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Archive for October, 2015

Garden of the Gods

 

For my birthday I decided I was going to take a trek into Colorado, to this place everyone raved about: Garden of the Gods.

1 – the place is gorgeous!

2 – its free

3 – go EARLY!

4 – while you don’t have to do a lotta hiking to see the sites, DO bring water! Snacks! And a camera.

This place is wonderfully gorgous and I only saw a fraction of what I could have. I drove in early in the AM, luckily, parked in the main lot. The Center of sorts. I ventured into several hiking areas, heading towards the visitors center for a mid morning food break there.

Instead of a huge lunch, I opted for a snack and a Jeep tour. Worth every penny! Not a lot of picture taking, but it’s not about that, it’s about seeing the sites, the history, etc.

I still have not seen a rattle snake!

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This pretty doe was just standing there, eating, the five people ahead of me were so intent on just walking – they never saw her… I took my time and ventured in closer – I got to about five feet away – did a bit of staring, the let her get back to having her morning snack.

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Pikes Peak. 

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This is a wonderful pinkish stone.  I ended up bringing a piece home with me, was lodged in my Merrils.

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While taking this picture, I met some nice folks from Maine – Camden, in fact.  We are everywhere!

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Famous Balancing Rock (its not balancing any more, FYI, after years of people doing what that guy is doing, it began to roll off a few years ago.  Its now cemented there)

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One of the great places the Jeep tour took us!  Tunnels, and cliff roads, oh my!

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This used to be a train rail.  If you look real carful like, at the ceiling, you can see the soot marks from the coal engines. 

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Helen Keller Falls. 

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The GotG is a very surreal looking place.  Like someone shoved their fingers up from under and pushed the rock up.  And juts of stone, sentries, guard this really wonderful tapestry of earth. 

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If you look really close, you can see the “bear” staring off up into the sky.

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Pike’s Peak in the distance

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Kissing Camels – lore goes something like this – warring tribes found out that the son and a daughter of opposing tribes were in love.  This was forbidden.  As punishment, they sent them into the Garden (it was a place of peace) – its said they never returned, but that the camels were forever kissing above the garden

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Route 66

 

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I took a quick ride one weekend down to RT 66.  It’s a pretty famous place, of course, the kids cartoon Cars made it even more famous.  Was a wonderful drive – not many pics, I opted to enjoy the day instead.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Trinidad State Park, Colorado

I decided to trek up into Colorado for a weekend, and hit up the state park outside of Trinidad.  Gorgeous lake and long hiking trails.  Bring tons of water.  Only downside when I went was the State Park Office was closed, and no maps were available.  The maps outside the building didn’t have miles (or round trip miles) on them.  The day was supposed to have been in the mid 60s, turned out to be in the mid 80s!  I still did about 6 miles that day

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You can see the Rockies from the distance, pretty cool view.

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I don’t remember the trail, the Coke-Something trail, I think.  Leads you down into this former river gorge with some really neat rock formations.  The sun wasn’t throwing up onto the rocks, so very hard to see the coloring. 

This is about where I met up with a rabbit, who was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.  That being said, Mr. Mimi Rabbit darted out, I averted stepping on him, went flying onto my ass, hand in a cactus and over extended my right knee.  Darn rabbit had the audacity to stop and stare at me.  Lucky he was cute.  I like me some stew.

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Bring water, bring snacks, download the trail maps ONLINE onto your phone before you head there.  Also, extra battery or battery charger if you are going on an extended hike and are going to be checking your phone. 

Clayton Lake State Park, NM

For a small park, you can get a lot of fun walking done.  Then you can see the Dino Tracks, and, which one of us doesn’t find that a lil cool? 

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I have never seen so many rabbits in my life as I have since I have been in this area, does no one like rabbit stew?

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If you are agile enough, and maybe brave enough, you can walk the rocks for almost a mile around the lake.  Great exercise!

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There is this cool place called “The Rock Garden” here, and its fun to scale around the cylindrical out cropping of rocks.  

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Hard to put into perspective of the SIZE of these prints. 

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Sugarite Park, Raton New Mexico

Source: Sugarite Park, Raton New Mexico

Sugarite Park, Raton New Mexico

The morning I got up to head up to Clayton Lake, I was greeted with a flat tire. After ascertaining that there was no where to get a tire fixed in Clayton w/it out costing me about 100 bucks, I made some calls and found a place – 84 miles away. I inflated the tire, it dropped like a stone. I swapped out to my donut in about 5 minutes and headed out to Raton.

I got to the place in question, and after figuring out that the tire had a bad valve, and an oil change, I was talking to Brian, the counter guy. I told him the flat tanked my day for hiking. He asked if I had my stuff with me. I said yup. He directed me to Sugarite and even told me the two best trails for hiking and for views.

After dishing out some cash for shirts and stuff at the visitors center, I headed up the Coal Mining trail.

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Then! I headed up another trail, and when I say up, I mean – straight up in some places. The views there after were stunning and well worth the climb.

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