Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Colorado Vacation: Day 2 Garden of the Gods

 I was really excited to visit Garden of the Gods from the pictures I had seen on the internet. The rock formations seemed unreal and seeing them in person is amazing.

The parking lot gives you a glimpse of how majestic these formations are but it's the walking path that really shows them off.

The path winds its way through the rocks giving you different angles and views. The rocks seem to jut up from the ground out of nowhere. 

It's hard to gauge just how massive they are until you get right up next to them.

This location isn't just a place for sight seers many rock climbers and hikers come to enjoy the park.

There's a lot of good places for kids to climb and crevasses to check out.

The Siamese Twins formation has a small window where you can see Pike's Peak. 

Even with the 90 degree heat the rocks weren't too hot to touch. 

What's nice is if you wanted to avoid the crowds there were several trails that lead to more secluded places.

I liked this place so much I almost came back again before we left Colorado. We spent 4-5hrs there and I still feel there was plenty more to discover. I think this park is a must see if you're in Denver.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Colorado Vacation: Day 1

 The family went to Colorado again this year. We stayed a few more days in Denver checking out some of the sites near town. The following week was spent in the Rockies. 

We had heard about Mt Evans and the draw for me was the opportunity to see mountain goats. Even though they are not native and were brought to this country years ago it's still neat to see them in person. The views driving to the top were spectacular and Summit Lake is a site to behold.

The drive to the top of the mountain had some breath taking views.

The picture above is from Echo Lake. This is the first lake you pass near the gift shop. 

There are postcard views all the way up the mountain. 

If you're lucky you'll run across these guys playing in the rocks near the road.

We talked to a ranger and they said because of the pandemic some of the babies had not associated people with danger. They actually started a program of intentionally hazing the animals to create that relationship. It makes sense but seems like a strange practice. The goats were definitely used to the crowds. They seemed to almost pose on purpose at times.

Near the top is Summit Lake Park. This place is amazing and worth stopping to hike around the lake and check out the views.

Depending on the trail conditions you can almost hike around the whole lake. There was still a lot of snow blocking parts of the trail which I found surprising since it was late June. 

We hiked to the right along the lake and could see down into a valley where I believe Chicago Lakes is.

The view was incredible and the cliffs were so cool looking.

This is the first time the altitude was really effecting me. I had a really bad headache since we landed in Denver the day before. The drive up to the to of Evans made it worse. The sensation was like having a really bad sinus infection. I made sure I was hydrated but nothing seemed to make me feel better.

At the summit I was about at the limit of what I could bare. My wife wanted to hike even further to a marker at the top of a hill. I felt worse with every step I took gaining elevation I decided to just go back to the car and take it easy. My wife got some great views at the top of the trail.

At the very top near the parking lot is a old restaurant that was destroyed in a explosion.

There is also a observatory that has events open to the public at certain times of the year. I bet that is an incredible experience. Probably a once in a life time chance to get certain views of deep space objects.

The experience overall was amazing and I feel like it's a must visit if you're in the Denver area. The drive is around 1.5hrs to the summit from Denver.