Dad and I visited the Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods and Glen Eyrie today. Photographs from Garden of the Gods are below.
Our last house was down the way from this beautiful location. I would frequently drive through the park as a means of relieving stress after a hectic day.
Garden Of The Gods Official Website:
"Garden of the Gods Park, with its vertical red rocks and Pikes Peak views, is recognized worldwide as an iconic landmark of the American West.
Three of North America’s major ecosystems converge within the Park’s boundaries. Its varied rock formations reveal one of the most extensive displays of earth history found anywhere.
Garden of the Gods Park is nationally known as a cultural crossroads where American Indians, explorers, “Pikes Peak or Bust” gold-seekers, railroad builders, homesteaders and health seekers all were drawn to the red rock formations that mark the dramatic meeting place of the Great Plains with the Rocky Mountains."
The park is 3,300 acres (1,300 ha) and it was established as a park in 1909 when the land was donated by Charles Elliot Perkins' children. It is a Natural Monument designated as Category III by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Geological Data that Aut was too lazy to compile. It is borrowed from Wikipedia but it is accurate (amazing, that!)
"The outstanding geologic features of the park are the ancient sedimentary beds of red and white sandstones, conglomerates and limestone that were deposited horizontally, but have now been tilted vertically and faulted by the immense mountain building forces caused by the uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. Evidence of past ages; ancient seas, eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, alluvial fans, sandy beaches and great sand dune fields can be read in the rocks.
A spectacular shear fault can be observed where the Tower of Babel (Lyons Sandstone) contacts the Fountain Formation. The name Colorado is said to come from the color of the sandstone. There are many fossils to be seen: marine forms, plant fossils, and some dinosaur fossils.
The hogbacks, so named because they resemble the backs and spines of a pig, are ridges of sandstone whose layers are tilted. Instead of lying horizontally, some layers are even vertically oriented. Each hogback can range up to several hundred feet long, and the tallest (called North Gateway Rock) rises to a height of 320 feet (98 m) tall. A notable rock feature on this hogback, the Kissing Camels, appears to be two very large camels sitting face to face with their lips touching. The hump on the northern-most camel broke off from erosion and heavy climbing."
I hate it when I spend time typing only to find that Wiki has assembled the facts. I also am amazed when Wiki gets the facts correct.
As I was saying -
The park has its own dinosaur: Theiophytalia kerri was officially classified as a unique species not too long ago (but discovered in 1878). It was an herbivore beastie that lived on the cusp of the inland sea that was tucked into Colorado itself. Yes, there are seashells and other marine life fossils within the rock formations throughout this area. [ DinoData - Theiophytalia kerri [sG] [T] ]
The pictures here are all mine. Use them as you wish as long as you don't abuse them.
A bunch of ridiculously fat tourists pretending to hold up Balancing Rock
I need to comment on that.
Without fail, the conversation always plays out like this:
"Hey Bubba! Lookit that rock!"
"Yeah Dahrlin, that's a big ass rock. Woooeeee. Get up there, mama, and pose like you is holding it up."
"Bubba, I doe'n know if I'll make it up thar."
"Well sugs, you just try now, and I'll snap yer picture."
** panting, groaning, torn clothing and red dirt up the nostrils **
"Ok Bubba, dahrlin, I'm up here."
** Tourtist proffers routund bottom as she strains to hold up rock with both arms, her fat face shining from the effort of climbing up the rocks **
You ought to know by now that I don't like tourists. LOL
Now back to your tour. There isn't much more.