July 30, 2013

Garden of the Gods

In Colorado Springs for work, not really vacation, but still had to enjoy some scenery. A couple colleagues and I woke up early AM before work and hit the Garden of the Gods. It's a collection of views you see in a lot of Colorado postcards, so I was expected quite a grand park. Turns out that though it's designated a National Natural Landmark it's really just a quaint little city park. The entire loop road took less than a half-hour to drive, with photo stops included, and we ended up doing it twice to take advantage of the rising sun.

The "garden" of rock formations was created from a natural fault line upheaval millions of years ago. A gathering place and spiritual center for almost ten Native American tribes, the geological croppings in the park show ancient sedimentary beds tilted on edge or stacked vertically by the pressure of the mountain-creating forces that ultimately formed the Rocky Mountains and nearby Pikes Peak. Closer inspection of the rocks shows evidence of ancient glacier activity, forgotten seas and beaches, ancestral mountain ranges, dune fields, and eons of erosion. The morning we visited, many of the rocks seemed to glow orange and red in the new day's sun, especially Balanced Rock.

See below for some pictures from the driving loop in the park. Pictures 1 and 3 below from the Blux Pro app for iPhone5, the remainder were snapped with a Nikon D90 and my go-everywhere 18-105 lens.