Monday, July 27, 2015

Garden of the Gods

Somewhere in our tour brochures we read that this is the best and most unique city park in the world.  Notice I said city park.  Charles Elliott Perkins, who once owned this 1,350 acres of land, told his children that the Garden of the Gods should forever be free to the people of the world.  His children gave the land to city of Colorado Springs in1909.  Yesterday, Sunday, we drove around the park as well as hiked some of the trails.  One of the first formations we saw was balanced rock.
Hard to believe that the 700 ton of rock pictured above has been resting on a narrow pedestal for thousands of years!  A lot of rock formations in the garden are red but others are grey or white.  Ancient mountains eroded over the years, their sediment getting washed into streams.  The resulting sediment over time got pressed and compacted into rock.  Sandstone mixed with iron oxide formed the red rock above; some of the mud formed shale, and other sand and pebbles formed a rock called conglomerate.  The delicate base holding the structure above is shale.  Some of the rock in the garden is grey or white, which is shale or conglomerate.  They can be seen in the picture below, called the Sleeping Giant.
Hope you can make out the giant!  His head has the whiter rock.  In the picture of the Kissing Camels you can also see the lighter colored rock.

There are many rock formations to be seen in this park, and they all represent hundreds of millions of years of geology.  We were hesitant to do it at first, but we did hike the ridge trail, which gave us a feeling of being among the rocks.  Pictured in the foreground of the picture below is a structure called the Three Graces.
Other formations we saw were Pulpit Rock, Tower of Babel, Sentinel Rock and the Cathedral Spires.  It is a beautiful place and should not be missed by anyone visiting Colorado.  My first visit here was when I was about 7 years of age,  since then we have taken our children to see the park.  One last picture here is that of a couple of rock climbers trying to scale the sheer walls.

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