because of the fires. Most of the attractions had been closed, and I scrambled days before we left to find an alternate place to stay. It was crazy! We were ecstatic to find that many things had reopened since the fires had been contained.
 We decided to drive down for a day trip to see what we had originally planned on seeing before heading to our condo further north of Denver. We enjoyed a leisurely drive enjoying the sights.
Finally, we arrived at the Garden of the Gods visitor center. (We are big fans of visitor centers!)
This is a free attraction with miles and miles of paved walking trails and bike trails as well as hikes which was right up our ally.
You can see a lot of red rock formations, and it is amazing to think of the many Native Americans who once roamed through this land.

Before starting out on our hike, we enjoyed some views from the visitor center, and stopped to take pictures.
My favorite thing about this place was how the sign actually had the month and year on it. What a great idea so you can always remember when you were there! Micah has learned how to say, "Cheeeessee!" when we take a photo. If he is in the right mood, he'll look directly at the camera and say cheese. That's what he was doing in this photo.

A really nice lady from the shop took our family photo, and I had to crop t his one guy out. Although, you can still see his elbow a little bit.

We were told we could park closer to the actual main park trail that takes you through the center of the garden. We opted to take the extra mile and walk along a trail for more exercise.

It turned out to be an interesting, rocky trail to hike alongside the roadway, but it was pretty level. Again, we were in love with our jogging stroller every time we came upon paths like these.

As we got closer, we started to see the amazing rock formations! I also got excited about teaching my landforms social studies unit this year. I have some wonderful pictures to show my class. (Teachers are always thinking of these things, I promise.)

This photo was taken by me on my iPhone as we approached the main trail.

Stopping for a photo opportunity before entering the actual "garden" of rocks.

The sky cleared up as we started on our walk through the Garden of the Gods, and I was thankful for the beautiful blue sky with temperatures in the seventies!

All throughout the park, we saw people rock climbing and repelling. You could sign up with various shops around the area. It was neat to watch, and I'd love to repel. I don't think I'd want to climb that high, though.

There were all sorts of cracks and crevices you could climb into, but we opted for me taking a picture sitting on a rock instead.

Micah was excited about his walk. We left his "Mr. Bear" at home on accident, and he became very attached to this moose in the gift shop. Since our sleep had been on the slim side, we decided to buy him "Mr. Moose" as a hopes of replacing "Mr. Bear" at night. Believe it or not, it worked! Whew!

Also, may I say I never wanted him attached to anything, but I haven't had much of a choice. He loves his Mr. Bear and his fingers. I guess we'll deal with it one day. For this trip, he loved his Mr. Moose.

A picture of the sign on the trail.

It was a wonderful morning of sight seeing, but we weren't through yet! After the Garden of the Gods we got crazy and headed to Pikes Peak, too. Here's our photo montage of the morning.

Next up is Pikes Peak!

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